Enable JavaScript to run this app.
Skip to Main Content
OpenTable logo
  1. Home
  2. United States
  3. Coastal North Carolina
  4. Beaufort / Morehead City
  5. Beaufort / Morehead City
Circa 81 Tapas & Cocktaileria, Morehead City, NC
0

Circa 81 Tapas & Cocktaileria

4.8
4.8
969 Reviews
$30 and under
Tapas / Small Plates
Clarke Merrell's (Circa 81 Executive Chef/Proprietor) goal is for Circa 81 to provide creative, quality, & delicious food in a beautiful setting. Offering small plates that are perfect for passing around the table in true tapas style, our dishes are meant to inspire and engage our diners. So, start a conversation, relax, and enjoy a fresh take on cuisine. Clarke developed Circa 81 in hopes that guests will try something new and different and truly have a dining experience. Circa 81 offers great wine and cocktails too, with more than 30 specialty drinks on our cocktaileria menu. Our menu also includes medium and large plate selections - delicious sandwiches, homemade soups, local seafood and fresh-made desserts.

Circa 81 also offers take-out and catering - just contact us for more details.

Make a reservation

2 people

11:00 PM


Booked 1 time today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Tapas / Small Plates, Seafood, Southern

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sun 10:30 am–2:00 pm Lunch Wed–Sat 11:30 am–2:00 pm Dinner Mon, Wed, Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–9:30 pm

  • Phone number

    (252) 648-8300

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Clarke Merrell

  • Catering

    Circa 81 offers full service catering. Let us cater your next event. We will cook and clean, and you can take all of the credit. Think of us when you are planning your next, wedding, rehearsal dinner, bridal luncheon, office party, dinner party, baby shower etc. Also popular is our drop off menu. We will drop off your food so you can eat at your own leisure. This has been a big hit for the big family beach gatherings. Email Clarke@circa-81.com or call 252.648.8300 for your catering needs. Gather, Eat, Enjoy!

  • Private party facilities

    Circa 81 can be used for semi-private events or rented out and closed to the public for events. Contact us for details on special event bookings.

  • Neighborhood

    Beaufort / Morehead City

  • Cross street

    Across from EJW Outdoors

  • Parking details

    Big private lot. Will accommodate large vehicles

  • Public transit

    Taxi Cabs (sorry MHC does not offer public transportation)<br /><br />We are located 2.5 miles west of the Atlantic Beach bridge in Carteret Village Shopping Center.

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 969 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.8
4.8 based on recent ratings
  • 4.8Food
  • 4.9Service
  • 4.6Ambience
  • 4.7Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Coastal North Carolina

    Best Service

  • Coastal North Carolina

    Best Value

  • Coastal North Carolina

    Great for brunch

  • Coastal North Carolina

    Lively

Sort by

Filters

  1. ES

    ElizabethS

    Wilmington

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious breakfast!
  2. B

    Bruce

    Raleigh

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 22, 2023

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    We had the poached eggs with crab cake as we’ve had a few times before. This time the crab was over cooked and crispy. Hard to tell it was crab at first. First time that’s happened. Otherwise everything was good.
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Wilmington

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 21, 2023

    overall3food2service5ambience1
    Drinks and service are great. Menu has not changed in years. Our four small plates were Luke warm, grits and mashed potatoes cool. Will continue to stop in for fun cocktails and wine but will head elsewhere for dinner. And the bathrooms and more and more tired at each visit.

    Circa 81 Tapas & CocktaileriaResponded 6 days agoWe are so sorry to hear we missed the mark for this visit. We will absolutely share your feedback. We change our menu annually, typically, but there are some tried and true items that we typically don't remove because they have so many loyal fans. We try to mix it up with special features daily but are working on new menu updates for this year as well. We'd love to hear from you directly to address your concerns and get your next meal on us. Please email us!

  4. AJ

    AmyJ

    Portland

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 20, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It has been a couple of years since we visited Circa 81 but this visit reminded us as to why we should not wait so long. Delicious. Excellent service.
  5. MN

    MilosNC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 19, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We are regular customers and it is always an excellent all around experience. Food and staff are great!
  6. MG

    MeganG

    Wilmington

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 7, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Circa 81 was the whole package! Everyone was helpful and attentive and the food was delicious. We tried a few tapas and my husband got the ribeye for his main dish -- it was huge and he said he hadn't had a steak that good in ages. Dessert was just the right size to add a little sweet treat at the end. We will definitely be back to try more things on the menu!
  7. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Hawaii

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 7, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always delicious!
  8. S

    jamesS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The atmosphere, food and service are always top notch at Circa!
  9. JP

    JPBW

    New York Area

    25 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Excellent meal and great service. Very much liked the food offerings as well as the cocktails!!
  10. MM

    MontresaM

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food and great service.
  11. AJ

    AJBean

    New England

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on December 29, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience4
    Outstanding food though one dish we ordered never arrived; efficient but not great service.
  12. M

    lacyM

    Wilmington

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on December 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We attended on Christmas Eve. The service was excellent, the food was amazing and the cocktails were artisanal. Circa 81 is always a top notch dining experience and I love to take guests to eat here. It was extra special to be there for Christmas Eve.
  13. OL

    OLEGK

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 24, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Excellent experience on Christmas eve. The service was outstanding.
  14. H

    Hank22

    Wilmington

    58 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    58 reviews

    Dined on December 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The food was excellent as always. The Holiday drink list was fun and the ones I had tasted great. The staff were great, drink and food suggestions were on point.
  15. CM

    CassieM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Great good and service was excellent. Our waiter was excellent
  16. CP

    CallmePatti

    Wilmington

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 15, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    WAS WONDERFUL AS USUAL; VERY CROWDED SO DINNER FELT A LITTLE RUSHED...FOR EXAMPLE, OUR COCKTAILS DIDN'T ARRIVE UNTIL OUR FOOD DID, SO WASN'T OUR USUAL GRACIOUS DINING EXPERIENCE @ CIRCA. BUT I DO UNDERSTAND YOUR NEED TO TURN THE TABLES AND NOT INVITE LINGERING WITH THE HIGH DEMAND FOR TABLES...SORRY FOR THE CAPS--IT WAS A MISTAKE AND DIDN'T FEEL LIKE RE TYPING. NOT YELLING AT YOU...
  17. SU

    SUSANB

    Wilmington

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on December 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a wonderful dining experience. The Snapper special was delicious.
  18. DP

    DotP

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Love this restaurant. Food is delicious. Service is great.
  19. EB

    EdgarB

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 11, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience4
    I have eaten @Circa 81 many times thru the years and have always enjoyed my food. This time the French Toast was really dry, lacking enough of the raspberry syrup.

    Circa 81 Tapas & CocktaileriaResponded on December 13, 2022We are so sorry to hear you did not enjoy your French toast, we are always happy to refund or replace any item. Please contact us directly so we can take care of that for you. We will share this feedback with our team as well. Many thanks for your time and our apologies that we missed the mark. Have a great day!

  20. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Wilmington

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Kira is outstanding and the staff is always hospitable. Best restaurant in Morehead city with amazing food options and drinks!
  21. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Greensboro

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great place for an enjoyable brunch before leaving the island to go home. Friendly staff; lots of laughter. Delicious food.
  22. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 26, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    I was celebrating my birthday with my parents. They drove 2 hours for dinner. She-crab soup was cold, waiter acts like he’s on drugs and swordfish was less than desirable. This used to be my fav restaurant but it has declined significantly.
  23. IL

    IrisLady

    Raleigh

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The tapas are always great and generous portions for the price. The staff is attentive and our only complaint is that the springs on the bench seat are fairly stiff.
  24. S

    Shenac

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    If I had to choose it's the pot stickers for me. So tender so jucey. Yet, the Ashe County cheeses..... They had a cheddar with chive and onion, holy moly that delicious! I paired it with my Benton Ham on the bread that came with it. Absolutely DELICIOUS!!!! Also they have a white sangria. The bartender we had, put his soul in that drink it was so good to me. I'd go back just for the sangria and that cheese, but mainly for that sangria. Ha.
  25. RV

    RVAfoodie

    Richmond

    27 reviews

    4.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Food was great. Ordered salmon salad and tuna taco specials that were delicious! Will be dining back here soon!
  26. NC

    NikiC

    Wilmington

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We always love eating here! The food is delicious every time! Sean is a wonderful server and Pete makes everyone feel like family. Amazing staff, great food! Highly recommend
  27. KC

    KitCat

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Unique cocktails and delicious tappas. Nice quiet atmosphere and friendly staff.
  28. CP

    CallmePatti

    Wilmington

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Sheer perfection in creative and delicious food, personable and professional service, yummy cocktails. We love their tapas and dream of their pork belly, rosemary beef and tuna plates...and just about everything else!
  29. j

    jenanderic

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Outstanding food and service- will definitely visit again
  30. B

