The Refuge

4.4
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188 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Charleston sits The Refuge in Isle of Palms. This family owned and operated venue is sure to please all.
Here at The Refuge, we take pride in pleasing the palates of locals and tourists alike. Our experienced staff stands behind the recipes on our menu, and use only the freshest ingredients to ensure an unforgettable dining experience. The coastal location of The Refuge is complimented by our modern and sophisticated design, which brings an upscale aesthetic to dining in Isle of Palms.
The Refuge offers an array of menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner to fit the schedule of any island dweller. Brunch enthusiasts can take refuge in our Weekend Tide menu, overflowing with delicious creations like baked avocado and egg, or stacks of buttermilk pancakes. With a coffee bar for coffee lovers and a restaurant for foodies,


What 188 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SP
Grand Rapids
14 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is the second time that we have eaten here within a week. My wife had the triggerfish. I had the Crab Cake. Both were excellent. And the service was also great.

NY
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience2

While it was an ok evening, it was WAY too loud, service was not that great, and the food was average for a relatively high price point. Probably will not be back.

C
Charleston
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Busy Saturday. Food hot, delicious and fresh
Service was excellent tonight even as busy as they were

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a wonderful dining experience. Fast service, good food, overall a great time.

W
New York Area
58 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

Both the pork chop and brisket were tough as shoe leather; The fish sandwich overly salty. They offered to bring another dish and did with no charge but it was at least 15 minutes between the offer and the time it took to come back and take the order. By the time the food came, everyone was finished eating.

On the plus side, the Lush Puppies were wonderful. And there was no charge for the dinner - either the original or the replacement.

OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious especially the triggerfish and gnocchi bolognese!

JO
Charleston
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentines dinner - excellent from the hostess - waitress - drinks - food - owner visit. Couldn’t have been better. We ordered off the regular menu - as they had Valentine specials. What a treat it was. Great service / great food. Highly recommend The Refuge!!!

d
Charleston
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our party of four enjoyed our Saturday morning at the Refuge very much. The food was delicious and I look forward to going back!

M
Charleston
28 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Overall this was a satisfactory first time visit. The service was somewhat slow but that was because he was by himself and serving the entire dining area. My soup was served with no spoon and when asked I was given a teaspoon! My wife had to leave the table to get a soup spoon. The food was above average but a bit pricey.

CB
Charleston
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience2

The Refuge used to be one of our favorite brunch spots. Today we had a reservation and was not served water until 27 mins after being seated. It was New Year’s Day, I would expect a busy day in the restaurant and they were way understaffed. Did someone call out- maybe? But looked like they needed at least three more ppl. Our waitress was downright rude while taking our order. Coffee bar closed, ran out of kids menus, not enough water glasses... no latte ok l’ll take regular coffee. Came back 20 mins later with coffee for me in a disgusting dirty cup and for my husband (he didn’t order coffee). Another 30 mins and our food comes out- completely wrong meal for my starving 5 year old and my husband specifically ordered French toast with no toppings - it’s loaded with fruit, nuts and whipped cream. And completely left off extra order of bacon. My 3 year old and myself finish our meals before the correct meals came back. No refreshed coffee after request. My omelet and potatoes were ice cold. And really what set me off, not a single apology for all the delays and mess ups. They took off the one kids meal and brought me a coffee to go. Thanks. We dine out a lot in Charleston and in a super competitive restaurant scene you need to stay on your toes. Not sure what happened to this place but the past two experiences have been so dismal we won’t be back.

F
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a great time. We didn’t expect a special dinner for New Year’s Eve but they were able to accommodate our request. The music was great and everybody there was friendly.

M
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

I just got an email saying we didn’t show for our reservation but we were there if they check their receipts they will find a credit card bill with my name on it.
The food was not hot when they brought it to the table. We were with two kids and didn’t make a stink but it wasn’t hat

L
Western NC
11 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

My food was delicious, but the other 3 felt that their dishes were only average. Wait staff was minimal and certainly overworked. We waited too long for service, in fact, at a table next to us the people left prior to service. Probably will not go there again.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Service was good. There was a guy playing music during breakfast which was cool but we couldn’t really hear him too well. I got the avocado and eggs and there was barely any avocado at all on the toast but besides that everything was good!

OT
Charlotte
6 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. The crab delight appetizer is awesome.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful experience . Quiet enough to have a nice dinner with my father who often has trouble hearing conversations in restaurants . The restaurant is beautifully decorated and the food was excellent . We have already decided we want to go back and try some of the dishes that were delivered to neighboring tables !

OT
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

New to area so I thought I would try the Refuge out and was really impressed with the food and ambience. Filet was awesome, crab cakes very tasty and the mussels appetizer was very delish! Enjoyed very much! Will be back.

L
Charleston
166 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We brought some friends who had never been to "The Refuge" and they enjoyed it as we do. We had a little mix-up with the food, but it was understandable, an it was taken care of as quickly as was possible, with apologies, and they gave us a wonderful dessert to compensate!!! The whole thing contributed to our great experience!!!

