Unsure of where to visit in Exeter when it comes to food and drink, be it for a morning coffee, tea, brunch, lunch or takeaway snack, afternoon tea, early evening drinks or dinner, then the InExeter Eat & Drink Guide 2019 will certainly give you a taste of what Exeter has to offer.
Whatever your favourite style of food is, be it African, Asian, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Vegan, the new 2019 Guide is separated out into the diversity of different genres, including everything from the small independents to the large chains to help you with your choice of dining and or drinking.
We were invited on a Safari Supper, a bit like a foodie trail, to sample just a small crumb of the huge plate in the guide.
The Red Panda
We began at The Red Panda Deli in Gandy Street for starters. Now I’ve eaten at a few places in and around the city and I had not yet visited this Asian street food venue.
It’s best known as a takeaway shop which is very popular with customers grabbing lunch on the move. I tasted one of James’ Pork Bao Buns with pork belly, home-made pickles, cucumber, chilli dressing and chopped peanuts. The bun was super soft and the filling particularly tasty. I can see why the Bao Buns are great for eating whilst on the move as the fillings stay in the bun and you don’t end up with half of it in your serviette or down your top!
There is a choice of Bao Buns, chicken or tofu and a selection of rice and salad boxes or a mix of both if you’ve a bit of a hungry appetite. Popular with both vegans and carnivores, you need to get there early as everything is made fresh and dishes sell out pretty quickly.
Where is it?
Red Panda Deli, 29 Gandy Street, Exeter EX4 3LS
Our next stop was a little jaunt to Circa 1924, tucked away in Northernhay Place, behind Boots.
This is another hidden jewel that I had not yet had the opportunity to visit. I was so excited by the menu and the presentation of the dishes that Kate, the charming and passionate Restaurant Manger, brought out from the kitchen for us to try. Kate told us that they try to make everything in-house, source as much produce as locally possible which I think reflects in the look and the taste of everything we ate. The homemade sourdough and homemade butter was superb. We sampled dishes from the House Sharing Menu and from the A La Carte Spring Menu, which included Porthilly oysters, Exmoor venison carpaccio with beetroot, roasted hake with wild garlic veloute and braised lamb tacos.
With a vegan diner amongst us, two pretty tasty dishes were tweaked from the main menu as a salt baked celeriac and sourdough with sautéed mushrooms arrived at our table.
Credit is also due to the Chef, who stepped up to the role from Front of House last year who now works his magic in the kitchen. All diners are catered for here and the service is very friendly. Circa 1924 is another place for me to add to my list of eateries to visit with friends.
Next stop after a walk along Fore Street, towards the bottom end we arrived at The Flat.
It’s a Vegetarian and Vegan Italian restaurant, mainly known for the freshly baked pizzas, using locally sourced produce. They are very proud of their home made mozzarella and parmesan cheese and can rustle up Gluten Free pizza bases too, so all diners catered for here and if you want to enjoy having a taste of Italy in your own home, you can grab food to takeaway. We sampled several of the pizzas from the menu and watched them being made.
My favourite was the ‘Garlicky’, with courgettes, aubergines, red onions, mixed seeds, mozzarella and garlic oil. Pizza toppings include spicy tomato, goats cheese, halloumi, smoked cheese, truffle oil, red onion chutney, parmesan, mozzarella to name a few, small or regular size, depending on your appetite. Also popular are the ‘Sfilatino’, a folded pizza which several diners were tucking into.
Our final stop was a walk to the top of town to Ebdons Refreshments in Sidwell Street.
I have visited Ebdons on several occasions after recommendation from Chris, Editor Dining Devon, for a coffee and cocktails and to sample a delicious sharing platter of local cheeses and charcuterie. Focusing on local produce and produce made and baked in-house, it offers cakes, bakes, drinks, brunch, lunch with a tempting menu which changes daily. It’s also open in the evening for drinks and cocktails making it a great place to pop in after work.
We sampled some tasty cheeses and chutney, which is available to buy from the deli counter, with sourdough (from St Sidwells) and as it was the end of our evening, we tried a selection of desserts – proper homemade ones. The chocolate brownie was ‘to die for’ especially with Poppy’s homemade chocolate sauce. It is vegan friendly too! The Carrot Cake and Toffee Apple slice were also delicious.
New to Ebdons, they are now serving Baboo Gelato ice cream and sorbets which you can have with or without cake! I do say ‘there’s always room for ice cream’ which is true if you’ve got a small appetite or if you have happened to eaten rather a lot (like I had) and fancy something cool and sweet which will just slide down! You might fancy an Affogato, quite trendy and refreshing, which is a scoop of vanilla ice cream served with a shot of hot coffee which you pour over the ice cream.
I think we are spoilt for choice for places to eat or drink in Exeter and the Eat & Drink InExeter Guide 2019 will help you decide where you might like to go. What’s good about the guide is that it tells you a little story about the establishment and owners, what style of food and drink it serves, where it is located and contact information.
You can pick up a hard copy from Exeter Library, Tourist Information, any of the venues features in the guide or you can download the InExter Eat and Drink in Exeter Guide 2019 here.
We were invited along on a PR Event to celebrate the new InExeter guide, all food sampled was complimentary. All views and opinions are our own and not reviewed before publishing.