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“Three's a charm!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cru Cafe

Cru Cafe
18 Pinckney St, Charleston, SC 29401 (Downtown)
+1 843-534-2434
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Ranked #5 of 709 Restaurants in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: American, Coffee Shop, Bistro
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Dessert, Lunch, Breakfast, Delivery, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Takeout
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Downtown
Description: Located at 18 Pinckney Street, in a classic 18th century Charleston single-style home, Cru Café offers the best in upscale comfort food. Guests of the restaurant enjoy indoor and outdoor porch seating, gourmet comfort food, a wine list tailored to the varied menu and rich, satisfying desserts. It’s one of Charleston’s best kept secrets. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Three's a charm!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013 via mobile

This was my third visit to Cru and once again they did not disappoint. This time, however, I brought a group of 9 friends who had never been before. First of all Cru did all they could to accomodate the size of our group - no easy job at such a small dining establishment. After an early morning travel start we were happy for our 5:00 pm dinner reservation. Once again I must say their fried green tomatoes are the best ever - crispy on the outside, soft in the middle and elegantly presented with pork lardon and goat cheese. Heavenly :-). From the fried green tomatoes to the variety of main courses concluding with the luscious desserts, my first time Charleston guests were duly impressed. I will certainly return to Cru every time I return to Charleston :-)

Visited June 2013
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Greenwood, South Carolina
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
102 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Our New Favorite Restaurant For Lunch In Charleston”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

Sorry "SNOB", we have a new favorite restaurant for lunch. We ate here 6/25 as part of my wife's birthday trip to Charleston. The food and service were excellent, the building/decor a little less so. It is in an old house, so space is tight and the walls could use some paint. Our two-top was up against a wall that seemed to have food stains on it. It's been awhile I'm afraid since they took a close look at things. That can happen when you are very successful... read "busy". Every table was taken. Now for the important part.... the food!! My wife had a heavenly mushroom soup with truffle oil and the "Duck Confit Arugula Salad" with caramelized pecans, tomato, fried onion and Port wine vinaigrette... excellent!!! I had the Coconut Fried Oyster Wrap with Chipotle Mayo. What can I say?!? It was outstanding. The food and service could not have been better. They do need to check up on the state of the building, however. Reservations are needed in advance due to popularity.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Terrible customer service”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

I had dinner reservation for 2 at 8:45pm which was made 4 days in advance. The day before my reservation I called the resturant to change reservation to 4. I was told that it would be no problem. When we arrived at 8:40pm the host was not welcoming at all and the environment was not very welcoming. Not sure if that had anything to do with the fact that my husband & I are African American and the other couple was an interracial couple. When we arrived they had just seated a party of four. The host told us it would be about a 15 minute wait and asked us if we wanted a drink. He was not sure where we were to go with with these drinks as there was no room in the resturant. We had 2 waters, a beer and an ice tea. We noticed when we went outside on the porch there was a table that could have been used for a party of 4. Even though this table was located right next to the door of the resturant. It was a terrible location. But the host did not even offer us this table as an option. So my girlfriend and I sat at the table. The men were standing else where. The waitress gave us dirty looks for sitting at this table. We waited for 20 minutes and then decided to go to another resturant. The host did not charge us for the beer and the ice tea.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“1 visit was not enough in this amazing little restaurant!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

This was our 1st visit to Charleston and after doing the "mandatory" walking tour the guide recommended this restaurant for lunch. We didn't have any expectations- and what an amazing surprise this turned to be!!!
We got there and had to wait for 30 minutes to be seated by the bar, overlooking the open kitchen- which was a great experience looking at those masterpieces that were produced there!

This little restaurant was so great that we had to return twice before leaving Charleston.
We had the Coconut Fried Oyster Wrap with Chipotle Mayo- simply AMAZING! We also had the Chinese Chicken Salad, Duck Arugula Confit and the Mesclun Fried Goat Salad- all portions were simply delicious and delightful!

Definitely make reservations before you go there!

Great service and great food!
We will be back!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary, North Carolina
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Excellent, but Lighten the Salt Shaker”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

Overall we really enjoyed Cru Café and the experience was a good one. We stopped by for lunch during our visit to Charleston and, generally speaking, everything was great. We chose to share a Tomato & Mozzarella appetizer which looked delicious, but this was so heavily salted that it actually detracted from what was otherwise a great dish. Even the salads that some of our party chose were heavy with salt, probably in the dressing although difficult to say. Once we got past the appetizers the main lunch entrees were terrific.

From an overall perspective, our group was mixed on the overall experience. We sat outside on the porch with a nice breeze, so the atmosphere was awesome. One member of our party was very disappointed, one felt it was good and two felt it was excellent. Personally, I felt my main dish was excellent (open face turkey melt) but I have to say that less salt, salt, salt on the appetizers would have made the experience much better.

Excellent, but disappointing yet good. So many mixed opinions! So confused!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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