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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 send service were outstanding. We trudge the daily specials and we're not dusapointed."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "The food was good but the restaurant felt very cramped. Not suitable for groups of more than four. Make sure you have a reservation."
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "I had forgotten how much I love Cu Cafe. I made reservations on Open Table 5 min. before walking in the door. I was so glad! The people in front of us had a 30 min. wait."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Great sandwiches, fries are the best. Pro wait staff!!"
    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
  • "We had the Mussels, Calamari and Peaches and Cream appetizers. All were very good. The Duck my son ordered was outstanding, smoked with a great spice! The Tile fish the rest of our party ordered was Great! the Chef's blend of flavors was outstanding!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "I have been here several times and it is emerging as one of my favorite restaurants in Charleston. Definitely "Top 5." I also like the great friendly service and I have never been disappointed in any respect while dining here. Our server this last visit was especially good."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "My wife and I enjoyed lunch at Cru Cafe. Food was very good and had a nice, unique menu. The restaurant was bright and clean, although a bit loud. I had a hard time hearing the waitress. Would go here again on next visit to Charleston."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Always reliable and delicious! Love the fried oyster wrap and fries!"
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Cru Cafe is a nicely restored old home in the historic district - very charming. An open kitchen is the center of attention downstairs. It's a small restaurant so tables are placed close together for maximum seating. This made for a rather loud atmosphere so I don't recommend this spot if you need to discuss anything over your meal. Our lunch items (orange glazed tilapia & a garlic chicken sandwich) were excellent. Our server was friendly & polite & efficient. My only critical feedback would be to ask the young man serving as host to work on his patience & southern charm. It was lacking on our visit and since he is the first person representing this restaurant it made for a poor first impression. You should be happy to see guests arrive."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "Since discovering Cru last summer it has become a favorite for lunch when in Charleston. The wide variety of salads, sandwiches, and entrees meet the needs of most diner. The shrimp BLT is a favorite. Peach bread pudding and peach cobbler satisfied our sweet tooth. One should have reservations or be prepared for a lengthy wait to dine in this popular lunch destination."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "You know this will be a different experience when you see that the Tiny Cru restaurant is on a lane named Motley. Had to smile. The restaurant itself seats only about 50. Lots of sandwiches and fresh salads. We started with a plate of fried green tomatoes that were full of southern flavor--a sweet bacon remoulade being the standout--offset with smooth mild goat cheese crumbles. We shared a salad with fried goat cheese that was light and refreshing. That allowed us to save room for a slice of orange creme cake, wow! Great experience. Reservations recommended for dinner."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "I love this place. I come here every time I am in Charleston. The Fried Green Tomatoes are amazing and the Oyster Wrap was delicious."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "The food was amazing. This delightful restaurant is a hidden gem of Charleston!!"
