Circa 1886
Circa 1886

Circa 1886

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.circa1886.com/
  • Phone: (843) 853-7828
  • 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
238 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.7
  • Food4.7
    Service4.8
  • Ambiance4.6
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (192)romantic (183)fit for foodies (174)notable wine list (100)neighborhood gem (63)good for groups (14)scenic view (11)hot spot (11)late-night find (8)great for outdoor dining (7)great for brunch (4)vibrant bar scene (4)kid-friendly (3)great for lunch (2)Show More
  • Wow. What a night.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Took my wife for her birthday. The staff went way beyond expected in order for us to enjoy this special day. The menu was awesome with a local meats and veggies. There staff and chefs made sure you were well informed on the menu. Presentation was perfect and we will be back.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quiet dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    Great for quiet, fine dining. Definitely not for groups, thank goodness. We were able to enjoy quiet conversation and very finely prepared dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food and great service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    Amazing food and great service. Try an array of items from the menu so that you enjoy the chefs array of flavors all beautifully displayed. We had two small plates, shared an entree and a dessert. If you can get the lamb I recommend it, however I am sure my reaction would be the same had I ordered another dish
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Circa 1886 just ok
    shargillo
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    This restaurant has a beautiful décor. The staff is very professional and accommodating. The food presentation was just exquisite however the taste was just so so. Very expensive. Nice for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Memorable Evening
    Diane
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    When both the service and the food is outstanding you know you have found a gem. Ours was a birthday celebration and it was memorable. My husband had the foie gras and duck and both were superb as were my peas and carrots appetizer and lobster tail main course. And for dessert we shared the S'Mores which was delectable. This is obviously a kitchen that cares and is full of imagination. And Jason, our waiter, was knowledgeable, friendly and always there at the right moment. This will be our restaurant of choice when we return to Charleston and in a city full of good restaurants that is, indeed, a compliment.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Eat here if you have the opportunity.
    EnjoySplendidFood
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    If I could give more stars for food and service, I would. Very quiet (noise level rating not working). Wait staff was attentive but not stuffy or arrogant. Circa 1886 is certainly fit for an anniversary, honeymoon or special date, but I went with 2 other girlfriends and it was delightful. The dinner was one of the top 5 best dinners I have ever eaten, and I live outside New York City. Price is reasonable for the food and service. Eat here if you have an opportunity! The chef does everything to perfection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic and away from the crowds
    endosunshineVIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    We had a lovely dinner and one of the most pleasing aspects was that it was quiet and you could actually speak to one another without shouting. So many of the great Charleston restaurants have an ear splitting noise level. I had the duck, which was divine. I love duck and am a harsh critic when it is not done well. This was perfect. Slightly crispy outside, medium rare inside and wonderfully tender. Hubby had the lamb and it was delicious as well, the sauce was wonderful. I am gluten free and the roll they served me was the very best gluten free bread I have ever been served in a restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Circa-excited
    Justwed
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Great! Very relaxing meal with over the top service. Looking forward to our next visit.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Bill
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    My daughter and I had a great meal. Food was excellent an service was great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Beautiful restaurant, wonderful food, great experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A real gem
    KCWSS
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Cozy place for two great atmosphere...I would definitely recommend this place it's a keeper
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Nice atmosphere and every bite was delicious! Our server recommended a wine that was moderately-priced and perfect for our meal. We would not change a thing about our dinner.
    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.
  • Best of Charleston
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    We ate at 5 different restaurants while in town Nov. 1-4 and this was the most delightful experience of all! They all had top ratings from TripAdvisor. Food was exceptional and creative in presentation and preparation. We had the lobster tail and banana cake. Both were excellent! Service wonderful. The only down side for us was it was a far walk from our hotel. Highly recommend everyone to go. If we go back will try to book a room at the Wentworth Mansion next door. Alas, it is booked a year in advance. The restaurant is easier to get into and is marvelous.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful dinning experience
    Tastytwo
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    The food and atmosphere were very pleasant. The food was outstanding, my husband got potatoe salid as an appetizer, not a potato to be found but delicious tastes of goat cheese and beets. I got Beggers Pirse, wonderful presentation only to be out done by its unique taste. Our main courses were Lobster and unique crab cakes and duck breast delicately cooked. Dessert was ordered at the beginning because each is individually prepared. Our waiter was wonderful and ever present to answer any questions we had. food was hot and presentation made each arrival a wonderful surprise. Only issue is there are not many choices on the menue, which was fine for us. Would definately return but would dress accordingly as it was a special place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Monday nght
    SMB22
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    It was quiet in the restaurant, which maybe typical for a Monday evening. Appetizers were very good but I had the antelope as a main course and thought it was a little tough. It was also served on a bed of lettuce which did not complement the meat at all.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Beautiful evening at the circa.
    NickandKate
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    My wife and I had never been to the area, but we were immediately sold on Circa's online reviews. The ambiance is great, the service is second to none I've ever had before, the wine selection is award winning for a reason, and the food... my goodness. I've never had pork like that before. Every course was divine and the wine parings were perfect. The service knows their stuff, they're super helpful and personable, but I want to add one comment. Every table that cleared before we left was asked one final question after the check was picked up: "Do you need help arranging transportation home?" That is the single most responsible thing I've ever seen at any hospitality location I've ever been too. You've got a fan for life here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Exquisite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    To start, the wine list was very impressive - offering many choices from regions all over the world. The food was simply amazing! There was not a bite we did not enjoy. (especially the maple & bacon donut!) Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the menu as well as wine pairing suggestions for each dish. The only thing we might have changed was our table - we were close to the front door and felt a brisk draft each time the door opened/closed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Dining Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    I am not a foodie, but am discriminating. Circa 1886 exceeded all of our expectations. The food, service, and ambiance were excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Exceptional
    FIneFoodFinatic
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    We chose the chef's five course wine paired taster. Unique dishes and delightfully flavorful tastes. The paired wines were perfect companions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • terrific experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    hard to find on dark street but worth the hunt Food was great, server was friendly, knew his stuff and was not overbearing restaurant remembered it was special occasion from reservation. Many choices of different food types all prepared very well with interesting flavors.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Creative chef
    Charlestonlocal
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Every course was and adventure in dining. The food was excellent.
    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.
  • Nice for an occasion
    purplejasmine
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Everything was as expected given the high price. Historical home but the restaurant is in the carriage house, not the lovely home.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Circa 1866 - Outstanding Experiance
    JosephVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Our party of 6 were seated at a very nice table. Charles let our wait staff which was exceptional! The chef is superb, making meals that had more flavor and texture than any of us had experienced. This restaurant is amazing and it is reasonably priced. Best experience in Charleston! Will do this every time we come to this wonderful city!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Happy Anniversary
    doIhavetoVIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    We were treated to a delightful anniversary dinner. Most enjoyable was the Smoked Trout & Parsnip Flan appetizer. Also, our entrees of beef tenderloin and duck breast were "Goldilocks" portion -- not too big, not too small but just right. We always enjoy our dinners at Circa 1886 and will get there at least once a quarter.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Charleston Classic
    Poodle
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    We were treated as special guests from our entry to our exit. The servers were outstanding and very helpful in describing the appetizers, entrees and desserts. We had the fried green tomatoes appetizer, the duck and the veal entrees and the pear crisp soufflé. All of the food was beautifully plated and tasted superb. We live in Jacksonville, FL and always make a reservation for Circa 1886 whenever we are in Charleston.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Restaurant
    kensmeyer
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    This may just be the best restaurant I've ever eaten at - including top restaurants in New York City, Washington, Paris, etc. The chef is a master with food. Ever bite was a joyful surprise to my senses.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dissapointed
    Willie
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    Crepe served cold, slow service, poached salmon weird. They tried too hard to make unusual pairings of tastes that did not work
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Amazing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Went there for our 10 year anniversary and it was perfect. The waiter was very knowledgeable and the table was nice and private. The chef even wrote happy anniversary on our dessert. The food was fantastic and the portions were just right. The timing of the courses was just right too. It really gave is time to talk and enjoy the food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Did not disappoint
    happytraveler
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    I guess there is a reason why this is ranked so high on Trip Advisor. Located in a mansion, we entered through a gateway into a magical courtyard. It was already dusk and the courtyard was beautifully landscaped and illuminated. This is an elegant restaurant with sophisticated service and attention to every detail. Our food was delicious and the whole evening quite romantic. It was not inexpensive but it was worth every penny.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • judesterVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    So glad ve visited this restaurant while in Charleston on vacation. It was aperfect ending to our lastnight in Charleston. Food was superb and service was excellent. Dining was a experiencenot just a meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An Exquisite Dining Experience
    SCFoodie
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Fine dining at its best! Delicious food creations are beautifully and artfully presented with completely attentive service! Set in the old carriage house of the Wentworth Mansion, the atmosphere is simple and beautiful. An outstanding dining experience in Charleston, SC!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • DavenJan
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Circa 1886 is perfect for a special occasion. We enjoyed a wonderful anniversary dinner. Service and food was exceptional.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • not wonderful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    appreciated getting in a little earlier than my 9 o'clock reservation but that was because they weren't that busy. Lovely place but food not exceptional except the souffle dessert
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Old world charm
    Bluto
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    A bit hard to find the first time (The old carriage house behind the mansion), but this restaurant exceeded our expectations. The food, wine & desert were all incredible. We will be back to this spot on our next trip to Charleston.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Magnificent!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Best restaurant in Charleston, SC. Dined here on my wedding night after eloping in Charleston. Best food and excellent service. Can't wait to return on our anniversary!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous Restaurant
    HoosierLady1
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    Everything about this restaurant is first class. Excellent waiters, delicious food, lovely dining room. Well worth the visit!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great service, atmosphere & food.
    AdventureInDining
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Only complaint was that main entrees were a bit cool on arrival. Manhattan/Mojito cocktails, and prosecco wine were fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • AWESOME!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    We will be back. Our visit was wonderful in everyway!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food but ...
    Eastcoastgirl
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Great food but my husband and I both found this spot old and tired feeling (and we are in our 60s.) There are so many great restaurants in Charleston, and this is one of them, but I wouldn't go there again next time we are in town.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding Service and food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    We were a party of six. Service was attentive but not overbearing. We had special dietary restrictions that were already contemplated and dealt with perfectly. The food was outstanding and we really had a great time. We would recommend.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.