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
336 reviews since July 4, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (247)neighborhood gem (238)great for lunch (164)great for outdoor dining (99)romantic (69)special occasion (68)great for brunch (52)hot spot (51)notable wine list (26)good for groups (16)kid-friendly (15)late-night find (11)scenic view (9)Show More
- Always a FavoriteOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/29/2014Longevity and consistancy count! Over several years now, I have had the great pleasure of dining at Cru Cafe. It is always a treat; the food is fresh the menu and specials are expertly prepared. I have yet to dine with anyone who has not had a good meal. Keep up the good work.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best meal in charlestonOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/24/2014During my visit I went to three great places. Cru,husk and 1886. All were good in their own way, but cru was a special place. Everything I tried was fantastic. Give it a try nSpecial Features:
- Fantastic flavors, healthy foodMrocVIPDined on 10/24/2014After a full day of walking and visiting in Charleston, we finished up with a carriage tour and then strolled through the marketplace, finishing up at Cafe Cru. We were tired and hungry and the food was fabulous. Casual setting and friendly service made it easy for everyone of all ages to enjoy. Pork chop special was super. Duck was perfectly cooked with wonderful veggies. Highly recommended.Special Features:
- GreatMimiVIPDined on 10/24/2014Food was great, the turkey and Brie sandwich was superb. So glad we had a reservation , or the wait is really longSpecial Features:
- A neighborhood gemalwaysthere1VIPDined on 10/23/2014If you want good food and excellent service, Cru can't be best!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful DinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 10/23/2014My husband and I sat at the Counter so that we could watch the kitchen. Great fun. Wonderful watching all the dishes put together with such care. Suggestion for wine with dinner was excellent. I had the tilefish with a curry sauce which was a perfect flavor and my husband had a wonderful smoked duck breast.Special Features:
- Best lunch in CharlestonMimsDined on 10/23/2014How to describe lunch at Cru Café? The space is small and given the popularity of this place you may have a bit of a wait even with reservations - but it's well worth it. Our group of 7 was well taken care of by Nate and we shared a great bottle of wine outside so what's to complain about?The shrimp BLT and barbecue beef brisket sandwiches with mashed sweet potatoes were our favorites and they were outstanding!. You can't go wrong at Cru Café.Special Features:
- fbennDined on 10/22/2014Cru Café was incredible.. The food and service were amazing. The calamari appetizer was especially noteworthy, since I had never had a presentation or taste this exquisite. The scallops and salmon were also delicious. Very memorable experience for anyone visiting Charleston wanting a special dining experience.Special Features:
- BillVIPDined on 10/22/2014I have been to Cru Cafe many times before and always find the food to be very consistant. It is always great to dine in a house rather than a large commercial restaurant.Special Features:
- Fab FindHungrygalDined on 10/22/2014Cru was a delicious treat- food was terrific, service delightful and the place was hoppin' at 1pm on a Wed! You absolutely need a reservation.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/21/2014Situated off the beaten path in a small house this restaurant produces great food in a tight space. Open kitchen allows you to watch the artistry take place. Both the pork tenderloin and the salmon were top notch. Although not a dessert fan I highly recommend the orange sherbet cake. Very light in texture and not too sweet. Actually ate at another restaurant and went to Cru on the way back to our hotel to order a piece of cake to take to our room. Small outdoor dining area on the porch. Will try it for lunch on our next visit.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Dining ExperienceSteveDined on 10/21/2014We really enjoyed the unique food we had at Cru Café. The entrees were especially delightful - salmon & stuffed/fried chicken. The vegetable was a combination I had never tasted. It complemented my chicken very well. The restaurant is an old house. It has been converted into a quaint place to have a quiet dinner.Special Features:
- Consistently ExcellentdonjoshuaDined on 10/21/2014My wife and I have been to Cru many times and we've never had a meal that wasn't excellent. Cru is our most frequent choice for taking visitors. It never disappoints. Great Chinese Chicken Salad and seafood choices. Desserts were fabulous.Special Features:
- service lacking - food goodkmreviewsDined on 10/21/2014It is close to our office and we like to take clients there for lunch but we need to do it in an hour. Last year service was slow and so we stopped going because of time constraints. We started going again and for the first couple of times it was fine but this time the wait was too much. It took our server 10 minutes to come to the table and take our order and then 30 minutes for it to arrive. More time to get the bill etc. We had ordered something to take with us and it was forgotten. Food was great as ususal - I can never fault the food it is always fresh and different. However it will be awhile before we try to come back. Also the server seemed unapologetic.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ExcellantJurban80Dined on 10/18/2014Amazing food and service, reservations a must. Worth it as I try to go every time in charleston!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Gen.Tso's & Fried green tomatoes!!!OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/18/2014Great eclectic menu! Fried Green tomatoes are a Must!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 10/17/2014Food was fabulous -- I had the fried oyster and ahi tuna small plates -- but service was disappointing. We were seated against one of the walls in a tiny table -- not comfortable but this is a small place. My wine was served in a crest small glass that precluded swirling. I asked for a larger one and transferred my wine into the larger one -- much better. Our waitress never came over to ask us how our food was or whether we wanted another beer or wine. The service was not up to par for a restaurant serving food of this quality.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious Find!JannDined on 10/17/2014My husband and I had a fabulous lunch here for a reasonable price on a recent trip to Charleston. I overheard a 'local' recommend Cru to a group of tourists and knew I had found a gem. Book a reservation as I saw some 'walk-ins' asked to return later or turned away.Special Features:
- Loved it!OpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 10/16/2014Cute and creative restaurant! I had the shrimp BLT and salad and it was fabulous!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- WonderfulJessDined on 10/15/2014I set a reservation a few days before dining for my husband's birthday. We arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule which was fine because we were greeted at the door and he was told "Happy Birthday, Sir" and we were offered glasses of wine. Once seated, our server also told him happy birthday. Our salads were wonderful, our glasses were continually refilled, our server offered wonderful, descriptive suggestions, our appetizer was delicious and our entrees were completely devoured. I had the duck and it was definitely up in my top 3 memories of perfectly prepared duck breast. We will definitely be returning!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A party in my mouthGailDined on 10/14/2014I ordered the salmon with veggies and lemon risotto. The combination of flavors was amazing. I lenjoyed every bite. Our server was friendly and helpful with suggestions. The restauant is in a small house with about a dozen tables inside and a few more outside, which gives you a homey, comfortable feel.Special Features:
- Best of the tripllouVIPDined on 10/14/2014What an enjoyable last meal of our Charleston vacation. We picked this place because it's reviews were so glowing on Open Table and it was close by our hotel and bad weather was in the forecast. Thank goodness threat of weather changed our original plans. Food was wonderful. I had the grouper special that was a unique blend of flavors as well as the truffle asparagus soup. My husband had the mahi mahi on regular menu. We both loved our meals. Service was great. Also they accommodated our seating preference even though the place is small. We appreciated that more than I can say. Oh yeah...the bread pudding was wonderful. I highly recommend. Wine might be overpriced but we liked the Malbec that was recommended.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Quaint Local Eaterydi4kyDined on 10/14/2014My daughter and I really enjoyed our lunch entrees in this old, home in historic downtown Charleston. Located near to the open Markets - was a great find and meal. We had an Angus Burger and a fried goats cheese salad with a cup of their cheddar soup. All very good and service as well.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/11/2014I gave 4 stars because we had a 9pm reservation and they were out of a few menu items we wanted. Our server was a little "short" with us when we asked her to take a picture of us. Other than those two snafus the food was great!Special Features:
- Terrific as alwaysOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 10/11/2014We always have an exceptional meal at Cru and this time was perfect, as expected. The pork shank and fried oysters were particularly amazing.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Perfect after our boat rideKat505Dined on 10/11/2014We wanted delicious gourmet food at a restaurant with a smart casual dress code and we found it with this place. Perfect for after our harbor boat tour!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- amazing findfoodnerdDined on 10/10/2014From the atmosphere to the service, everything was top notch. One of the appetizers was served lukewarm. It was immediately replaced. The manager came over to apologize and we were not charged for the dish. We had 6 in our party, lots of different entrees and appetizers- it was all fantastic.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always take visitors to CruslickDined on 10/10/2014Thank you for being there for us to take visitors to. Being near the down town area is good as we always take people to that area.Special Features:
- Our favorite Charleston RestaurantEmjayDined on 10/8/2014Cru is always excellent. Small and quaint. Wonderful without being pretentious. We ate on the porch in perfect weather. Our server Johnny was very knowledgeable about any menu questions. Entrees (duck and swordfish) were delicious. We never miss Cru when in town.Special Features:
- Great food at great pricesgottaeatDined on 10/7/2014We love this place. You need to make reservations, even for lunch. It is a casual, unpretentious cafe with superb food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/4/2014First time guests and brought out of town friends. Food was very good but service was not so good. Waitress was not very attentive and when we had an issue she became short and never circled back to check on us again. While the food was good, there are so many great restaurants downtown who provide a great meal along with great service. We will not be returning.
- Very cute-quaintLucyDined on 10/4/2014Right near market Street. Would never have found it if it was not recommended to me. The food was delicious. I had the turkey sandwich for lunch it was delicious and the service was great definitely recommend!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious late night dinner!Purdue1foodieDined on 10/3/2014This was a recommended place to dine while in Charleston. From the mussels to the swordfish, we were extremely pleased with our food. Great place to go for a late night dinner or romantic excursion.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Step BackwardscrosswaveVIPDined on 10/1/2014After many years of enjoying Cru Cafe, I found the lunch menu and actual product disappointing. Definitely a step backwards. John Z was out of town, and possibly that explained a bit of what I discerned.Special Features:
- Always ImpressiveNYCSueVIPDined on 9/30/2014Cru Cafe has become one of our favorite dining spots in Charleston--never a bad meal. Fried Oyster Salad and Calamari as appetizers were delicious. The daily special wreckfish and duck entrees were both flavorful and perfectly prepared.Special Features:
- great dinnerbarsoomDined on 9/30/2014Cru Cafe has a relatively Spartan setting, but clearly they concentrate their efforts on great food. The Wreck Fish with a porcini mushrooms sauce was excellent, as was an orange flavored cake for dessert.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- JohnJMQ913Dined on 9/27/2014Always a great meal. Wonderful staff. Very busy but runs with great efficiency.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious food fantastic serviceLizzarddDined on 9/26/2014Great food and service. Ambience was great. Maggie our server was informative and friendlySpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- BeyondDVaethDined on 9/25/2014Our favorite place to eat in the state!!!! Thank you Jacob and staff for another killer meal and experience!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best meal in Charlestoniluv2eatDined on 9/25/2014I now understand why it is so difficult to get a reservation-the food and overall experience was terrific. I can't say enough about the wait staff-attentive, very pleasant and helpful. We shared the mussels-a very good amount(more than many other places) which was absolutely delicious. This dish was ordered by all of the surrounding tables. We then enjoyed the arugula salad with duck confit and followed it by one of the fish specials. I would eat here every week if I lived in Charleston. This is a not miss restaurant-just reserve weeks in advance.Special Features: