About 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.

18 Pinckney Street
Charleston, SC 29401
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Comfort Food, Fusion / Eclectic, Southern

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm

Cross Street:
East Bay St

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(843) 534-2434

Website:
http://www.crucafe.com/

Entertainment:
Private Upstairs Dinning Room available for up to 18 people.

Catering:
Voted Charleston's best caterer consecutively since 2001 by the Charleston City Paper, our Cru Catering branch offers full service customized catering, in-house personal chefs, corporate catering, receptions, weddings and private parties. Please contact us at 843-534-2433.
www.crucatering.com

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.

Executive Chef:
John Zucker

Additional:
Banquet, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Takeout, Wine

Cru Cafe Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.8

service

4.7

ambience

4.5

value

4.6

Noise

Moderate

97% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (68)
Creative Cuisine (66)
Good for a Date (55)
See All
Fit for Foodies (55)
Local Ingredients (53)
Comfort Food (52)
Cozy (49)
Great for Lunch (49)
Casual (45)
Special Occasion (38)
Authentic (33)
Worth the Drive (30)
Fun (27)
Good for Anniversaries (25)
Hot Spot (20)
Good for Birthdays (19)
Pre/post Theatre (18)
Quiet Conversation (17)
Healthy (16)
Great for Outdoor Dining (15)
Romantic (15)
Sunday Lunch (15)
Notable Wine List (13)
Great for Brunch (12)
Good for Groups (8)
Seasonal (8)
Business Meals (8)
Quick Bite (7)
Tapas (5)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Bar Seating (4)
People Watching (4)
Afternoon Coffee (3)
Handcrafted Cocktails (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Vegan (3)
Kid-friendly (2)
Great Beer (2)
Happy Hour (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Organic (2)
Spicy (2)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Scenic View (1)
Sort by
S
3477 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 3 days ago

As always great food and a great time

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 4 days ago

We had a late lunch there at 2:00 pm, and the place was packed. We had to wait for our table. That’s ok but it was so crowded and we felt in the way. My husband had a sandwich and I had the shrimp pasta. Both excellent.

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 4 days ago

We had another enjoyable lunch at Cru Cafe: the Shrimp BLT and Chinese Salad were both great. Sitting on the porch outdoors was a bonus.

Tags: Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined 5 days ago

The food was good. Unfortunately the four top next to us was apparently having a business lunch and were VERY LOUD. Ruined our meal.

Tags: Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on February 11, 2018

Really small spot but great food and good service. Fried green tomato app and oyster salad were really good. For entree I loved the scallop entree with saffron couscous and my husband enjoyed his thai seafood stew.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 10, 2018

Small venue in the heart of Charleston. Try the fried green tomatoes...so good! Offering fresh seafood with a creative side. Great wine list too. Casual atmosphere with nice vibe. Excellent service, make reservations.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Authentic, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 10, 2018

We were late for the reservation time and they held the kitchen open for us!! Mushroom soup was very balanced and best I ever had. Appetizer portion salads hit the spot as a quick. Healthy, hold over meal before a late dinner. Service was exceptional too! Thank you Josh and crew!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 9, 2018

I have been here many times always great! My favorite in Charleston.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Great for Lunch, Great for Brunch, Healthy, Romantic, Special Occasion, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Worth the Drive, Hot Spot, Fun, Comfort Food, Quiet Conversation, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, People Watching, Pre/post Theatre, Late-night Find
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 9, 2018

Terrific food, wonderful service. Always a favorite!

Tags: Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Columbus)·Dined on February 9, 2018

The food was incredible.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on February 9, 2018

Cru has really fresh food and and amazing team in the open kitchen. I always learn something when watching the chiefs cook. Lunch is also great. Salads are great.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Seasonal, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on February 8, 2018

Awesome! The mushroom, cauliflower, truffle soup was one of the best soups ever.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 8, 2018

During our visit to Charleston we ate at five really great restaurants. Cru Cafe was the best value. It's not elegant, but it has so much energy and excellent cuisine. We loved it.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 8, 2018

Been many times. As good as always. Sat at the chef’s table and developed great rapport with the chef, cooks and servers. Wife had Thai pasta. She pronounced it excellent. I had the special tilefish...excellent. My go to restaurant in Charleston.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 8, 2018

My friends and I loved the food and the ambiance at Cru! We all ordered different entrees and small plates so that we could try a little of everything. The salmon was superb, as was the thai seafood risotto. The green tomatoes with pork belly crutons were everything! I can't wait to go back!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on February 8, 2018

