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
334 reviews since June 3, 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 (236)neighborhood gem (231)great for lunch (181)great for outdoor dining (91)special occasion (87)romantic (63)great for brunch (61)hot spot (40)kid-friendly (22)notable wine list (22)good for groups (13)scenic view (9)late-night find (7)Show More
  • 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
  • Fantastic food w/ intimate setting
    wakebrina
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    As 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:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great service.
    CharlestonVisitors
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The food was fantastic. The service was perfect. The noise was a little loud. We would return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place
    Kco105
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience
    Foodlovers
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Food 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:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Engagement Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    My 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Excellent. First time. Will be back!! Will highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We really like Cru Cafe
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Food and service were great. Cru Cafe is a small place so be prepared to wait for seating.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Soooo GOOD.
    LOVED
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    I'm local and wanted a special lunch place to bring my girlfriends that are here for the weekend. Wow, Cru did not disappoint....everything was melt-in-your mouth fabulous. Thank you Cru....you are now on my go-to list!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What a let down!!
    LVGF
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    The fish was very good, collards -tough and bitter, sauce - bland, and bread service - adequate. The experience was ruined by the host whose other job must be with the DMV. They appeared not to have our reservation and tried to seat us at a table in a hallway to the restrooms and when I said no, he got very DMV'ish- my wife wanted to leave, but the restaurant was highly recommended by my son and we stayed. Would not go back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Very good food. 3 of us shared 5 appetizers and all were good - the mussels especially so.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding Dining in Charleston
    SuzeQ
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Based on TripAdvisor reviews we opted for a reservation at Cru Cafe while visiting Charleston. We were thrilled with our evening there. We were seated promptly and the restaurant was full at 7pm. We started with a bottle of wine which was reasonably priced and fried green tomatoes as an appetizer. They were elegantly served atop mixed greens and sprinkled with goat cheese and thick hunks of bacon...quite good! They had two specials for entrees that night and both were fish; one blackened salmon and one wreckfish. The presentation of the food on the plates was great and the flavors of everything were unique and delicious. Who would think to put boiled peanuts in red cabbage slaw? The chef is obviously amazing. We highly recommend Cru Cafe!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just OK
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Menu was different from what was posted on Trip Advisor. Rated high on T A, but did not live up to billing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Restaurant week
    gidgetVIP
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    We made a reservation but tslk waited 20 minutes for our table. We watched them clear a 4 top and a 2 top, then seat a party of 2 at the 4 top. That kept our party of 3 waiting longer. So I admit that the experience started on the wrong foot. But them it continued when I asked 2x for a straw, then the server threw 3 straws my way. I get it's restaurant week and you're stressed, but pick up your game! The kitchen made up for the negative service with a delicious cold cucumber soup, shrimp BLT and truffle fries. Not sure I would return.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cru Cafe for Lunch
    CruCafeVIP
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    My wife and I decided to have a late lunch at Cru on our 53rd anniversary. From start to finish everything was perfect. Johnnie, our expert waiter for the day, started by helping with our wine selections which were great. My wife had her favorite Cru Cafe Angus Burger and I had the Orange Tilapia. Both our meals were superb and we enjoyed every bite and had some tasty morsels left for take home. We finished with espresso and the not to be missed Chocolate Torte with its smooth texture and deep chocolate flavor. In summary, Cru is always a delight and we thoroughly enjoyed another Cru Cafe lunch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice respite on a H-O-T day
    PHXfinedinerVIP
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Cru had been recommended to us by knowledgeable foodie friends so we decided to partake. As we entered though it was just a little cooler inside than out...meaning it was approaching 90 degrees (or so it seemed). I was starting to melt as we made our way there and I cooled myself nearly immediately with ice water and a glass of house sauvignon blanc so my face wouldn't end up in a pool on the floor. It REALLY was THAT hot! I had a soup & 1/2 sandwich combo which consisted of cucumber watermelon soup with cocoanut milk (better sounding than tasting) and a perfect BLT on grilled ciabatta with shrimp added. I had made fresh tomato BLT's for the family the evening before and theirs, I'm horrified to admit, was better. The service was Gr8!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Lunch Spot
    rbaker71VIP
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    First time at this restaurant, had lunch, amazing Shrimp BLT.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • nothing remarkable
    Disappointment
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Wish we had something outstanding to say about this tiny tiny restaurant. Food was very good but considering all the gourmet tastings in Charleston, this one does not stand out. No mixed drinks, just wine and beer. Salmon dish was small, my husband was still hungry. Ribeye steak was average. Bread was hard. It felt very cramped. Friendly and good service.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Best!!!!
    BobW
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    This is our third time eating here, what can I say it's the best. The food is alway outstanding, along with the service.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of the best in Charleston
    mycharleston
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Food & service were outstanding. Fair prices & good size portions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The peach strawberry bread pudding was amazing! We had a reservation and were seated very promptly. Enjoyed the waitresses recommendations, especially the shrimp blt and brisket sandwich.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent choice
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Small house, boutique restaurant with great food and great service.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We'll eat at Cru again.
    BillyBubba
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    We took some friends from Atlanta to Cru this week. We all loved our choices. Portions were generous, but not too big, and the prices are extremely reasonable, especially considering the quality of the food. The daily special ......tilefish....was terrific. We sampled each other's desserts and liked all of them. The flourless chocolate cake is a standout. Service was excellent: professional, and not intrusive. Impressive, since the servers all looked so young ! The restaurant is tiny and "comfortable". There is easy parking (cash only) a few steps away from the restaurant, in a lot right on the corner of Pinckney and East Bay. This was our first visit to Cru but definitely not our last.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always excellent!
    MukilteoVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    I go every time I am in town. Never disappointed!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Take a crew to Cru
    Jjo64VIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Innovative menu with lovely Asian and low country specialties. The Asian slaw is a bright side to the turkey Brie sandwich. A little heavy on the chutney which made the bread wet, but very nice. The general tsao entree is a very nice twist on the original. Lots of food tang on tender crunchy chicken. Make sure to make a reservation or you may be seated outside on a toasty day. Definitely a nice lunch spot. Will try dinner next ;)
    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.
  • Perfect for Gf/dairy free foodie:)
    Jill
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Had the duck confit salad & thai sea food risotto made with coconut milk....amazing! Thanks Jacob for taking care of us<3
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    My wife and I went here on a Saturday night and the food and service was excellent. I got the pork chop and my wife got a steak. The portions were filling and delicious. It is a small and cozy restaurant.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.