About Cru Cafe

18 Pinckney Street
Charleston, SC 29401
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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.

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 #1 Charleston Caterer from 2001-2014. 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/Private Rooms, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wine

Restaurant Photos

Cru Cafe Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.8

service

4.6

ambience

4.3

noise

Moderate

98% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Fit for Foodies
South Carolina
Great for Lunch
South Carolina
Best Food
Charleston
3 More
Best Service
Charleston
Best Value
Charleston
Fit for Foodies
Charleston
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fit for foodies (239)
neighborhood gem (187)
great for lunch (154)
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special occasion (88)
great for outdoor dining (82)
romantic (59)
hot spot (50)
great for brunch (30)
good for groups (26)
notable wine list (23)
kid-friendly (10)
scenic view (6)
late-night find (6)
vibrant bar scene (3)
Sort By:
Newest
2335 reviews
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food5
ambience4
service5

Fried goat cheese salad is a must have! ...

Dined 3 days ago

Fried goat cheese salad is a must have! Mussel appetizer is amazing. Ordered scallops and they were delicious. Bread pudding is usually great, but was just good this time (not enough sauce). Service was outstanding, I highly recommend this restaurant. One of my favorites!

food5
ambience5
service5

Best food experience , from appetizers, ...

Dined 4 days ago

Best food experience , from appetizers, small plate, the entre' to dessert everything was fantastic. Fried green tomatoes with pork belly. Wow! Can't go wrong with the duck. I'm going back for lunch today

food5
ambience4
service2
value4

Great Charleston Lunch

Dined 4 days ago

Went for lunch with group of four. Food was fantastic despite waiting just short of an hour for sandwiches. Likely just an "off day" - go and enjoy!

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5

Best food in Charleston!

Dined 7 days ago

Best food in Charleston!

food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Great local food with a good southern charm

Dined 7 days ago

Cru has a nice southern hospitality feel and a good indication of the local food scene in Charleston. Fresh, local ingredients and flair and a charming setting - great to place to take anyone out of town or to get a good taste of what is to come that the Charleston scene has to offer.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Loved the food, friendliness and ambienc ...

Dined on May 17, 2016

Loved the food, friendliness and ambience. Would definitely revisit

food5
ambience4
service5

Duck, the best I have had anywhere. Exc ...

Dined on May 13, 2016

Duck, the best I have had anywhere. Excellent service, quaint old house, good location near the central market

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We loved everything about Cru Cafe. The ...

Dined on May 13, 2016

We loved everything about Cru Cafe. The food was absolutely delicious, the ambiance was charming, and we didn't break the bank.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic
food5
ambience5
service5

The truffle fries are amazing. Loved the ...

Dined on May 13, 2016

The truffle fries are amazing. Loved the duck confit too.

food5
ambience3
service5

Food is off the chart. It is noisy, but ...

Dined on May 13, 2016

Food is off the chart. It is noisy, but it is worth going there to eat.

food5
ambience5
service5

We were greeted and seated immediately. ...

Dined on May 13, 2016

We were greeted and seated immediately. Service was extremely friendly, she made great recommendations and was very attentive without being overbearing. The food was TOP NOTCH! I had the duck, layers of flavor with the maple glaze my husband had the pork shank which just fell off the bone and the smoky meat just melted in our mouths. We've decided this needs to be a monthly dining experience for us. We just deserve it!! 😋

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Small restaurant with wonderful food. G ...

Dined on May 12, 2016

Small restaurant with wonderful food. Great fish, and appetizers are fabulous. Staff went above and beyond for us as I lost my ring and they helped me get it back.

