Circa 1886

4.8
3318 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Southern
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. 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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What 3318 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.9
service
4.9
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Quiet
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SB
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Truly outstanding, memorable, a one -of-the-all-time-best meals ever. Really wonderful. And Kaitlyn was as good as they come -- attentive, highly knowledgeable.

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Charleston
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic! Our first time at Circa 1886 for our anniversary and it did not disappoint. Our server was very attentive and gave great recommendations on food. The rabbit dish was surprisingly amazing, along with the veal and of course the soufflé was fantastic! Certainly will return!

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TL
Greensboro
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Expensive, but worth it. The staff was very attentive, but not intrusive, the meal pacing was perfect, and the food was excellent.

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TV
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Entrees good but my beef was a bit dry; fried chicken tasty but pricey for basically chicken tender.

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J
Philadelphia
16 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was not only delicious, but also interesting. The menu was new the night we dined. It was divided into four sections representing the history of Charleston. The first section presented food influenced by native Americans. The second influenced by Africans. The third was traditional Charleston selections, and the fourth was current Charleston selections. The apple salad was delicious; the venison and rainbow trout were superb; and the selection of petite chocolate based small desserts was a fine selection to end the meal.

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P
Western NC
15 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Special evening in private room.

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OT
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent service. Every table is quiet and romantic. Ask for a booth. They try to push 3 courses from the time you Place your order but the dessert ( we had petite fours). Were tasteless. The accompaniments to the venison were dried out and tasted slightly burnt. The fois gras was very good. My daughters Mac and cheese was very rich. This was a 16th birthday dinner and all they did was give her a menu that said happy birthday in tiny letters on her menu- not even her name, no candle in dessert...

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ED
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Denis our waiter was efficient, courteous , knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour!!

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Charleston
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We’ve made Circa our tradition when it comes to celebrating special events! We continue to be amazed by the incredible service and outstanding menus. Chef Marc continues to push the envelope and make our tastebuds swoon! Thank you, THANK YOU for always exceeding our expectations with each visit even better than the last. Cheers!

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MO
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very nice dinner. We thoroughly enjoyed our night.

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MR
New England
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very upscale southern restaurant. Food is creative and unique, service is impeccable and great cocktails.

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NS
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent dining experience. World class food and service.

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T
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

We expected perfection. Was not what we expected. Both of our dishes were mediocre, and presentation was BAD. Would not recommend and will not return.

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D
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took my sisters out to Circa for my older sister's birthday. We ordered the Quail and the Foie Gras for our appetizers and for the main course I got the Bass, and my sisters got the Sea Scallops and the Piedmontese Beef. They were all divine! I have no complaints! If I have to pick a favorite I would have to say the Beef. It was perfectly cooked to a medium rare. To top it off they had my favorite wine, The Prisoner and we got the Mudslide souffle for dessert!

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m
Houston
16 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely lovely evening.

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M
Richmond
42 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Circa 1886 is fabulous! We had a large party, and it was handled very well. We had a private dining room. Service was great, and so was the food. It is on the premises of the Wentworth Mansion Inn, which is a Victorian gem! Can't speak highly enough of it!

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Savannah
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

It was not as we expected. Of our trips to Charleston, the bar for dinner has been set by Peninsula Grill.

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LR
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We rally should have waited to eat here our last night in Charleston! No where else holds a candle to this place , not fig nor husk or high cotton. We truly had the best meal and overall experience, and are looking forward to dining here every time we are in Charleston.

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S
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food, presentation and service were tops. Favorite restaurant in Charleston.

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KL
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite place in Charleston! The staff went above and beyond to make our 10th Anniversary special. The food is nothing short of amazing

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OT
Orlando
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Wonderful welcoming service.
Our waitress Emily was perfect.

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OT
Charleston
14 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I had a great dinner there. Can't think of any negatives.

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Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Five stars.

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KC
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrated 20+yrs of friends with some great friends here. It was a fun night and our server Denis was great. He had wonderful suggestions on wine and food. We were so happy. Everyone loved their meal.

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NC
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely outstanding! Could not have been better. A truly fantastic dining experience.

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JH
Charleston
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This lovely restaurant was just perfect for a romantic dinner for me and my husband. The food is delectable, and our waiter Dennis was so charming! We went back for a second evening and he remembered what we liked and added special touches. We will certainly go back.

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Charleston
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent entrees and desserts

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Timing was off as it took longer than usual for water and other drinks to be served and a full hour before the first food (bread) to be served. Overall the food was delicious and the restaurant had a romantic element to it. I’d recommend going to friends & family, but plan to take your time in a very quite environment as music was played at super soft levels.

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BT
Savannah
17 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I loved Circa, from start to finish! Great food, ambiance and service. We will definitely be back. One of the best restaurants in Charleston, and that is quite an achievement.

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D
Baltimore
12 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful evening. The service was fantastic; the deserts, less so. We had the ginger marinated pork tenderloin and the antelope loin. Both were cooked perfectly. The deserts may have been prepared properly, but both were flops (literally and figuratively). The sweet potato brûlée was heavy handed on the sweet potato and lacked the velvety texture of a true creme brûlée. The soufflé, well it simply wasn’t a soufflé. It resembled a chef’s toque that had collapsed sideways. I think the chef was trying to defy both chemistry and physics. The ramekin was too small to accommodate the batter when it puffed up and the final consistency was disappointing.

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BW
Jacksonville
24 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

This may not be a fair review. It’s based off of the tasting menu and not the regular menu items. Everyone around seemed to be enjoying their meals from the regular menu, but the tasting menu left something to be desired.

We did the 5 course tasting menu at Circa 1886 with the wine pairings. The meal started with some salmon carpaccio. It was severely under seasoned and lacked flavor. The next course was the best of the night by a wide margin. It was an amazing gnocchi. I would eat this dish every night. Next up was the scallop dish. All of the flavors were muddled and didn’t go well together. The final savory course was the pork belly. We were really excited for it, but the pork belly was severely over cooked and dry. I’ve never had a dry pork belly. The dessert was a mud slide soufflé. It was our 2nd favorite dish of the night behind the gnocchi.

My advice would be to order from the main menu. I don’t think the tasting menu is the way to go here.

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l
Charleston
17 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Stunning experience on every level. This was our first time having the chef’s menu and pairings. We may never be able to choose menu items again as the choices and pairings were perfectly executed. Thank you for always exceeding expectations

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Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server Emily was excellent! Food was wonderful! Wine was delicious!

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Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Not soon enough

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Charleston
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Impromptu date night

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CB
Louisville
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Relaxed experience with a fantastic adventure in food. Service was seamless and they were there when needed.

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MK
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Pricey, but a marvelous dining experience. I had an unusual entree which I probably wouldn't have tried in most other establishments. I would definitely return and will recommend to friends or others who may visit the area.

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PH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Beautiful restaurant and ambiance and service-/ food was not that impressive

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G
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Welcoming service at every stage from the front door, bar and at the table. Excellent menu and the meal was beautifully presented and tasted even better.

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TG
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Every course was excellent, service was spot on. My wife and I had a booth which provided a nice private space for conversation. Our waiter had impeccable timing - never hovering, but always there just as we finished a course, ran out of bread, etc. Speaking of - bread was phenomenal. If I was forced to find a negative, the atmosphere is a little more formal than my wife and I prefer, but not to a point of being stuffy. Would definitely come back on next trip through Charleston.

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