Cru Cafe
Cru Cafe

Cru Cafe

  • 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.

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
  • 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.
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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
Cru Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
324 reviews since April 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.7
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (221)fit for foodies (210)great for lunch (184)special occasion (94)great for outdoor dining (87)romantic (74)great for brunch (60)hot spot (38)notable wine list (26)kid-friendly (19)good for groups (14)late-night find (8)scenic view (8)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Delightful Anniversary dinner
    Dede
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Cru 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:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A special place
    Hopkinton
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    This 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:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best food in the neighborhood!
    LeFrog
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Food fit for royalty - have your taste buds ready!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best in show
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    WOW. 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:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best meal we had in Charleston
    senecaur
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    My 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • JMPnetty
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Innovative, 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:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful meal
    Rebrot
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    I 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:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food
    MountaineerDDSVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    My 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:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Lunch!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Party 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OK
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Not bad, just nothing special. I expected more from the 6th best rated restaurant in Charleston.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Just a Fantastic place to eat
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    My 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 cozy
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Should have eaten here sooner
    nyc2gsofoodie
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Don'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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Unassuming Excellence
    Nsprague
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Walking 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:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Favorite Restaurant in Charleston!!
    Kathys612
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    My 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:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Lunches
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    My 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:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful Choice
    Catwoman
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Everything 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Happy Local Diner
    winnie
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    I'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 you
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food! Great service!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Cute little restaurant in old charleston home. Food was great! Party of 6 and everyone loved the food! Recommend making reservations
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This place is awesome
    JDH17
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    CRU 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • ontheroad
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    WillyB
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Mac 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:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Charming
    newfoodielover
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    You 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:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • One of our favorites!
    ParttimeLocalVIP
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    We 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:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cute little place but...
    Boonelab123
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Food 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:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Suesviews
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    This is our favorite place to dine when vacationing in Charleston. It never disappoints!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome lunch!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    We researched restaurants before coming to Charleston. Cru Cafe well exceeded our expectations. We are foodies and we were blown away by both the quality and taste of the dishes...and we mostly ordered sandwiches! You will pay the same price at nearby restaurants but you will not get food that makes you as happy.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love Good Food And Restaurants Eat
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    This restaurant was a great find. Right down the street from where we were staying,looks like a small house but we you go on the inside its a small restaurant and the food is wonderful.You will be surprised at the gourmet food you will receive from the place and the staff is great.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great alternative to the Big Houses
    Paul
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Sat at the Chef's table for dinner-fun experience but conversation among the diners at the chef's table is tough other than speaking to the person next to you. Food was very good, if not excellent--C'ston is a tough place to be excellent, given the number of really good places to eat. Swordfish tasty, but hot serving got cold if it slid into the underlying (cold) base. Staff friendly and service prompt. Four cheese macaroni was a highlight among side dishes. Lack of full bar a slight deterrent, but entrees paired well with beer and wine. Recommend this as a great place for groups of 2-4, off the beaten path, local personality. Nice to dine in a small format.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great lunch!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    We totally enjoyed our lunch at Cru. I wish I could have had a seat at the bar to watch how it is all prepared. :) great little treasure off the beaten path.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Mediocre
    fauxfoodie
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    There are so many good restaurants in Charleston the competition is tight. For the same price point seems there are others out there that offer a nicer ambiance. Depends on what you are looking for. We felt crammed into a corner for 5 guests and had to experience some pesky fruit flies. This probably isn't one that we will go to again. It is located right across from the Carriage Tour so it was nice to see the horses while dining. The local fish was excellently prepared and wasn't fried!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding
    MendiVIP
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    This one of our favorite restaurants. They are always consistently good. We always get the special and never disappointed. It is small inside so you need to have a reservation even at lunch. It's not a place you want to miss.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome food,
    Illy
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The food at the Cru Cafe is out of this world and the desert was delicious.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Special little gem
    JBrooksVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    First time for dinner after many wonderful lunches here. Celebrated husband's birthday with 6 of our friends. No one else had been before and everyone seemed very happy with the food and wine. Service was wonderful. Perfect spot for a special evening with friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tucked-away treasure
    FoodZ72VIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Cru Cafe is truly a treasure. The menu is limited but has such a variety that anyone can find several entrees to tempt them. There's also small plates and lots of appetizers and salads, so it's easy to put together a light meal, or several items to share with a fellow diners. Meat, seafood lovers and vegetarians will all be pleased. The menu constantly changes, too, so that you can return (and we do!) and have completely different, delicious choices. Please don't go, though, because it's already hard for me to get a reservation :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Southern with a twist
    Foodluvr
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Loved our visit to Cru. Got a lunch reservation for 2:15, and the place was still hopping! This tiny little house produces some big meals full of flavor! I still have dreams about the shrimp BLT! Our table also had the burger and the brisket. Nobody left disappointed!! Wish I lived in Charleston so I could return to Cru often!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our Favorite Charleston Experience
    southerntasters
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We were visiting from Texas & wanted to find the best restaurants in Charleston. Hands down CRU was the best, better than 5 star seafood and steak houses. We went there for lunch a & both had sandwiches. We were shocked at the detail & flavors in those humbly named sandwiches. The flourless chocolate tart, which the owner gave us for free bc of our wait, was the best desert both of us have ever tried. The ambience of an old South Carolina home made the experience more unique. There are many tourist trap restaurants, this one though be it popular is NOT a trap. I know you may read this & think I'm exaggerating, but I'm very particular. Not to leave out, it was the cheapest bill we paid. CRU will be a memorable experience.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Absolutely first rate
    luvParis
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    My husband and I and our two out of town guests ate lunch here last Saturday and had the perfect dining experience. The food was top-notch and the service was just right. The dessert, an orange sherbet cake, was to-die-for! Our guests were very impressed! My next trip into Charleston will definitely have Cru Cafe on the itinerary!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • amazing BLT
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The food was great. The only disappointment was that one of my friends got the salmon small salad for lunch and it was tiny. Our waitress did not suggest the entree salad. Everything else was great!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • kjwalts
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Great Food and Service as usual. Great place for that Special occasion. The One spot that we never miss when we are in Charleston
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Consistently Good
    CharlestonTomVIP
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Cru Café is our go to place to get an excellent meal with excellent service - and avoid the touristy Charleston restaurants. You get very personal attention and we have always had good experiences there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate