The best restaurants in Exeter

When it comes to restaurants in the UK, people often speak of London and the other major cities as the places to visit. The ancient city of Exeter however, which dates back to Roman times, appears to be the exception to the rule. Home to one of the best universities in the country, as well as a constant throng of tourists thanks to the city’s pastoral landscapes, Exeter is a must-visit location. The city also benefits from a whole host of amazing restaurants, ranging from cheap eats to fine-dining establishments, so if you’re looking for the best Exeter restaurants, our list should help you out.

Updated on 06 January 2020

Exeter is one of the UK’s most popular tourist hotspots and to those who live there or have studied at the city’s university, it’s easy to see why. Exeter’s considerable clutch of attractions includes the city’s breath-taking cathedral, which sits in a square surrounded by upmarket shops and cutesy cafes. If you venture a little further out, you’ll find the stunning Quay which is perfect for long walks in the sunshine or even a spot of kayaking. If the British weather fails you though, you’ll be happy to hear that the Quay is well equipped with restaurants and bars that can play host to lazy afternoons.

Exeter’s population of local residents, students and tourists means that every cuisine, style and budget is catered for. When it comes to restaurants in Exeter, you can expect to find everything from affordable Mediterranean joints to special occasion venues that serve multi-course tasting menus. Plenty of Exeter restaurants also benefit from great views, whether they overlook the charming Cathedral Square or sit on the side of the River Exe.

The city is also a great shopping destination, should you be on the hunt for something special for yourself or a loved one. Head to the likes of Gandy Street for independent boutiques and vintage spots, while shopping centres such as Princess Hay and the Guildhall are home to all of the big-name brands, and there’s a rather large John Lewis on the high street too.

Of course, a spot of retail therapy always requires a post-shopping pit stop to refuel, and luckily, there are plenty of places to eat in Exeter. The high street is filled with all of the recognised chains, but we’d recommend seeking out the independent eateries here, which boast dining rooms full of character and menus bursting with flavour. So, next time you find yourself on the hunt for the best restaurants in Exeter, don’t forget to consult our definitive list of the city’s tastiest dining options.  

Harry

Harry's Restaurant

Harry's Restaurant, Exeter, Devon, EX4 6AP

Where students go with their parents in tow, Harry’s is a homely restaurant with an international menu. Take your pick from the likes of Devon crab linguine, all the way through to Mexican-style chicken enchiladas.
Under £30
Modern European
British
Bar Venezia

Bar Venezia

61 Waterside The Quay, Exeter, Devon, EX2 8GY

Perched on the tranquil Quayside, this buzzy Mediterranean’s main draw is its pizza and pastas. We would also make a case for the pan-fried seabass too, while the monthly Singles Night is great for mingling.
Under £30
Mediterranean
@Angela’s Restaurant

@Angela’s Restaurant

38 New Bridge Street, Exeter, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3AH

This hidden seafood gem sources its fish from Brixham and Exmouth, with popular dishes including scallops with smoked bacon. Otherwise, you can enjoy Angus steaks, while seasonal game makes an appearance on the menu too.
£30 - £49
Modern European
Woodbridge Restaurant at Reed Hall

Woodbridge Restaurant at Reed Hall

Streatham Drive, Exeter, Devon, EX4 4QR

Woodbridge takes up residence inside the stately Reed Hall on Exeter University’s campus. Expect refined Modern European fare, while it’s impossible not to be charmed by the manicured grounds. Free parking is a bonus too.
£30 - £49
Modern European
The Olive Tree Restaurant Exeter

The Olive Tree Restaurant Exeter

The Queens Court Hotel Bystock Terrace, Exeter, Devon, EX4 4HY

Found at Queen’s Court hotel, The Olive Tree serves an all-day menu which sees diners through from breakfast to dinner with crowd-pleasing dishes. Adding to the appeal, ingredients are almost exclusively sourced from local suppliers.
£30 - £49
Modern European
The Conservatory Restaurant

The Conservatory Restaurant

18 North Street, Exeter, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3QS

As its name suggests, The Conservatory is a relaxed and light-filled dining room. The accomplished menu utilises fish from St Ives and West Country steaks, while the two-course lunch is excellent value at under £20.
£30 - £49
British
The Cosy Club Exeter

The Cosy Club Exeter

Halford Wing, Dean Clarke House, Southerhay, Exeter, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1PQ

The setting of a former hospital might set alarm bells ringing, but we promise you’ll leave here feeling perky. Colourful, kitsch interiors, fun cocktails and a menu of comfort food all add to the fun.
Under £30
International
Lympstone Manor

Lympstone Manor

Lympstone Manor, Courtlands Lane, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 3NZ

Just outside the city, you’ll find this grand Georgian manor set among 28 acres of manicured grounds. Inside, chef Michael Caines oversees a stellar menu that champions only the most seasonal of West Country produce.
Over £80
British
One Michelin star
Circa 1924 Exeter

Circa 1924 Exeter

6 Northernhay Place, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3QJ

Serving up food that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, steakhouse and seafood restaurant Circa 1924 has real flair. On Tuesdays, you can enjoy free corkage, while Wednesday’s see 50% off steaks.
£30 - £49
Steak
Fish
Lloyd

Lloyd's Kitchen Exeter

Lloyds Kitchen 16 Catherine Street, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1EU

Open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Lloyd’s is a popular spot. Breakfast means roasted coffee and croissants, while later in the day you’ll find the likes of fish and chips and veggie curry.
Under £30
British
The Galley Restaurant

The Galley Restaurant

41 Fore Street, Topsham, Exeter, Devon, Devon, EX3 0HU

Overlooking the River Exe estuary, this family-run fish and seafood restaurant boasts legions of fans. With The Galley’s cracking daily-changing menus and thoughtfully chosen wine list, it’s not hard to see why it’s so popular.
£30 - £49
Fish
River Exe Cafe

River Exe Cafe

River Exe Estuary, Exeter, Devon,

This barge restaurant, which only opens in summer and is accessed via boat, floats offshore in the Exe Estuary. You’ll be rewarded for your extra efforts with fresh seafood and desserts including salted caramel brownie.
Under £30
Modern European
Caribbean
British
Côte Exeter

Côte Exeter

19-21 Cathedral Yard, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1HB

This branch of reliable high street chain Cote boasts a view of the Exeter Cathedral from its intimate streetside terrace, while those inside can indulge themselves with the likes of parsnip soup and steak frites.
Under £30
French
Wear Park Restaurant at Exeter Golf and Country Club

Wear Park Restaurant at Exeter Golf and Country Club

Wear Park Restaurant Exeter Golf and Country Club, Exeter, EX2 7AE

This smart Country Club restaurant isn’t just for members. The menu celebrates British produce, while Wear Park’s devotion to tradition also stretches to its classic afternoon tea. The £12 lunch menu is a steal too.
£30 - £49
The Fat Pig Exeter

The Fat Pig Exeter

2 John Street, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1BL

This cosy pub and restaurant serves the likes of smoked pulled pork and apple in a brioche bun during the week, while Saturdays are for brunch and Sundays see traditional roasts with all the trimmings.
£30 - £49
Modern European
Lighter Inn

Lighter Inn

The Quay, Exeter, Devon, EX3 0HZ

The Lighter Inn is the kind of traditional pub that’s hard to come by these days. Expect a menu of contemporary pub grub, while the expansive terrace overlooking the Quay is a delightful summertime spot.
British

Want to explore beyond Exeter? Check out our pick of the UK’s Top 100 restaurants.