Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Cru Cafe
It's the Holy City's Hidden Gem! Cru Café is Charleston's home to some of the best gourmet comfort food in the Lowcountry. Cru Café is the culinary creation of renowned Le Cordon Bleu graduate, Chef John Zucker. Opened in 2002 in response to overwhelming demand, Cru Café is a culinary destination off the beaten path in in a classic 18th century Charleston single-style home. Cru Café and its award-winning Cru Catering division are consistently ranked as top eateries by locals and tourists alike. From our famous Four Cheese Macaroni to our tasty Thai Seafood Risotto, we feature something for everyone. And if you're in the mood for lighter fare, try our Chinese Chicken Salad or Duck Confit Salad. Guests of the restaurant can enjoy daily specials, indoor and outdoor porch seating, a wine list tailored to the varied menu and rich, mouthwatering desserts. We invite to stop in and enjoy a delicious meal with us today.
Charleston, SC 29401
Comfort Food, Fusion / Eclectic, Southern
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
East Bay St
$30 and under
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Private Upstairs Dinning Room available for up to 18 people.
Voted Charleston's best caterer consecutively since 2001 by the Charleston City Paper, our Cru Catering branch offers full service customized catering, in-house personal chefs, corporate catering, receptions, weddings and private parties. Please contact us at 843-534-2433.
Cru Cafe does NOT offer parking. The gravel lot across the street is owned and operated by Palmetto Carriage Company. There is a public parking deck located off Pinckney Street behind the Bank of America building. The address is 200 Meeting Street.
Banquet, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Takeout, Wine
Cru Cafe Ratings and Reviews
The food is good, but there is a lot of amazing food in Charleston, and the ambiance and service at the Cru Cafe leave a great deal to be desired. When we arrived for our lunch reservations, it was very unclear where we were to go to check in. A man, rushing in and out of the restaurant (porch and indoor seating), said something that sounded like "be right with you." Since he was rushing and did not really look at us, we were not certain he was addressing us and what he said. He eventually, but not promptly, returned and took our name, while we stood in a corner trying to stay out of the way of the bustling staff. He gestured toward a table with a family and said those people were finishing up, so our table would be ready shortly. The host disappeared again, and we stood there for a while. The table was cleared. Still no host. A friendly lady approached us and welcomed us to the restaurant. She then gestured toward that same table and said "it looks like your table is ready!" Then she walked in that direction, so we presumed we were to follow her. We sat down and the waitress came over and accused us of taking the table. We told her we had reservations and were instructed to sit there. She asked if "Todd" told us to sit there, and we said we didn't know who Todd was, so she ran off to make sure we were allowed to sit there. It was incredibly awkward and embarrassing. It turned out we were in the table that was reserved for us, so the humiliation was completely unnecessary. The rest of our visit went okay, but the waitress was very rushy and disappeared a lot, so the environment was just really unwelcoming and unpleasant.
Absolutely delicious - everything we tried was fantastic. We were seated 10 minutes before our reservation time, and the host was friendly and courteous. You must get the fried green tomatoes! The only reason I can't give Cru Cafe 5 stars is because of one server. When we ordered a variety of small plates and appetizers so we could taste all of the things our friends had recommended that we taste, she remarked, "Oh, no entrees? No wine, either?" I was visiting with my underage daughter, and we had a 30 minute drive ahead of us, so of course I wasn't drinking. We ordered 7 items, hardly inappropriate. One dish was set on top of a plate,and as we picked it up, it slid off and landed on the floor. Despite our apologies, the server said, "Oh, that's *hilarious*. I don't know how I'm supposed to clean that up. I've never seen anything like this, and I've been doing this a long time." Another server and the host were both gracious and immediately told us that it was fine, then brought out another dish, but this server's attitude was completely inappropriate. We'd been looking forward to our visit all week, and this soured us on the restaurant immediately. That said, I'd give it another try but request not to be served by that person.
Luckily we had reservations, as the cafe was busy the night we went. I started with a Caesar salad, and it was one of the best I've had. The dressing wasn't the thick, gloppy stuff you usually get. It was light with a delicate taste of anchovy and garlic. My husband had the blue crab soup, and it was equally tasty. The short ribs were his choice, and he hit a winner with the deep, rich beefy flavor of the ribs and the great sides that came with them. I opted for the poblano & mozzarella fried chicken, which was disappointing. I was looking for Southern cooking while in Charleston, and I though this would be a great twist. It's a pounded breast with the chili and cheese wrapped inside, then the whole thing fried. Chicken breast is bland, and I was hoping the chili would add some flavor, but there wasn't much chili and it's too mild to offset the basic taste of chicken. I almost never order chicken, and I should have stuck with that rule. If you love chicken breast, this might be great for you. Nonetheless, this is a great place to eat, with helpful staff.
Loved our experience at Cru Cafe. The staff was friendly and helpful. The food was delicious. The fried green tomatoes were outstanding. I've never ordered these when I was out to dinner as I didn't think they were anything too special. But since they were mentioned in previous reviews, I decided to try them. All I can say is that for the rest of my visit to Charleston, the only food I could think of was these tomatoes! You must have them if you go there for dinner! I also had the pork chop which was huge and wonderful. I would definitely go back to this restaurant again. It is very small, so make sure you get reservations.
What a delicious and succulent surprise! We have been living in the Charleston area for more than five years and it was not until this past month that we finally made a reservation for Cru Café. We love good food, we love great quality food, we are kind of foodies… and Cru Café was a flavorful delight! We had the best server, ever! Blond big guy with a beard, you were great! We started the meal with the Fried Green Tomatoes that did come with “crumbles” of perfectly roasted or fried pork and topped with a caramel sauce. It was accompanied by the freshest feta cheese over greens. After that we ordered the seafood risotto and the special of the day: a handsomely sized short rib over fingerling potatoes and kale. Let me tell you, that kale was prepared in heaven! Divine! The risotto was very good, but we thought it needed an extra pinch of salt (which by the way they provided.) For dessert we ordered the bread pudding (made out of brioche bread) and a cheese cake with macerated strawberries. Hands down, the bread pudding was the winner! Do not hesitate to make that reservation, you will not be disappointed!
A Southern gentleman once told me, "You can judge a chef by the soup." I think he was right.
Our meal started with one of the soups of the day, a cabbage and pastrami delight. The beef broth base was amazing, peppery from the pastrami. The cabbage wasn't really much in evidence except as a base layer of flavor. If I could have licked the bowl I would have.
I got the local fish, served simply, yet the plating was terrific. A line of emulsified beet bordered the plating.
Our server could not have been more friendly and helpful, as was everyone else. It would be better to come when it is warm enough to sit on the porch.
The restaurant is small so reserve well in advance!!
My sister & 2 cousins visited Charleston and we had a wonderful dinner at Cru Cafe. We had reservations and had to wait about 15 minutes but we were in no hurry and were served wine while we waited. We loved all the people we met at Cru and they were very attentive and fun! Appetizers of fried Brie and fried green tomatoes were deliciously prepared. All our dinners were flavorful and beautiful --beef short ribs, poblano fried chicken and Thai seafood risotto. The flourless chocolate tart was shared for dessert. We would recommend this place to anyone. Just a wonderful & tasty experience!
Make reservations early, we learned that last trip to Charleston. Also, the last trip the place was soo busy and people waiting that when i walked in, no one acknowledge me, we left. Later that night I met the sous Chef "I am a Chef in Charlotte" and we talked a little shop. Somehow his resturant came up. I told him of our experience, he immediately called someone and got us at the Chef table the next day "pretty cool". That was hospitality at it's finest! The food was spot on and the place has a cool southern vibe. Now on the this trip. The waitress told of the soups of the day and the special. I wanted a cup of both soups "she stopped me and said can only have cup with 1/2 sandwich and soup". Hmmm I thought, then I said fine I will take both soups and you can split the sandiwch du jour "again I was told that cannot be done, only the menu sandwiches" WTF people, money is no object charge me I don't care, but that was just wrong. Please re-evaluate your perspective on what to or not to sell. Now about the food, I got the special anyway and ordered a bowl of soup "even though I wanted both" soup tomato bisque was good nothing special. But the sandwich on nice crusty sliced bread, fresh pulled mozzarella, capicolla, aand the other finishing ingredients AWSOME!!! So theres my 2 cents. Will we go back you ask? absolutely of course!
Amazing is only the beginning. The food is creating and ingenious. Service and attention to detail is impeccable Is Was so not what I expected . They elevate fried chicken to something unrecognizable that tastes better than any I've ever had . Don't miss it . If you're lucky enough and you're a foodie try and sit at the chefs table
We came to celebrate my birthday. Reservations are a must due to the quaintness of the restaurant. The four of us shared the entree size Mesclun fried goat cheese salad. It was just OK. The entrees, however, were AMAZING!!! We had the Tumeric-Spiced Local Fish (Tile), Duck breast, Beef short rib, Thai seafood risotto and a side of the Four cheese Macaroni. We somehow managed to save room for one Bread pudding to complete our meal! Did I mention that it was Amazing??!!! Cru has now become my favorite restaurant in Charleston!!!!
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