Vegetarians. You either hate them or you are one. There’s no denying that vegetarianism and veganism are hot topics in foodie culture right now. And while I’ve been riding the veggie train for the last year or so, I promise I won’t use this blog to try to shame you into cutting meat out of your life. That being said, I’ve been working very hard (and eating a lot of halloumi) to bring you what I believe to be the best vegetarian hot spots in our little bit of Devon heaven.
Let’s start things off with on-campus eateries. Whether you’re in need of a quick lunch between classes or you’re just too tired to walk into town, there are plenty of amazing restaurants on campus for veggies.
The Ram Bar: We all know that the Ram has the best curly fries known to man. If you ever manage to look past the curly fries, however, you’ll notice that their menu is incredibly vegetarian-friendly. My personal favorites are the Nachos and the Jalapeno Poppers. Both are only £3.95 for a huge amount of food. The best part? The Nachos come with a giant helping of guacamole for no extra charge.
Grove Diner: This may be the American in me but I love the Grove. There is no end to the jealousy I feel towards the Lafrowda residents that get to live just steps from this American-style diner. Their Havana burger (£4.75) is one of the best veggie burgers I’ve ever had. Bonus points as well for being one of the rare veggie burgers to be made of vegetables instead of just halloumi. It has sweet potatoes and peppers in the patty making it an amazing fall and winter dish. If you ask me, Grove Diner’s burgers are a gift from God.
It’s very hard to go wrong with a restaurant in the City Centre. There are endless options for good food in town but there are a few places that have really won my heart (and stomach) this term.
The Old Firehouse: This one’s a bit obvious. You can’t go to uni in Exeter and not have late-night pizza at the Firehouse. In addition to the restaurant being a time-honoured tradition amongst students, its vegetarian (and vegan!) options are some of the best you’ll find in the city. They currently have seven vegetarian pizzas and four vegan options. You can never go wrong with a classic Margherita (£7.50), but their Greek pizza (£12) is definitely worth a try. It comes with feta, olives, and a bunch of other Mediterranean vegetables plus tzatziki sauce for dipping. The pizzas are huge so make sure you bring a couple friends to dig in with you.
Bill’s: Bill’s is a great restaurant for late-night dinners with friends or a fun date. Though it’s a tiny bit pricier than the other restaurants on this list, the food is heavenly and totally worth it. The dishes have a very home-cooked feel but with the addition of interesting and unique ingredients. My personal favourite is the Macaroni Cheese (£9.95) which has mushrooms, leeks, and truffle oil mixed in. I’m always a fan of a good Mac n Cheese but adding truffle oil has truly changed the game.
Curry Leaf: It comes as no surprise that Curry Leaf was voted one of Exeter’s top restaurants in 2014 and 2015. Their authentic Indian food is easily the best you can get in the city. Curry Leaf’s menu is separated so that vegetarian food has its own section which makes it incredibly easy to pick out a meatless meal. For starters, the Vegetarian Samosa (£3 for 2) is a classic can’t-miss and is paired with a delicious dipping sauce. The Vegetable Korma (£7) is absolutely fantastic and has the best Korma sauce I’ve ever tasted. For a side, you must try the Aaloo Paratha (£2.75). It’s traditional bread stuffed with spicy potatoes and makes up 100% of my carb-loaded dreams.
Some more fun places to try are Tea on the Green for a traditional afternoon tea (savoury option available as well) and the Gourmet Street Kitchen tent that pops up near the Forum on Fridays during term. There’s also Seasons, an all-vegan food store in the city that provides amazing ingredients for a classic, home-cooked veggie meal. Whether you’re a strict vegetarian or an open-minded pal looking for a meatless meal, it’s very hard to go wrong in Exeter.