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
325 reviews since June 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.7
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (234)neighborhood gem (227)great for lunch (162)great for outdoor dining (95)special occasion (68)romantic (66)great for brunch (51)hot spot (45)notable wine list (25)kid-friendly (16)good for groups (14)late-night find (10)scenic view (9)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Cru 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • BillVIP
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently Excellent
    donjoshua
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    My 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • service lacking - food good
    kmreviews
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    It 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:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellant
    Jurban80
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Amazing food and service, reservations a must. Worth it as I try to go every time in charleston!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gen.Tso's & Fried green tomatoes!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Great eclectic menu! Fried Green tomatoes are a Must!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Food 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Find!
    Jann
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    My 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:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Loved it!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Cute and creative restaurant! I had the shrimp BLT and salad and it was fabulous!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    Jess
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A party in my mouth
    Gail
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best of the trip
    llouVIP
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    What 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quaint Local Eatery
    di4ky
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    My 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:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Terrific as always
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect after our boat ride
    Kat505
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • amazing find
    foodnerd
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    From 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:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always take visitors to Cru
    slick
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Thank 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:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Our favorite Charleston Restaurant
    Emjay
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Cru 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:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food at great prices
    gottaeat
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    We love this place. You need to make reservations, even for lunch. It is a casual, unpretentious cafe with superb food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    First 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very cute-quaint
    Lucy
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Right 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:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious late night dinner!
    Purdue1foodie
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    This 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:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Step Backwards
    crosswaveVIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    After 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:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Always Impressive
    NYCSueVIP
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Cru 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:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great dinner
    barsoom
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Cru 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:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • John
    JMQ913
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Always a great meal. Wonderful staff. Very busy but runs with great efficiency.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious food fantastic service
    Lizzardd
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Great food and service. Ambience was great. Maggie our server was informative and friendly
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beyond
    DVaeth
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Our favorite place to eat in the state!!!! Thank you Jacob and staff for another killer meal and experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best meal in Charleston
    iluv2eat
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Repeat
    FromBoston
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    We dine here every visit to Charleston. Food quality is consistently high and staff is very friendly and attentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always great meals here
    TprottVIP
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    One 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:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • "Best Kept Secret"
    DavidH
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Based 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:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Little Place
    641Librarian
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Great 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:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience
    luv2eat
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    I really enjoyed the overall experience at Cru Cafe. The staff was wonderful and the food was amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Larry
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Cru 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:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SnowBird
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    A Charleston gem. Small but attracts us time and time again. The staff cares! Food presentation is terrific and delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not Handicap accessible!!!
    david
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    If 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic unique flavors
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    The 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome!
    LoreUy
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We loved the delicious food and ambiance! The restaurant is set inside an old southern house, which we loved.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate