The Refuge

4.3
234 Reviews
$30 and under
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,


Support The Refuge during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 234 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipSarahH
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2021
Overall3food4service4ambience4

We made a reservation on OpenTable for 8:30 at The Refuge. The day before our reservation, we confirmed online that we would be there. Then, the day of the reservation, the restaurant called me at about 4pm to confirm that we’d still be there. We got another call less than 20 minutes before our reservation to ask whether or not we were still coming. At that point, we could tell that the restaurant staff were very interested in going home early. We rushed through our dinner and made it out by 9:00. We were very relieved when another party arrived after we did.

The food was excellent, we were just hoping for a bit more hospitality.

k
vipkimg2233
Charlotte
12 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We had a TERRIBLE experience. Were promptly seated before our reservation time moments after the restaurant opened. Our drinks and salad were quickly served and then we waited an hour- no food. Everyone around us who arrived after us was eating their entrees. The restaurant was now packed. The waiter was apologetic but had no explanation and after some time the manager came to our table. He started explaining what time our order was placed in the kitchen. Instead of being apologetic he was argumentative and trying to justify it. We got up and left.
The prior visit to this restaurant was also painfully slow despite it being nearly empty. The food here is good, if you can wait for it. I don’t know how they stay in business.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We have frequented the Refuge a great deal pre-Covid and decided to try it for dinner after a long week. Service is sometimes “spotty” but ok. Service last night was a bit more than “spotty”, and our server seemed a bit stressed and only partially attentive. Food was good as usual, drinks from the bar seemed to take forever. Oh well. May need to rethink our choice in the future.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great food. Nice wait staff. The only drawback is the view outside is a parking lot but that cannot be helped. Nice addition to IOP.

LS
LisaS
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Was very delicious and romatic. We had a great time and definatley will return.

LC
LCSC
Charleston
13 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We have never been disappointed in the food at Refuge. They have tables appropriately distanced. Our server was great and made good suggestions. We will definitely be back.

N
vipNana7
Charlotte
17 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great service.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always enjoy the quaint atmosphere, fabulous food and excellent service.

SC
SC23
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience4

We had a NYE reservation and had never been. We gave this place a shot and from the start it was a let down. We were asked if we wanted a seat in the coffee shop or the dining room for dinner - on NYE...we thought even the question was odd. The place is a very nice dining room which set expectations reasonably high. Then - we ordered two cocktails - one was simply a dirty martini. It was all olive juice. My bourbon drink was awful and we then tried Moscow Mules - again all lime juice. We then had a crab cake appetizer which was passable - not great and looked as if it had waited for some time to reach us. We decided that a full dinner was a risk - given the pretty lofty menu prices. We tried the $32 charcuterie board. Another massive disappointment. The server spent no time explaining what was on the board. It was small, basic and no silverware was provided. The value for $32 was well below par. At that point we wrapped it up and ordered pizza for our NYE celebration. With all of the great food in the area, this place is a hard pass.

ES
EastSide
Columbus
5 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Doing the best they can in Covid I guess. Kitchen was very slow with only two tables. Food was good

TM
TerryM
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A must try deep in the corner of the Harris Teeter plaza on Isle of Palms. I went early, around 5 and had the place to myself. Before I left, The Refuge had a steady stream of diners coming in. I enjoyed a glas of Sparkling Rose Moscato. It was fruity, sweet, and light. As an appetjzer, I tried their New England style clam chowder. It was outstanding! Loaded with clams, bacon, potatoes and a little bit of scallion. Very very creamy and flavorful. Note: a cup will be sufficient if you are ordering dinner, a bowl is HUGE. I decided on the Ciopino for dinner. It had a lobster claw, several HUGE shrimp, and a dozen clams. I asked for no mussels. The Ciopino came in its signature red sauce and over some angel hair pasta also having 2 large garlic bread crustini's to sop up the broth. This Ciopino was delicious and very filling. The seafood was over the top fresh! I wish I had a bowl of it right now. The sauce could stand more seasoning/spices but it was YUMMY just the same. I know I will go back to Refuge for an awesome and fresh dinner with great service the next time I'm on IOP

TF
TiffanyF
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic service and food! We will be visiting again soon!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Chicken was over cooked and dry. Steak was ok, but needed more char for taste. Our server was not very well informed, and the outside seating overlooks the parking lot in a shopping center.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very enjoyable dinner. Good food, excellent service and atmosphere.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always eat at Refuge whenever we are in town. The food is amazing and the service is fabulous!

VP
vipVanessaP
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious. The staff was friendly and the restaurant was adorable.

EP
vipEricP
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome food wonderful staff

K
vipKitty
Denver
46 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food is absolutely excellent. Outdoor dining available. Great option for a local restaurant on IOP with outstanding food that does not disappoint!

S
vipStickerqueen108
Atlanta
42 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

For indoor dining with delicious food-eat here! Well stocked bar. Pretty restaurant.

E
Eatingfrenzy
Louisville
3 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Second great meal this week at this super spot. Thanks bill

JB
JohnB
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Extremely busy when we arrived for our reservation. I was very impressed with how promptly they addressed our party of 8. While we had to wait a little while for entrees, our drinks & appetizers arrived promptly. Food was excellent! And our server did a great job.

TF
TonjaF
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This has become one of my favorite restaurants in Charleston! Don't let the "laundry" sign below REFUGE keep you from going! Very deceiving. Have tried several entree's and all have been wonderful!

TK
vipTKJMK
Charleston
19 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Always superb food and service. The menu is novel and adaptable to any culinary desires.

Highly recommend. We are frequent patrons even with other good options nearby.

RW
vipRichardW
Charlotte
10 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great meal at The Refuge! The salmon was awesome and the Cioppino fantastic! Great service too!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Charleston
10 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience3

I prefer brunch

KW
KathyW
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service!

T
vipTraveler
Charleston
29 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Food was excellent but our server Laura was phenomenal! Try the Cioppino it was to die for.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was maybe the most delicious meal my husband and I have had in our entire lives. It was the last meal of our honeymoon, and we definitely saved the best for last. Will be talking about this meal for years to come!!!

G
Goodeats
Charleston
18 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Good seafood dinners. I had the triggerfish with rice and it was seasoned and cooked very well. I would have liked a few more veggies on the plate , but that’s just my personal preference. My friend had the risotto and crab cake and enjoyed it as well. The interior was nice and not too crowded. The service was friendly and not overwhelming.

C
Cicero
Charleston
9 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience3

Food quality was inconsistent - my date had the triggerfish (loved it), we split a Caesar salad (exceptionally good), and I had the steak frites (hangar steak was unpleasantly tough, fries were undistinguished). The pricing is consistent with an upscale restaurant but the quality doesn't quite get there.

AT
AaronT
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Nice place... food was delicious and presented beautifully

D
Dede
Charleston
19 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I love going there for the crabcakes and cioppino.

J
Jeff
Western NC
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Ran out of tea sweet and unsweet tea by 7 pm. No ice. Food was ok. Not much of it for the cost.

C
vipCrazy5
Charleston
23 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Chef came to table to check on n us. Bre was a really sweet server. Recommend!

t
vipteresahs
Charleston
88 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The Refuge was a last minute reservation and an unexpected surprise! We had a wonderful dinner sitting at the bar. Will definitely return!

DB
vipDennisB
Columbus
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We arrived for this reservation a few mins before the scheduled time only to find that the restarting wasn’t even open! No signs on the door - nothing

KG
KelliG
1 review
Dined on July 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service were beyond expectations. The chef even made a table visit to recommend one of his favorite bourbons. Great experience.

LB
LisaB
Columbus
7 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We went for lunch and I loved my salad! Beets, artichokes and asparagus with nice greens. Added blackened shrimp which was great! My friend had an ok salad. Cute place in a plaza. Very nice staff. Would go back again.

NR
NicoleR
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband and I had a great dining experience. We enjoyed the brussel sprouts appetizer, it was delicious! My husband had the filet mignon and I had the shrimp & grits. The filet was perfect and the shrimp and grits were creamy & savory.
We could tell out waiter was new but he was very attentive and gave us great service.
It was our first time to the area and we are happy we chose The refuge. We will definitely come back the next time we visit IOP.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We started with BLT Deviled Eggs and they were fantastic. I got Lobster Mac n Cheese and my boyfriend got the Breach Burger for our entrees and we both couldn’t decide whose meal was more delicious, especially those homemade french fries!! We finished our experience off with the Lemon Cheesecake and it was creamy with the perfect amount of citrus. I will definitely be back when I am in town again!

FAQs

The Refuge offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (843) 242-8934.

The Refuge is rated 4.3 stars by 234 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.