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

4.4

value

4.5

noise

Moderate

98% would recommend it to a friend

Creative Cuisine (99)
Neighborhood Gem (96)
Fit for Foodies (91)
See All
Local Ingredients (88)
Great for Lunch (85)
Casual (73)
Cozy (72)
Good for a Date (70)
Authentic (61)
Open Kitchen (61)
Comfort Food (61)
Historic (52)
Special Occasion (51)
Good for Anniversaries (47)
Fun (39)
Good for Birthdays (36)
Romantic (34)
Worth the Drive (32)
Great for Outdoor Dining (30)
Sunday Lunch (27)
Healthy (23)
Hot Spot (22)
Quiet Conversation (16)
Great for Brunch (16)
Business Meals (15)
Seasonal (14)
People Watching (13)
Pre/post Theatre (11)
Good Vegetarian Options (11)
Outstanding Value (11)
Tasting Menu (10)
Gluten Free Options (10)
Quick Bite (8)
Bar Seating (8)
Good for Groups (8)
Tapas (7)
Kid-friendly (6)
Family Style (6)
Afternoon Tea (6)
Afternoon Coffee (5)
Late-night Find (5)
Organic (5)
Great Beer (5)
Molecular Gastronomy (4)
Private Room (3)
Notable Wine List (3)
Vegan (3)
Happy Hour (2)
Fireplace (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Spicy (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Modern Decor (1)
Scenic View (1)
Live Music (1)
Live Sports (1)
Wood Oven (1)
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3037 reviews
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vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined a day ago

I always try to sit at the chef's table - awesome experience to talk with the kitchen staff and watch them making amazing, eclectic southern cuisine. Fun, historic environment right in the middle of everything.

Tags: Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Open Kitchen, Romantic, Seasonal, Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Great Beer, Good for a Date, Fun, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Tapas, Historic, Private Room, Comfort Food, Hot Spot, Great for Lunch, Sunday Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Brunch, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined a day ago

Go. All the reviews are correct. Food is wonderful and service is very good. Make reservations as the space is relatively small.

Tags: Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 3 days ago

Superb experience. Very nice service. Our best overall eating in our three days in Charlston.

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

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 3 days ago

Tasty well prepared food served on a quaint downtown Charleston setting. The service was very attentive. Be prepared to wait a little extra time at lunchtime because this place gets hammered. I suggest reservations for seating.

Tags: Quick Bite
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Atlantic City)·Dined 3 days ago

Loved the Cru Cafe! We were first time visitors in Charleston looking for a casual but delicious lunch and we were not disappointed. Everything was incredibly fresh. I had a bite from everyone's plate in my group and it was all delicious! Nice selection of beer & wine, as well. The preserved single home that Cru now occupies is quaint and cozy but definitely makes reservations a must for this popular spot. Overall I would absolutely recommend!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 3 days ago

We ate there for lunch. We were seated on time. Service was great and food was phenomenal.
Will definitely list it as one of our go back to restaurants in Charleston. Made for a great day.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Miami)·Dined 4 days ago

Food was amazing. Loved the muddles, as soon as they arrived the smell of truffle oil takes a hold of you. We had the fish, shrimp & grits, sirloin.

Tags: Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays, Kid-friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 4 days ago

Great in every way. Sat at the "chef's table" overlooking the kitchen and greatly enjoyed that experience. Can't wait to go back.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, People Watching, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Open Kitchen, Romantic, Authentic, Fun, Spicy, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Historic, Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined 5 days ago

Fabulous meal: Fried green tomatoes appetizer and salad with deep fried goat cheese and shrimp outstanding!!!!!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Casual, Historic, Fun, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined 5 days ago

Cru is a favorite whenever I am in Charleston. It is always a fun atmosphere, eclectic old house, good food, and great service.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Sunday Lunch, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 16, 2017

Have eaten many lunches at Cru when in Charleston which were all excellent. This was our first dinner and it was superb-as expected. Hopefully a full bar some day.

Tags: Late-night Find, Seasonal, Open Kitchen, Cozy, Comfort Food, Local Ingredients, Healthy, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 15, 2017

Had a late lunch 2:15pm on a Satturday. The place was crowded, but we were seated on time. Sat at the chef's bar and got to see the hustle-bustle of the food being prepared. Wait staff was attentive despite being very busy. Good food at a moderate price. We definitely will return.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Casual, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food, Open Kitchen, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on April 15, 2017

I found it on Open Table and it was a great choice.

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

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 14, 2017

Food was incredible! The staff was awesome. Definitely worth the visit, and we will definitely return again and again.

Tags: Comfort Food, People Watching, Great for Brunch, Casual, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Open Kitchen, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Caribbean)·Dined on April 14, 2017

Love Cru cafe. We have been there numerous times. The food is always fresh and delicious!!

Tags: Cozy, Casual, Authentic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 13, 2017

Food was excellent. Vibrant atmosphere but a little closer quarters than we usually like.

