We’ve rounded up Exeter’s best first date food spots

Just in time for Valentines Day


So you’ve finally secured a date, be it through some late night swiping or after locking eyes in downstairs TP. You’re excited, they’re excited, it’s all going swimmingly. The problem is… where do you take them?

As a hopeless romantic with a keen interest in tingling my taste buds across all of Exeter’s many delicious restaurants I have devised a list of some of the best date locations this buzzing metropolis has to offer. This list will help you get the ball rolling on what may turn out to be a long love affair or maybe just a funny story to tell at your next social confessions.

Al Farid

One of the most romantic settings in Exeter. The low colourful lanterns and vibrant carpets set the smoozy mood instantly. With lots to look at you’ll never be stuck for conversation. The food is absolutely delicious, packed with warm Moroccan spices cooked to perfection. If anything, it gives you an excuse to shove baba ganoush into someone’s mouth. Finally, the toilets are far away so it gives you that much needed time to have a debrief, text your girls and re-adjust your bra.

The one downside is that you are sat very close together so if you’re eating garlic bring gum or make sure they are too. It’s also not the best spot if they are a fussy eater. However, all I can say to that is a phrase my mother uses; “fussy eaters are fussy people Sophia. Be aware.”. So maybe they are best avoided? Filter the mice from the men, as they say. Thanks Jo.

Sacred Grounds

Now, this is a very trendy brunch place. If you go here you probably bring a reusable coffee cup to lectures and you are one of the few students in the country that actually do yoga. The food is exclusively vegan but don’t let that put you off as it is absolutely delicious. It gives you a chance to show her that you’re not your average rugby lad who only eats chicken and rice, you have a heart and you are interested in deeper topics like the environment and TP. It’s a very aesthetic restaurant and will always make a good instagram post.

On the Waterfront

They have DELICIOUS cocktails at two for £12.50 which aren’t exactly Spoons prices but they are definitely worth the buck. They are very yummy, and alcoholic enough to get the conversation juices flowing for sure. Who knows, they may even help you to take down that big wall of yours that you’ve kept up ever since your year six crush Jamie Edwards told you that he won’t kiss you in spin-the-bottle because your nose is too big. Who’s laughing now Jamie Edwards?

The Old Firehouse

A £9.95 bottle of wine and a £11-15 delicious pizza to share?! Yes, you have just walked into the seventh heaven of perfect first date settings. Red walls, fairy lights and dried flowers; could they be anymore romantic?!

Just imagine giggling over that gigantic pizza as you both  shovel delicious squares of pizza into your mouth. Show that sexy man that you are not afraid to get your hands dirty. The only downside of this place that I can think of is the fact that you are 100 per cent going to bump into at least one person you know but own it, you’re with the fitty from Cavern last Tuesday.


For this article I wanted to put a heavy importance on independent restaurants. However, I think that BrewDog deserves a shout out because of its amazing student deal. You can get an exceptionally tasty burger and a lovely smooth pint for £10. The vibes are very relaxed in there and the staff are all lovely.

The downside is that there are also a LOT of attractive people who work there so don’t have wandering eyes. Also, buffalo sauce dripping from your mouth and hands isn’t the sexiest of first impressions and I can confirm that that sauce will bite back the next day.

Goto Japanese

If they like sushi then this place is the Mason Mount of the sushi industry (I don’t know anything about football but just trying to relate to you all). The staff there are delightfully kind and friendly so will only encourage you to show off your beautiful smile. It’s also a low-key flex to know somewhere this unique and shows you’ve done your research.

The downside is that the light in there is one that resembles a hospital room so don’t go if you are prone to migraines or your current foundation doesn’t match your skin tone because it’s your summer one and you are too broke to buy a winter one.

Pura Vida

This is my final recommendation and as they say, leave the best till last. For me, this is the ideal first date after the wild night before. What I mean here is you’ve met an inconceivable hot fourth year at Phoenix and you had a night of frivolous yet passionate fun. You’re getting on surprisingly well for a one night stand and fancy getting brunch together. Neither of you can be arsed to cook so where do you go? Pura Vida.

It’s conveniently located to most student houses and their prices are VERY student friendly. They have the perfect hangover cure in the form of a full english or bacon maple pancakes and an iced coffee. It’s the perfect way to round up that one night in heaven.

Downside? You may come out smelling of bacon but the date is over by then… or is it?