The Refuge

4.3
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166 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 166 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
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
69% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AP
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

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 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday weekend

SF
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

m
Charleston
10 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

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
21 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

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
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food, good service. Intertainment on Thursday evenings.

NK
Charleston
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

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
14 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

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

CR
Jacksonville
14 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

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

n
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

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
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

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
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

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
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

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
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

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
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

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”.

SB
Orlando
5 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 2

Overall, bad experience. Food was decent but the service was well below average.

P
Charleston
8 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

I felt like we were rushed through dinner, I had not even finished half my appetizer when dinner came out. While they did put mine under the heat lamp. everyone else at our table was almost done by the time I was ready for dinner. Noise level made it very difficult to hear. Perhaps some people are just rude and feel they need to party at dinner.

LM
Western NC
9 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We love grabbing breakfast here! The coffe is great and i love that they have a gluten free pancake option! It tastes amazing!

t
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Great service, menu, and good food. My pancakes were a little dry but other than that it was excellent.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are never disappointed when we go to the Refuge. The people who work there are wonderful and the food is very good. It’s our go to spot for brunch on Sunday after church.

OT
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every time I take friends it’s fabulous!

KB
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Rough- was a C by DHEC on the door. Hard to get Ice and couldn’t get water. Bread was a problem and my sons meal ( duck confit was chicken confit) had a strong alcohol taste /odor to dish.

RB
Charleston
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The absolute worst and embarrassing experience we have ever had dining out. We drove 45 minutes to meet friends visiting from out of town to Isle of Palms to eat at the Refuge. The hostess told us that she did not have our reservation. After peaking at her iPad we pointed out our name. She told us then that the kitchen was backed up and we would have to wait. When we were ready to be seated (20 minute wait) she asked to “check with the kitchen”. After coming back she said we will not be seated and need to go somewhere else because they were too backed up.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We booked online but their WiFi was down. When we arrived with no reservation on their books they seemed not to care at all. They put us on the wait list and then decided to close early but didn’t bother to tell us while we were waiting. We found out when we asked about the timing of our wait. Far and away the worst experience we had while vacationing in SC.

t
Charleston
32 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

Tourist trap but not awful. Some dishes were good and some just OK. Portion sizes are large so leave European habits at the door. the Cafe seems more friendly. Good place for kids.

JR
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was awesome food was delicious .....service attentive ....and atmosphere was fun ..,,

JC
Louisville
4 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We had a lovely meal, my dining partner enjoyed the pasta with local shrimp, and I had a nice salad topped with the local fresh catch. This restaurant is in a shopping center, so the elegant interior was a pleasant surprise. The waitress was excellent.

OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chef Jason and staff are first class

TW
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We went for lunch, the menu looks interesting and prices are good. I had the grilled cheese on sour dough bread, it was good , but would have been better with a higher quality sharp cheddar and the sour dough didn’t have a sour dough taste that I expected. The sandwich was still good and my mothers lunch was good. Service was a bit slow, but was told they were short on staff.

OT
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Father’s Day

D
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Loved the ambiance. Great Brunch menu. Could not serve liquor before 10 AM but we were able to enjoy Mimosas for Father’s Day. They had Gluten Free pancakes for my daughter!

K
Atlanta
49 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great flavor!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Really like the new table configuration and also the dimmer lighting. Better menu than before.

TP
Charleston
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Lovely mid-morning breakfast! Not crowded and very pleasant!

OT
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service!

TC
Charleston
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

My daughters eggs Benedict had over cooked eggs and they did not do anything about it. Maybe discount the plate would of been nice.

HJ
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is a bit on the expensive side, but the food and service were fantastic. Hidden gem in a little shopping center.

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