Tags: Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Seasonal, Cozy, Sunday Lunch, Historic, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on April 13, 2017

Well balanced salads. Great fried green tomatoes. Pleasant and attentive service.

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

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 12, 2017

Great atmosphere and fantastic, local, fresh food. All perfectly cooked and balanced flavors and textures. Wonderful meal!

Tags: Open Kitchen, Great for Lunch, Comfort Food, Fun, Great for Outdoor Dining, People Watching, Historic, Casual, Seasonal, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 12, 2017

One of our favorite go-to spots and always nice when friends/family in from out of town to get back to this true gem in Charleston

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Tapas, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Healthy, Good Vegetarian Options, Historic, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 11, 2017

We sat at the chefs table. The staffed talked to us all night. We were on holidays from Australia and loved it so much we wanted to go again the next night but as expected with such a great cafe it was booked out.

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

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 11, 2017

We had lunch at Cru Cafe on vacation and loved it! It was lively and crowded and we ended up sharing a table with another group, but the service and food were so good and everyone was having such a good time, that this wasn't a problem at all. This was one of my favorite meals in Charleston!

Tags: Great for Lunch, People Watching, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Miami)·Dined on April 11, 2017

The place was bustling when we arrived with people waiting outside. So glad we made a reservation as we were seated immediately. The food was superb and the service was excellent. The fried green tomatoes were awesome!

Tags: Healthy, Gluten Free Options, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on April 11, 2017

Asked for outdoor dining on our reservation. Reservation was at 1:00 and we were seated at 1:30 inside. Not acceptable!

Tags: Hot Spot, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on April 11, 2017

The food was delicious! Such nice servers. Really enjoyed dining there
It is a small space and seating is very close

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Historic, Healthy, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on April 8, 2017

Simply superb and cozy, highly highly recommend! Food was creative and delicious, staff was friendly and the location was perfect!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Cozy, Business Meals, Sunday Lunch, Seasonal, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 8, 2017

We had a spectacular dinner at Cru Cafe, which is in a beautiful, cozy, intimate little house. Everything we tasted was delicious, just wish we had saved room for dessert!

Tags: Romantic, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Comfort Food, Historic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Kansas City)·Dined on April 7, 2017

Absolutely worth a stop. Lovely food and lovely people.

Tags: Open Kitchen, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch, Fun, Authentic, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (St. Louis)·Dined on April 7, 2017

Excellent experience! Will recommend to anyone coming to Charleston!

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

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on April 6, 2017

Delicious & fresh

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Tallahassee)·Dined on April 6, 2017

Delicious food. Love the buttermilk fried oyster salad!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 6, 2017

Fabulous as always! We had the special - soft shell crabs - perfect preparation, not over thought or gussied up.
Love CRU Cafe❤️

Tags: Great for Brunch, Local Ingredients, Great for Outdoor Dining, Seasonal, Cozy, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 6, 2017

General Tio's chicken absolute fav. Homemade desserts to die for. Had bread pudding and flour less chocolate cake and home made whip cream divine. Love that they take reservations. Outdoor dining option great. Alway bring out of town friends here for lunch. Wait staff and manager friendly and attentive. Five stars all around!

Tags: Cozy, Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Afternoon Coffee, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fun, Casual, Paleo Friendly, Healthy, Hot Spot, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on April 6, 2017

Everything we ate was stellar, and although the location is small in physical size, the menu is big at heart. The crab salad I had was beautifully presented, with a whole fried crab on top. The contrast with the crunchy tangy salad was delicious and fresh. Truffle fries with parmesan were amazing, a must do! The chef is Le Cordon Bleu trained, and it's in a restored historic house near the waterfront. An easy walk from the cruise terminal and the city market. Worth the trip!!

Tags: Authentic, Fun, Afternoon Tea, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on April 6, 2017

We both loved Cru, it was our first time there. Great inside atmosphere, great menu, great service! bI have allergies to wheat and eggs and they were helpful and helped me to get a great lunch I could eat. I loved the southern food. I was glad we had a lunch reservation, since they were real busy.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Quick Bite, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Authentic, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 6, 2017

Always great one of Charleston's best

Tags: Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Fun, Great for Lunch, Historic, Good for a Date, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Open Kitchen, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on April 6, 2017

My second time here and Cru truly is a hidden gem! We sat at the Chef's Table and had a BLAST! Amazing food and great service!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies, Open Kitchen, Great for Lunch, Comfort Food, Great for Brunch, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 6, 2017

Great restaurant and great meal, but the best part may have been our server, Johnny I believe.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 6, 2017

Service and food were outstanding. Great calamari salad and the soft shell crab special was delicious. Try the orange creamsicle cake for dessert!

Tags: Romantic, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 5, 2017

Nice place to eat.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 5, 2017

The food was amazing. My recommendations- Fried Green Tomatoes, Mussels, and Bread Pudding!

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

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