The Refuge

4.5
123 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, The Refuge creates an unparalleled atmosphere for dining.
What 123 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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K
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

I love the vibe at The Refuge. Lots of natural light, cozy and great good!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mother’s Day

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S
Charleston
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food and attentive staff; nice ambiance

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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Always a good option

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RL
Charleston
9 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food!!!

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d
Charleston
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

They did a great job accommodating some picky eaters in our groups. A great experience all around

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RQ
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

The only negative is that there were not enough servers, so there were long wait times to be greeted, get a drink etc. Good food and ambiance.

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JP
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I'm a big fan of Refuge! I enjoy the location, the feel of the place, and I love Nate, who was our server on Easter Sunday! The food is better than ever with a new-ish chef in the kitchen who is really doing it right. I will go back again and again!

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MC
Charleston
7 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Always a good spot for dependably good food, service, atmosphere, and value.

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K
Denver
40 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good local restaurant. Never disappointed and usually has entertainment which is a nice touch.

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LM
Los Angeles
15 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food! Cute place inside.

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OT
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was tasty but the portion size was very small for a $30+ entree.

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d
New England
37 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Our food was great and so was the jazz on Thursday evening. We were seated in the bar area, so as to enjoy the music. One of the bartenders took our orders and it seemed as if we were taking from his real job. I order a loaf of bread, it never came and the salad was not the dinner size that I ordered. It was apparent that bartending was his preferred area.

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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Reunion of old friends.

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M
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 5

Live music was great. Food was great. Bus boy was great. Server was very grumpy and inattentive. We wish the busboy was our server. But everything else was fantastic and we would definitely return (and hopefully not have the same server)!

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EM
Charleston
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a party of five late Friday. The waitress was excellent and attentive and all of the appetizers and entrees were delicious!

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K
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

My Friends Crab cakes burnt on bottom and bread pudding burnt on bottom
My shrimp dish excellent
Not very attentive service
They did comp pudding

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M
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 4

We love the Refuge for brunch, but they recently changed the dinner menu and we won't go back for dinner. The pork chop was mediocre and had no taste. They used to serve it with wonderful mashed potatoes or sweet potato puree and now it's served with some frou-frou minted something or other. I asked for the saffron, asparagus risotto for my side...it, too, was tasteless. The mashed potatoes have changed, too...last time we were there, they were green and now they're red pepper mashed potatoes...why do you have to mess with mashed potatoes? Good news on the fish and chips - my husband ordered them and he said they were excellent. At $17+ a plate for dinner, the rest of the menu is not impressive. In spite of the food, we think the live music, the servers and ambiance are wonderful!! Hoping the dinner menu will change, but until then, I can only recommend it for Brunch and Lunch.

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JG
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

It was very very loud and it was just ok.

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T
Charleston
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Sunday Brunch. Live music (singer) was great, a little too loud though. Food was the highlight! French toast brioche, eggs Benedict on crab cakes and a mahi sandwich for our group. Everything was delicious! Great little place on IOP.

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TP
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food at reasonable prices. You MUST try the crab cake! Regardless of the meal I order, I always order a crab cake on the side.

They have a great selection of bourbons, also.

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L
Charleston
9 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Food was good but they were out of one of the regular memo items which does not set well with me.

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OT
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very good brunch

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H
Charleston
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great food but small portions. Service was just ok. But overall experience was good. I would go back with any hesitation.

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JA
Charleston
10 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was delicious, the wait staff courteous and attentive and the new chef has put some great things on the menu

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RG
Cleveland
17 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service. We were there for brunch. Delicious.

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GG
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Very nice trio. We came for the jazz. Restaurant allowed us to speak at dinner with our friends and still listen to the music. Would be fun to sit at the bar and to share music and conversation with friends. I would definitely go back.

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M
Charleston
6 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The refuge is one of our neighborhood restaurants and we have always had good food and service. The new chef has elevated the food.

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RL
Atlanta
21 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Seafood was fresh; food overall was good. We enjoyed our evening.

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EA
Columbus
13 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A true gem of a restaurant! The decor, staff, music is superb and the food is wonderful. We always have a great experience here!

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MC
Charleston
8 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a winner...great food, ambiance, and staff...and reasonable prices.

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c
Charleston
44 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Great spot for casual Sunday brunch. Good spot on IOP!

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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

So much potential. Beautifully decorated, great service, and high quality food, but just missing that special “ingredient” that could make this a true IOP gem. We visited on a Sat date night, and after meeting the owner on the beach, but only stayed for one drink after realizing they had no cider beers (have allergy) and the quiet bar atmosphere left us wanting a more lively place. I almost asked them to crank up some BB King and get people into the vibe they have decorated for.

Again, they are on the 10 yard line from having a serious spot, but it was those 10 yards that lost it for us.

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E
Charleston
44 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The salmon was melt in your mouth delicious. The flourless chocolate torte was kinda small but great anyway.

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CW
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. Live music the night we went. Perfect night!

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EA
Columbus
13 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best lobster dinner! Servers were superb! This place is a gem!

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M
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love The Refuge for Sunday Brunch! The staff is friendly, the food delicious, and the live music was exceptionally good this week!

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GF
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food and service. Cocktails were excellent. I love that what they do here is the simple food and cocktails but they do them well. This was a fun evening out with my girlfriend that was just perfect. We both agreed that the food and beverages not only were great tasting but perfect portion sizes.
This is a place i would recommend to bring friends.

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EB
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Refuge is a favorite and we never tire of the good food and great service. They are super convenient for islanders and a first rate place for a great dinner, including an excellent bar and adjoining coffee shop.

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OT
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for Valentine’s Day. Live Jazz, special menu and we’d never been before. It was AMAZING. So pleasantly surprised because it wasn’t what we were expecting at all. Do not be put off by the outside of the location, it’s beautiful inside. The chef was friendly, knowledgeable and very accommodating for a difficult allergy. The wait staff were energetic, lighthearted and really enjoy the job they’re doing. We were greeted immediately, sat quickly, and it was a busy night. The food was divine. Excellent wine pairings. Dessert was perfect. We couldn’t have been happier with our experience!! We will definitely go back.

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