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The 23 Best Restaurants in Exeter

best restaurants in exeter

A Foodie’s Guide to the best restaurants in Exeter

Exeter, nestled in the heart of Devon, boasts a vibrant culinary scene that tantalizes taste buds and leaves foodies craving more. From cozy cafes to elegant fine-dining establishments, this historic city offers a delightful array of gastronomic experiences.

Picture yourself savoring locally sourced seafood at The Galley Restaurant, or indulging in British classics with a modern twist at The Restaurant at the Salutation Hotel. For those seeking budget-friendly bites, The Daisy Cafe and The Thatched House serve up deliciousness without breaking the bank.

Whether you’re a discerning foodie or simply hungry for something extraordinary, Exeter’s best restaurants promise a feast for the senses. Join us as we explore the culinary gems that make this city a food lover’s paradise!

For the full list of Exeter’s culinary delights, read on. We have not put the restaurants into any particular order, but hope that you get a chance to enjoy as many as you can.

The Galley Restaurant

  • Description: Nestled along the historic quayside in Topsham, The Galley Restaurant exudes maritime charm. With its rustic wooden beams and views of the River Exe, it’s a cozy spot for seafood enthusiasts. Well known as one of the best restaurants in Exeter.
  • Food: The menu celebrates the bounty of the sea. Try their succulent lobster thermidor, freshly caught mussels, or the classic fisherman’s pie. Vegetarian options are also available.
  • Cost: Expect to pay around £25-£40 per person for a delightful meal.
  • Atmosphere: Relaxed and welcoming, The Galley invites you to unwind while savoring your meal. The riverside setting adds to the ambiance.
  • Interesting Fact: The restaurant’s walls are adorned with nautical memorabilia, including old ship wheels and fishing nets.

The Restaurant at the Salutation Hotel

  • Description: Housed within the historic Salutation Hotel, this restaurant seamlessly blends tradition with modern flair. The elegant dining room features high ceilings and chandeliers.
  • Food: Indulge in refined British cuisine. Their roast Devon beef, served with all the trimmings, is a local favorite. Vegetarian and vegan options are thoughtfully crafted.
  • Cost: A three-course meal here typically ranges from £30 to £50 per person.
  • Atmosphere: Sophisticated yet unpretentious, The Restaurant at the Salutation offers attentive service and a touch of grandeur.
  • Interesting Fact: The hotel itself dates back to the 18th century and has hosted illustrious guests over the years.

The Daisy Cafe

daisy cafe
  • Description: Tucked away in Heavitree, The Daisy Cafe is a hidden gem. Its quirky decor, featuring mismatched furniture and colorful murals, sets the stage for a delightful meal.
  • Food: The menu is eclectic, catering to various tastes. Try their hearty vegan breakfast, stacked pancakes, or the halloumi and avocado wrap.
  • Cost: Wallet-friendly! You can enjoy a satisfying meal here for around £10-£15 per person.
  • Atmosphere: Relaxed, bohemian, and perfect for a lazy brunch or afternoon tea.
  • Interesting Fact: The cafe hosts live music events, adding to its vibrant vibe.

The Conservatory Restaurant

  • Description: The Conservatory Restaurant offers a serene dining experience. Imagine dining under a glass roof, surrounded by lush greenery and natural light.
  • Food: Their menu celebrates local produce. Start with the Devon crab cakes, followed by the pan-seared sea bass or the hearty Exeter beef burger. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.
  • Cost: A three-course meal here typically ranges from £30 to £45 per person.
  • Atmosphere: Tranquil and refined, The Conservatory is perfect for special occasions or intimate dinners.
  • Interesting Fact: The restaurant’s seasonal menu changes frequently, ensuring fresh and exciting flavours.

Harry’s Restaurant

  • Description: A beloved Exeter institution, Harry’s has been serving locals and visitors alike for over 25 years. Located in a historic building, it exudes timeless charm. Easily one of the best restaurants in Exeter.
  • Food: Harry’s specializes in hearty comfort food. Try their famous steak and ale pie, the seafood linguine, or the wild mushroom risotto.
  • Cost: Expect to spend around £20-£35 per person for a satisfying meal.
  • Atmosphere: Warm and bustling, Harry’s welcomes families, couples, and solo diners alike.
  • Interesting Fact: The restaurant’s walls are adorned with vintage photographs, showcasing Exeter’s rich history.

The Fat Pig

  • Description: Quirky and unpretentious, The Fat Pig is a gastropub with character. Its exposed brick walls, wooden beams, and cozy nooks create a convivial setting.
  • Food: Indulge in hearty pub classics. The pulled pork burgerbeer-battered fish and chips, and the sticky toffee pudding are crowd favorites.
  • Cost: You’ll find great value here, with most dishes priced between £10 and £20.
  • Atmosphere: Lively and friendly, The Fat Pig is where locals gather for good food and even better company.
  • Interesting Fact: They have an impressive selection of craft beers and ciders on tap.