Tags: neighborhood gem
food4
ambience4
service4

When I come to Charleston Cru Cafe is a ...

vip
Dined on May 12, 2016

When I come to Charleston Cru Cafe is a first stop. The food is always fresh and delicious.

food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Nice evening

Dined on May 12, 2016

Made the choice per TA reviewers. The restaurant did not disappoint. Funky historic space provided nice atmosphere. Our servers were efficient in taking orders and getting special requests correct-no feta please. Fried green tomato appetizer was delicious. Hubby had swordfish and I had the scallop special. We both really enjoyed our food. Small space means reservations can be harder to come by-plan ahead so as not to be disappointed.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5

There's so much to say about Cru Cafe bu ...

vip
Dined on May 11, 2016

There's so much to say about Cru Cafe but I will try to keep this short. This small tortoise eat restaurant is a true Hidden Gem of Charleston nestled on a back street off the main strip not easy to find but well worth it. There's always a line out the door for lunch and dinner and there's a good reason for it. The food is absolutely amazing the service is great. We always enjoy our time at Cru Cafe and we know you will too. Always be nominal never disappoints we will definitely be back and back and back again.

food5
ambience5
service5

Awesome spot, fabulous food- don't miss ...

Dined on May 11, 2016

Awesome spot, fabulous food- don't miss the fried green tomatoes!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My wife and I eat here every chance we g ...

Dined on May 11, 2016

My wife and I eat here every chance we get , needless to say the whole package is excellent! The entire staff is very friendly and they really hustle,nothing lazy here ! The food is excellent and the prices are very fair. I highly recommend reservations be it lunch or dinner. This restaurant is no secret around here!

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Fish was outstanding as well as the pres ...

Dined on May 10, 2016

Fish was outstanding as well as the presenation. Chicken was way to salty. Great wait staff

Tags: great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

We enjoyed the food and atmosphere very ...

Dined on May 10, 2016

We enjoyed the food and atmosphere very much. We were seated very close to our reservation time but it took 45 minutes for our food to be served. We were not in a hurry but thought that was a bit long. We would go again.

Tags: great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We love Cru Cafe! When we visit Charles ...

Dined on May 10, 2016

We love Cru Cafe! When we visit Charleston it is a must that we have lunch there at least once. We sat outside on the porch for the first time and that was delightful. The service is great and the food never disappoints. Love it!

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food3
ambience3
service2
value2

Not as memorable as it was 10 years ago. ...

Dined on May 10, 2016

Not as memorable as it was 10 years ago. Gentleman host was very pleasant. Waitress nothing to write home about. Has become so popular has a bit of a machine feel.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Will absolutely return

Dined on May 8, 2016

We were in Charleston for the weekend from Greenville, SC. We ate at several excellent restaurants, but Cru Cafe was my absolute favorite. Great setting, relaxed and energetic vibe with outstanding food. While the atmosphere was more laid-back, I would rate the cuisine and wait staff a cut above the much higher priced restaurants we ate at during the weekend. Highly recommended!

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience4
service5

Incredible waitress very helpful very fr ...

Dined on May 7, 2016

Incredible waitress very helpful very friendly. Been here 8 years and this was our first visit. Sorry to have waited so long!! Just outstanding.

food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Cton Lunch

vip
Dined on May 7, 2016

This was our second visit to this excellent restaurant - first time was for dinner but we made a last minute lunch reservation via Open Table and it was perfect - great service combined, wonderful Shrimp BLT, and equally wonderful Ceasar Salad with Salmon. All was timely and perfectly prepared.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

What a gem!!

Dined on May 6, 2016

Great food and great service. Bree was so patient with us, as we were deciding what we wanted to eat. All of our entree selections were great...chicken Caesar salad, mussels, pork shank, pork chop, etc. Also worth noting was the coffee. It was from a local coffee supplier, King something or other, in hazelnut. It was some of the best coffee we have had in a long time and we were all raving about it. I highly recommend Cru Cafe, but recommend making reservations at least a few weeks in advance, as the capacity only seats 50 or fewer guests.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Two and counting

Dined on May 6, 2016

While visiting Charleston from out of town on two occasions, I enjoyed Cru Cafe both times! Once was with a group of 6 ladies and the other time with two couples. The food is awesome and the service was outstanding. Can't wait to go back!

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch
food5
ambience4
service5

Food was top notch, service was stellar. ...

Dined on May 5, 2016

Food was top notch, service was stellar. They went above and beyond to make sure our experience was a good one!

food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Wonderful boutique restaurant

Dined on May 5, 2016

Driving through Charleston, we had a only short time to savor the city. We selected Cru restaurant for lunch based on prior reviews, and it did not disappoint. The food was wonderful and our waitress was lovely. It was very busy when we arrived, but all the staff were efficient and served everyone effortlessly.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Great find off the beaten path!

