Like most people, I love my food. And while I am no foodie by any stretch of the imagination, I do love hunting out all the delicious, quirky, independent eateries a city spits out. As for Exeter, well it is in no shortage of amazing places to eat!
I went to the University of Exeter so this list has been over three years in the making. Well, within a student budget that is. During my time here I’ve not only learnt many awesome facts about Exeter but I’ve also scouted out plenty of Exeter restaurants that serve up tasty grub and look the part too! So without further ado, here is a local’s guide to Exeter restaurants.
Of course, like any big city, Exeter is home to pretty much every chain restaurant your heart could possibly desire. If you don’t fancy going down the independent route and would rather stick with one of your much-loved establishments, the city is home to Absurd Bird, ASK Italian, Bella Italia, Bill’s, Byron Burger, Café Rouge, Carluccio’s, Coal Grill & Bar, Cosy Club, Côte Brasserie, Five Guys, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Hubbox, KuPP., Las Iguanas, Nando’s, Pho, Pizza Express, Prezzo, The Stable, Wagamama, YO! Sushi and Zizzi. Oh and approximately a million ‘Spoons.
About Circa 1924: If seafood and steak sound right up your street, then Circa 1924 is the place for you. Located in the heart of Exeter city centre, Circa 1924 boasts unpretentious friendly service and local produce from the green rolling hills and stunning coastline of Devon. With scrumptious Sunday lunches, great drinks and fantastic live music, Circa 1924 is a go-to amongst Exeter restaurants.
Address: 6 Northernhay Place, EX4 3QJ
About City Gate: If you are a pub person at heart but fancy a bit of luxury every now and again, City Gate provides the best of both worlds. Offering everything from a pint of real ale to craft lager and cocktails, hearty British pub grub to three-course dinners, City Gate has something for everyone. Top tip: Head to the pub garden for glorious sunshine in the summer months and a winter wonderland (with outdoor heaters and blankets) in the colder months!
Address: Iron Bridge, Lower North Street, EX4 3RB
About Forn: In the mood for delicious tapas and amazing cocktails? Of course, you are. Forn is a lovely little tapas bar that serves up fresh tapas and a good ol’ Sunday roast with a special Meditteranean twist. Playing host to a number of exciting events, Forn is transformed into a live music venue on Fridays and Sundays so you can enjoy your cocktails with some sweet tunes in the background.
Address: 14-16 Mary Arches Street, EX4 3AZ
About Harry’s Restaurant: Definitely not to miss off this list of Exeter restaurants is my all-time favourite: Harry’s Restaurant. If you want guaranteed good food, a great atmosphere and amazing service, Harry’s really is second to none. Founded back in 1993, Harry’s is going 25 years strong in an iconic 1883 gothic style building. Serving scrumptious British and Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I could not recommend a visit to Harry’s more!
Address: 86 Longbrook Street, EX4 6AP
About Lloyd’s Kitchen and Lounge: Lloyd’s Kitchen serves modern British food, along with their own blended coffee and a fantastic wine selection. Last year marked an exciting milestone for the company as they opened Lloyd’s Lounge, a café lounge and bar which has brought a touch of glamour to Exeter. Just like its counterpart, Lloyd’s Lounge offers a warm welcome, fantastic food and service that is second to none. It turns from a laid-back eatery and artisan coffee lounge in the day to an atmospheric cocktail bar by night.
Address: Catherine Square, EX1 1DY
About Mill on the Exe: Mill on the Exe is a firm favourite amongst many Devonians, myself included. Set in a former paper mill in the most beautiful location along the River Exe, the pub is only a stone’s throw away from the bustle of Exeter city centre. Mill on the Exe offers a wide range of dishes from light snacks to substantial main courses. Oh, and it is also home to one of the city’s best Sunday carveries.
Address: Bonhay Road, EX4 3AB
About On The Waterfront: And you thought that Mill on the Exe’s setting was beautiful! On The Waterfront is one of Exeter’s most popular eateries, not least because of its beautiful location on the historic Quayside. Whether you are eating al fresco on the heated and shaded terrace or inside the huge 19th-century dock warehouse, you are sure to enjoy a meal at On The Waterfront. Plus, with tapas, burgers, pizza and British pub grub to choose from, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste.
Address: 4-9 Southern Warehouse, The Quay, EX2 4AP
About Samuel Jones: Renowned for its range of quality craft beers, Samuel Jones is a fantastic restaurant to head to if wood-fired grills, steaks and deli-style sandwiches take your fancy. Set in a warehouse along the historic Quayside, the interior is filled with quirky decor and there is a lovely terrace for drinking and dining al fresco too!
Address: 37 Commercial Rd, EX2 4AE
About The Flat: Along Fore Street, the home of Exeter’s finest independents, you will find The Flat. This amazing planet-friendly restaurant boasts a gluten-free, vegan menu filled with delicious pizza and pasta. Even as a meat eater, I would say that The Flat is home to some of the best pizza I have ever had. The only negative thing about The Flat is that it is just across the street from my workplace at Sancho’s… It’s safe to say I spend my shifts spending more time drooling over their pizza than getting work done.
Address: 142 Fore Street, EX4 3AN
About The Oddfellows: This one is for all you odd fellows out there. Think gastro pub dining serving traditional food with a modern twist. With delicious evening dining, an epic Sunday roast that I can totally vouch for, and enough gourmet espresso coffee, wine, craft beers and ales to quench anyone’s thirst, this gastropub is nothing short of amazing. P.s. The Oddfellows also boasts great tunes and an outside courtyard.
Address: 60 New North Road, EX4 4EP
About The Terrace: A recent addition to Exeter’s restaurant scene, The Terrace is a restaurant come rooftop bar come club lounge that has added a touch of sophistication and class to the city. In an unexpected setting in the Guildhall shopping centre, The Terrace is a haven of escapism in the heart of Exeter. With a daily Happy Hour from 4-7pm and gorgeous brunches, lunches and dinners, this restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy good food and drinks with friends.
Address: 19, Queen St, Exeter EX4 3FB
About The Old Firehouse: A firm favourite amongst students and locals alike, The Old Firehouse is a staple Exeter pub. It is most well known for its cheap, delicious and above all, GIGANTIC, pizza baskets. J.K. Rowling may have recently dismissed the claims that The Leaky Cauldron was inspired by The Old Firehouse but its magical allure certainly remains! With three floors of tables and an outside courtyard, all constantly full and buzzing, The Old Firehouse is the best place to go for great atmosphere, cheap cider and delicious food.
Address: 50 New North Road, EX4 4EP
So there you have it! A whistle-stop tour of Exeter restaurants. Have you ever visited the city? Which Exeter restaurants did you love the most? Let me know your favourite Exeter restaurants in the comments below! I may just have to use your recommendations as an excuse to eat my way around the city during my final term at Exeter.