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

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.7

ambience

4.5

value

4.5

Noise

Moderate

97% would recommend it to a friend

Creative Cuisine (71)
Neighborhood Gem (71)
Fit for Foodies (64)
See All
Great for Lunch (54)
Local Ingredients (51)
Cozy (51)
Good for a Date (50)
Casual (45)
Comfort Food (42)
Authentic (37)
Worth the Drive (35)
Special Occasion (34)
Fun (33)
Good for Anniversaries (23)
Healthy (22)
Quiet Conversation (22)
Good for Birthdays (21)
Romantic (21)
Great for Outdoor Dining (18)
Great for Brunch (15)
Hot Spot (14)
Notable Wine List (11)
Pre/post Theatre (11)
Seasonal (11)
Sunday Lunch (10)
Business Meals (8)
Quick Bite (7)
Good Vegetarian Options (7)
Good for Groups (6)
Bar Seating (5)
People Watching (5)
Great Beer (4)
Late-night Find (4)
Organic (4)
Tapas (4)
Tasting Menu (3)
Vegan (3)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Kid-friendly (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (2)
Happy Hour (2)
Scenic View (2)
Disabled Access (1)
Spicy (1)
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3391 reviews
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 (New York Area)·Dined 6 days ago

CRU has Good food, casual atmosphere, large portions

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
·Dined 7 days ago

I took my 16 year old son to Cru for lunch and we sat at the chef's counter. Truffle fries and bread pudding with fresh fruit were huge hits. And my classic goat cheese salad was perfectly executed. We chatted with the chefs and that made our experience extra special. Thank you, Cru!!

Tags: Vegan, Organic, Good Vegetarian Options, Gluten Free Options, Romantic, Casual, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Always a favorite anytime we are in Charleston. I have recommended Cru to several people and everybody is always happy ! They continue to do a great job.

Tags: Healthy, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 8, 2017

This hidden gem continues to exceed expectations time and time again! The popular chicken dish was excellent accompanied with sautéed, roasted seasonal veggies and the pork schnitzel was also delicious with its pasta. BUT the best part of the dinner was our appetizer--shrimp and mushroom won-tons! Who does that? Wow, they were amazing! We capped it off with the homemade bread pudding encased with berries throughout it! Thanks Cru!

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

 
·Dined on December 8, 2017

Visiting Charleston

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value5

 
·Dined on December 8, 2017

One of my favorite restaurants in Charleston. Great food!

Tags: Great for Lunch, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 7, 2017

Favorite restaurant in Charleston. Excellent food, atmosphere and service. Chef and staff are extremely accommodating. Have been a number of times and each is as good as the last. Highly recommend.

Tags: Comfort Food, Quiet Conversation, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on December 7, 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Cru Cafe! Fun atmosphere....great food....cool staff.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 7, 2017

~A bit crowded and very noisy but very good service and excellent food

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 6, 2017

Thought the food was salty. Mentioned to waiter and he appreciated the feedback. Although the service was efficient, the waiter could have had a better attitude. We were a group of women who were joking and teasing our waiter and he was not a fan of our humor. At a time when restaurant prices are high, and the industry is competitive, every facet of dining counts, including the attitude of the waitstaff. He/she should attempt to be pleasant as well as efficient.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Absolutely yummy and a nice environment! Great service.

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

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on December 1, 2017

One of my favorite restaurants in Charleston, never disappoints. Cozy atmosphere, friendly service and the food is amazing.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 30, 2017

Absolutely Wonderful! Off the beaten path, but close to Market Street/East Bay scene. VERY good food and well priced.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Cozy, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 29, 2017

It’s just too good you won’t be disappointed!! But, don’t forget to make a reservation.

Tags: Casual, Comfort Food, Fun, Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 28, 2017

My second visit, even though I have lived in Charleston for 4+ years. I really enjoyed the meal, ambience, etc., but the service was a little slow, probably because the meal was cooked from scratch, which is not a bad thing. The fried brie was quite good, as was my scallops entree. I will return, but there are so many wonderful restaurants to get to, it won't be for a little while.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Cozy, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 25, 2017

The lunch was amazing, the soup of the day was to die for! Very relaxed atmosphere. I would recommend this restaurant for lunch.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Austin)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Friends recommended Cru Cafe and we are so glad they did. This was exactly as hoped for - delicious food (sea food risotto), very personal,friendly service and a cozy atmosphere. The owner was there and working hard. Made us happy to be a part of his endeavor!

