We love Exeter’s food scene: whatever you’re in the mood for, you can guarantee that there’ll be somewhere in the city serving it!
So, if you’re hankering for a taste of the foods you’ve enjoyed on Mediterranean holidays, where do you decide to go? You may have your own favourites already (let us know if we’re missing them from our list!), but if not, we recommend that you get yourselves down to these Greek and Turkish restaurants in Exeter pronto…
Opa Greek Taverna
Relaxed and rustic are the words we’d use to describe Opa Greek Taverna on South Street, its blue and white painted wooden chairs and Greek landscape pictures on the walls making its heritage clear from the instant you walk in. It’s a great family-friendly restaurant with charming and friendly staff – and a menu that you’ll no doubt find impossible to choose from… The melt-in-the-mouth beef stifado is a great example of the dish – while the sticky and sweet Greek orange sponge cake is the perfect way to end your meal.
We love the cheerful vibe of Dinosaur Cafe, its chunky wooden furniture and cheerful yellow walls providing a sunny environment in which to enjoy some truly great Turkish mezze. It’s a family-run restaurant where you’re welcomed as a member of the family, and kids are fussed over and made to feel incredibly welcome. Their tahini-spiked hummus is creamy and delicious, and we love their lamb mince-stuffed aubergine dish too…if you’re a baklava fan, order some of theirs – take it home if you’re too full – as it’s among the best in Exeter.
Not far from the Guildhall Shopping Centre on Guinea Street is Turkish restaurant Ottoman Grill. With over 20 years of experience, the family-run team knows its stuff, with many of their dishes cooked over their traditional copper charcoal grill. As well as being tasty and authentic, you can guarantee that the dishes you’ll be served are beautifully presented, too – this is a place that understands that we really do eat with our eyes. Try the iskender: your choice of lamb kofte or chicken shish served with pitta bread, tomato sauce and garlic-spiked yoghurt – a traditional north-west Turkish dish.
Souvlaki and Gyros
Taking its name from two of Greece’s best-loved dishes, Souvlaki and Gyros on Buddle Lane in St Thomas is a place designed more for takeaway rather than eating in – but you’ll often find them popping up at local markets and festivals, too. Their chicken souvlaki falls apart perfectly under the fork, and served with pita, salad, sauce and chips, it’s a filling meal at a very affordable price. If you’re looking for something easy to eat on the go, their halloumi wrap (which even includes chips in its filling) is a tasty shout.
Pasha Restaurant Exeter
There’s no denying there’s a wealth of restaurants to choose from on South Street, but if you’re a fan of Mediterranean food, put Pasha Restaurant on your “to-visit” list. It’s a casual, laid-back place – look up when you walk in so you can see the amazing detail on the Turkish glass lanterns hanging from the ceiling! You’ll be offered complimentary bread and olives while you wait – but don’t fill up too much! The spiced grilled sea bass is our recommendation for fish lovers, while the mixed hot meze platter gives a great intro to a variety of signature Turkish dishes, including Pasha’s incredible courgette fritters.