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Cru Cafe
Cru Cafe

Cru Cafe Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.crucafe.com
  • Phone: (843) 534-2434
  • 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: Comfort Food, Fusion / Eclectic, 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. Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
Diner Reviews
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "The food at the Cru Cafe is out of this world and the desert was delicious."
    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."
    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 :)"
    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!"
    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."
    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!"
    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!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Great Food and Service as usual. Great place for that Special occasion. The One spot that we never miss when we are in Charleston"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Nice change from regular dining...accommodated gluten allergy."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Visiting Charleston in July is very hot. Having the spacial duck salad on a warm day was filling yet not heavy, plus it was extremely tasty. We would absolutely go back to Cru Cafe."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Charming restaurant, we had the Thai seafood risotto and swordfish with watermelon and tomatoes. Everything was delicious and service was excellent."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "My husband and I checked trip advisor to find a good lunch spot for the one day we drove in from Isle of Palms to Charleston, Cru was top rated and did not disappoint. I had Caesar salad with grilled shrimp -- it was fresh, not soggy lettuce. My husband had a sloppy Joe, it was worth the calories! Excellent location and the service was great. We'll go there again."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "My husband and I like to travel and have visited most of the large cities in the USA. This was as good a meal as we have ever had. Innovative and delicious. Service top notch. They made our 40th anniversary dinner special. Thank you for a wonderful evening."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "My husband and I found Cru Cafe on our honeymoon and we recommend it to everyone who go to Charleston. We especially enjoy the General Tso Chicken Wrap and the Portabello Mushroom Wrap!"
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Three of us each ordered the special, or salads or sandwiches. All superb. VERY busy place, non-stop energetic staff kept up with constant busy demands. food was very fresh and delicious, worthy of foodie preferences."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Food send service were outstanding. We trudge the daily specials and we're not dusapointed."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "The food was cooked to bsolute perfection, simply magnifique!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Interesting menu, great service. Had a seat at the counter overlooking the kitchen and enjoyed watching the hard work. Staff was very friendly and competent."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "both patrons and staff were extremely loud. some of the staff were aloof and curt - some were very kind and attentive. would be nice if all were kind and attentive. food was good."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "I have dined several times at Cru and it is always a wonderful experience. Reservations are difficult to obtain, so book early! It is definitely worth planning ahead. This is a small, quaint restaurant with probably less than a dozen tables, plus a couple more outside on the porch. The menu is limited, but that insures fresh and delicious choices. My favorite is the Grilled Basil Shrimp; others in my party had the duck, scallops and a fish special and everyone was pleased! Also, they only serve beer and wine - so they do not offer mixed drinks. They have a very nice beer and wine selection, though. The staff are friendly and efficient and service is good. I will be back!"
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "We go every time we are in charleston. The food is wonderful. Can't say enough good things"
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "Just a great place. The food is wonderful and the service is great too."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "My husband and I met another couple in Charleston for lunch. We all ordered different choices, and we all declared they were fabulous. We shared the truffles fries, and they were perfectly cooked. Nice inexpensive wines. Reasonable prices and generous portions. We were glad we had made reservations as we would not have wanted to sit outside in July. It was crowded for sure, but we had requested a corner table and we could have a nice conversation despite the room buzz."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "When arriving in Charleston for the first time, my wife and i tried CRU Cafe for lunch and were not disappointed. The restaurant was converted from an old historic house directly across from horse & carriage stables with tables both inside rooms of the house and out on an old fashioned southern style porch. While we sat at a private table for 2, it had the feel of a holiday family feel with many conversing and dining in a large room of the house. My wife and I were both blown away with how good the food was & the service was outstanding. She ordered a shrimp pasta dish and I ordered soup and sandwich. We did sharing & everything was delicious. We want to return to Charleston soon and when we do we will go back to Cru Cafe."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "I was visiting Charleston with my boyfriend and we wanted to make sure we got all the hot spots in. Cru Cafe did not disappoint. The service was excellent, as was the food. My favorite dish was from the small plates section, the sesame tuna. It came with general tso's brussel sprouts which may be my new favorite thing! We also got the mesclun fried goat cheese salad and fried calamari, both delicious. We got the tile fish special as our entree which was cooked perfectly. They split the meal for us and it was still plenty of food. For dessert, we shared the bread pudding. It was fantastic, the best bread pudding I've ever had! If we get back to Charleston, we will definitely be going back to Cru Cafe!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "We sat at the Chef's table which overlooks the chefs coking/ prepping the food-you get to talk the them as the prepare the different meals. During our meal, one of the guys dropped a fried chicken roll, picked it up off the floor and put it in a sauté pan right on the side of the oven. I watched this for over 15 minutes, waiting to see what he was going to do with this. After 15 minutes I asked our waitress, and she looked into it, asking the final food manager, and with that the guy that picked it up took the chicken and threw it in the trash, which was actually right beside where the sauté pan was! Makes me wonder where that chicken was going to go if I hadn't said something. Otherwise, the best food in Charleston.."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Amazing salads and sandwiches. This is currently my favorite lunch spot in Charleston. So cute and tucked away... be sure to make a reservation!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Great sandwiches, fries are the best. Pro wait staff!!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "This was our first stop during our trip to Charleston and what a great start it was! The fried green tomatoes are among the best I've EVER had. Their mussels and duck confit salad were lovely as well. The standout was their swordfish special that evening. It was light and fresh yet still filling. They also had a very nice wine list considering how small the restaurant is. Do yourself a favor and sneak a visit to Cru if you find yourself in Charleston."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "My only regret after our evening at Cru Cafe is that we live so far away. We tried a handful of well-reviewed places while visiting Charleston, including one operated by a James Beard nominee, and this tiny, tuck-away spot was by far the best. The food is incredibly flavorful. Absolutely loved the fried green tomatoes, the house-cured salmon, and the orange icebox cake (talk about a taste of the south!). All of the wines are reasonably priced. too. All of this means that you're going to walk out of Cru Cafe deeply satisfied and still have some change left in your pocket. What can be better than that? This is a true neighborhood gem. Thanks, Cru!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "We have not been in a long time but food was very good and we all enjoyed our entrees . I think I prefer sitting outside when weather permits. It was too hot."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "Great food in a cozy restaurant. Traditional and updated Southern cooking. Cru was suggested by locals as a non tourist dining spot and it did not disappoint. Service was quick and excellent. The flourless chocolate cake is not to be missed."
    Dined on 7/1/2014