The Refuge

4.6
98 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 98 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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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
17 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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OT
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
6 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
42 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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OT
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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MW
Charleston
2 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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r
Charleston
16 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

We were there for Valentines evening. We’ve eaten there several times in the past and always enjoyed it and had good food. However Valentine’s evening was a total bust. Our waitress was new (I assume) and certainly not on her A game. The first course was good but then the long delay started. When the second course came my wife’s selection was very sad. Had I been thinking I would have taken a picture to share and called the manager but we were trying to have a nice time and avoid drama so she just picked at the scallops and ate a bit of my halibut. Then the long 45 minute wait for the desert course. Once they arrived the desserts were tasty but the mood was gone by then. We were given a free cookie and some excuse about cooking the dessert but a table of three came in after us, that had a different waiter, came and went while we sat and had the same entree and desserts we had.

Overall it was not a great experience and certainly not worth the $210 we spent.

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L
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Since it was Valentines day I should not be too critical of the price but it was very pricey for what we got. At that price I would have expected a basket of bread and some fancy butters. It was pretty standard. Salad entre dessert and goodbye.
I have been wanting to try this place for a long time, but the pics always looked to me like a renovated Dennys and in person did not disprove. I wanted it to be a romantic get away with live music to set the tone. The music was great but I still felt like I was in Dennys with the lights down low! The disappointing thing about having a nice band is there was no place to sit and enjoy them except at the bar!
Food was better than average but again, at that price, bread would be nice. All in all...just ok..

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M
Charleston
7 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was great as always. Excited about the new chef and The possible return of happy hour. Hoping the charcuterie board does not change.

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LR
Charleston
6 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great service and food. Love music during brunch was awesome.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

The cook got our order entirely wrong; my husband ordered the western omelette and the vegetarian omelette came in its place. I ordered poached eggs, medium, and they came hard (no runny yoke). Finally, the server dropped the bill when we were still eating and kept coming back to see if she could take it. Would not recommend.

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a
Kansas City
23 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Just great to have such a nice place to eat on the island. We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere.

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DH
Greensboro
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We ate there on New Year’s Eve. Made a reservation on line and was called the day before to confirm. There was no mention of a fixed price menu in either the online reservation or when the call was made to confirm. We were quite surprised. The food was good, the portions were overwhelming.

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OT
Columbus
13 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great brunch, live music...very nice atmosphere. We will be back!

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JR
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We Always enjoy our dinners . Each visit is a nice discovery as specials change

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L
Charleston
8 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food here is consistently good. I usually have something from the brunch menu but decided to go for the burger instead. It was a winner! Burger was cooked to perfection, on wonderful brioche bun. Server was very attentive also

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D
Charleston
16 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The restaurant has very nice with great food and service. I think they should dim the lights at night as it looks bright like a hospital cafeteria. Otherwise nice.

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j
Charleston
8 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our go to place on IOP the best most consistently good food and service everyone we bring all agree and ask to go back when they are visiting

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L
Charleston
157 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We went out with friends. We all had a great meal, and the noise level was just what we hoped for. We will come again!!

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SM
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The food was excellent and the live entertainment had the right amount of presence. The highlight of a very good dining experience was our server Rebecca. Rebecca has a great personality and engages the customer well. Her knowledge of the restaurant and the cuisine is exemplary, and her anticipation and timing was perfect.

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IO
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent grilled salmon and steak. I visited with friends on Steak Night, so in addition to the regular menu there were other fish and steak choices with two sides. Nice portions, cooked to order. The service was good and our waiter was very knowledgeable about the food and drink menus. Nice ambiance with live music. One of the best restaurants on Isle of Palms. Will definitely return.

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MH
Charleston
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We met a friend for dinner to catch up. Food was great, service fantastic. We love the Refuge. We eat there often! Had breakfast and went back for dinner!

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GW
Denver
18 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

I had the vegeatable risotto and added shrimp to the dish. Out of this world! The flavors were very well balanced, and the dish was not overly rich, which I think can happen sometimes. Others in my party had seafood, and they were happy. We have eaten here several times over the last 2 years and I have never been disappointed in the food. The restaraunt was very noisy on Friday night as the room was full and they had a duet performing; had trouble conversing in our group. I would get a table further from the music next time.

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DI
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I had the crab cake dinner, it was excellent. The coconut cake was amazing!!!

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OT
Charleston
11 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Usually this place is on point but the service has slipped a bit during our last two visits.

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RW
Charlotte
7 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great meal at the Refuge! Risotto dish and the steak dish were wonderful

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MB
Charleston
31 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

When we were greeted, the host was aware that ours was a business meeting. I appreciated that. After a bit of a slow start, things revved up, and service as well as food met, even exceeded expectations.

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g
Charleston
62 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 4ambience 4

Mahi-mahi’s awful crab cakes not done

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H
Charleston
9 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Labor Day and Steak night special
Choose a Protein, a Sauce, and 2 sides (Blue Cheese Mash Potatoes and Spinch)
Steak night moving to Tuesday
John and Johnathon great service
We will be back

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M
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We ate off the brunch menu. Food was fantastic, restaurant was a little understaffed but overall service was good and the food was worth it. Cute, clean venue. Perfect for one on one time with my honey.

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MR
Richmond
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was good. Service was average. Had to ask for everything we needed(plates around table for table ordered appetizer, silver service after appetizers when main course arrived, candle lighting on table). Dinner special was way over priced. Probably wouldn’t return.

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