18 Pinckney Street
Charleston, SC 29401Neighborhood:
Comfort FoodPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.crucafe.com/
- Phone: 8435342434
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Fusion / Eclectic, Comfort Food, Southern
- Executive Chef: John Zucker
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wine
- Catering: Voted #1 Charleston Caterer from 2001-2013. Cru Catering offer fulls service customized catering, in-house personal chefs; cater to meetings, receptions, weddings and private parties. Please contact us at 843-534-2433.
- Entertainment: Private Dinning Room available for up to 18 people.
A word from 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.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
- Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
Cru Cafe - Best Restaurants in Downtown Charleston ›
Cru Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
327 reviews since May 5, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (225)fit for foodies (216)great for lunch (182)special occasion (87)great for outdoor dining (85)romantic (67)great for brunch (58)hot spot (39)notable wine list (24)kid-friendly (22)good for groups (14)late-night find (9)scenic view (9)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
- One of the best in CharlestonmycharlestonDined on 8/30/2014Food & service were outstanding. Fair prices & good size portions.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/29/2014The peach strawberry bread pudding was amazing! We had a reservation and were seated very promptly. Enjoyed the waitresses recommendations, especially the shrimp blt and brisket sandwich.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- We'll eat at Cru again.BillyBubbaDined on 8/28/2014We took some friends from Atlanta to Cru this week. We all loved our choices. Portions were generous, but not too big, and the prices are extremely reasonable, especially considering the quality of the food. The daily special ......tilefish....was terrific. We sampled each other's desserts and liked all of them. The flourless chocolate cake is a standout. Service was excellent: professional, and not intrusive. Impressive, since the servers all looked so young ! The restaurant is tiny and "comfortable". There is easy parking (cash only) a few steps away from the restaurant, in a lot right on the corner of Pinckney and East Bay. This was our first visit to Cru but definitely not our last.Special Features:
- Always excellent!MukilteoVIPDined on 8/28/2014I go every time I am in town. Never disappointed!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Take a crew to CruJjo64VIPDined on 8/28/2014Innovative menu with lovely Asian and low country specialties. The Asian slaw is a bright side to the turkey Brie sandwich. A little heavy on the chutney which made the bread wet, but very nice. The general tsao entree is a very nice twist on the original. Lots of food tang on tender crunchy chicken. Make sure to make a reservation or you may be seated outside on a toasty day. Definitely a nice lunch spot. Will try dinner next ;)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Perfect for Gf/dairy free foodie:)JillDined on 8/26/2014Had the duck confit salad & thai sea food risotto made with coconut milk....amazing! Thanks Jacob for taking care of us<3Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great foodOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 8/23/2014My wife and I went here on a Saturday night and the food and service was excellent. I got the pork chop and my wife got a steak. The portions were filling and delicious. It is a small and cozy restaurant.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Loved it!GregGDined on 8/23/2014Warm service, great and creative menu. Get reservations!Special Features:
- Best food in CharlestonSeafoodfanDined on 8/22/2014While on vacation in Charleston we enjoyed the Cru Cafe twice on consecutive evenings. The food was so good we had to return the next day. The chef is extremely talented and the food is spectacular. The flavors and the presentation were wonderful. The desert was equally awesome. We highly recommend this establishment.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious and great valueGlutton246Dined on 8/21/2014Of three fine dining restaurants in Charleston that I visited, Cru Cafe was the best. Creative menu and value all the way through. Service was excellent and lived sitting at the Chef's Table.Special Features:
- This place is GREAT!!!2outfromnyDined on 8/20/2014This place was a great find. The owner greeted and seated us. I ordered the basil shrimp and my husband got the salmon. Both excellent. The owner came by and asked us how everything was. When I said the shrimp dish was amazing, he said it was his mother's recipe. You won't find this dish anywhere else.Special Features:
- luvgoodfoodluvgoodfoodDined on 8/20/2014This is my second time at Cru Café. The food is simply fantastic and unique. You, definitely, need to make a reservation as the seating is very limited and people tend to linger. The wait is worth it. I think it is one of Charleston's best dining restaurants......off the beaten path, nothing fancy other than the food experience. The servers were very efficient and accommodating and knowledgeable. Everything is fresh.Special Features:
- AMAZING!Todd4242Dined on 8/20/2014The food was so amazing we went back the next day to try other items on the menu. From entering the restaurant to leaving we had a 5 star experience! The food was AMAZING! Amazing presentation, amazing taste and amazing price! DELICIOUS..............Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- What a find!tuscantraveler9VIPDined on 8/19/2014In this modest, cozy and unpretentious place, we had one of the best meals of our trip to Charleston. The menu is inventive, the service is excellent, the prices are reasonable, and the food is tasty and expertly prepared. I had the smoked duck with pecans while my wife and daughter each had an entree salad-one with seared salmon, the other with duck confit. Each dish exceeded our expectations. While we were too full to try dessert, the home made bread pudding with peaches and white chocolate looked particularly good. Overall we liked this place better than some of the pricier and more highly rated restaurants we ate at in Charleston. Don't let this one pass you by.Special Features:
- Delightful Anniversary dinnerDedeDined on 8/16/2014Cru Cafe did not disappoint. The food and wine were delicious and the staff attentive and accommodating. We sat on the porch which seemed nicer than the noisy inside space.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food, good serviceAlexDined on 8/16/2014We arrived delayed, as our car had just broken down with a dead fuel pump a mere two blocks from the place. The wait for the tow took a good while, so we couldn't stick to our original reservation, which was at 7:30. Twice we called, twice they pushed our reservation back, despite the place being fully booked. We finally arrived at 9:30 and got seated within minutes. The food was outstanding and a good wine selection completed the experience. Service staff was friendly and accommodating, prices very reasonable. Would go back there anytime.Special Features:
- A special placeHopkintonDined on 8/16/2014This was our second visit to Cru Cafe, and I am thrilled to report that it continues to be fantastic. We sat at the chef's bar and watched the activity in the kitchen. The fried oysters were the best we've ever had. The fried green tomatoes were as well.Special Features:
- Best food in the neighborhood!LeFrogDined on 8/15/2014Food fit for royalty - have your taste buds ready!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best in showCaptBiscuitDined on 8/15/2014WOW. I'll be back! best lunch spot in Charleston. delicious specials, we had the smoked pork on fresh bread with pimento cheese and onion rings. making me hungry just thinking about it. I had the Asian slaw, sweetie had the sour cream and chive mashed potatoes, both were wonderful. great place to enjoy a meal. Super service. nice area outside on the porch to enjoy the breeze and good food. Looking forward to booking dinner reservations next trip. good beers too.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best meal we had in CharlestonsenecaurDined on 8/13/2014My wife and I ate dinner at Cru Cafe. We sat at the chef's table which was fascinating and fun. I had the pork loin special cooked medium over a cajun style rice and my wife had the fish special - both were delicious and prepared with care. The level of service was outstanding especially from the friendly and helpful maitre d'. We will definitely eat there again and so should you!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- JMPnettyDined on 8/12/2014Innovative, fresh menu. Very pleased with quality, selection, and seasonality of the food. The Ahi Tuna & goat cheese salad appetizer, as well as Swordfish entree were all excellent! My husband is still raving about the fried goat cheese with pine nuts! Were sat promptly when arriving at our reservation time, and attentive service during the duration of our meal. Chose this restaurant based on reviews on open table, and glad we did, as it was the best dinner we had during our visit to Charleston! We wish we could have tried more on the menu.Special Features:
- Wonderful mealRebrotDined on 8/9/2014I went with a group of 6 girlfriends for dinner on a Saturday night. You definitely need a reservation, but it is well worth the extra effort. 3/6 said it was the best meal they had in years!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great FoodMountaineerDDSVIPDined on 8/9/2014My wife and I visited the CRU Cafe a week ago and the food was amazing, there are not many places in Charleston that you will get the same caliber of food for the inexpensive price. Highly recommended; the seating is pretty limited, so make a reservation or you will be waiting.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious Lunch!OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 8/9/2014Party of 3 for lunch - shrimp and pasta, turkey sandwich/fries, and then we all ate my daughter's mac&cheese -best I've ever had! Oh, and warm choc torte - delish!Special Features:
- OKOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 8/8/2014Not bad, just nothing special. I expected more from the 6th best rated restaurant in Charleston.Special Features:
- Just a Fantastic place to eatOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/8/2014My wife and I love this place. It's our go-to classy date night spot. Food is wonderful, servers are always pleasant and healpful to each other. Not a large place, but nice and cozySpecial Features:
- Should have eaten here soonernyc2gsofoodieDined on 8/8/2014Don't know how I missed Cru Cafe before, but it has jumped to the top of our list. Although we had to wait outside amongst the mosquitoes for 20 minutes past our reservation, the creativity, execution and flavor of our dishes made us soon forget. Fried calamari, beautiful and greaseless, with a slight Asian slaw hint. Likewise, the duck breast was accompanied by an amazing mix reminiscent of a Moo Shu pork filler. The special tile fish was cooked perfectly, again with an interesting accompaniment, and the basil shrimp pasta was just wonderful. Wines were reasonably priced and the selection was quite sufficient. Our waitress was initially MIA but others filled in promptly. Small dining room if weather makes porch dining an issue.Special Features:
- Unassuming ExcellenceNspragueDined on 8/7/2014Walking into Cru Cafe, it's tight quarters and simple design made me question how the restaruant had gained its notoriety. However, while it doesn't have the ritzy setting of some Charleston's other dining establishes, it puts out food that exceeds all the notable restaurants in Charleston. Cru takes simple dishes and makes them exceptional--the fried green tomatoes are simply amazing. The swordfish with the gazpacho delivered the perfect entree for a balmy Charleston day. Even the sides are worth writing about. My mom is still raving about the similarity between Cru's sautéed vegetables and her grandmother's, and the baked four cheese macaroni is as good as you would expect. Service was top notch. I hope to be back soon.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Favorite Restaurant in Charleston!!Kathys612Dined on 8/7/2014My friends and family vacation in SC every summer, for the past 5 years I come down to Charleston a few days early with friends and our first stop is Cru Cafe. Always a delicious meal!!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent LunchesOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/7/2014My mom and I went here for lunch one day and both really enjoyed it. I had a delicious salad with fried goat cheese and my mom had a sandwich and cold peach soup - very interesting. The ambience was great as it was in a little house - very charming. I'd definitely come back!!Special Features:
- Wonderful ChoiceCatwomanDined on 8/6/2014Everything we ordered was delicious!!! From the fried green tomatoes, flounder special topped with shrimp and lobster, and the angel hair pasta marinara with grilled scallops (Took a box home, it was so much). The sour dough bread and soft butter was a wonderful start. Our waiter, Johnny, was very knowledgeable and helpful with suggestions. We were sorry that we were too full to try any desserts. I think next time we will order some smaller plates, so we can have dessert too. Will be back very soon.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Happy Local DinerwinnieDined on 8/5/2014I'm a local and out of the flurry of restaurants in the Charleston area, Cru Cafe has always been and continues to be #1 in my book. Cru Cafe's menu offers something for everyone. I frequent there for both business and personal lunch and dinner meetings and can always expect great food with great prices. Cru provides only the freshest local seafood, fruits and vegetables with a menu to suit all needs and budgets. Get on over there and tell them Mike Winship sent youSpecial Features:
- Great food! Great service!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/5/2014Cute little restaurant in old charleston home. Food was great! Party of 6 and everyone loved the food! Recommend making reservationsSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- This place is awesomeJDH17Dined on 8/2/2014CRU Cafe is the best restaurant I've ever been to. The setting is unique, the service is great, and the food and flavors are unparalleled.
- ontheroadDined on 7/31/2014I had the pork shank on the recommendation of our waitress and it was spectacular. The pork was very tender and tasty. I was a huge portion and even though I was in a hotel without a refrigerator in the room, I took the leftovers and put them on ice overnight so I could enjoy it the next day for lunch. Highly recommend!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great foodWillyBDined on 7/31/2014Mac n cheese is to die for!! Fried green tomatoes and calamari were very delicious as well as all the entrees. Black drum special took the entree award.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- CharmingnewfoodieloverDined on 7/31/2014You need a reservation since the space is small (I think there's only 36 seats inside, but there's porch seating as well). The food is outstanding. It's hard to pick a favorite since I love everything on their menu, however I have had the fried oyster wrap twice and it's delicious. It's one of the few restaurants in Charleston that makes my mouth water.Special Features:
- One of our favorites!ParttimeLocalVIPDined on 7/31/2014We discovered Cru on the recomendation of one of the Pennisula Grill employees, who told us it was where the locals eat. We visit Charleston several times a year and always make time for Cru Cafe. Highly recommend the chef's table. The kitchen staff is very generous in sharing how things are prepared (without giving too many secrets away). Try the mushrooms - they are incredible. Be sure to call ahead for reservations, as others have now discovered our secret. One of our very favorite restuarants in Charleston.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Cute little place but...Boonelab123Dined on 7/30/2014Food definitely was nothing to rave about. Wine fill was very small and food was ordinary. Surprisingly it was VERY expensive for the little bit of food that we ordered. There are so many wonderful and delicious places to eat in Charleston that we were so sad we wasted a night out eating here. Parking was also $8! On a positive note, our waitress was very attentive, cheerful and accommodating.Special Features:
- SuesviewsDined on 7/30/2014This is our favorite place to dine when vacationing in Charleston. It never disappoints!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.