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

 
·Dined on November 24, 2017

Remarkable. Staff efficient, friendly, knows their menu and ready to explain. Kitchen is CLEAN! Our first time experience and we came back the next day and it was just as remarkable. Referred to several people visiting Charleston.

Tags: People Watching, Quiet Conversation, Sunday Lunch, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Authentic, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on November 24, 2017

Had a 2:15 lunch reservation. Arrived at 2 and did not get seated until 2:40. Not starting out well. Tried an Italian sandwich. Lots of meat, but pretty bland. Guess it is hit-or-miss depending on how long customers sit and talk.

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food3
ambience3
service2

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 24, 2017

I wanted to bring my sister who was visiting from out of town to Cru Cafe as it is a local restaurant. They were very attentive as soon as I arrived and our server what wonderful and funny which made for a very enjoyable lunch. As always, the food was delicious.

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 24, 2017

We had a wonderful time at Cru Cafe. The staff, food, and ambiance were all excellent. I would highly recommend this restaurant.

Tags: Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Pre/post Theatre, Worth the Drive, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Notable Wine List, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 23, 2017

Cru Cafe is a staple Charleston restaurant to hang your reputation on. If you need to make a recommendation and make it count, send them to Cru. Service is perfect, the vibe is comfortable and neighborhood feeling. And the food - perfection.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Casual, Great for Lunch, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Fun, Authentic, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Seasonal, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 22, 2017

I had lunch here with my family the day before thanksgiving. The service was excellent. The truffle fries as an appetizer to share were awesome. I had the shrimp and tagliatelle pasta with a lemon caper cream sauce which was delicious! My husband and son and daughter had wonderful sandwiches. All the ingredients were very fresh. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Casual, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 22, 2017

Yelp identified this place with vegetarian friendly offerings. One of our party of four was a weed eater. Great food choices for all.

Tags: Comfort Food, Healthy, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 21, 2017

I ordered the fish and it was an odd mixture of ingredients. The potatoes were cold so I sent it back. When the dish was returned to me, the potatoes were hot but the fish was cold as it sat out while they heated the potatoes. It was served with cold vegetables that tasted strange with the fish. At the price point of the restaurant, I would not return. Very disappointing.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 19, 2017

The staff took really good care of us, and both of our meals were delicious. I love to find a place that really understand the flavors and textures of fish.

Tags: Comfort Food, Authentic, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 19, 2017

We were delighted with the food and the service at Cru cafe. A small space filled with character and ambiance. We will dine here again! Our BEST experience in downtown Charleston to date.

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

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 18, 2017

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Charleston; great menu, terrific ambiance, small, quiet, great service. I like the lunch menu better than the dinner menu.

Tags: Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 18, 2017

Always a Charleston favorite!! Amazing food and a beautiful outside porch for dining!

Tags: Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on November 18, 2017

love love love Cru
great spot in Charleston
small but great find and great food

Tags: Great Beer, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Authentic, Notable Wine List, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Local Ingredients, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on November 14, 2017

Food and service great.

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

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on November 14, 2017

Sat at the chefs table and watched the hustle bustle in the very busy kitchen. What a fun experience. The food was wonderful, service was fabulous. A great nite in Charleston. Highly recommend this wonderful restaurant

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

vip
 (Nashville)·Dined on November 14, 2017

Cru Cafe is the best! Reservations recommended, it is tiny.

Tags: Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Local Ingredients, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Normally our experience at Cru has been excellent. This night was mediocre with nothing exceptional and just frankly blah. Disappointing for Saturday evening in Charleston.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Really enjoyed the food presentation and the excellent quality of the dishes. Gorgeous...and tasty. Service excellent and a truly enjoyable evening. Shrimp and grits were out of this world and the fish was an artful creation and delicious too!

Tags: Fun, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Creative flavorful dishes. Prices reasonable. Warm atmosphere quaint venue. Close quarters so a bit noisy but go early or go late to minimize.

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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 11, 2017

We dine at CRU every time we visit Charleston. We love the unique menu, wonderful food and the overall ambiance of this small restaurant. We consider it to be fine dining without the stuffy atmosphere.

Tags: Tapas, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 11, 2017

The food was delicious and the staff extremely pleasant. We certainly will come again!

Tags: Seasonal, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food, Sunday Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Fun, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Cru Cafe is our favorite restaurant! It's always a treat to eat there. Great servers and the ch efs are amazing!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on November 7, 2017

Excellent! Visited while on vacation for lunch. We left the area and made a special trip to return to the restaurant for dinner because of how great the food tasted. Will eat there again when I visit the area.

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

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