76 restaurants in Exeter
Restaurants in Exeter:
398 Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 6HE [Map]
The Beefeater Grill range of restaurants, owned by the well established firm of Whitbread has transformed over time into what is now predominantly a cooking platform for chargrill. The restaurants are warm, modern and stylish, with low lighting and contemporary artwork. A comfortable, cosy, mainly booth layout offers guests their own space with no feeling of being hurried at any point. Staff are friendly and helpful if need be - what a difference that can make to a good evening out.
Be it the wide open spaces of Argentina, the intimate setting of a French restaurant, or a busy grill in London's West End, there's no denying the popularity of chargrill. As the production of quality beef, chicken, fish and lamb has grown, prices have come down by comparison, and the simple and traditional art of minimally cooking dishes by chargrill, sealing in the flavours and tastes by intense heat has caught the public imagination.
All the steaks at Beefeater Grill are matured for a minimum of 28 days before being seasoned. Whether it be juicy rib eye, the classic sirloin, that emblem of the Sunday lunch, a tender fillet, or a delicious 7oz rump, all grilled to your own specification, you're never far away from perfection. Even beefburgers have shaken off their dubious image and the highly popular Beefeater burgers are made from 100% beef.
The popular sirloin with giant prawns offers a treat to those for whom an alliance between sea and pasture is a natural attraction, whilst a 16oz steak platter links rump, fillet, sirloin and rib eye into one mouth-watering dish served with chips, battered onion rings, grilled tomato, a flat mushroom and peppercorn and brandy sauce.
Many of us love rib meat, and the rack of ribs at a Beefeater Grill has a meaty rack smoky flavour; maple ribs of pork with a choice of three sauces, mojito, smoked caramel and apple glaze, or Bourbon and black BBQ. And if all else fails and you are totally baffled by the wealth of choices, ask to have a word with the Steakmaster who will help find what is right for you, together with the best cooking method. These guys leave nothing to chance.
On a menu that is a delight to read, let alone choose a meal from, expect to find smaller dishes such as traditional prawn cocktail, whitebait, chicken liver pâté and baked Camembert, or juicy lamb koftas served with yoghurt and mint dip. There's something about a good steak meal that always leaves a gap for a little temptation to sweeten up the scene and from amongst twelve options look for Belgian chocolate cheesecake, treacle sponge pudding or a caramel apple crumble pie.
Throughout the day a wide range of more general dishes are yours for the ordering, sandwiches, jackets, classic favourites like fish and chips, pasta, salads, and sharing dishes of nachos, potato shells and a Beefeater Grill combo. Next door to many of the restaurants are Premier Inns, so staying the night whatever the circumstances need not be a problem.
And what about wine? Endorsed by Matthew Jukes, wine writer in the Daily Mail and bon viveur in his own right, a wine list that marches with the menu completes an impressive and compelling invitation to enjoy whatever takes your fancy at the nearest Beefeater Grill.
Click on their Website for menu updates and special offers.
3 Princesshay, Exeter, EX1 1GE [Map]
When you enter a chain restaurant there is always a sense of déjà vu, yet with the twelve outlets of Giraffe, this may not really be true. Russel and Juliette Joffe and Andrew Jacobs' philosophy behind this group of restaurants is sustaining the driving force of healthy, happy eating, while retaining the difference each location brings. This includes minor variations in the menu too, and explains why the restaurant does not like to be called a chain, but prefers being referred to as a herd. The origin of its quaint name too, is interesting. The giraffe has the largest heart in the animal kingdom, and with its magnificent height is able to perceive things differently. These two features of being different and large hearted sum up the restaurant's proclamation of 'love, eat, live'.
Giraffe offers world food and adds an unusual twist to some familiar dishes. Their breakfast menu has stacked pancakes with bananas and blueberries, warm waffles, ranch styles tostadas and healthy veggie options. Some great starters are a mezze plate with warm naans that offer the best of many cuisines - grilled halloumi, hummus, tzatiki, ratatouille and falafel. Japanese king fried prawns are a hit, while another bright spot on the menu, is the colourful sunshine antipasti bruschetta, a clever combination of artichokes, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, olives, roasted peppers, red onion and rocket on pesto foccacia. If this long list of ingredients is intriguing, just wait until your palate takes over.
The house's special salad, cheekily called 'more than love', is colourful and has crunchy appeal. The Thai chicken and vermicelli noodle version is an equally enticing starter. For mains, there are plenty of options like roasted corn and chilli bran burritos, tangy turkey enchiladas and the much loved sweet potatoes, asparagus, green beans and broccoli served with organic brown basmati rice. One can also settle for a good old burger and wash it down with interesting smoothies. They also offer world wines and unusual cocktails with catchy names like Bombay flower and pomegranate caipirinha.
The dessert section comprises of not just fruit based healthy desserts, but brilliant stars like Swiss mountain chocolate cheesecake, banana waffle split and rocky road ice cream sundaes, which transport the diner to a state of bliss. The friendly staff, who are carefully hired for their sunny disposition, and children's activities help make these restaurants a very special, happy and healthy treat indeed.
To gain further information, just visit their extremely comprehensive Website.
92 Queen Street, Exeter, EX4 3RP [Map]
Bella Italia is a restaurant that pulsates with Italian style and fashion, where the day starts with breakfast, not least the Inglese, the familiar bacon, sausage, mushroom, tomato and fried or scrambled eggs and sauté potatoes with ciabatta toast so beloved of hearty eaters seeking a good start to the day, particularly when they don't have to prepare it. A vegetarian option is available, along with the bambini of sausages, tomato and scrambled egg, or a strapazzata, scrambled eggs on ciabatta toast. A cappuccino or hot chocolate offers a more gentle awakening and croissant or pastries are welcome at almost any time.
It is always worth remembering that eating Italian is a great opportunity to work away through something rather more liberating than the conventional 3 course English meal. Little and often seems to be the motto but move on to the antipasti and it's immediately obvious this is no easy task, confronted with well over a dozen dishes, not one of which you really have the heart to turn down. The selezione classica assembles a few of the favourite starters; oven baked lemon and rosemary chicken wings, spiced meatballs, calamari, mini garlic butter-filled calzoni and lightly battered courgettes served with flamed pepper and lemon herb dips.
A speck e rucola pizza, added to a traditional margherita brings together two traditions with Italian speck ham providing the second, but it is within the pasta and risotto dishes that you can adapt almost any main ingredient, as well enjoy some of Italy's most traditional treats. Who can deny a well formed spaghetti Bolognese or penne Marco Polo? And not for nothing is a nicely prepared spaghetti carbonara the preferred dish of many.
From a selection of five choices amongst the secondi many will head unerringly for controfiletto ai ferri, a 7oz sirloin steak char-grilled to preference and served with garlic butter, roast field mushrooms, fries and rocket, or the fritto misto, lightly battered prawns, cod fillet, calamari and courgette with fries and a herb lemon and caper dip.
Could anything be more appropriate than The Godfather, for 1 or 2 naturally, with nutty chocolate fudge brownies, vanilla and toffee ice cream with chocolate sauce, fresh cream and wafer curls, and rest assured the coffee will do justice to the meal.
With a wine list that makes few concessions to other countries - and why should it - good Italian food can receive an equally national baptism by wine. For further enlightenment, news about their on-line shop and special deals, a click on their lively Website will reveal all.
Princesshay Square, Bedford Street, Exeter, EX1 1NU [Map]
Strada describes itself as 'a group of stylish, contemporary Italian restaurants, serving good quality, simple and freshly prepared dishes'. The statement sums up what this group of around seventy restaurants offers to people looking for good Italian food. The first outlet opened in Battersea in 1999 and their clientele has been increasing steadily ever since.
Though Strada has grown into a fair sized group, each outlet retains the feel of being a local neighbourhood Italian restaurant. The menu includes pastas, risottos, salads, and fish dishes, but they are best known for their quality pizzas.
They present authentic Italian dishes in contemporary surroundings and aim to use only the freshest and finest ingredients, such as Luganica sausages, Parma ham and buffalo mozzarella, imported from Italy to provide exactly the kind of rustic, traditional dishes one would expect to find travelling around its regions.
A meal could kick off with zuppa vongole e fregola, a traditional clam soup with Sardinian fregola pasta grains, wine, chilli and parsley, served with bread, or the delicious sautéed king prawns with garlic, white wine, chilli, and lemon butter served with your choice of bread.
Move on to their creamy risotto verdure, freshly grilled asparagus, broad beans, peas, spring onions, zucchini, green beans, white wine and mint, finished with baby spinach leaves. Or you could opt for the healthier, tagliolini nero granchio, black cuttlefish ink pasta with crab, courgette, red and yellow peppers, spring onion, and a hint of chilli and parsley. A real treat for the taste buds comes in the form of the bistecca manzo, a 10oz rosemary-marinated char-grilled, rib-eye steak with fries and fresh rocket.
A range of pizzas, all spun by hand, is an integral feature of each restaurant. They include the rossa, with spicy southern Italian salami, roasted red peppers, chilli, caramelised onion, garlic, fresh oregano, tomato and mozzarella. Nor are vegetarians are overlooked, and can be found tucking into dishes such as fiorentina, made of spinach cooked with garlic, nutmeg and black pepper with mozzarella, parmesan, tomato and an egg.
For those wanting to satisfy their sweet tooth, there is torroncino affogato, an iced nougat semi freddo with a shot of espresso to pour over, or a classic Italian tiramisu and, as you might expect coffee to round off the meal.
A wine list consisting of purely regional Italian wines, beers and liqueurs, all carefully chosen to complement the menu comes as no surprise and in addition, every table receives a complimentary bottle of purified water.
For further details including their latest news, menus and deals, and to find a Strada nearest to you, their Website certainly warrants a visit.
202 High Street, Exeter, EX4 3EB [Map]
Prezzo has been delighting diners for over eight years, and this Italian restaurant chain has since been able to expand throughout large parts of England and Scotland with some 141 outlets.
Interestingly, the company seeks to restore either impressive buildings or ones of local interest. The conversion of the Newbury library and other listed buildings, such as those in Salisbury, Romsey and Mayfair, are all welcome examples of 'new use'. Their trendy and sophisticated décor usually consists of tiled or wooden floors with delicate lights and colourful paintings, along with wooden furniture and sparkling cutlery, creating a setting that is suitable for a relaxed lunch, a family meal or an evening out with friends.
The restaurants are of particular appeal to those who like genuine Italian cuisine, and they use only the best seasonal products, many of which are imported directly from Italy. The menu includes pizza, pasta, risotto, grilled meats, fresh salads and frequently changing specials.
The freshly baked breads, like the garlic bread with mozzarella cheese, are perfect for sharing and give you adequate breathing space to order starters to follow. Crab cakes served with garlic mayonnaise or grilled goat's cheese with plum tomatoes and caramelised onions on foccacia bread with a balsamic glaze set the tone for a hearty meal. Best fun is to order an antipasto platter to share made up from seven well loved Italian nibbles.
Find pastas such as the unusual penne con salmone, with oak-roasted salmon, broccoli and fresh chillies in a red pesto and cream sauce, or firm favourites like spaghetti with meatballs, spaghetti Bolognese, and fusilli al pesto, asparagus spears with field mushrooms and roasted peppers in a basil pesto sauce.
Amongst the special pastas, the pollo mariano, seasoned chicken, pepperoni sausage, roasted peppers and fusilli in tomato sauce, is interesting and different. Italian menus would be incomplete without risotto, like tiger prawns with petits pois in a creamy saffron sauce.
Classic pizzas embrace, among a wide selection, the popular napoletana, topped with yellowfin tuna, tomato, white anchovies, capers, red onion, mozzarella and marinated olives, and the much loved quattro stagioni - pepperoni sausage, prosciutto ham, artichoke, field mushrooms, capers, marinated olives, mozzarella and tomato.
Specials could include the pollo Siciliana, char-grilled chicken breast, prosciutto ham and plum tomato slices, baked with their blend of cheese, only one example from the many tempting offerings that come out from the Prezzo kitchens.
You can accompany the food with a variety of tipples, though for many, Italian food requires Italian wines to be enjoyed to the full, ranging from house wine through Morellino di Scansano and Prosecco to liqueurs and beer, and there is espresso or fresh ground coffee to wind up an enjoyable meal, in company with a glass of grappa or sambuca.
This is Italian food at its attractive best, convincing and bringing together the traditional with the modern twist or two against a background of excellent value.
Prezzo is a lively group and opportunities to improve and update are never left on the table for long. Keep up to date with a quick click on their Website.
24 Bedford Street, Exeter, EX1 1LL [Map]
Café Rouge has over one hundred branches throughout Britain all offering a wide range of dishes drawn from the French cuisine. Slightly less than half their branches are in or close to London. Almost inevitably the décor and design of each restaurant differs from the others, but there is a general curtsy towards La France.
Many restaurants do an excellent breakfast, or shall we say petit dejeuner, at which such delights as scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toasted brioche, croque Madame, croissants and pain au chocolat make welcome appearances, and to their credit the English traditional gets top billing.
An array of small dishes takes in pulled pork pâté with French bread, and spicy beef and lamb sausage with harissa mayonnaise. Salads and pasta feature largely, as do baguettes and croques. Quick dishes, ideal for lunch, include slices of saucisson and cured pork loin with French bread.
Moving on to more serious stuff we find steaks, an 8oz bavette and thin cut rib eye, with a choice of béarnaise or peppercorn sauce. No French menu would be complete without the poulet jaune grille, pan-roasted breast of corn-fed chicken served on a warm taboulé of bulgar wheat and a medley of roasted vegetables with minted crème fraîche, or a steak frites before moving on to the crème brûlée, or the tart tatin. Almost invariably the coffee tastes like coffee should, something that sadly can all too often still not be said of our English restaurants, who depend too much upon technology and too little on the acquisition of a certain flair for this important conclusion to a meal.
By now we all know that the French, despite their distinctive habits when it comes to matters of satisfying the inner man, maintain a miraculous longevity of life. This is generally attributed to a number of causes, of which a measured consumption of decent wine is foremost. Café Rouge, you may be pleased to hear, encourages this with a well-chosen selection of French wines. Their prix fixe lunch and meals for children, both at a very reasonable figure, also offer excellent value.
Their Website will keep you updated on menu changes, news and other competitions and offers from the Café Society.
Christmas Party Menu - 3 courses £19.95 / Christmas Day Feast Menu £50 Book
20% off your total bill - Book our Christmas Party menu any time in November and get 20% off your total bill Book
20% off food – Book your Christmas Party menu on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at the beginning of December Book
New Year's Eve Menu Book
1 Princess Hay, Exeter, EX1 1GE [Map]
With quality food, friendly staff, quick service and excellent value for money, Nando's is a great place to eat. Don't expect identikit, pre-fab restaurant interiors which are usually a staple of the larger chains; each restaurant is tailored to its local surroundings and customers, offering up a unique restaurant experience to go with the equally unique taste of legendary, Portuguese, Peri-Peri chicken.
Your peri-peri chicken, when the chips are down so to speak, is a fresh A grade chicken that has never seen the inside of a freezer, but having made the supreme sacrifice is butterfly-cut, marinated for 24 hours in a secret brew called - you've guessed - peri-peri, and is then cooked to your choice over an open flame.
There are, of course, many variations on this broad theme, numerous plays on words such as Nando's experi-perience, peri-peri good reasons why you should eat at a Nando's, and all one hopes is that for their sake chicken never goes out of fashion. New Nando's are opening all the time, peri-peri quickly in fact, the spicy bastes become hotter and more daring, and the full platter offers a whole chicken, large chips or spicy rice and Nando's salad or coleslaw.
Since chickens are vegetarian it seems logical you can order veggie or bean burgers and patties, and still feel the heat from the peppers. All in all, Nando's is hotly recommended for those occasions when you have a large following of permanently hungry children, or adults even, to keep happy - the only thing taken really seriously is the quality of those peri-peri good chickens.
Nando's is a place for bright people who love to laugh and love to eat, and is guaranteed to spice up your taste buds. Their fun approach to life means that when you visit Nando's you can fully relax without the airs and graces associated with more starchy dining out.
For the location of your nearest Nando's restaurant and a host of details about menus, parties and drinks, a click on their Website will reveal a Pandora's box of information.
Thorverton, Exeter, EX5 5NS [Map]
The Thorverton Arms, a 16th century coaching inn, is located in the centre of the beautiful village of Thorverton in Devon. It is in the heart of some extremely attractive English countryside and yet only seven miles from Exeter and eight from the major local town of Tiverton.
The Thorverton Arms boasts a welcoming bar where you will find a large selection of real ales, wines and spirits; there is a separate restaurant that serves proper homemade classic English food, all sourced from local Devon suppliers and offered at sensible prices. There is a sizable south-facing beer garden, a large car park and, if you fancy staying over, there are comfortable en-suite letting rooms.
No wonder that they have been shortlisted for The Publican's Food Pub of the Year in 2008 and won The Publican's Food Newcomer of the Year Award in 2006.
88 Fore Street, Heavitree, Exeter, EX1 2RR [Map]
More restaurants in Exeter:
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The Beefeater Grill range of restaurants, owned by the well established firm of Whitbread has transformed over time into what is now predominantly a cooking platform for chargrill.
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