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12 Best Exeter Restaurants as Recommended by a Local [2021]

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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.

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 ClubCôte BrasserieFive Guys, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, HubboxLas Iguanas, Nando’s, Pho, Pizza Express, Prezzo, The Stable, Wagamama, YO! Sushi and Zizzi. Oh and approximately a million ‘Spoons.

1. CIRCA1924

Circa 1924 brick restaurant Exeter Restaurants

Address: 6 Northernhay Place, EX4 3QJ

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.

2. City Gate

City Gate pub garden in summer Exeter Restaurants

Address: Iron Bridge, Lower North Street EX4 3RB

If you’re 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!

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3. Forn

Forn tapas bar Exeter Restaurants

Address: 14-16 Mary Arches Street EX4 3AZ

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 transforms into a live music venue on Fridays and Sundays so you can enjoy your cocktails with some sweet tunes in the background.

4. Harry’s Restaurant

Harry's Restaurant scandinavian, minimalist interior Exeter Restaurants

Address: 86 Longbrook Street EX4 6AP

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 couldn’t recommend a visit to Harry’s more!

5. Lloyd’s Kitchen and Lounge

Lloyd's Kitchen Lloyd's Lounge Exeter Restaurants

Address: Catherine Square EX1 1DY

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.

6. Mill on the Exe

Mill on the Exe christmas restaurant christmas tree fairy lights Exeter Restaurants

Address: Bonhay Road EX4 3AB

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’s also home to one of the city’s best Sunday carveries.

7. On The Waterfront

On The Waterfront Exeter quay quayside water al fresco dining Exeter Restaurants

Address: 4-9 Southern Warehouse, The Quay EX2 4AP

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.

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Whether you’re 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.

8. Samuel Jones

Samuel Jones brick pub on the water Exeter Restaurants

Address: 37 Commercial Rd EX2 4AE 

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!

9. The Flat

The Flat Exeter Restaurants

Address: 142 Fore Street EX4 3AN

Along Fore Street, the home of Exeter’s finest independents, you’ll 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’d 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’s 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.

10. The Oddfellows

The Oddfellows team quirky pub Exeter Restaurants

Address: 60 New North Road EX4 4EP

This one’s 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, The Oddfellows is nothing short of amazing.

P.s. The Oddfellows also has great tunes and an outside courtyard.

11. The Terrace

The Terrace classy restaurant and rooftop bar red carpet Exeter Restaurants

Address: 19 Queen St EX4 3FB

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 4-7 pm and gorgeous brunches, lunches and dinners, this restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy good food and drinks with friends. 

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12. The Old Firehouse

The Old Firehouse The Leaky Cauldron J.K. Rowling Harry Potter bunting fairy lights cute rustic pub Exeter Restaurants

Address: 50 New North Road EX4 4EP

A firm favourite among students and locals alike, The Old Firehouse is a staple Exeter pub.

It’s 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 a great atmosphere, cheap cider and delicious food.

 

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.

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