We met friends for lunch. Good food and service. Had a burger and a salad with grilled salmon. Both were prepared as ordered. I had a beer and asked the server to chose. Had a great local IPA, thanks to her.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 8, 2018

Great food and service. Fun, upbeat atmosphere. We sat outside and between the music being piped onto the porch and the traffic it was loud but still great. We’ll be back.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 8, 2018

As always when we are in Charleston we like to go to Cru! The food is alway good as is the service! Everyone is very Pleasant and friendly! We have also been lucky to sit up at the counter when the I believe it was one of the owner was there and so fun to talk to him and watch every one cook!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on February 7, 2018

Excellent as always.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 7, 2018

WE sat at the chefs counter and were thoroughly entertained by the action in the kitchen. All kitchen staff engaged us in a little conversation or an acknowledgement of our presence.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 6, 2018

Great food and excellent service!! Tables are a little close so when it's full it can be a little bit on the louder side.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Small, casual setting that always delivers excellent food. We’ve been to a number of restaurants downtown, but always come back to Cru. No guess work on if we’ll have a great meal - it’s a given.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 3, 2018

a fantastic meal! and excellent service, even squeezing in an additional seat at our cozy table for our group. thank you!!!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 2, 2018

First meal in Charleston. Absolutely delicious!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on February 1, 2018

Amazing food!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 30, 2018

Food is always outstanding at Cru Cafe! This particular evening, however, they seemed to be 'off their game', which has not been our experience at any point in the past. Our reservation was for 7:30pm, but we were not seated until 8pm. The restaurant is very small., and perhaps one of the reasons why we enjoy it, however, if you have to wait as a party of 4 there is no where to stand or wait without it being awkward for other diners and the service staff. Service, while attentive, seemed somewhat distracted or unhappy. Our food took about 45 mins to arrive, but it did taste wonderful just as we expected it would.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience2
service2
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 30, 2018

A very understated, cool place with fabulous food. A gem.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 27, 2018

The service was great. The food was good. Outside seating was nice

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Best food we’ve eaten in awhile. My husband had scallops and I had shrimp pasta. Melt in your mouth delicious!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Poconos)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Small restaurant with high
Tops and tables. Some high tops located very close to kitchen. Very noisy in this area but balanced by watching the cooking. Had the appetizers of mussels which were awesome. Cooked in a tomato based broth with julienne vegetables. Then had the fish of the day, skin on grouper grilled. Tender and cooked perfectly. Go and enjoy.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 26, 2018

A friend advised my husband and I to have lunch at Cru Cafe during our visit to Charleston. We loved the charming setting, friendly staff, and varied menu. I would highly recommend the shrimp BLT. Since seating in this historic home is limited, be sure to make reservations!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Fun, Casual, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Naples)·Dined on January 24, 2018

This was our first time in Charleston and we had read good things about Cru Cafe; we were not disappointed. The place is fairly small but we had a good table and Fawn was our server. We split the Fried Brie for an app and the Bread Pudding for dessert. My wife had the Dick and I had the Thai Risotto. All courses were fantastic! You will need reservations but I would highly recommend this restaurant.

Paul & Judi. Cape Cod/Naples

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 24, 2018

My wife and I stopped for lunch and the food and service were again excellent. My wife ordered the sliced turkey on a roll and I had the Bibb lettuce and poached pear salad topped with rare salmon that was cooked perfectly. The flourless chocolate tort dessert with whipped cream topping was again outstanding. Certainly one of our most favorite Charleston restaurants.

Tags: Casual, Healthy, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on January 24, 2018

Great as always. Cru just never disappoints. The shrimp BLT is a must and the salads are all substantial and excellent.

Tags: Good for a Date, Authentic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 24, 2018

Our service was excellent as was the meal. A real hit for our birthday celebration.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 23, 2018

Although our meal was good the exterior walkway and curb appeal needs to be improved. Very dark long walk too
Needs more exterior lighting

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience2
service5
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 20, 2018

The host and wait staff were very accommodating and friendly, despite a busy Saturday evening. We ordered several seafood dishes. The fried oysters were melt-in your mouth tender.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 20, 2018

This restaurant is consistently great. The food is fresh and delicious and the service is always the best.

Tags: Cozy, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 19, 2018

Our first visit to Cru Cafe will not be our last. We had excellent service, wonderful short ribs, and great fun watching the kitchen in action from our counter seats. Thanks to all!

Tags: Authentic, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Cozy, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 19, 2018

Katie’s Service was fantastic. The chef accommodated our vegan wishes creatively. Fantastic carrot ginger soup special!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Seasonal, Quiet Conversation, Vegan
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.