Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.29mi
  2. Distance: 0.65mi
  3. Distance: 0.72mi
  4. Distance: 0.91mi
  1. Distance: 0.29mi
  2. Distance: 0.65mi
  3. Distance: 0.72mi
  4. Distance: 0.91mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.29mi
  2. Distance: 0.65mi
  3. Distance: 0.72mi
  4. Distance: 0.91mi
  1. Distance: 0.29mi
  2. Distance: 0.65mi
  3. Distance: 0.72mi
  4. Distance: 0.91mi

About Circa 81 Tapas & Cocktaileria

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.

4650 C Arendell Street
Morehead City, NC 28557
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Tapas / Small Plates, Seafood

Hours of Operation:
Monday: 11:30am - 9:00pm
Tuesday: CLOSED
Wed-Thurs: 11:30am - 9:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 11:30am - 9:30pm
Sunday Brunch: 10:30am - 2pm, full menu available all day Sunday until 9pm

Cross Street:
Across from EJW Outdoors

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(252) 648-8300

Website:
http://www.circa81.com/

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!

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.

Executive Chef:
Clarke Merrell

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

Special Events & Promotions:
Host your next special event with us. We offer both private and semi-private setups for rehearsal dinners, engagement parties, baby/bridal showers or just a special celebration. Email Clarke@circa-81.com or call 252.648.8300 for details.

Circa 81 Tapas & Cocktaileria Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.8

service

4.8

ambience

4.7

value

4.6

Noise

Quiet

95% would recommend it to a friend

Tapas (12)
Good for a Date (10)
Special Occasion (8)
See All
Fit for Foodies (7)
Tasting Menu (6)
Good for Anniversaries (5)
Cozy (4)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Casual (4)
Local Ingredients (4)
Neighborhood Gem (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Romantic (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Bar Seating (3)
Good for Birthdays (3)
Notable Wine List (3)
Good for Groups (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Great for Lunch (2)
Worth the Drive (2)
Healthy (2)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Fun (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Seasonal (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
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420 reviews
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 (Richmond)·Dined 4 days ago

We had an amazing dinner as always!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 12, 2018

It’s been a few months since I’ve eaten there because I live in Raleigh and have a place in Emerald Isle. Always amazed at how they keep the all around five star experience fresh. The Server was very attentive and personable with a great sense of humor. Hostess also continued to check on us throughout the meal. Usually a Hostess greets, seats, and says goodbye when you leave. On several occasions a Chef delivered our Tapas. Beautiful teamwork concept, no doubt instilled by Chef Merrell, Owner and Operator. Oh by the way, I should pay homage to the Bartender, as the drink are always inventive and awesome. Can’t leave without saying there must be new talent in the kitchen. The menu is become better and more varied. Hard to reinvent perfection.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on February 11, 2018

I have never been disappointed at this restaurant. They are fantastic and remain my favorite restaurant in all of Carteret County!

Tags: Special Occasion, Sunday Lunch, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 10, 2018

We went for our anniversary and felt special from the moment we walked in. Alex Ortiz, the bartender made the best martini I have ever had and Jonathan Meadows made sure we felt cared for and appreciated. Kudos to such a fine staff, excellent food and a perfect evening!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on February 8, 2018

I love this restaurant it never disappoints!
The food and drinks are great.

Tags: Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Tapas, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Our new favorite local place. Great food, selection and good value.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Casual, Bar Seating, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on February 3, 2018

We love to share small plates and have lots of variety. Sean was our server again and he was again a great server. Dessert is a winner also. Beer was colder this visit, so I was a totally happy dinner guest.

Tags: Casual, Cozy, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 31, 2018

Great place with good food. They are happy to make changes to the menu items to suit you. Nice place for a quiet meal if you want to talk.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 31, 2017

We have been to this restaurant several times and have taken family and friends there too. The food is very creative and delicious. The staff provides excellent service.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Casual, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Great food. The only issue was the beer which could have been colder. We loved the small plates and shared several of them.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Tapas, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on December 17, 2017

Great place. Wonderful for Sunday brunch or mid-week lunch. The only opportunity I experience is the inconsistency of the Bloody Mary’s. It’s hit or miss. However, if it is a miss, they are very eager to make it right!

Great servers!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Afternoon Tea, Neighborhood Gem, Tapas, Cozy, Great for Lunch, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value5

vip
 (Wilmington)·Dined on November 27, 2017

This is our go-to place. We always have a great meal. This time we had the evening's special tapas. One was better than the other. If you haven't been here, you really should try it.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on November 22, 2017

What a little gem! The four of us ordered 3 items each from the small plates menu. Each was so good that even though we practically ordered the whole small plates menu, there were still items left of the menu that also sounded delicious! Service was excellent, responsive but not intrusive. Don't know about the main entrees but the small plates were over the top good. Delish! Go here now.

