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
208 reviews since May 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.7
    Service4.7
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelQuiet
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (168)special occasion (161)fit for foodies (133)notable wine list (83)neighborhood gem (47)scenic view (12)great for outdoor dining (12)good for groups (8)late-night find (7)great for lunch (5)hot spot (4)great for brunch (3)kid-friendly (2)Show More
  • overall great experience
    chefisch80
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Very much enjoyed the food! Andrew was a very attentive and informed (he did his research) server. Made us feel very welcome. The pace was a bit slow but we were celebrating and did not mind really dining versus the usual Chucktown turn and burn. As a chef myself I really appreciated some of the ideas, the pork was cooked perfectly and the flavors were on point. Thanks for making a special day really great for us!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice dinner & accommodating chef
    foodforthoughtVIP
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    We stayed next door at the inn and decided to walk over for dinner. Very nice experience with good food and service. Torched scallop, 3 bean salad, strawberry/cream soufflé were standouts for us. Chicken Fried Halibut was on the main course menu and I asked the chef if he could instead just sear the halibut and finish in the oven: no problem for him and fish arrived just the way I wanted it with his sides (probably 2000 less calaries!). While not my top pick in town, we would eat here again on our next trip.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Meal in Charleston
    bobr
    Dined on 6/23/2014
    Food is eccletic, fresh from the farm with beautiful presentations. It is the best food we have eaten in a long time. We wished we were staying in Charleston another evening.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very special night!
    Bostontraveler
    Dined on 6/23/2014
    My wife and I recently had dinner at Circa 1886 and the food was fantastic! The appetizers and entres were all incredibly creative and clearly the work of a very talented chef. My appetizer was shaved scallops on cubed watermelon with a delicious drizzle that made the dish come alive. The monkfish entre was perfectly cooked and served with a unique medley of beans and sauce. We were so excited to see what was next! The atmosphere was very quaint and great for a quiet romantic meal rather than a large group.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Proposal
    Kyle717
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Circa 1886 turned out to be the perfect post-proposal romantic outing that capstoned an amazing and memorable night. The atmosphere was amazing, the wait staff and hostess were awesome, the flowers I ordered were set out perfectly, the food was delicious, and the setting was perfect. I highly recommend Circa 1886 for any romantic outing! I will certainly be back.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous
    Chaslady
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Amazing food. Unique menu. Best dessert we've ever had in a restaurant. Service was wonderful
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wine & Dine Magnificent
    Junebug
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    The most wonderful place we have ever been. The "Chef Meal" with wine pairing is the most magnificent, fun and delicious meal we have ever had. It is interesting and fun to see what the Chef will make and what wine will be paired with it . This was our third year at Circa 1886 and we intend on going again next year when we visit Charleston and stay at the Wentworth Mansion
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome food
    GreatVIP
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Great food, dessert was my favorite part :) cocktails were also great!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect date night
    Delicious
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    This Restursnt was outstanding! The chef knows his stuff. Absolutely fantastic dinner and full of flavor! A must go Resturant!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Missed Expectations
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Being number 2 on Trip Advisor I was looking forward to the energy and music of a Halls Chophouse type of place. This place is very quiet and the very young hostess was assertive beyond her experience and set a bad tone right off by recommending we wait 45 minutes for our reserved table in the bar area rather than eat in the bar immediately. We chose to eat in the bar, as we were hungry and had the crab cakes and antelope. The antelope was nice the crab cakes were not bad however Charleston has many places that serve good food. Just expected more from number 2 on Trip Advisor.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very good but not outstanding
    Marco
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Service great. We got the recommended scallop shavings over watermellon app. Was a little odd at first, but companion ingredients and sauce made it better. I give it a B, it was a new menu they said so maybe they need to tweak. I had antelope and it was very good and as described, not as strong as steak and sweeter, just wish dish had more. Three slices of 1/8 to 1/4 inches for $36? $12 a slice. Not sure, maybe antelope is expensive to source. If so, I like steak when I go out and so would have picked that over this probably if I would have received more to eat. Chocolate desert was over the top good, my kudos to pastry chef. My wife's dish of chicken fried halibut was outstanding, wish I had gotten that.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A hidden gem
    Howbdc
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    We were there for our anniversary while visiting Charleston. Excellent choice fot a romantic delicious dinner. Extensive wine list at reasonable to high pricing. Excellent and knowledgeable staff. The pork chop was delicious. They gave us a complimentary desert in honor of our anniversary. Highly recommend
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New Menu Coming
    m216VIP
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    Our latest meal at Circa was wonderful, but we managed to sneak a peek at the new menu that will be launching soon and we immediately made reservations to try it. Some old favorites, but many new and tasty-sounding dishes, especially the starters. The dessert we tried will be on the new menu and we highly recommend it - the Heirloom Cornbread. Salty, sweet, and a hint of spice - perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    Excellent food and good presentation. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. This was fine with us this particular night but some May want a more lively place. I could have used a few more choices on the menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Circa 1886...intimate yes...
    WolfpackJim
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    The food when comparing to other Charleston restaurants is a bit pricey and the portions are pretty meager. We expected to share the crab Mac app and though it was delicious was only about 4 bites and for $12. My wife had the pork and I had the beef shoulder. Literally we had about 4 bites each. Presentation fabulous. My beef was undercooked even for medium rare. The service was very good and knowledgeable. The Mansion is a great place. We thought we would get a little more vibrant ambience but it was very 'old fashioned'.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fabulous.. As Always
    Andy
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Can't find a thing to fault with this perpetually wonderful restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The PERFECT meal!
    HollyM
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    Circa 1886 is located behind the Wentworth Mansion, in the old carriage house. The mansion is now a lovely inn. We arrived a little early for our reservation, so we enjoyed a drink at the bar. We were seated promptly, at a table by the window. We looked out on the grounds behind the inn. The menu, (available online), is quite eclectic: beef, pork, salmon, duck, flounder, antelope. We asked our server for suggestions and he was most helpful. Our meal began with the asparagus salad. We ordered the antelope and flounder for our entrees. Everything was perfectly prepared and presented. For dessert, we ordered the Cornbread dessert. Yes, I said cornbread! It was the most creative, beautiful, and delicious dessert ever! Trust me, it is a MUST!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Classic high-end dining
    Epoirrier
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    Circa is located on the grounds of the beautiful Wentworth mansion. The menu is meant to enjoyed as a three course meal and the portions are a perfect size for diners to do just that - so order all three. We started with the crab mac n cheese which was excellent, not too rich with the perfect amount of crab flavor. Our entrees were the pork tenderloin and the snapper - both were perfectly cooked and beautifully presented. The desserts were also perfect - blueberry lemon icebox pie and the croissant donuts. The icebox pie was actually one the best desserts I've ever ordered, a perfect tart & sweet finish to the meal. The service was impeccable. Circa is not to be missed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    We are locals, but had never visited Circa 1886. A friend went there several weeks ago and gave you "high marks" so we thought we would give it a try for our anniversary. We were quite pleased. I had the antelope, med rare, and I talked about it the next day. Our server was quite friendly and proficient. We look forward to returning, with friends.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tumbles
    Chocohaulic
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Food, service, atmosphere all exceptional. Something on the menu for everyone from the most adventurous to the picky eater. Our concierge recommended we go into the inn & to the rooftop where the views were fabulous & romantic
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unforgettable Experience!
    Zatar
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    This dining experience was spectacular! I selected for our 40th wedding anniversary, and was not disappointed. Been around the world and dined in many top end restaurants--Circa 1886 is second to none!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ladies Night Out
    Christy
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    I came here for dinner on vacation with my mom and mother-in-law. We wanted a nice dress-up dinner, and Circa was perfect. The service was amazing, food was delicious, and it was quiet without being empty (we also had a 5:30 reservation, so it was early for a Saturday.) We liked how the servers were knowledgeable and attentive without being overbearing. They also had great recommendations for the entrees and desserts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pleasant Dining Experience
    Snookie1974
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    Quaint atmosphere - elegant yet less formal dining experience in the carriage house of the historic Wentworth Mansion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love the ambiance
    Foodie
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    We tried circa 1886 a couple of nights ago and loved it. The service was first class with an exceptionally friendly waiter. The highlight of the evening was my wife's Mac and cheese appetizer followed closely by my loin of antelope
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • TheatergoerVIP
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    Don't go here if you're in a hurry. Fortunately, we were looking for a restaurant where we could linger. The kitchen takes its time with preparation and it shows. Salads were crisp and not overdressed. Antelope entree (their signature dish) was outstanding. Salmon was overcooked but the rest of the dish was delicious. Save room for dessert; they all sounded good. We had the fried angel food cake (quite good) and the blueberry/lemon cheesecake (to die for). Service was very good, if a little pretentious. Atmosphere is slightly formal. Ask for a booth if you want a romantic dinner. Outdoor dining looked very pretty though may be too hot and humid much of the year.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent meal, service, atmosphere
    CatJVIP
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    The meal was excellent. My husband was thrilled with the antelope. My dish was very good. The only disappointment was the dessert.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Charleston's Best
    OnTheTown
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    This is easily the best restaurant in Charleston. The food is wonderful, the staff outstanding, and atmosphere perfect. This was a special occasion and I don't think we could have made a better choice for a romantic dinner in the area.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • foodie
    foodie
    Dined on 5/26/2014
    fine dining,presentation of dinner was lovely. food was delicious
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • TheFotiniListVIP
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    Fantastic food which is absolutely fit for both foodies and non foodies. The food is prepared and served to perfection in a traditionally elegant dinning room. Try the crab mac and cheese, the Carolina flounder and finish off with the caramel banana cake or if you like meat go with the muscovy duck breast and finish off with the croissant donuts. Definitely a must go to restaurant in Charleston!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good food and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    I had high expectations and was not disappointed. One of the very best
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    Winning25VIP
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    The food was amazing. You must order the banana caramel cake.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 97 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.7
    • Food4.7
    • Ambiance4.5
    • Service4.8
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The following 1283 reviews are from the Circa 1886 reviews archive.
  • Overrated
    RealAussieFoodies
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    For the price, the food was relatively under-whelming. Flavors did not seem to be anything special. The crab mac-n-cheese seemed to really lack actual crab and was rather pedestrian. I had the Rabbit Leg Confit which did not seem to be confit at all. Instead the meat was relatively dry and the whole piece wrapped in bacon which was not even listed on the menu description. Overall, disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely Evening
    Rabbit
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    Dinner was a truly great experience with outstanding food and very attentive service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Couldn't have been nicer!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    Our server Jason was obviously well trained and must love his job because he made our visit so very special. The little amuse-bouche of the day was broccoli soup and we could have made a meal of that it was divine. I highly recommend the chocolate soufflé as a finish. We were surprised that the outdoor dining was not nearly as charming as inside so despite the lovely evening we opted for a booth inside which was very comfortable and private. As anywhere in Charleston, parking is at a premium but Circa 1886 has the use of a small lot across from the restaurant. Enjoy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Antelope
    JBBSVIP
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    First time to have Antelope....excellent. Everyone's meal was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Charleston Find
    Reviwer1963e
    Dined on 5/19/2014
    Great food and a lovely ambiance. Worth the money
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing
    LowergwyneddfamilyVIP
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    Circa 1886 is not a restaurant, it is an experience. From attentive but respectful wait staff, to music playing at a level to be enjoyed as a "soundtrack" to the meal, to mixed drinks with a subtle twist, to thought out appetitizers, entres and not be missed desserts...absolutely the best restaurant in Charleston.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Even better than expected
    EO44
    Dined on 5/13/2014
    We had never been to c. 1886 before, and were excited to try it. Everyone we spoke to raved about it, so we went last Tuesday. The rave reviews did not do this restaurant justice. This had to be one of the best meals either of us have had in Charleston. The chef clearly took great care with our dishes, everything was delightful. The lemon pepper brined swordfish was absolutely divine, if it's on the menu when you go don't overlook it! Then, to add to the delightful evening, the meal was surprisingly affordable as far as 5 star restaurants are concerned. I went in expecting to spend far more than I did, and we shared a bottle of wine, had a cocktail each, we each ordered separate appetizers and entrees, and shared a dessert. Amazing dinner!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fabulous and Fun Evening
    eatnightlyVIP
    Dined on 5/12/2014
    My girlfriend and I went to this restaurant on a recent trip. The area around the restaurant lost power on the night we were there. It was totally amazing how it ended up to be a really fun night. The menu was limited because of not being able to cook some of the items but we did just fine. My girlfriend has a steak that she said was one of the rebest ever and I had a fantastic swordfish. The wait staff was really good under a difficult situation and handled everything perfectly. In fact we all ended up having a lot of laughs during the course of the evening. We understand a lot of people canceled when they called to let you know about the problem and all I have to say is they missing a great meal and fun.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • disappointed...
    Todd
    Dined on 5/12/2014
    I received a call 30 minutes before our reservation telling me they had no power and would not be able to serve us. I understand these things happen, but it was our first wedding anniversary and this left us with no place to eat in a booked up town. We ended up at a pub with a bad memory of our special evening. All we got was a "sorry about that!" from the restaurant. I would've expected a bit more out of such a supposedly upscale venue.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet