Circa ’62 is one of the (as yet) undiscovered gems of the Mendocino Coast. A beautiful, storied location, paired with creative and flawlessly-executed cuisine makes this the go-to breakfast restaurant on the North Coast.
Circa ’62 is located in a historic property – built in 1862, just ten years after the first settlers arrived in Mendocino – and the architecture is gorgeous, with a fine attention to detail that has modernized it while keeping the charm and historic details intact. Kevin and Sandy VanderBes clearly treat this as a passion, and their love of food is apparent in every dish.
Although Circa ’62 only serves breakfast (and brunch on the weekends), it is one of the most popular eateries for locals in-the-know. The level of culinary experimentation, coupled with high-end ingredients and a meticulous craftsmanship, mean that you can get a meal here on a par with anything in the city. Menus change regularly, so be sure to check out their website to see what’s on offer during your visit. Honestly, though, it’s all so good you can pretty much order freely.
Prices are fair, but reflective of the quality ingredients and time spent making the dishes. Basic fare like chia seed chocolate pudding with brûléed bananas or toasted walnut-cinnamon bread is in the $5-$7 range, while heartier fare like the Roundman’s bacon and sweet corn hash or house-made rosemary pork sausage and eggs will run you $15-$17. They have a burger, and pancakes, as well, if you’re feeling a bit less adventurous. And if you’re feeling more adventurous, the go-to dish is definitely the ‘slow death on a raft’ – that’s a hash brown waffle with two eggs and house-made pork gravy. Not decadent enough for you? You can add Covelo beef chicken-fried steak to that. The coffee drinks are fantastic. The tea is local Mendocino Tea Co. The orange juice is fresh and delicious.
There’s not much else to say, except this place can get busy, so it’s a good idea to call ahead. Enjoy!