The Hourglass

hourglass exeter
  • Description: Tucked away in a charming alley, the Hourglass is a gastropub that seamlessly blends tradition with contemporary flair. Its exposed brick walls, wooden beams, and cozy fireplace create an inviting atmosphere.
  • Food: The menu features British classics with a twist. Try their slow-cooked lamb shank, the wild mushroom and truffle risotto, or the sticky toffee pudding for dessert.
  • Cost: A meal at The Hourglass typically ranges from £20 to £35 per person.
  • Atmosphere: Relaxed and convivial, it’s perfect for catching up with friends or enjoying a cozy date night.
  • Interesting Fact: The pub’s name pays homage to the historic sandglass that once adorned its entrance.

The Exploding Bakery

exploding bakery
  • Description: For coffee aficionados and pastry lovers, the Exploding Bakery is a hidden gem. Located near the cathedral, it’s a cozy spot with an open kitchen.
  • Food: Indulge in freshly baked pastries, artisanal cakes, and specialty coffee. Their almond croissants and salted caramel brownies are legendary.
  • Cost: Prices are reasonable, with most items falling within the £3 to £6 range.
  • Atmosphere: Quirky and bustling, it’s a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
  • Interesting Fact: The bakery’s commitment to sustainability extends to its packaging and sourcing practices.

The Oddfellows

  • Description: Quirky and full of character, The Oddfellows is a gastropub that surprises with its inventive menu. Located in the heart of Exeter, it’s a favourite among locals. The quality of the food merits inclusion in this list of the best restaurants in Exeter.
  • Food: Their ever-changing menu features British classics with a twist. Try their crispy pork belly or the vegetarian shepherd’s pie.
  • Cost: Mid-range prices make it accessible for most diners. Expect to spend around ££££ for a satisfying meal.
  • Atmosphere: Rustic and welcoming, The Oddfellows combines vintage decor with a lively vibe.
  • Interesting Fact: The pub’s name pays homage to the historical Oddfellows Society, known for its camaraderie and charitable work.


  • Description: If you’re craving authentic Italian flavors, Grappas is the place to be. Tucked away on a charming street, it feels like a little slice of Italy.
  • Food: Indulge in wood-fired pizzas, handmade pasta, and antipasti platters. Don’t miss their tiramisu for dessert!
  • Cost: Grappas offers good value for money, with most dishes falling in the £££ range.
  • Atmosphere: Cozy and intimate, it’s perfect for a romantic dinner or catching up with friends.
  • Interesting Fact: The restaurant’s name is inspired by grappa, a traditional Italian grape-based spirit.

The Thatched House

thatched house
  • Description: A charming blend of traditional and contemporary, the Thatched House is a cozy bar and dining spot. Its thatched roof and warm ambiance make it a delightful choice.
  • Food: Enjoy classic British dishes, including hearty pies, fish and chips, and locally sourced meats.
  • Cost: The prices here are budget-friendly, with most items falling in the £10 to £20 range.
  • Atmosphere: Relaxed and friendly, it’s perfect for casual gatherings with friends.
  • Interesting Fact: The pub’s history dates back centuries, and its thatched roof adds to its character.

The Ivy Restaurant

the ivy in exeter
  • Description: Originally a café established in October 2021, The Ivy has transformed into a sophisticated blend of casual charm and elevated dining. Its menu features enticing breakfast and dinner options, reflecting this delightful evolution.
  • Food: Expect a delightful array of dishes, from hearty breakfasts to delectable dinners.
  • Cost: Prices are reasonable, making it accessible to a wide range of diners.
  • Atmosphere: The Ivy exudes a welcoming ambiance, perfect for both casual and special occasions.
  • Interesting Fact: The Ivy’s journey began as a quaint cafe, and it has since become a beloved spot for locals and visitors alike.

Lympstone Manor

lympstone manor
  • Description: Lympstone Manor is a luxury five-star country house hotel overlooking the tranquility of the Exe Estuary and the Jurassic Coast. It boasts 21 luxurious guestrooms, 6 shepherd’s huts, and acclaimed Michelin-star fine dining cuisine by Michael Caines MBE.
  • Food: The three fine dining restaurants at Lympstone Manor allow Chef Michael Caines to fully express his vision of modern British cuisine. The à la carte menu utilizes outstanding South West ingredients, and there are lunch and evening seasonal 3-course options.
  • Cost: Expect a luxurious dining experience.
  • Atmosphere: The splendor of the three dining rooms complements the exquisite cuisine.
  • Interesting Fact: Lympstone Manor also features a pool house restaurant and bar, an informal dining area set around a heated outdoor swimming pool and leisure facilities

Southernhay House Restaurant

southernhay house
  • Description: Nestled in the heart of Exeter, Southernhay House Restaurant is a hidden gem. Its elegant decor and attentive staff create an intimate and inviting atmosphere. Without doubt, this is one of the best restaurants in Exeter.
  • Food: Savor exquisite dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients. From delicate appetizers to hearty mains, the menu caters to discerning palates.
  • Cost: Prices are moderate, making it accessible for both casual diners and those celebrating special occasions.
  • Atmosphere: Step into a charming time capsule where vintage meets contemporary elegance.
  • Interesting Fact: Southernhay House Restaurant actively supports local producers and artisans, ensuring a community-driven dining experience.

Bill’s Exeter

bills in exeter
  • Description: Bill’s is a restaurant chain offering food and drink from locations across the UK. The Exeter branch, located at 32-33 Gandy St, offers a relaxed yet sophisticated setting. Their menu features excellent, hearty food without pretension. Try their steak and don’t miss the skillet pan cookie!

Tyepyedong Noodle Bar

  • Description: Tyepyedong is an independent family-run restaurant offering predominantly Chinese cuisine, with a mix of Japanese and other Asian influences. Their food is described as delicious, fast, and hot, with a variety of options including vegan and gluten-free dishes. The noodle dishes, including vegan options, are particularly popular.

Tang Shian Chinese Restaurant

tang shiang
  • Description: Located in the center of Exeter, Tang Shian is a fine Chinese diner with years of experience in offering authentic and freshly made Chinese cuisine. Master Chef Chen specializes in Sichuan, Shandong, and Cantonese cuisine, creating bold and innovative flavors.

Dee Yi Chinese Restaurant

Description: The Dee Yi Chinese Restaurant in Exeter serves authentic Chinese cuisine. Whether dining in or opting for takeaway, you’ll find a variety of flavorful dishes.

Denley’s Essence of India

  • Description: Denley’s Essence of India, conveniently situated on the High Street in Topsham near Exeter, is a hidden gem. This award-winning Indian restaurant serves contemporary Indian cuisine prepared by top chefs. The stylish surroundings and friendly staff create a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Food: Expect a wide-ranging menu with delicious authentic accompaniments to suit every taste.
  • Atmosphere: The restaurant, located in a former dairy, accommodates up to 50 people in sophisticated yet comfortable surroundings.
  • Interesting Fact: Denley’s was voted one of the top 100 Indian restaurants in the UK, earning a coveted 5-star Gold Plaque, making it the best Indian restaurant in Devon

Ganges Indian Restaurant 

  • Description: Ganges Restaurant, located in the heart of Exeter, is the longest-established Indian restaurant in the area. Known for its sophisticated food, it offers a wide range of traditional and authentic Indian dishes. If you are looking for Indian food, this must be one of the best restaurants in Exeter.
  • Food: Freshly prepared using the finest ingredients, the menu includes vibrant and mouth-watering options.
  • Atmosphere: Enjoy a spacious and relaxed ambiance with family, friends, or colleagues.
  • Takeaway: They also offer excellent Indian takeaway food with optional delivery.

Steaks N Sushi

  • Description: Steaks N Sushi is a family-run restaurant that combines authentic Japanese cuisine with mouth-watering steaks. Their menu offers a unique blend of traditional sushi and inventive “inside out” rolls.
  • Food: Explore a piece of Oriental cuisine in one of Exeter’s finest restaurants.
  • Atmosphere: Relaxed and calm, it’s an unforgettable dining experience.

Franco Manca

franca manca
  • Description: Franco Manca is a chain of pizzerias specializing in sourdough pizzas. Conveniently located in the heart of Exeter at the Guildhall Shopping Centre, this charming pizzeria surprises guests with its inventive menu.
  • Food: Their ever-changing menu features British classics with a twist. Don’t miss out on their crispy pork belly or the flavorful vegetarian shepherd’s pie.
  • Cost: Franco Manca offers mid-range prices, making it accessible for most diners. Expect to spend around ££££ for a satisfying meal.
  • Atmosphere: The restaurant boasts a bright, spacious, and airy ambiance. Whether you’re dining indoors or in the beer garden, the smell of freshly baked sourdough will welcome you warmly.
  • Interesting Fact: The name “Franco Manca” pays homage to Napoli, where the art of sourdough pizza originated

The Blue Ball Inn

blue ball
  • Description: The Blue Ball Inn, a 17th-century thatched pub and restaurant, is considered one of the prettiest pubs in the area. Located in Sandygate on the edge of Exeter, it’s an ideal spot for a glass of wine, a pint of traditional real ale, or a delightful meal.
  • Food: The head chef takes pride in cooking culinary delights using Devon’s finest produce. The menu changes regularly, ensuring fresh and seasonal flavors.
  • Cost: The Blue Ball Inn offers a warm and relaxed ambiance with a real log-burning fire during cooler months and a charming beer garden in warmer weather.
  • Interesting Fact: The Blue Ball Inn is conveniently located for Exeter Chiefs’ rugby stadium and Devon’s glorious beaches and attractions2.

We hoope that you have enjoyed this list of the best restaurants in Exeter. If you have any suggestions of your wn, please do comment below.

By the way, if you find yourself in that other Devon city, Plymouth, then check out the best restaurants Plymouth has to offer.

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