The Best Restaurants In Exeter, Devon

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Samuel Spencer

The biggest city on the Devon coast, built by seafarers and traders, Exeter is a hidden gem of the British dining scene, benefiting from fantastic local seafood and farms around which the finest restaurants centre their dishes. Discover more with our guide to Exeter’s finest restaurants, inns and pubs.

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The Conservatory

One of the features of The Conservatory is its restored Tudor wall, dating back to 1600. This combination of historical reverence amongst the more modern is reflected in the restaurant’s menu. It includes all the English classics served with the best of unpretentious modern cooking techniques, and paired with a superb wine list. Since opening more than ten years ago, it has become one of Exeter’s most popular dining spots.

Jack in the Green Inn

One of the two restaurants in Exeter to have a prestigious ‘bib gourmand’ rating from Michelin (awarded to restaurants offering good food at reasonable prices), Jack in the Green is seriously committed to combining the best of locally sourced fine dining with a traditional pub experience. No wonder it has also been voted one of the top 20 gastropubs in Britain, with its menu of seasonal fare and its option to eat ‘Totally Devon,’ which means sampling the best of the county’s produce across three delicious courses for the reasonable price of £25.

Michael Caines Restaurant

When celebrity chef Michael Caines is not gracing TV screens in programmes like BBC1’s ‘Saturday Kitchen,’ he is busy running his culinary empire, one of the more popular branches of which can be found in Exeter. A sister restaurant to his nearby Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park, this spot can be found within Exeter’s Abode Hotel, and offers both fine and casual dining options. Both of which receive as much love and attention as dishes from Gidleigh, and from chefs trained by Caines himself.

Bridge Inn

Part pub, part curio from another age, The Bridge Inn has been run by the same family since 1897, offering a service that has changed little since then. This makes the Bridge Inn a refreshing change from the droves of identikit chain pubs that surround it in Britain. Serving lunchtime food only, they offer a selection of authentic British pub fare with their immensely popular ever-changing cask ales. Little wonder then that this was chosen as the first pub ever to be visited by the current queen, who stopped in while on her millennium tour of Britain.

On the Waterfront

Housed in a 19th-century wool warehouse located, as the name suggests, on the waterfront, this restaurant has to be one of Exeter’s most sumptuously decorated. Inside features warm lighting and exposed brick, and there’s a lovely outside dining area for the warmer months with views of the water. The menu is international in flavour, with modern pub classics aplenty, a selection of pizzas as a speciality as well as burgers and, naturally, the hearty fish selection you expect from any Exeter restaurant worth its salt.

The Restaurant at the Salutation Inn

One of the restaurants found in Exeter’s quaint village suburb of Topsham, The Restaurant at the Salutation Inn has seen major redevelopment in recent years. Originally a pub, it has become an inn, offering lodging of a quality that matches that of its food. This food is a loving tribute to the history of traders and seafarers who have looked to Topsham for lodging over the centuries. The chefs use local ingredients as well as those that the traders would bring to the town across a five, seven or nine-course tasting menu.

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