All the independent cafes and restaurants you have to visit in Exeter before you graduate

Better start getting your bucket list at the ready

Graduation is looming which means the bucket lists are underway and these are all essential to the list. According to a barman on the quay when asking about a student discount, there is “no poor Exeter student”, showing that the rah spirit is well and alive. So, despite a cost of living crisis, I will now go on to recommend all the best independent restaurants and cafes to go to with your final student loan instalment (or mummy and daddy’s money).


First up is Sundays. With the current heat wave, every student will be heading down to the quay so you might as well stop at Sundays for an incredible bagel and coffee. It is giving major surf energy so you can channel your inner Exetah surf attire without even crossing the border to Cornwall. 

Glorious Art House

Amazing hot chocolates and coffees, definitely worth the visit, especially in the summer where they have a gorgeous courtyard out the back. 

Chandos (honourable mention to The Tiny Tasting Room)

An iconic cafe that I always thought meant “cheeky Nandos” when people said they went there. I was very wrong. This cafe serves the best coffee in Exeter, paired with Tiny Tasting Room and The Common Beaver. If in Chandos, you have to try their sandwiches and you might as well get a cake too. The Tiny Tasting Room is also adorable and great for a catch up.

The Common Beaver

If you are looking for something even more independent, with amazing vibes and coffee to match, go to The Common Beaver. Incredible cold brew, fresh bagels and has an outdoor seating area too. 

Grow Coffee House 

Reasonably priced and great if you don’t quite have the effort to walk all the way to the quay. Always a great trip when hungover to get a bit of fresh air, but also brilliant for doing work (I know everyone has just finished but for those who are doing panic masters this may be useful) as they have plug sockets everywhere and student discount!

Zukis Cafeteria

This has to be up there as one of my favourite cafes. A cross between Turkish and Italian they have the most amazing pastries and brunch (definitely try to the bruschetta). Would definitely recommend since it is cheap and in a convenient location right by Exeter Central. If you’re this way too, you may as well pop into Oggy Oggy for the best pasties in Exeter.


Best restaurant in town. Fresh food and amazing service. The menu is limited but everything is delicious – a must visit – get the Traditional Rogamo and Biang Biang oil-splashed noodles, you won’t regret it.

Goto Japanese 

Do you fancy sushi but don’t want to head to Yo Sushi again? Check out Goto Japanese for the best sushi and ramen, so delicious, particularly paired with the sake. 

Calvo Loco 

Amazing tapas on Magdalen Street. The sangria is essential and makes the experience that much better. A great spot to pretend you are in Spain, and you must not forget to order the churros – so good. 

The Flat

This restaurant goes out to all of you who are vegetarian as they only sell veggie pizzas. Best pizza in Exeter (paired with Old Firehouse), so good – recommend the Smokey or Garlicky pizza – but must book in advance as it is very popular or can just get it to takeaway to sit by the quay.


Cannot bring up pizza without mentioning the Firehouse. One of the best pubs in Exeter and famous for their 14” pizzas. You cannot graduate Exeter unless you have visited here, even if you just go for the drinks as they also offer student discount – music to every students ears. Also often have live music which always has a great atmosphere. 


Feeling more of an occasion? Go to the Bootlegger and order a Limoncello Martini. More on the pricey side but they also have jazz on a Thursday which is really good so worth checking out if you are in to that. If more on a budget, go down the road to the Little Drop of Poison pub where you can bring your own food and has great entertainment – recently even having a sea shanty night.


If you still have any money left by the end of this another great place to eat is: AT HOME. Host a dinner party with friends with lots of Pimms and I am sure you will have a great experience. You have just finished your entire degree so I think it may be worth a celebration.

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