Five fab places to eat as a vegan in Exeter which aren’t explicitly vegan
Making sure you don’t just eat pesto pasta during Veganuary
I’ve been vegan for over five years now and it’s honestly been the best thing I’ve done for my mental and physical health. My journey to veganism wasn’t straightforward, as I struggled with anorexia and had to navigate how I could transition to a fully plant based diet safely. However, since going vegan, I took up running, my skin cleared up, and opened up my eyes to the environmental benefits. It’s now Veganuary, and I’ve been organising some events with the Students’ Guild (including a subsidised trip to a vegan café) and prepping some blogs to share with the Exeter student population some of my favourite places to eat at uni and in the city that won’t break the bank.
I’ve rounded up my five favourite ‘not explicitly vegan’ places in Exeter to eat. Although it feels like you often have to eat at places that are 100 per cent plant based to make sure there’s something you can actually eat, lots of places have some great vegan-friendly options whether you’re a die-hard meat eater or plant based queen.
1. Dinosaur Café
I love this place and not just because it has a great name. I’ve had some lovely memories here, and it was where I had my (first) graduation meal. There really is something for everyone here with traditional home cooked Turkish, Mediterranean and English food. My go-to combo is a vegan version of the dinosaur salad, with some falafels and hummus. It’s a great place to bring some friends and get a couple of smaller dishes to share, and the staff are so lovely too! Plus: their peppermint tea is elite.
2. Jasmine Thai
I went here for the first time recently and absolutely loved it. For me, the main pull factor if I’m having a meal out is the vibe so Jasmine Thai hit the spot (and not just because it’s an independent). Not only were the vibes immaculate, the waiters were incredibly welcoming and my tempura and vegan stir fry was wonderful. And while catering for carnivores and herbivores, a plus is that the restaurant manager is a life-long vegan and there’s a dedicated vegan menu. What’s not to love?!
3. Boatyard Bakery
This is my top choice for an oat milk coffee after a walk on the quay with a friend, especially when I can enjoy it in the sunshine. They sell Emma’s Bakery bread as well as vegan pasties and a variety of sweet treats. There’s some inside seating too but it’s often pretty buzzing and busy. A big plus is that it’s open on Sundays too.
In winter it’s a really cosy place with generously sized hot drinks, and in summer it’s a great place to have a smoothie outside with friends with a picturesque view of the quay. The mushroom on toast and their porridge is also elite so really you can’t ever go wrong.
5. The £2 meal on campus
My pride and joy: I recently led a campaign as part of my role as VP Liberation and Equality for the University to offer a £2 hot meal on campus, which has been running successfully for a couple of months. And I’m very happy to say that the Devonshire House outlet it open for term two. You can get a “dish of the day” for £2 and it’s always vegan, or a jacket potato and topping for £2.99 (the coleslaw is actually lush too). The campaign is ongoing and you can keep up with it via our Instagram and check out the menus here.
If you want to stay updated with my how to be vegan as an Exeter student this blog might come in handy.