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 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

4.7

service

4.7

ambience

4.4

value

4.5

noise

Moderate

96% would recommend it to a friend

Creative Cuisine (74)
Neighborhood Gem (72)
Local Ingredients (69)
See All
Fit for Foodies (62)
Cozy (60)
Great for Lunch (57)
Open Kitchen (52)
Casual (50)
Good for Anniversaries (44)
Good for a Date (42)
Special Occasion (42)
Authentic (40)
Comfort Food (39)
Historic (36)
Worth the Drive (31)
Romantic (30)
Good for Birthdays (29)
Great for Outdoor Dining (25)
Fun (22)
Sunday Lunch (20)
Healthy (16)
Outstanding Value (15)
Hot Spot (14)
Pre/post Theatre (12)
Quiet Conversation (12)
Business Meals (10)
Notable Wine List (10)
Tasting Menu (10)
Great for Brunch (10)
Good Vegetarian Options (8)
Good for Groups (8)
Family Style (8)
People Watching (5)
Seasonal (5)
Tapas (5)
Molecular Gastronomy (4)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Organic (4)
Great Beer (3)
Kid-friendly (3)
Afternoon Coffee (3)
Quick Bite (3)
Late-night Find (2)
Private Room (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Afternoon Tea (2)
Modern Decor (2)
Bar Seating (2)
Fireplace (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Wood Oven (1)
Scenic View (1)
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2903 reviews
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My sister and I had an excellent meal ov ...

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined a day ago

My sister and I had an excellent meal over salads and small plates. We visited with other diners over selections and had a lovely evening. Thank you.

Tags: Cozy, Open Kitchen, Casual, Comfort Food, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed Cru. Jo ...

 
 (Western NC)·Dined 4 days ago

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed Cru. Johnny our waiter was very personable and informative. Relaxed atmosphere and great food.

Tags: Casual, Family Style, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Second time eating here! Food is amazing ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 5 days ago

Second time eating here! Food is amazing! Thank you Cru Cafe!

Tags: Casual, Sunday Lunch, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always love Cru...always recommend it... ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 5 days ago

Always love Cru...always recommend it...it is always delicious

Tags: Worth the Drive, Open Kitchen, Hot Spot, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Comfort Food, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Second time at this restaurant and it wa ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined 5 days ago

Second time at this restaurant and it was as fabulous as the first time. We were a party of 6 and everyone was raving about their meal. I can't stop thinking about the fried green tomato appetizer with pork belly croutons and the short rib entree. A must try when you are in Historic Charleston. Reservations a must because it's a small place.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We attend SEWE every Winter and make Cru ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 5 days ago

We attend SEWE every Winter and make Cru Cafe our "special evening of the weekend."

We recommend Cru every chance we get. Enjoy!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great time. Great food. Thank you to the ...

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 5 days ago

Great time. Great food. Thank you to the staff

Tags: Cozy, Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Open Kitchen
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great place just a little off the beaten ...

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined 5 days ago

Great place just a little off the beaten path. The restaurant is in an old house with some outdoor seating on the veranda. We ordered small plates and appetizers. The food was excellent and so was the service. Prices are very reasonable for Charleston in-town dining. The manager checked on our meal and thanked us as we left. We will be back.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Cozy, Vibrant Bar Scene, Comfort Food, Authentic
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

Whenever we are in Charleston, Cru Cafe ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 6 days ago

Whenever we are in Charleston, Cru Cafe is a must. Love the enthusiasm of the host as well as his friendly and welcoming nature. Whether we have lunch or dinner, the food never disappoints and a meal at Cru always seems to top off our visit to this great city.

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Johnny is THE BEST

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined 6 days ago

Johnny is THE BEST

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great food with a wide variety of choice ...

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined 6 days ago

Great food with a wide variety of choices. The short ribs were tender , the fried Green tomatoes were crispy and the bread pudding was rich. Our only complaint was the noise level made it difficult for conversation for our friend with hearing loss. This could not be avoided because it is a small house with great ambience.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Good service, great food. Very enjoyable ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 16, 2017

Good service, great food. Very enjoyable dining experience

Tags: Healthy, Authentic, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

We ordered the General Tio's chicken; sc ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 15, 2017

We ordered the General Tio's chicken; scrumptious! Can't wait to have it again!

Desserts were to die for: flour less chocolate cake and peach/raspberry and white chocolate bread pudding, both with homemade luscious whip cream. Great service and ambiance. Will definitely be on my list of fav lunch spots. Love that they take reservations!

Tags: Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Casual, Historic, Fun, Great for Lunch, Authentic, Healthy, Cozy, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Incredible experience- I can't stop thin ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 14, 2017

Incredible experience- I can't stop thinking about the smoked tomato caramel, carmelized onions, pepper jack burger. The best!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Hot Spot, Pre/post Theatre, Tapas, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Amazing! Something to write home about. ...

 
 (Tahoe)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Amazing!

Something to write home about.

Loved everything!!!'

Tags: Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Afternoon Tea
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Exemplary experience all around, from th ...

 
 (Jacksonville)·Dined on February 11, 2017

Exemplary experience all around, from the food to the service to the venue

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My favorite place to dine in Charleston! ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 11, 2017

My favorite place to dine in Charleston! Delicious!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Historic, Creative Cuisine, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Cru Cafe was our one repeat visit from t ...

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on February 10, 2017

Cru Cafe was our one repeat visit from the previous year and it didn't disappoint. This was our 4th time in Charleston and Cru is our favorite restaurant. The food, service, and overall value can't be beat. Can't wait to go back next time we're in Charleston.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Cozy
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

The food and service are fantastic. Nois ...

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on February 10, 2017

The food and service are fantastic. Noise level was the only complaint I had -- rather close quarters, so if there is a loud table in the room you're pretty much stuck.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Good for Groups, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

Great food.

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on February 9, 2017

Great food.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Fun
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

We can always count on CRU for a wonderf ...

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 9, 2017

We can always count on CRU for a wonderful meal and experience! It's becoming my favorite go to restaurant. This particular visit I enjoyed one of the specials, tagliatelle with clams and it was delicious. Everything we ordered was very good and we look forward to the next culinary adventure there!

Tags: Cozy, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Fun, Authentic, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Good food. Good service. Good price. Goo ...

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on February 8, 2017

Good food. Good service. Good price. Good job. Will definitely return.

Tags: Tapas
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food4
ambience4
service4
value5

We look forward to having lunch at Cru C ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 7, 2017

We look forward to having lunch at Cru Cafe whenever we are visiting Charleston. My daughter introduced me to Cru Cafe years ago. Our meals there are always delicious.

Tags: Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Stayed downtown Charleston for 4 days an ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 7, 2017

Stayed downtown Charleston for 4 days and of all the places we ate, this is in the top tier. We stopped in (with reservations - which are a good idea) and had a simple lunch with a beer and enjoyed the food and atmosphere immensely. Charleston is not particularly busy this time of year, but every table was full and folks were waiting. We will certainly be going back.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, , Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch, Open Kitchen, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

We went here for our 6th anniversary din ...

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on February 5, 2017

We went here for our 6th anniversary dinner.

It was absolutely delicious!

We have the fried chicken and pork chop entrees.

Must try!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Service was outstanding! Not overbearing ...

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Service was outstanding! Not overbearing but always there. Good advice re different dishes. Particularly helpful as our friend has Celiac . Diligent about getting us to our concert on time.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience3
service5
value4

The food was outstanding . The staff was ...

 
 (Columbus)·Dined on February 4, 2017

The food was outstanding . The staff was attentive and friendly

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Open Kitchen, Special Occasion, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

NOISE LEVEL WAS DISTRACTING FROM HAVING ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 4, 2017

NOISE LEVEL WAS DISTRACTING FROM HAVING A DINNER CONVERSATION

Tags: Casual, Comfort Food
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food4
ambience2
service4
value3

Whenever we have out of town ( or out of ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 3, 2017

Whenever we have out of town ( or out of state) company, we find our way to CRU. As usual, lunch was fantastic! Garlic chicken club was amazing! I made reservations (recommended) and had my choice of inside or on the porch. I like the porch because it can get loud inside! This is definitely a downtown gem! Make sure to stop by if you are in Charleston❤

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wonderful restaurant we always visit on ...

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on February 3, 2017

Wonderful restaurant we always visit on our trips to charleston.

The pork chop was excellent.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

It's one of the best in low country

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 3, 2017

It's one of the best in low country

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food5
ambience5
service5

Great lunch choice for 3 friends to get ...

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on February 1, 2017

Great lunch choice for 3 friends to get together. We sat outside on the porch during a beautiful 75 degree sunny Charleston day! The small salad, shared mac and cheese and a couple of glasses of wine made for a perfect and delicious lunch for me!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food very good but experience marred by ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 31, 2017

Food very good but experience marred by other factors. Seated 20 minutes late for a 1:00 reservation. Too long a wait for an inside table (even with reservation) - sat outside (with resulting sun issues.) Took about 50 minutes to get lunch once ordered; great place if you have lots and lots of time (not so much if you're hosting visitors and wanting to sightsee further after lunch.) No apology from staff for our waits, and a very hefty bill.

Tags: Afternoon Coffee, Great for Lunch, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience2
service2
value2

Had a great meal at Cru Cafe when we wen ...

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 29, 2017

Had a great meal at Cru Cafe when we went to Charleston for a long weekend. Food was creative and delicious. Our server Kayla was awesome. We will definitely be returning to eat there next time we're in Charleston.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Absolutely loved it! The staff was very ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 28, 2017

Absolutely loved it! The staff was very friendly and the food unique and delicious. My friend and I sat at the bar overlooking the kitchen and really enjoyed being there.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Open Kitchen, Local Ingredients, Molecular Gastronomy, Tapas
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

Cru is our favorite in Charleston. We lo ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on January 28, 2017

Cru is our favorite in Charleston. We love Nate and the entire staff. They are always friendly and warm. Food is great. Be sure to make a reservation; you'll need it to enjoy this local gem.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Comfort Food, Great for Brunch, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We had a delicious meal here. It isn't c ...

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on January 28, 2017

We had a delicious meal here. It isn't cheap, it was actually one of the more expensive meals we had in Charleston, but it was so good and the service was so great, I didn't mind when the bill came. The calamari is amazing as were the friend green tomatoes. Best meal at the table was the Thai risotto. It is wonderful! Everything was wonderful! Go here while you are in charleston- you won't be sorry!

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

Another fabulous lunch at Cru Cafe! Simp ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 27, 2017

Another fabulous lunch at Cru Cafe! Simply put they have some of the very best food in Charleston and the staff is the nicest. Never fails!! Superior service and food!

Tags: Open Kitchen
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent. Would recommend highly. Get r ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 26, 2017

Excellent. Would recommend highly. Get reservations in advance as it is always packed One of Charleston's best

Tags: Business Meals, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Authentic, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

So good my stomach couldn't of been happ ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 26, 2017

So good my stomach couldn't of been happier. The General Tsos Chicken Caesar Wrap with Truffle Fries will be in my dreams for life. If I lived in Charleston I would eat here at least once a week.

Tags: Organic, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Tasting Menu, Open Kitchen, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Comfort Food, Local Ingredients, Historic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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