We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

Circa 81 Tapas and Cocktaileria

Certificate of Excellence
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
4650 Arendell St, Ste C, Morehead City, NC 28557-2710 (Across from EJW Outdoors)
+1 252-648-8300
11:30 - 21:30
Open now
See all hours
Sun 10:30 - 21:00
Mon 11:30 - 21:00
Wed - Thu 11:30 - 21:00
Fri - Sat 11:30 - 21:30
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

239 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 239: English reviews
Greensboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We had a late lunch here a few years ago and wanted to get back on our last visit and didn't make it. But, they have great small plates and an EXCELLENT drink menu. Go - you won't be disappointed.

Thank vjnjrnc
2 reviews
Reviewed 20 April 2017

Reasonably priced good food presented by friendly staff. We went on a Friday night and not very busy. It is far enough away from the beach to not attract the tourist crowd. I hope they can stay in business because I plan to return

Thank 465terryb
Havelock NC
Level Contributor
177 reviews
146 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2017

After a week of work and ready to relax we decided to have dinner at Circa 81. Always pleased with the service and food. We had Shrimp & Grits, one of our favorites, Rosemary Beef, my fav and a couple of other plates. We always enjoy our meals here, never rushed, good drinks. We try and go at least once... More 

Thank donlar
Sims, North Carolina
Level Contributor
35 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2017

We ate here based on other positive reviews and are very glad we did! Unfortunately we both ordered special items that weren't on the standard menu so I don't know that the specific review of what we ordered will be of much use but I don't think you could go wrong here. I order a beef dish with mushrooms and... More 

Thank reindroped
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 30 March 2017

Great food. Service is sometimes a little slow but staff is so friendly you really don't mind. Great drinks. Good variety on the menu. It's a must to visit when we are in the area.

Thank ladyditex
Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviewed 21 March 2017

We have been to Circa 81 at least a dozen times and we always leave happy. The staff is knowledgeable, food is creative, atmosphere is romantic.

Thank Tennisgal81
Clarkesville, Georgia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviewed 16 February 2017 via mobile

My wife and I were on a date night celebrating our anniversary and Valentine's day. My wife had the she crab soup, crab cake and sweet potato quesadillas. I ordered the house salad with a soy and ginger dressing and the mixed grill. We also ordered the full Bread service with the Tuscan oil dip from our favorite oil company.... More 

Thank Jelle T
2 reviews
Reviewed 15 February 2017 via mobile

One night we had takeout and on Valentines we had apps there. It's a great atmosphere on the inside and the staff we dealt with was super kind. We had seared tuna, beef tenderloin, Brussels sprouts, and cheese plate and they were all great! The bRussel sprouts had a bit much heavy cream sauce or something but otherwise delicious. And... More 

Thank brazzyfresh
Chocowinity, North Carolina
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2017

We dined here last night. From the moment we walked in til the time we left, it was an amazing evening. Our ginger and orange basil mojitos were a wonderful way to start. Our waiter, Joe, took care to instruct us about the tapas experience as this was a first for me. His recommendations were spot on. We had the... More 

Thank orientalnc9
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2017 via mobile

Circa 81 has been one of our favorite local restaurants but our most recent visit was a big disappointment. We visited with two other couples on a Saturday evening. We were seated promptly and drink service was prompt. After a bit of a wait we got to order. Some favorite items, including their outstanding crab bisque, were not available that... More 

Thank nauti2
MNCMom, Owner at Circa 81 Tapas and Cocktaileria, responded to this review

Thank you for letting us know about your concerns, we certainly apologize for any disappointment or frustration. We do make all of our items in house and sometimes those items sell out, I apologize if we were not able to offer something that you had wanted. The she crab soup is delicious and one of our best selling items. Unfortunately,... More 

Travellers who viewed Circa 81 Tapas and Cocktaileria also viewed

Morehead City, North Carolina Coast
Morehead City, North Carolina Coast
Morehead City, North Carolina Coast
Morehead City, North Carolina Coast
Morehead City, North Carolina Coast
Morehead City, North Carolina Coast

Been to Circa 81 Tapas and Cocktaileria? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
  • Value
Average prices
US$2 - US$28
American, Seafood, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner, Brunch
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Reservations
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
Good for
Romantic, Groups, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Bar Scene, Child-friendly
Open Hours
10:30 - 21:00
11:30 - 21:00
11:30 - 21:00
11:30 - 21:00
11:30 - 21:30
11:30 - 21:30
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 4650 Arendell St, Ste C, Morehead City, NC 28557-2710
    (Across from EJW Outdoors)
  • Public Transportation: Taxi Cabs (sorry MHC does not offer public transportation) We are located 2.5 miles west of the Atlantic Beach bridge.
  • Location: United States  >  North Carolina (NC)  >  North Carolina Coast  >  Morehead City
  • Phone Number: +1 252-648-8300
Focusing on providing guests with a great dining experience is what we do. Using some of the best ingredients from local providers, Circa 81 takes pride in offering a farm / sea to table menu as much as possible, supporting local fishermen and farmers. Circa 81 is also a member of the Carteret Catch program.

Circa 81 has participated in the NC Seafood Festival Chef's Tent and People's Choice Crabcake competition, the Beaufort Wine & Food Festival, and the Fire on the Dock culinary competition (where team Circa 81 was a finalist in 2013). Circa 81 was also finalist for the 2011 Best Dish NC contest. We have also been included in Cooking Light magazine (September 2011) and the 2012 NC Visitor's Guide. All of these great opportunities and inclusions are the result of a never-ceasing focus on outstanding food quality and service, plus lots of hard work.

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Circa 81 Tapas and Cocktaileria staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?