Tags: Tapas, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on November 20, 2017

Food and service were both impeccable. Will definitely be going back. Hands down one of the best restaurants in the area.
Highly recommended!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Tasting Menu, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 20, 2017

Great experience. Great food!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on November 18, 2017

We received a gift certificate, and happily enjoyed a wonderful "late lunch/early dinner" on our 23rd wedding anniversary! The selection of tapas was delightful, and varied for the season. We definitely recommend Circa 81 to those traveling, or living in coastal NC.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Healthy, Hot Spot, Cozy, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 4, 2017

My wife and I eat here about once or twice a week. The Su day Brunch is our favorite stop after church. The menus are varied. It I enjoy the specials which change regularly. The wait staff are particularly attentive.

Tags: Cozy, Healthy, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on November 3, 2017

Excellent food and perfect service. Certainly a top 3 restaurant in the area!

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Seasonal
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on October 29, 2017

Being a frequent diner at the restaurant, we chose to dine from the specials. We had the omelette special and it was great! A perfectly spiced, perfectly cooked , blackened salmon omelette , with just the right amount of fresh spinach and tomatoes. A great dish, with outstanding service(thanks Jamie) made for a very nice birthday brunch!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Great experience

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on October 27, 2017

Food is always good here. Great wine list. Service is always very good!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Tasting Menu, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on October 9, 2017

Such a wonderful place! The service was amazing, the food delicious!!! We went there for my husband's birthday, and our waitress made sure to make it a special occasion! Loved it!!!!

Tags: Special Occasion, Cozy, Authentic, Romantic, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Louisville)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Enjoyed a delicious Sunday brunch with a friend. Our server Joe was exceptional and very attentive to our dining requests and made brunch very relaxing. We enjoyed our food selections and definitely recommende Circa 81...especially for Sunday Brunch.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Quick Bite
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on October 7, 2017

This is an outstanding restaurant in the area. Great cocktails!
Great small plates!
Great service!

Very easy to share and combine plates to create a dining experience. Pricing is very reasonable considering the quality of the product.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on October 6, 2017

We love Circa for the amazing food and friendly service!

Tags: Spicy, Happy Hour, Tasting Menu, Tapas, Comfort Food, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 23, 2017

We went based off of a friends sting recommendation; it's her favorite place. We ordered the pineapple coconut mojo to and the cherry limoncello lemonade both were great. We also had the half chefs tour which was a tray of cheeses, meats and pickled items, which were all great . My husband had the crab and fried green tomatoes and I had the honey pork belly on Gouda cheese grits, which was equally as great. The service we received my our waiter Paul was the absolute best we ever received. Absolutely amazing.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on September 22, 2017

The food was phenomenal as always. The honey glazed scallop special was amazing over the buffalo risotto. Great service!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on September 18, 2017

Excellent meal. New favorite restaurant in the area.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 8, 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed our evening at Circa 81. The service was terrific and the restaurant has a pleasant ambiance. It is one of the better restaurants we've experienced in Morehead City. We will return.

Tags: Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 3, 2017

This restaurant is always fabulous with delicious creative dishes that never disappoint. Being from the NY/NJ area that is quite a compliment!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Savannah)·Dined on September 3, 2017

The Bloody Mary's were very good and spicy! We came for Brunch, the menu had plenty to choose from and our food was really tasty!!

Tags: Special Occasion, Casual, Afternoon Tea, Local Ingredients, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Wilmington)·Dined on September 1, 2017

As always, Circa 81 delivers. The food is always good, the service is excellent and we return again and again

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on September 1, 2017

Food and service was great!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 31, 2017

Delicious!! Great cocktails. Don't leave without having the pork belly the chicken wings or the garlic shrip. The chef's tour of charcuterie is also a must-have. Oh, and they don't call it a 'blueberry yum-yum' for nothin'. Try it, you'll thank me!

Tags: Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 19, 2017

We had a great meal on Saturday night at Circa 81. Our waitress was fabulous and did a great job! As a table of 5, she got everything right! The food was great..we loved the shrimp and grits. Thanks for a great experience!

Tags: Special Occasion, Gluten Free Options, Tapas, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Miami)·Dined on August 12, 2017

As always, excellent! The meats and cheeses platter was outstanding! Great value! Nice wines -reasonably priced.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Worth the Drive, Casual, Fun, Good for Birthdays, Tapas, Romantic, Bar Seating, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Great for Outdoor Dining, Healthy, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on August 11, 2017

Just had a casual birthday dinner with my wife and our 2 preschoolers. Always an adventure with the kiddos- but our server, Joe, was great. He got us out a bowl of their amazing mac and cheese very quickly and that settled everyone down. The duck breast was the highlight. Brussel sprouts and the beef tapas were very good. Highly recommend this place for everything from a regular night out to a special occasion- just wish they would stock a plain cheese cake! Also- the well documented gluten-free menu was highly appreciated.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Houston)·Dined on August 10, 2017

We have been here several times and it was very good. This time ,however,was not. Food was not great, service was very slow, it was noisy. It is not an inexpensive restaurant so you would expect better. We won't go back.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 10, 2017

Food was delicious. Good wine list. Service was attentive and efficient. Will go back next time I'm in the area.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 6, 2017

We've eaten at Circa 81 numerous times. Always a delight. Love the variety of the menu and wine /cocktail offerings. Servers are always friendly and knowledgeable. We'll be back. It's one of our favorites.

Tags: Healthy, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Bar Seating, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value5

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