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
331 reviews since June 23, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (240)neighborhood gem (232)great for lunch (167)great for outdoor dining (93)special occasion (72)romantic (67)great for brunch (51)hot spot (45)notable wine list (24)kid-friendly (17)good for groups (12)late-night find (11)scenic view (9)Show More
- 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!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined 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 EateryOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined 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:
- RepeatFromBostonDined on 9/25/2014We dine here every visit to Charleston. Food quality is consistently high and staff is very friendly and attentive.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always great meals hereTprottVIPDined on 9/25/2014One of me and my wife's favorite places. Great staff and food is always delicious but not overdone. Lunch is awesome and affordable and dinner is always delicious. We love this place.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- "Best Kept Secret"DavidHDined on 9/24/2014Based on on-line reviews, I chose the Cru Cafe for a luncheon gathering of family members visiting Charleston for the first time. We were not disappointed. A lively place with a diverse and creative menu and good service. The kitchen is open to the dining area. This created a little extra noise but the opportunity to watch our meals being prepared was good fun. Later, our group took one of the many bus tours through downtown Charleston. As we drove through that very neighborhood, our tour guide pointed to the Cru Cafe and described it as one of Charleston's best kept secrets. Not so secret, it seems, as the place was hopping as our own meal came to an end. Highly recommended!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Little Place641LibrarianDined on 9/19/2014Great place just a couple blocks north of the Charleston Market. Great food sourced from local farms. Restaurant is located on the first floor and porch of an old house. Food was excellent, ingredients were fresh and the chef developed great flavors. Menu varies according to the availability of ingredients.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great experienceluv2eatDined on 9/17/2014I really enjoyed the overall experience at Cru Cafe. The staff was wonderful and the food was amazing.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- LarryDined on 9/17/2014Cru is in a converted home and holds only 37 guests. We made reservations for 6:15 PM on a weekday and arrived at 6:10. We found the restaurant already crowded with several tables set up on the outside porch. But we were seated inside immediately upon arrival--the beginning of a great evening. The service was prompt but not hurried. The dinners-we both had fish-were delicious and imaginative. My grouper was served with a scoop of lightly breaded mashed potatoes on top and a superb spinach and mushroom salad under it. My wife said her salmon was superb. Our shared Dessert was a peach and strawberry bread pudding which provided a perfect ending to a perfect meal. Don't go for the ambience; go for the food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- SnowBirdDined on 9/17/2014A Charleston gem. Small but attracts us time and time again. The staff cares! Food presentation is terrific and delicious.Special Features:
- Not Handicap accessible!!!davidDined on 9/17/2014If you have someone in a wheelchair you should find another restaurant or bring a couple big guys to carry the chair up the steps. Way to many great places to eat in Charleston then to try and eat at a none ADA friendly place.
- Fantastic unique flavorsOpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 9/16/2014The Chet's ability to marry unique flavors into a delicious meal is outstanding. I enjoyed a fried oyster salad in which all ingredients were fresh, light and perfectly prepared. I am a seafood addict so I ordered their special. This plate consisted of a local sheepshead fish, risotto, fresh sweet green peas and a beautiful sauce. Absolutely deliciously sautéed. Completed with a peach and strawberry bread pudding. Well worth your time.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Awesome!LoreUyDined on 9/13/2014We loved the delicious food and ambiance! The restaurant is set inside an old southern house, which we loved.Special Features:
- Fantastic food w/ intimate settingwakebrinaDined on 9/13/2014As usual, the food was fantastic and our server was lovely! Took an out of town guests and everyone had a great time and a wonderful dinner. Make reservations since it's such a small place, but that's what makes it so charming!Special Features:
- Great service.CharlestonVisitorsDined on 9/13/2014The food was fantastic. The service was perfect. The noise was a little loud. We would return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great PlaceKco105Dined on 9/12/2014We arrived an hour early for a 9:00pm reservation, hoping they would be able to seat us early. Staff was great, not only were they able to accomadate us in a short amount of time, dispite the fact this tiny restaurant seemed to be full, we were offered a seat at the chef's table! My daughter and I had a great time watching and interacting with the chefs, even got a sample of their fried oysters, which were wonderful. I ordered the salmon with lemon risotto and my daughter ordered the Thai risotto, both were excellent! Can't wait to go back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great experienceFoodloversDined on 9/10/2014Food was unbelievable... Although the Cru Cafe is in a small old house...(seats 36)...it is the best food we have eaten in memory.. Johnnie was great...and Chef Zucker was the best... When you are in charleston , sc you must eat there...Special Features:
- Engagement DinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 9/9/2014My fiancee and I celebrated our engagement at Cru for dinner. The service was impeccable and the food delicious!! It was the cherry on top to the most amazing day!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/9/2014Excellent. First time. Will be back!! Will highly recommend!Special Features: