Circa 1886
Circa 1886

Circa 1886

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.circa1886.com/
  • Phone: 8438537828
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Southern
  • Executive Chef: Marc Collins
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Smith
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Off-street parking next to restaurant
A word from Circa 1886
Chef Marc Collins draws inspiration from many cuisines around the world to create a menu that is truly unique to the Charleston restaurant scene. Drawing inspiration from historic Southern dishes and always highlighting what is local and in season, Chef Collins puts a healthful, distinctive spin on classic Lowcountry dishes. This means there is less butter and cream than typically seen on Southern menus. Whole grains are incorporated to dishes and ingredients are used at the peak of flavor. The result is satisfying dishes that retain their bright, bold flavors without the large amounts of fat found in many restaurant dishes. From our Plantation Rice Bread Rolls made in house daily, to the selection of local seafood, to Pastry Chef Lovorn’s incredible desserts, each dinner at Circa 1886 celebrates the region we call home. Let our professional, attentive, experienced and knowledgeable staff guide you through the menu and help select a wine that is a perfect pairing for food and budget.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Circa 1886 reviews from OpenTable diners
209 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.7
  • Food4.7
    Service4.7
  • Ambiance4.6
    Noise LevelQuiet
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (171)special occasion (164)fit for foodies (136)notable wine list (82)neighborhood gem (47)scenic view (13)great for outdoor dining (12)good for groups (9)late-night find (7)great for lunch (6)hot spot (5)great for brunch (4)kid-friendly (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Wonderful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Everything was perfect, we had a wonderful time and can't wait to go back. The food was outstanding and the service was exceptional
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Cica offers familiar foods served up in unexpected ways. the vegetables were local and perfect. Signature coctails are exciting. I had one named "Lady Lazarus" that had gin, grapefruit and absthynth. quite reviving!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely setting
    Brunchisatreat
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Lovely setting, presentation of all courses exquisite, wine pairing just ok. Otherwise, pear soufflé was the perfect dessert to end our wonderful evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quaint and romantic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    We celebrated our 4th year wedding anniversary here and we couldn't have picked a better restaurant to go to. It's such a quaint, cozy spot, tucked away behind the beautiful Wentworth Mansion. The atmosphere was pleasant and romantic. Our server, Charles, was amazing and he had the greatest personality and sense of humor. The food was superb and definitely 5-star worthy. My absolute fave was the pork belly, the meat was very tender and juicy. To end our perfect evening, the desserts were served with "Happy Anniversary" written on the plate with chocolate syrup. That was very sweet and thoughtful, as well as the customized menu with "Happy Anniversary" printed at the top. The Crème Brûlée was heavenly! Thanks for an amazing experience!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely romantic place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Very romantic and special place, the waiter was very animated to which it did make us laugh a little. The food was superb, we did the tasting menu with the wine pairing. We did get in and out very quickly so probably should have savoured it a little more!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • fantastic quality
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Had the good fortune of dining during Restaurant Week. Meal was appetizer, main and dessert. Each choice was tasty, perfectly prepared and presented. The portobello had unique sides and all were so tasty. Chicken-fried halibut was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect in every way
    OhioVIP
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Wonderful food and splendid service. Charming ambience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    It was pouring rain that evening but once inside it was a wonderful escape of serene calm. It was restaurant week so the menu was soemwhat limited. the chef send out of celery soup was bright and rich. A crepe was a combo of chicken parts and mild sauce that melted on the tongue while the escargot received raves. Halibut, trout and pork chop entrees all offered with various sides of grits, vegetables and potatoes were all devoured and all the presentations were beautiful works of art. Creme brulee, chocolate cake and pear souffle finished our meal. The pear souffle was voted the "best" dessert. It was light, airy and the pear taste with the creme anglaise was a vperfect finish. Very romantic dining space. Service gracious. would return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Memorable evening
    Anne
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    The food and wine pairing made for a most memorable evening!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice restaurant
    InmanparkfoodiesVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    It was restaurant week and we were visiting charleston. This had openings. We were surprised to be underdressed in jeans and nice tops. Also they add 20% gratuity to any bill.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exquisite
    sherrybethVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The food, the service, the atmosphere was perfect. A thoroughly delightful meal. Taking a peak inside the Wentworth mansion is a treat although the restaurant is in the former carriage house. We attended restaurant week so had the three course meal. Every course was excellent. Portions were generous but not too large. We had heirloom tomato salad and escargot as starters, halibut and the pork chop for entrees and finished the meal with the flourless chocolate cake and creme brulee for dessert, a perfect ending to the meal. Oh yes, the chef provided a bonus at the very beginning of green gazpacho which was tasty and refreshing. This is a definite return venue for us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exceeded Expectations
    ChasDiner
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Circa 1886 far exceeded our expectations for dinner this weekend. The food quality was well above several other "fine dining" restaurants. The noise level was perfect to have a nice conversation without having to raise our voices. The friendly staff topped off the experience. We will definitely be frequenting this restaurant. Very enjoyable!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I will return
    QBarr
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    My husband and I visited for restaurant week and it was awesome. However, the only hiccup was the appetizer. My husband wasn't particularly fond of the salmon flan, and wasn't crazy about my escargo kebab. Other than that the lamb was amazing and so was the desert was spot on.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • resturant week
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    offerings were terrific as was our waiter. Beware the driks will kill you financially. Food bill was as expected but add a cocktail and a bottle of wine and our bill quickly doubled. Also the resturant added the gratuity which although I am a generous tipper leaves a bad tast. Not a cheap night can't imagine how expensive it would be off the regular menue. just too expensive won't go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • MT
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    The food was very good. Make sure you are seated in the main dining room, as the back room is drab.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Judy
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    We went for Restaurant Week and dinner was perfect! We had a nice booth and the waiter was excellent. This is one of our favorite restaurants in Charleston. The food was outstanding and the ambience was wonderful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ecdoesit
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    We came in from out of town and had booked our reservation about 2 months prior. It just happened to be during the Restaurant Week in Charleston. At the time of booking I asked that a booth be reserved. I had forgotten that I had made that request and was plesantly surprised when they sat us in the booth. Fantastic 3 course meal with excellent wine pairings made for a really fine night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always looking forward to Circa!!!
    5dayweekend
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    This was the restaurant our son wanted to go to for his 16th Birthday! Circa is a proven a leader for consistant quality and craftmanship in the culinary world!!! I have never seen anything twice in 12 years of dining. A statement of mastery for the dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous!!!
    ordinaryJoe
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    We ate at 4 of the top rated restaurants in Charleston. Circa 1886 was the best!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Restaurant Week Menu not Skimpy
    Foozle
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Great food, excellent service (Ryan) and a lovely atmosphere highlighted our visit. Most items on the Restaurant Week menu are on the current (or Fall) menu. Highlights included a chicken-fried halibut and a superb pear souffle. Short ribs at another table smelled great, but we could only sample so many things.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    Mina
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    We visited during Restaurant Week. We both chose the Heirloom tomato appetizer. It was not memorable. My partner chose the Rainbow Trout which was a better choice than my breaded halibut. The fish was cooked perfectly, but the accompanying vegetables that were on the plate were uninspired and the Carolina Gold rice could have been seasoned more. The two desserts, the pear soufflé and a flourless chocolate cake, were the highlights of our meal. The wine pairings for each course were appropriate and indicated a large inventory of wines. The service was ho-hum. Overall we were disappointed after all of the advance reviews that led us to believe we would be in for a spectacular experience.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Check your bill - overcharged
    Moldy
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    We went for restaurant week for $40 person. Wrong appetizers were brought to the table 1st and we were told to go ahead and eat these and then they brought the correct appetizers. When we received our bill we asked to have it divided in 3 and then they tried to charge an additional $25.00 per couple. We were told it was a computer glich? Luckily we caught the error before we left. However...the next day we found that we had to contact the restaurant because they charge some of us twice for our meals...eventhough they said they credited our accounts. Not impressed!!!!! Food was okay but not spectacular for the money! We had to wait for a long time in between the courses and we had to wait along time to get the bills resolved.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Never disappoints.
    CharlestonArtist
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    This is one consistently-good restaurant! We love the whole idea of it being the carriage house to the Wentworth Inn. Also love the onsite parking although space is limited to a degree.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Once a quarter
    doIhavetoVIP
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    It has been 3 1/2 years since we were last at Circa 1886 and now that we have moved to Charleston we must dine there once a quarter. We enjoyed scrumptious salads; tremendous trout and delicious desserts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of the Best!
    Adventuesomecouple
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    We were with 2 other couples and everyone thoroughly enjoyed all the courses presented for Restaurant Week. Most impressive was the escargot appetizer, lamb entrée and the crème brulee. The pastry chef is to be complimented for presentation and outstanding taste.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • One of Charleston's best!
    mlox
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Ate here on our recent trip to Charleston. Truly one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at. Food was outstanding. It's a little pricy, but worth it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Review
    imalocal
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Went during Restaurant Week and was surprised by the number of choices on the menu ... far superior to most other places during RW. Food was delicious as were the wine pairings. Service was impeccable. Can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • where to spend a special evening
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We have come here several times. The food is always wonderful and fresh,the wine pairing well done, the service could not be better and the ambiance is classic/comfortable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • JohnVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Every time we have visited Circa 1886, the meal has been exceptional. This was no different--each course was superb, the wine pairings provided a perfect complement to the meal, and, unlike some restaurants in Restaurant week, you got great value. My wife loved her haddock, and the taste she gave me was very good. She did not care for my lamb with lentils, but I thought it was one of the best dishes I have ever had. This highlights the variety Circa 1886 provides in its Restaurant Week menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Luv2eat
    Luv2eat
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    On the top of the list, should be 1st choice for in charleston s.c.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great, all around
    doggybag
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    A restaurant week pick, was impressed from hostess to bartender, to server, and most importantly, the food. Chicken crepe and escargot kabobs apps, chicken fried halibut and lamb loin entrees, creme brulee and pear souflee desserts were all perfect. Great wines (the Malbec they served by the glass is very nice). Very impressive!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of the absolute best
    DaveVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    A fantastic restaurant, part of the best romantic hotel in the South! Excellent service, excellent food, nice wine list that isn't too expensive the quality either. Don't forget to check out their breakfast either - amazing including the fresh pastries.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Impeccable
    CarolineCHS
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We wanted to try somewhere special during Charleston Restaurant week, and Circa 1886 exceeded all expectations. I work in the service industry and understand the challenges and frustrations Restaurant Week can bring, but they did such an incredible job of providing a top-notch experience. Everything was impeccable. The chef obviously puts a tremendous amount of thought into the menu and the food was delicious. I highly recommend adding the wine pairing with each course (3 full glass pours for only $25 more). Thank you for a great Restaurant Week experience, Circa 1886! I will definitely be back soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Top notch!
    Travel2dine
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    My boyfriend and I had the most romantic experience here! John the bartender started our night out wonderfully. We enjoyed speaking with him while he made us a Mansion Mule. We loved it. The short ribs are sublime and the flour less chocolate cake was out of this world! We enjoyed speaking with the couples at the tables near us. We all had such a wonderful experience and a marvelous evening! Very memorable!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Absolutely 5 Star
    LuckyVIP
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    This was one of our finest dining experiences. Food was impressive, service impeccable. We were in town for restaurant week and chose to do wine pairings with our 3 course meal. They were the best I've ever had.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Circa 1886
    HawaiiRN
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    In one word dinner was spectacular. It begins with a walk toward the restaurant through the courtyard, under the portico where you see a beautiful small garden and twinkling lights. The welcoming atmosphere starts at the front door, continues through to the small bar with a delightful bartender. We dined as a group for Restaurant week in Charleston and due to the size of our group we were in the garden room which further enhanced the feeling of fine dining in someone's home. The food was exquisite, the service impeccable and it was with some reluctance we left. Several of the group voiced that it was the "best meal" they had eaten in Charleston. We will be back and you should go if you haven't been.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous pairings
    quincycouple
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    We lucked out being in Charleston during Restaurant Week. The 3 course meal with wine was incredible. We loved it so much Thursday we got on the waiting list for Saturday. We are thrilled to be able to come back and try some other entries and appetizers and bring another couple. I would recommend Chef Marc's creations to anyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Remains one of the best
    LoveTheSea
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Their menu is always changing and somehow always improving. Every time my wife and I go there it hits a new high. I have no idea how the chef keeps getting better as they already start at such a high level but the food is always incredible.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect evening
    LEndicott
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Everything about the experience exceeded our expectations. The venue is charming and romantic and the property it sits on is insanely beautiful and historic. Our waiter Charles was fantastic. From start to finish the meal was amazing. We were so excited to have chosen such a perfect place for the first night of Charleston restaurant week. We will definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved it!
    FoodFan
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    They have such imaginative food choices making dinner here an event!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate