Cru Cafe
Cru Cafe

Cru Cafe

  • 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: 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 Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Cru Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
347 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.6
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (260)neighborhood gem (246)great for lunch (162)great for outdoor dining (97)special occasion (71)romantic (68)hot spot (56)great for brunch (48)notable wine list (26)good for groups (18)kid-friendly (14)late-night find (11)scenic view (6)Show More
  • My Go to in Charleston
    RIfoodieVIP
    Dined on 11/25/2014
    Can't beat the combinations of high quality and interesting food, reasonable prices, attentive service. We never fail to go to Cru when in Charleston.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exceptionally enjoyable
    eperryb
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    I booked a 5:15 reservation for my parents, my sister and I almost two weeks in advance, and I'm so happy I did. I'd originally hoped for a later seating, but as they close after lunch and reopen at 5, the early reservation was fabulous. The dining room was fairly quiet and the lull gave us a nice opportunity to ask questions about the menu and hear the evening's specials, a feat that grew challenging as the din rose later in the evening. We enjoyed the baked brie and fried green tomato small plates, both were well done. The four of us tried the pork chop, a swordfish special, the duck breast, the tomato basil soup, a portobello and cauliflower bisque (so tasty), and a caesar salad with what I'm confident is the city's largest crouton (imagine a conch shell made of bread, then deep fried). All dishes were very flavorful, carefully crafted, and attractively plated. Portion sizes are good, the pork chop especially was huge, but we somehow managed to leave room for dessert! We tried 3 of the 4 options our server described; a strawberry peach bread pudding, a crustless cheesecake, and an orange creamsicle cake. The only one of the 3 I care for was the bread pudding- sad to say I've made better versions of creamsicle cake and cheesecakes. Next time I think we'll skip dessert altogether. Still, the dining experience was lovely and charming, and I'd happily return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yummy!
    jerseygirl
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    I love this place! It's a quaint, hidden gem in downtown Charleston. The food is amazing and the staff is so nice. Reservations are a must!!! You will not be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • perfection
    teresahsVIP
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    if you are looking for a cozy restaurant with upscale comfort food, you can't beat cru cafe. My college aged daughter and I were there on a cold November night. She was starving, so we ordered 4 small plates to share - mussels, seared tuna, fried oysters and Mac and cheese. Every bite was divine. The small plates are each enough for a meal - so there was plenty to for her to take home.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We ate here twice. The 2nd time was magic.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    We had dinner here one evening and although the quality of the ingredients was spectatcular. I had the pork chop which was over the top with the addition of cheese and heaven knows what else but my partner raved about his salmon. Ventured back for lunch one day (lucky to get a table) and had the best salad of my life sitting outside on the deck in the sunshine. Yummy prawns! Book well in advance if you can. Cru is very popular andvery busy. And deserves to be.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place
    shargillo
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    We loved this restaurant. Great food and service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Deception
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    We are Canadians passing through Charleston and Were told by friend who had been there before that this cafe was one of the best places in town. So we went there,4 of us, for lunch with certainly great expectations, maybe too high. Two of us had the same meal and the others had different. All 4 found the food ok but that's it, except that we all found it quite expensive for what we had. Efforts were made in the presentation, but the taste was nothing special. Honestly we found the food at Panda Express the day before more tasty, and a lot less expensive. The service was OK but it was pretty noisy in the place. In conclusion, nothing to write to our parents or to justify a special recommendation.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Definitely one of the better places to eat in Charleston. The menu has some classics and does some creative and artful things with basic comfort food. The wine list is good and the service is solid. It's a small place, so reservations for dinner are a must.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Local Food
    chooseanickname
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Cru Cafe was an amazing find for us on our first night of our first visit to Charleston. This restaurant and others we visited in Charleston definitely lived up to the accolades heaped on by reviewer after reveiwer. Wonderful appetizers, incredible entrees and a very nice wide-ranging wine list with all the food locally sourced, make Cru Cafe a must eat on any visit to Charleston. We envy the locals!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Limited Appeal
    kohnforsho
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Cru was a disappointment. I took a party of 6 for a late lunch. We were seated at a tall table right by the entrance so the entire time we were blasted with cold air each time the door was opened. In addition the parties waiting for a table were literally inches away making for an uncomfortable lunch experience. There were some in our party who eat Paleo and the had a difficult time finding something on the menu they could eat, and didn't enjoy what they ordered.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Excellent food and great atmosphere!
    Btraveler7
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    We had a great time dining at Cru. The restaurant is located in an old house right in the heart of downtown Charleston. The atmosphere is very quaint and excellent for a romantic dinner or special occasion. The waiter was very attentive and explained the dishes thoroughly. Additionally, the owner frequently walked around to make sure that all guests were happy. Everything we ordered was fantastic!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gem
    PEGGYVIP
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    We were glad to return to Cru after 4 years and find that it was as good or better than our first visit. It is truly a Charleston gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Attentive service, great food
    Koko
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    We saw this cafe on a previous trip to Charleston and were intrigued by the quaint house in which it was located and the good reviews we later found. Last week I booked a reservation and I ordered the swordfish entree, which was very good, but not the best I've had. We thought the food quality was on par with the top quarter of restaurants in Charleston, but the atmosphere was noisy, crowded, and casual. We were glad we weren't there for a romantic evening. The service was excellent, even with the crowd. When our server didn't know much about the craft beer we were considering, she brought over a very helpful young man who also worked there who could tell us all about it. We appreciated that. I expect to dine at Cru Cafe again on a return trip to Charleston.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome calamari
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Don't know where to start. Felt like we were dining at home, only WAAAAAy better. Intimate, charming, cozy . . . . Our waiter, could not have been more helpful. Minor hiccup in the kitchen with one order, we never noticed, yet they practically tripped over themselves making it right. Very cool.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch was right on point!
    Scrappy
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Found Cru by accident on my first visit to Charleston and returned for lunch on this trip. Ate like kings! The staff was on top of everything. Thanks Cru!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place for Lunch!
    MsPett
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Other then the noise level, which was pretty high, it was a delightful lunch with friends. The food was very good, the service was good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent as always!
    dap1VIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Need I say more. Excellent in all respects! We never miss an opportunity to dine at Cru each time we are in the Charleston area. It is smaller than most of its peers, so we would like to keep it a secret....but that wouldn't be fair. Great service and great space! Delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fine Southern Cuisine
    Caledonadventurer
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    This small restaurant exceeded my expectations. You are greeted at the door by the owner who invites you into his dining room. The staff are attentive but not intrusive. The menu had an eclectic variety of southern food with a delectable twist. My Pecan baked brie was delicious. The Smoked Duck Breast with duck confit was out of this world. Flavours that lingered and meat that was so tender it melted in my mouth. The wine paring was excellent. A memorable dining experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for Lunch
    DHB342VIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Lunch menu was perfect, with many choices. Our meal was perfect, tasteful, and not too large to upset an early dinner. Servers were helpful, and made our lunch choices easy. This is a great spot after a long walking tour, freindly, clean, and meal served timely. Easy to find. Our lunch conversations included those patrons around us, which made our experience even more enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Lunch!
    SG914
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    I had the coconut fried oyster wrap and my husband had the BBQ brisket sandwich and we both enjoyed our meals immensely. Service was prompt and professional. Modestly priced and very enjoyable. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food with Fun
    Bostonstrong
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    The youthful spirit of Cru Cafe will infect you as much as the non-fussy but delicious dishs will delight your palate. The restaurant is a breath of fresh air, with the entire staff being young, spirited and vibrant. Maybe the best french fries we have EVER had! What more do you need? Great tuna dish, and an equally pleasing grouper presentation. Super desert as well. After being stuffy-ied out at dusty, fussy Circa 1886 the night before, we especially appreciated the very bearable lightness of being at Cru Cafe.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • noisy and crowded tables
    disappointed
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Very over-rated. Our party of 6 was squeezed in by the front door next to the kitchen. Food was just okay and the noise level was high. The one positive was the wait staff - they were very attentive.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Stellar Experience
    2PiggysnaPod
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We love Cru. Simply put. Every part of our dinning experience was STELLAR. The ambiance, service, and food was the perfect way to start our trip to Charleston. Will recommend to everyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Stellar service & creative kitchen
    LP55
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Making you feel welcome is the first sign of a good restaurant, and even though we were much too early for our reservation, we were seated quite quickly with a happy smile and no fuss. Our entees were generous and delicious, and I am still remembering the smoked celery cream soup-great silky comfort in a bowl, drizzled with balsamic. Lovely evening- truly recommend Cru!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always the bes
    Charlestonvisitor
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Our favorite restaurant in Charleston. Simply the best experience. Wonderful food, service and setting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Definitely a yes ...
    BenLfromCanton
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    We were a party of 6, and everyone's entrees were enough food to be enough for the meal. But get an appetizer or soup or salad even if it's to share. Two guests loved the creamy Truffled Mushroom Soup while another hovered over her Tomato Basil Soup to ensure she managed every drop of it herself. One duck lover raved about the Duck Confit Arugula Salad, saying it was the best she'd had in memory. Both NY Strips were cooked to perfection; the Grilled Basil Shrimp and Thai Seafood Risoto made huge impressions; and the Gnochi special was worth veering off menu for. I enjoyed Ginger-seared Salmon with Lemon Risoto. The waitress suggested it cooked Med, but I requested Med Rare. The chef prepared it perfectly. We'll return again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Meal in Charleston!
    Foodfan
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Having eaten in many fine Charleston restaurants over the past 20 years, I expected a meal that was well executed. Certainly many reviews indicated that would be the case. I was not disappointed. In fact both my friend and I were very pleasantly surprised at the caliber of the service and most importantly the food. Everything we had was superbly prepared, served at just the right time/temperature and attractively presented. The wine list included a variety of choices at very reasonable prices. My companion's duck entree was the best we have eaten anywhere! I recommend this restaurant if you are looking for excellent food at an appealing price point. It is NOT a good choice if you want a quiet, romantic meal because of the small space.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loud
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Have only ever eaten outside on many occasions. Seated inside with my elderly parents for a birthday and the noise level was overwhelming. Not enjoyable. Couldn't carry on a conversation due to the noise. Appetizers were great (fried oysters and seared tuna), but the entrees were disappointing. Thai seafood risotto way overcooked, fried chicken under salted, too much pasta with the scallops.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Trendy New Restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    The restaurant is situated in a pretty house which reminds me very much of New Orleans. The food & service were fantastic. A wonderful experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • bette
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Food and service were excellent. Wonderful dishes from which to choose. We had small dishes, and it was just enough.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • An unexpected find
    Kathythefoodie123
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Cozy and cute. Fresh food. Overall good experience. I will go back.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My favorite meal in Charleston!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    We were in Charleston for a "girls trip" and our dinner at Cru Cafe was the best meal we had during our four day visit. I could have easily ordered anything on the menu and been happy with my choice as everything looked good. The swordfish that I ordered was cooked perfectly and went great over the beans and veggies it was paired with. I also tasted a bit of my sisters' pork entree and pasta dish and both were yummy as well. We shared a side order of mac & cheese - huge portion and very rich. The space was cute and the staff was very friendly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Yummy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    The Shrimp BLT was fabulous. So many good favors together. Great service IF you have a reservation. Long wait without one.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Please, kiss my grits...
    oziedeb
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Calling all foodies, when in Charleston this is a must! Great selection of wines! I am still dreaming of the fried green tomatoes w/feta! Oh my! The grits were creamy cheesey and delicious!!! Our entrees were over the top! The best surprise and I'm still dreaming about is the fried Brussels sprouts- but no ordinary Brussels Sprputs try General Tso's style!!!!off the chains! If you crave advant garde cuisine in a dining room fit for 30-40 you must make your reservation at Cru!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome Little Place
    jlsavannah
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    I came to show my friend the best of Charleston and Cru Cafe didn't disappoint. Excellent food and caring service, without the pretense of many other 'fine dining' farm to table restaurants. Hope you guys stay that way! Thanks again for a great meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lucious lunch always at Cru
    CT66
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    I always recommend Cru Cafe for lunch. It is without qualification my favorite lid day restaurant. On Saturday I took two guests, visitors fro m Beaufort who had never eaten there. One of these guests is a well known cookbook author. She and her daughter have declared that Cru is their new favorite restaurant
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Restaurant was good , but small & dining area cramped. I would recommend for lunch rather than dinner.I think the location is convenient.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    luv2dine
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    We arrived 15 minutes earlier than expected for our reservation and were quickly told (in a not so nice manner) that we were early and would have to wait. What bothered us even more was the couple who came in after we arrived, got seated before us even after admitting they were a half hour late for their reservation. The food was just okay and not at all what we expected. The BBQ smoker filled the front porch with smoke and made it a bit uncomfortable at times.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • FLAGUYP
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    The food is amazing...always!! Maggie is the best wait person ever. A must place to go in Charleston.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Cru
    JoleVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    The food is very delicious and presentations were beautiful
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.