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "Nice quiet location of the main path. Great food, nice variety with decent variety. Excellent flavor. Friendly service."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "We recently visited Charleston and we always make a point to eat lunch here. We brought our parents along this tine and they are still raving about food and service. If you get the opportunity, request the chef table which sits at the bar and you can watch them cook all the food. The service was just outstanding!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Though tiny, Cru Cafe does a great job welcoming guests. When they're busy, you can have a glass of wine in a litte garden with a breeze. The wait isn't long and well worth it. Upon entering, the kitchen is open to the first dining room. It's fun to see the chefs in action. The menu is eclectic, in a good way-- we wanted to try everything from the perfectly smoked brisket, to the asian chicken salad, the general tso's chicken ceasar wrap, and the duck confit salad. We ended up passing around little bites of everything at our table. Yum!! We'll definitely be back."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Cru Cafe has been a favorite lunch spot of mine for years. That, in and of itself, is a huge testimony to the quality and consistency of Cru! I have never been disappointed in any way; far from it. The menu evolves around fresh and local which,of course,is ever changing and,I would imagine, quite challenging to continually top. I am always taken aback by what those guys can do with seemingly ordinary, fresh and local..Wow seems to sum my feelings up quite nicely on that note.The wait staff is energetic,informed,efficient and excellent at their stations.The food presentation is always so perfectly executed that it never fails to impress and the quality..well,it's simply amazing!Thanks again for another perfectly,wonderful dining experience."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Great great place. I must qualify that we own a restaurant so we judge from an inside point of view. Food and service were exceptional. Salads were wonderful and entrees were exceptional. We had one hiccup which was handled with true professionalism. Three of four entrees came and fourth didn't. Owner came out and advised my order had unplated itself. He said it fell off plate. It happens, believe me. He gave me something to dine on while they remade my order. I had the fried chicken which was nothing like I had ever experienced, incredible. When bill came they did not charge for my meal. I insisted they charge but theyrefused. True class and most gracious. Will make this a must stop on repeat visits."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "The menu was original, fresh, and prepared to perfection! We enjoyed watching the chefs at work in the open-concept kitchen. The restaurant is in an old home and tables are naturally close to one another inside. If you want to have a private conversation - sit out on the patio. We enjoyed some casual conversation with those seated near to us - mainly about meal choices - all of which looked amazing and reportedly were superb. Highly recommend!"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "The food was so delicious with a southern flair. Phenomenal fried okra-which I normally do not like! Waitress steered us I. The right direction when we were over ordering the amount of food"
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Cru is one of my favorites in Charleston. Seating is limited, so get a reservation. The food has always been exceptional, especially nightly specials. It's a bit off the beaten path, but well worth the walk. Wonderful for lunch or dinner."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "We made a reservation for lunch after our Palmetto Carriage tour. Crüe is just behind, across the street making it very convenient on a very hot Charlestown day. FYI, the signage & front door is a little hard to find but soooo worth it. It's located in a small wooden old house with a cute front porch that you can dine on. I love the quaint charm of the original house, moldings, fireplaces, tall windows, ceilings. We sat in their larger dining room. Our waitress was sweet, upbeat & attentive. I loved my Mesculin salad with fried goat cheese & salmon. Just perfect! My husband had their half pound burger. He said is was charbroiled excellence! We would definitely go back again, we had a very enjoyable experience! I do recommend reservations!"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "The food at Cru was tasty and the presentation was stunning! Portions are very large. Next time we would share an entree. It is a small place and a bit noisy, but we enjoyed ourselves. We had a table of 7 and were accommodated nicely. We couldn't have had a more personable and efficient waitress. She was absolutely great. If you go for lunch make reservations or be willing to wait. This is a real hot spot for lunch in Charleston."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "All of the food was amazing- we ate every bite, 2 appetizer salads, 2 entrees, 1 side, 2 desserts. The basil shrimp pasta is so delicious, seems like their pasta is home made. Service was friendly and attentive. Only downside is the dinning room is a little tight so you are very close to adjacent tables. We will definitely go again because the food and service were wonderful."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Food was excellent and so was the manager. As we waited to be seated the waitresses just looked at us, did not say hi, and nearly knocked us out of the way to get by. The manager was nice and professional though and the food was excellent! Waitresses need to be more friendly though, we almost left."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Tried the pear with bacon jam salad as an appetizer, delicious! Ordered the grilled chicken sandwich for lunch - ridiculously good, seriously the best sandwich of my life! The mac and cheese as well as the mashed potatoes were wonderful as well. Would highly recommend this place. NOTE: you MUST make reservations, even for lunch!!! It's crazy busy, and now I know why!"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "We had a wonderful dinner at Cru- as always. The manager was overly helpful and the staff was fantastic. My husband and I enjoyed the specials of the night and a perfect bottle of wine. Thanks for being the place we can recommend to our friends with confidence."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "This was one of our favorite meals in Charleston! The ingredients were fresh and well prepared, the staff are like a well-oiled machine - so glad our concierge ( Maureen@ King Charles Inn) recommended it!!"
    Dined on 6/12/2014