    Bruce

    Raleigh

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great Sunday brunch with a big menu to choose from.
  31. TB

    TriciaB

    Raleigh

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on October 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    6 of us went for lunch. Everyone enjoyed their food. The service was great. It was a little chilly inside, but the weather had just changed. We will be back again!
  32. T

    Thh0102

    Orlando

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 15, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience3
    We had a great evening - food was good,service was good. Noise level was higher than norm but I feel the tables are just a bit too close for comfort.
  33. a

    allie

    Miami

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    What can I say? This place is perfect! From location, food, and service all together -
  34. TB

    TinaB

    Raleigh

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We enjoyed our lunch, food and service was fantastic.
  35. KH

    KennethH

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 7, 2022

    overall2food1service3ambience4
    Very unimpressed, had short rib, brie cheese, only about 3 bites of meat 50% fat, brie cheese did not taste right. Brussel sprouts were ok. Would not return.

    Circa 81 Tapas & CocktaileriaResponded on October 9, 2022Hi Kenneth, we're so sorry to hear you did not enjoy your meal. We are always happy to refund or replace any items. The brie & brussel sprouts are two of our top sellers and crowd favorites, so I hate to hear you did not like them. If you'd like to contact us directly we'd be happy to process a refund for those items. The short rib was a special feature, so I appreciate the feedback that your piece was on the fattier side - my apologies. Thanks for your time!

  36. J

    Josh

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 2, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    Food was perfect, perfect portions. Drinks were good, mojitos were a little heavy handed. Atmosphere was good, only downfall I would say is the booths of being able to feel people sit back and listening to them talk loudly. But it is a great place. Keep it up chef and staff
  37. CD

    CathD

    Cleveland

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on October 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Deceiving from the outside bc its in a strip area but inside its warm, beautiful decor, & comfortable seatimg options. Food was outstanding and fun to try several dishes since it’s served tapas style.
  38. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 2, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Knowledgeable and attentive staff served excellent food. The sesame crusted tuna is amazing!
  39. N

    Neurad1

    Raleigh

    47 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    47 reviews

    Dined on October 2, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    We drove from New Bern (about 40 minutes) for brunch here on recommendation for friends. It was a good breakfast, but not really worth the drive, to be frank. I ordered the Circa 81 Benedict (poached eggs on crabcakes on grits). The portions were small and the crabcakes were fried quite brown. One of my poached eggs was poached hard. The accompanying breakfast potatoes were good. My wife got a breakfast sandwich (egg, bacon, cheese) which was good...she enjoyed it. The coffee was pretty bland/weak, not great for breakfast.
  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Rebecca and Pete provided excellent service, and the martinis and food were excellent, as always.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

Circa 81 Tapas & Cocktaileria offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (252) 648-8300.

Circa 81 Tapas & Cocktaileria is rated 4.8 stars by 969 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

11:00 PM


Booked 1 time today
Google Map for Circa 81 Tapas & Cocktaileria

4650 C Arendell Street, Morehead City, NC 28557

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Across from EJW Outdoors

  • Neighborhood

    Beaufort / Morehead City

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sun 10:30 am–2:00 pm Lunch Wed–Sat 11:30 am–2:00 pm Dinner Mon, Wed, Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–9:30 pm

  • Cuisines

    Tapas / Small Plates, Seafood, Southern

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Big private lot. Will accommodate large vehicles

  • Public transit

    Taxi Cabs (sorry MHC does not offer public transportation)We are located 2.5 miles west of the Atlantic Beach bridge in Carteret Village Shopping Center.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Clarke Merrell

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (252) 648-8300

  • Catering

    Circa 81 offers full service catering. Let us cater your next event. We will cook and clean, and you can take all of the credit. Think of us when you are planning your next, wedding, rehearsal dinner, bridal luncheon, office party, dinner party, baby shower etc. Also popular is our drop off menu. We will drop off your food so you can eat at your own leisure. This has been a big hit for the big family beach gatherings. Email Clarke@circa-81.com or call 252.648.8300 for your catering needs. Gather, Eat, Enjoy!

  • Private party facilities

    Circa 81 can be used for semi-private events or rented out and closed to the public for events. Contact us for details on special event bookings.

  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Cookies and Interest-Based Ads
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information
Copyright © 2023 OpenTable, Inc. 1 Montgomery St Ste 700, San Francisco CA 94104 - All rights reserved.
OpenTable is part of Booking Holdings, the world leader in online travel and related services.
Booking LogoPriceline LogoKAYAK LogoAgoda LogoRentalcars LogoOpenTable Logo