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.

18 Pinckney Street
Charleston, SC 29401
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
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

Cross Street:
East Bay St

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(843) 534-2434

Website:
http://www.crucafe.com/

Entertainment:
Private Upstairs Dinning Room available for up to 18 people.

Catering:
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.
www.crucatering.com

Parking Details:
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.

Executive Chef:
John Zucker

Additional:
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

5
4
3
2
1

4.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.8

service

4.7

ambience

4.5

value

4.5

noise

Moderate

98% would recommend it to a friend

Creative Cuisine (85)
Neighborhood Gem (85)
Fit for Foodies (80)
See All
Great for Lunch (65)
Cozy (64)
Casual (62)
Local Ingredients (62)
Good for a Date (58)
Special Occasion (46)
Authentic (45)
Fun (41)
Comfort Food (40)
Worth the Drive (36)
Good for Birthdays (32)
Good for Anniversaries (30)
Romantic (30)
Great for Outdoor Dining (26)
Quiet Conversation (21)
Seasonal (18)
Hot Spot (17)
Great for Brunch (14)
Quick Bite (10)
Late-night Find (9)
Notable Wine List (9)
Business Meals (8)
Sunday Lunch (8)
Good Vegetarian Options (7)
Great Beer (6)
Good for Groups (6)
Pre/post Theatre (6)
Tapas (6)
Tasting Menu (6)
Bar Seating (5)
Organic (4)
People Watching (4)
Disabled Access (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Vegan (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Scenic View (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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3321 reviews
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 (Philadelphia)·Dined 3 days ago

I ate here last years with my friends and thought I would take my family....they LOVED it!! The food was excellent (fried green tomatoes) and well as the service! When we visit again we will make sure you are on the top of the list!!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined 3 days ago

Just about our favorite restaurant in Charleston . It only takes one visit to get you hooked . Don’t miss the Chinese Chicken Salad or the Shrimp BLT...or anything else for that matter. Always a good idea to get reservations. Did I mention how good the truffle fries are...

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Fun, Great for Outdoor Dining, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined 3 days ago

Cru cafe always my favorite!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 3 days ago

Delicious, we had truffle mushroom soup, the special duck salad and the potable wrap with an upgrade to the fries to truffle fries.
Amazing and great value.
Would definitely go back.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined 5 days ago

Food was fresh, creative and wonderful. Server was helpful and delightful. Cute place. Small but one of our best meals in Charlestown. Highly recommend!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined 5 days ago

Always return to Cru Cafe when visiting Charleston! Creative menu and great ambience. Limited seating, so get a reservation. Evening seating on the porch was great. Another favorite is a seat at the bar to watch the cooking staff ‘do their thing’! Like a great performance or dance! Nate keeps the place running; ask for Neila Rae; great waitress!

Tags: Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined 6 days ago

In a word, fabulous! Fried green tomatoes are a must!!!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined 6 days ago

This restaurant was a great find. We were only in Charleston for one night, and wanted to dine at a special restaurant. The food and ambience were wonderful. If we are ever in Charleston again, we would definitely come again.

Tags: Special Occasion, Great Beer, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food, Romantic, Cozy, People Watching, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined 7 days ago

Our starter calamari was truly special, an inventive fusion with Asian slaw. The entrees did not live up to the starter and were underwhelming. Service was very fun and attentive.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Kansas City)·Dined 7 days ago

We loved it! Great food, reasonable prices, and very nice servers. If you're a visitor, like we were, Cru is a "no miss!" Cru is a small restaurant, so you'll need a reservation.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 7, 2017

Food was awesome, service was terrific, however, be sure to allow at least 2 and a half hours for your evening. took one hour to get our first course. Lovely atmosphere, a little noisy however. Short ribs, best I have ever had

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on October 7, 2017

Nate was an excellent GM! Made sure that we were served while waiting on our reservation. Even ran us down after my sister in law had left her cell phone!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Fun, Cozy, Great for Lunch, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 5, 2017

Cru Cafe offered extraordinary food and service despite being super busy, as they usually are at lunch time. It was a bit noisy, but the attentive service in the midst of all the energy was excellent.

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 5, 2017

The fried green tomatoes were the best we've had. We enjoyed the fried oyster salad and Thai Seafood Risotto.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on October 4, 2017

Had a delicious salad. Outdoor seating, so not as noisy.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
·Dined on October 3, 2017

I always come here first -- but make a reservation -- as a concession to the intimate dining area. The food is always fabulous, I have had the bourbon duck, short ribs and others and every time it is memorable. Oh-my, order the fried green tomatoes. No one ever forgets those. I love the cozy, dining room, the personal connection to the kitchen. It never fails to impress my out of town guests. This is Charleston dining at its best.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Casual, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Late-night Find, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value3

vip
 (Memphis)·Dined on October 3, 2017

This was a quaint spot in an old house which made for a great atmosphere. The food was excellent. I would recommend a reservation though as is is quite small. request the front porch for people watching or the chefs table to watch them prepare your meal.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Good for Birthdays, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
·Dined on October 3, 2017

This was recommended to us and we couldn't have been more impressed. You'd think that a meal you're familiar with would be what you'd expect. In this circumstance our meal GREATLY exceeded our expectations! Fried Green tomatoes with smoked tomato caramel sauce! Are you kidding me?!?!? Outrageously good with an engaging staff who enjoy what they serve!

Tags: Late-night Find, Quick Bite, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Casual, Great for Brunch, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on October 3, 2017

This is the best resto in Charleston!
Food is a delight. Service is excellent.
If the noise level could be softened, then this place would be perfect.

Tags: Disabled Access, Fun, Great for Outdoor Dining, Cozy, Great for Brunch, Tasting Menu, Tapas, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 30, 2017

Very clean, comfortable setting. Restaurant is in a charming old house. Went on a recommendation from a friend who had recently passed through Charleston and happened upon it. Do make a reservation, especially at dinner time as there is limited seating and fills up fast. Tried several different dishes and all were delicious; especially the mussels appetizer!

Tags: Business Meals, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Healthy, Authentic, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 29, 2017

One of my favorite restaurants in Charleston. I love everything about it...the food, atmosphere and the awesome staff. Highly recommend!

Tags: Authentic, Hot Spot, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch, Sunday Lunch, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Worth the Drive, Healthy, Notable Wine List, Seasonal, Romantic, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 29, 2017

Great service, great food and great company! We had friends visiting from Iowa and we were all happy with our choice and will definitely be back again!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Organic, Healthy, Local Ingredients, Cozy, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
·Dined on September 28, 2017

Loved this place - our Charleston favorite! Our tour guide recommended as the best restaurant in Charleston, and he was right on.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Fun, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 27, 2017

Megan, our server, could not have been more pleasant nor attentive throughout our meal. She was a perfect example of how the server can make an excellent tiny experience even better.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 26, 2017

Would eat at this place once a week if I lived anywhere near here!

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on September 23, 2017

The food and service is always wonderful and consistent! Everything I have ever tried here has been excellent and flavorful. We usually come for lunch when in Charleston on vacation but dinner there was quite a treat. My boyfriend and I especially enjoy sitting at the counter and watching the food be prepared right in front of us. I would highly recommend Cru, it is my favorite restaurant in Charleston!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Lovely food and fantastic personnel! Enjoyed it very much. Would definitely recommend it and definitely recommend a reservation - was glad to pass the wait times for lunch with ours 👍🏻

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on September 22, 2017

We had reservations and were seated at a cramped community table with very high stools that were difficult to manage. Our waitress was great and the food was delicious. We will definitely go back but will insist on a table in the main dining room.

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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on September 22, 2017

Don't go to the restaurant to have conversations with anyone with a hearing problem. Conversation is impossible as this is a place preferred by groups of women who are talking loudly over each other and very boisterous.

Tags: Comfort Food, Casual
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food5
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 22, 2017

Despite a reservation,we waited 20 minutes to be seated. The restaurant was clearly very busy and we waited much longer than usual for our meal. Our service person was very good at helping a member of our party who had a gluten allergy to identify good menu options. However, when the soup arrived, it had croutons on top despite the clear instructions from our server to the kitchen to forego them. (It had to be redone.) Aside from these glitches on this visit, the food was, as always, delicious and the items ordered (shrimp BLT, special brisket sandwich, asparagus soup w/bacon) worth the wait!

Tags: Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on September 21, 2017

Cru Cafe is outstanding on all counts! Food & Wine & Value give the more popular foodie venues a major run for their Money, Quality, & Originality. we cannot wait to go back! The daily offering is limited, but has something for almost every palate. The wine list offers some of the most competitive values in Charleston (i.e., Malbec, Colome, 2015 @ $45/bottle). We cannot wait to go back!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Casual, Local Ingredients, Great for Lunch, Seasonal
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 21, 2017

Cru never disappoints! We always go to Cru when in Charleston and love the food and service.

Tags: Healthy, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on September 20, 2017

We were at Kiawah for a short vacation and had a great evening at Cru Cafe. Converted house with porch dining with a small but wonderful menu. The fried green tomatoes were outstanding and the other plates we had were very good. Local sourced food for sure! One small complaint was the duck entree was a little chewy but still tasty. Will go back

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Tapas, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on September 19, 2017

Excellent lunch. We sat on the porch and enjoyed the meal. Service was excellent!

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on September 16, 2017

Sat at chefs table & had the Best time!!! Loved every bite!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 15, 2017

Excellent all the way around !! Great Food , good wine , excellent service . Cozy restaurant !!

Tags: Cozy, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on September 14, 2017

The best. My goto place in Charleston. Lunch or dinner. I look forward to the food at events which they cater.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Tallahassee)·Dined on September 12, 2017

I am a pilot and a consumate foodie. I have eaten all over, and this is some of the best and most carefully designed dishes I have ever eaten.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fun, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 9, 2017

Love to take visitors to Cru Cafe! Took two recently for lunch. Shared fried green tomatoes and Gen.Tso's Chicken among four of us for appetizers. Three of us had the signature shrimpBLT and all loved it. Still one our most favorite places!

Tags: Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on September 8, 2017

We are locals and dine downtown several times a month. This however was our first visit to Cru although we had heard about it for the last couple of years. It is neatly tucked away in an old Charleston single near the market area. Dock Street Theater is a short walk away so the restaurant is good for pretheater dining. The menu, although not extensive, has something for everyone and has several options for small dishes or split entres. We split a small plate salad and a pasta dish. Both were very good. The service was excellent but the restaurant was not very busy and the wait staff had no pressure. The seating is a little limited and the dining area is dominated by a large communal table. There is also outdoor dining on the front porch. Overall our experience was very good and we would certainly come again.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Kid-friendly, Good Vegetarian Options, Casual, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

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