Having undergone a renaissance in recent times, Exeter now boasts one of the West Country’s strongest culinary scenes. Here is our roundup of just a few of the best restaurants in Exeter to sample during your stay.
Restaurants in Exeter
As you’d expect from a city that has a long history as a trading post, Exeter has welcomed spices and food from around the world from the Roman period onwards. And that tradition continues with a strong Indian connection. A short walk from St. David’s Church is The Gandhi Indian, one of the oldest curry houses in Exeter and still one of the most popular. It might seem counterintuitive to fill up on starters, but the poppadoms and their home-made pickles and chutneys are out of this world.
Similarly, the Ganges Restaurant near Exeter Cathedral has an all-encompassing approach to Indian food, with dishes and curries from all over the sub-continent. With a plush, well-lit interior and splashes of colour adorning the walls, the food is rich, varied and you can also order online for collection or delivery.
Rounding off our selection of Indian restaurants is The Curry Leaf, which takes its curry inspiration from south Indian cuisines. With a highly respected head chef who’s worked in several Michelin star-rated restaurants, The Curry Leaf is less than a mile from our Exeter Central St. David's hotel, the perfect distance to stroll off your naan bread and lamb Chettinad.
On The Waterfront
One of the city’s leading retail experiences, the Guildhall Shopping Centre also has several food and drink outlets to keep you stocked up on energy. The Coffee Pot is a family-run business that specialises in delivering your caffeine fix as quickly as possible. Alternatively, if you’d like your energy fix minus the caffeine, Five Juice Bar do a wide range of juices and smoothies to order, with virtually any fruit combination possible.
There are several cafés and eateries in the centre too. If you’re after a quick bite, check out the Oggy Oggy Pasty Company (so good, they named it twice). Devon is almost as well known as Cornwall for its baked pastries, and this handy takeaway does a wide range of calorific treats. And for something more substantial, there’s Ferns Cafeteria which offers a decent array of sandwiches, salads, baked potatoes and more.
Popular the world over, Italian restaurants are well represented in Exeter, with dozens spread across the city. Located water-side and set in a grand five-storey converted mill by the Quay, On The Waterfront is a well-equipped Italian restaurant that boasts a lovely outdoor terrace, several restaurants and a cask ale bar.
Just as highly recommended is Quo Vadis. A more homely affair, this city centre restaurant specialises in the Italian classics – pizzas, pasta, meat and fish. The decor and stylings might be a little dated, but the food is well presented, well priced and packed full of flavour.
With a prime location on Gandy Street, Zizzi is one of Exeter’s most popular Italian outlets. You can take advantage of the outdoor terrace for sunny days and warm nights or sit inside in the quirky and colourful restaurant. The menu is packed full of Italian staples, while they also have a good range of vegan and vegetarian options.