While Princesshay and the new Queen Street dining quarter play host to a number of popular restaurants, Devon’s capital city is full of exclusive edible experiences for you to explore— I’ve picked out some of my faves!
From light lunches to bigger bites- and obviously with a cup and cake on the side- there’s a little slice of everything in the Exeter café offerings.
The Exploding Bakery
Great for grabbing a cup and cake on the go, The Exploding Bakery will get your day started, situated right next door to Central Station. Speciality coffee is to be discovered here, perfect alongside a scrumptious slice of tray bake cake. If you’re looking for something a tad more substantial, the cosy café attached to the bakery also prepares an assortment of savoury nibbles.
Popular lunch spot that serves delightfully presented British classics including fish and chips, burgers and open sandwiches, with all ingredients being locally sourced. On Friday and Saturday, the evening a la carte menu is available, with these British classics returning in more extravagant reinterpretations alongside an extensive selection of wines. But during the day they’re all about their coffee!
Boston Tea Party
Brunch lasts forever at Boston Tea Party, so if you’re partial to a poached egg be sure to pop in. While the South West coffee shop chain will brew you a quality cup, they also feature raw smoothies on the menu for those on a bit of a health kick. The shopfront may look tiny, but upstairs you’ll find a great space, with high ceilings and rows of tables with mismatched chairs giving off a charmingly eclectic feel to the place, which is very homely particularly in the afternoon sun. Situated midway between the shops and train station, this is the ideal spot to crash on a sofa with a refreshing drink. The sweet potato fritters are perfect for sharing too!
Initially a pop-up project, Board proved so popular with locals that it’s now passing-go into its third year on South Street. A Risk that paid off, Board is the South West’s first, and only, board game café, so it certainly has the Monopoly. For a small entrance fee, spend as long as you like perusing the shelves of classic and modern games in this café that is visited by families, students and young working people alike! The friendly staff will recommend you some of the wackiest games out there, but will be sure to explain all the rules before you roll the dice. If you’re a Hungry Hungry Hippo, then there’s a menu available to fuel your all-day gaming, including the delicious in-house slow-cooked pulled pork sandwiches, perfect to enjoy with a craft beer as you play.
The Plant Café
The Cathedral Green is always a popular spot for local lunchers, but tucked up at the end of the Green you’ll find The Plant Café, a vegetarian and vegan café that caters for a range of dietary needs. With health being one of their key focus points, the lovely ladies running the café make everything from scratch on site, ensuring that only the best organic local produce goes into every bite. The food is flavourful and inventive, making the most of the natural goodness.
While Princesshay and the new Queen Street dining quarter play host to a number of popular restaurants, Devon’s capital city is full of exclusive edible experiences for you to explore—we’ve picked out some of our faves.
On The Waterfront
Set under the brick arches of a 19th-century warehouse on Exeter Quay, On The Waterfront is certainly unique. Bare brick walls, solid wood benches and mix and match sofas give the front area a more rustic and homely feel, perfect for kicking back with a good pint of local ale and tucking into an expertly made pizza, while the back has a more formal dining feel. If you want to make the most of the picturesque quayside, seating on the heated terrace is also available, but you’ll often see people sat with a slice right by the water’s edge. Freshly made and decently sized gluten-free pizzas are also available.
If a burger and fries is more your style, check out Hubbox for an American inspired dining experience. The US-style eatery serves up handmade beef burgers, BBQ pulled pork and topped fries that you can wash down with some locally brewed craft beer. Hubbox’s Exeter dwelling has a unique urban vibe with quirks; like the kitchen being built out of a shipping container!
A speakeasy-themed cocktail lounge will be found on the first floor of The Oddfellows. With tableside service, just order off the menu and watch in awe as your drinks are made like magic before your eyes. We recommend the ‘Real McCoy’; a sweet, tropical flavour complete with a passion fruit that’s caramelised by a blowtorch at the bar, and a shot of prosecco!
Doctor Ink’s Curiosities
Make a pre-dinner appointment at Doctor Ink’s Curiosities, where a tall tale accompanies each of the crafty concoctions on the Victorian-inspired cocktail menu. We prescribe The Bee’s Knickers – vodka, Mandarine Napoleon, wildflower honey, bee pollen, and meadow flowers – for medicinal reasons, of course.
The Cauldron Inn
There’s a little drop of magic set in the heart of Gandy Street, where the recently opened Harry Potter themed bar resides. It’s no coincidence that this is where the bar can be found, as Gandy Street is rumoured to have been JK Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley. While it may not be the best around for food and drink, it’s certainly a great novelty experience for fans of the magical world. Inside you’ll find rooms lined with potion bottles and moving pictures, so you’ll feel like you’ve walked right into the wizarding world!
These are just a few of the amazing places you can grab a delicious bite to eat in Exeter. If you know of any other great restaurants in the area, let me know in the comments below!