Dined on May 5, 2016

We went to Cru Cafe on the recommendation of a friend for my husband's birthday. The food was fabulous! We loved our waitress as well, and the ambiance was just like eating at a friend's house. Make sure to make a reservation, the dining space is not very large!

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Great meal and dining experience

Dined on May 4, 2016

Cru Cafe was everything we wanted it to be, delicious, innovative food without any of the pretentiousness of other popular dining spots in Charleston all served by a warm, welcoming staff, in a casual comfortable setting. The servings were quite generous, the selections varied. The wait staff was attentive without being over-bearing. My dinner of a pork shank was perfectly cooked and literally fell of the bone. My husband's "fried chicken" was a new interpretation of a traditional southern dish and simply delicious. Our dessert was a yummy creamsicle flavored layer cake that had to be at least 6" high! A perfect ending to a memorable meal

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service5

Delicious food. Great beer suggestions m ...

vip
Dined on May 4, 2016

Delicious food. Great beer suggestions made by our waiter, who was knowledgeable and fun. We will go back!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Thoroughly enjoyable meal

Dined on May 4, 2016

We were on vacation in Charleston and had read so many favorable reviews about Cru. It is recommended for both lunch and dinner; we chose the latter. We had a reservation, and they were running a tiny bit late; the host was very attentive and kept coming over to assure us we would be seated soon, and we were. We had a perfect corner table in this charming little "house dining room." My husband LOVED his meal of swordfish, and I equally enjoyed my shrimp/pasta dish. We shared a side dish which was a special that night- General Tso's fried cauliflower, which was unusual and delicious! Unfortunately we had a commitment for later in the evening; we would love to have stayed and lingered. The atmosphere is definitely conducive to that. Despite the multitude of restaurants in Charleston, if we ever re-visit, we would definitely return to Cru as repeat customers.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Great food!

Dined on May 3, 2016

We dined with Cru on a Tuesday night so the crowd was less but reservations still very much recommended. My husband had the smoked pork shank and pronounced it the best he had ever tasted. I had the stuffed fried chicken breast. It was delicious - very moist and tender with great flavor. We will definitely be back on our next trip to Charleston!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

Amazing food. This was our second time h ...

Dined on April 30, 2016

Amazing food. This was our second time here and we will continue to come back. Excellent service (although we had to wait for our table even with a reservation). For anyone looking for a great meal, go to Cru!

food5
ambience5
service5

It's the food you hear about when you he ...

Dined on April 30, 2016

It's the food you hear about when you hear about our food scene.

food5
ambience4
service5

Tiny place that was packed which was a g ...

Dined on April 30, 2016

Tiny place that was packed which was a good sign. Glad we had reservations as we were seated immediately. Service was great. We started with the mussels and they were so fat I don't know how they fit in their shell, and so clean and fresh. She crab soup was wonderful and the duck confit salad with candied pecans and fried onions was very tasty. But the real standout was the fried green tomatoes with pork belly, goat cheese and a sweet chili sauce. I can't pass fried green tomatoes when I see them on a menu but these shot to the top of my list as the best I've ever had. Topped it off with a nice list of beer and wine. Loved it!

food5
ambience3
service4
value4

Our favorite Charleston Restaurant

Dined on April 29, 2016

Incredibly delicious, creative " Low Country Cuisine " in a casual fun environment and not too expensive for the value received like many in Charleston. Do not miss ordering their fried green tomatoes. All our seafood entrees were the best. We went to more than ten restaurants (highest rated) in Charleston with our friends and we all agree Cru Cafe is the best.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find
food5
ambience5
service5

Great fried green tomatoes!

Dined on April 27, 2016

Great fried green tomatoes!

food5
ambience4
service4

The fried green tomatoes were amazing!

Dined on April 27, 2016

The fried green tomatoes were amazing!

food5
ambience5
service5

Great beer and wine selections. The food ...

vip
Dined on April 27, 2016

Great beer and wine selections. The food is outstanding, especially the fried chicken and calarmari appetizer. Delcious and quaint. Very busy.

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