T
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great food and service. The only negative is the noise level

OT
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very nice ambiance. Food was very good. One order not exactly as ordered, but manager comp'd some free dessert.

T
Minneapolis
26 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Overall excellent spot

M
New England
19 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The meal was fantastic from appetizer to entree. Had deconstructed clam chowder and deviled eggs. Both were very good and different. Had Lobster mac n cheese and filet mignon. Great time.

AP
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The menu, service & food was a pleasant surprise. My husband & I have not ventured in because it’s in a popular shopping center...we were afraid it would be too commercialized. We were wrong. I had the scallops, a nice Sauvignon blanc & we tried three desserts. Our server was very attentive! We will eat here again

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday weekend

SF
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the atmosphere and the food. I had the short ribs and my girlfriend had the scallops. It was all fantastic.

m
Charleston
14 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall4food4service2ambience4

Our waitress was very confused and gave us our order in the wrong sequence. She gave me the omelet that we were splitting and my husband got a cup of soup when we had ordered two cups. They eventually sorted it out but that is not good service. The food itself was delicious especially the tomato basil soup. Would go back and hope for another server.

A
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We came here twice in a week and we were only in the Charleston area for that week so I guess that says something?

Decor, ambience, atmosphere; all were quite pleasant. Locations great. People are friendly, service is good, at times a bit slow in refilling coffee but we weren’t rushing. Foods good if I remember correctly. Had some kind of crab cake avocado sandwich the first time around for brunch. Finished it in 5 bites but I was full so no complaints. Second time I had the shrimp gruyere omelette which was actually quite fantastic. A bit salty and a lot of omelette but who’s to complain about getting too much food right? This is America after all.

Would definitely revisit the next time we go to the IOP area. I just hope the restaurant, people, and homes aren’t too affected by Dorian.

SM
Naples
8 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience3

Great meal & service. Nicely decorated but missing something...a little cold looking. Needs more color in dining area or swags of fabric here and there to soften areas.
Will come back again tho!

SC
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was great, and our server Angela was the best. A little noisy, but a great place for brunch.

JA
Charleston
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Our server left us sitting for long periods of time. We waited for our plates to be removed long after we were finished. A few plates were taken, then it was another period of time before he returned to remove the rest. Bills were delivered to us with the wrong food and drink combinations. When the bills were returned for our signatures, they were put on the table in a pile for us to distribute. Poor service.

HG
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food, good service. Intertainment on Thursday evenings.

NK
Charleston
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

This is second time we have visited. We gave it another shot after a bad first experience due to the high ratings. It was again a disappointment in terms of both food and service. We will not return.

F
Orange County
18 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The service was excellent. Mixed review on the food, but would definitely eat there again.

CR
Jacksonville
16 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Consistent good food, service and prices. The trio playmy in the bar os fabulous.

n
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Refuge advertised as being vegetarian an vegan friendly. We did not find it to be so.

KM
Charlotte
9 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Our server seemed very distracted and frustrated - she forgot a few things or brought the wrong item requested. The coffee bar was backed up so coffees took longer to arrive. We have been here several times before and had great service, so could have just been a fluke.

MS
Charleston
38 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Good food and service with a few missteps

We were very appreciative of the service provided. Our Waitress (I believe Mandy), was very helpful with her suggestions on some of the dishes.

The appetizers were very good.

The wife had the Crab and Pear Quesadilla with Maryland Lump Crabmeat, Asian White Pear, Arugula ,Rangoon Sauce. The dish could have used a little less cheese and a little more crab, but the side sauce was spicy and spectacular.

I started with a nightly special appetizer Grilled Calamari that Mandy recommend. The Calamari, had a great texture and was not at all tough, and it was served in a bowl of a spicy marinara. A perfect dish that is so good it needs to be added to main menu

I also could not resist trying the Deconstructed Clam Chowder. The Clams, Potatoes, Smokehouse Bacon, Celery came piled on a side of the bowl, and the Clam Bisque was poured over at table side. Mixing it all in, and you had a fantastic bowl of chowder.

For the main course the wife had Seared Sea Scallops Sea Scallops, Bacon Cauliflower Puree, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, with Black Tobiko Caviar topping each scallop. The scallops sear was done very well, and tasted amazing with the Caviar. However neither of us thought the Brussels Sprouts taste and smell overpowered the dish a bit.

My entree was the Duck Confit, Potato Gnocchi, Wild Mushroom. Personally I Gnocchi were spot on and other over all dish was OK, but the wife disagreed.

Overall a pretty solid meal on IOP,

LG
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience4

We came back for the 4th year in a row to get the crab cake. We were sadly disappointed as the recipe has changed.

J
Charleston
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Really good service and the food was great. We ate there for breakfast and defend recommend.

F
Charleston
18 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Excellent service (Abby), very good food (salad with grilled shrimp for wife & scallops dinner for me), reasonable prices, pleasant ambiance. Noice level would have been “quiet” except for one group of children.
Overall very enjoyable dinner. Definitely on our “return list”.