Café Countdown: Exeter’s Top Five

After a long essay-free summer, it’s particularly hard to get back into the flow of uni work. Now that deadlines are approaching and winter is well and truly on its way, head to one of the top five cafes in Exeter for a warm dose of caffeine or just some food-for-thought…

  1. Coffee Cellar, The Quay


Atmosphere: Located in an actual cellar towards the far end of the Quay, the lowly-lit café invites you in with fairy lights and large comfy sofas. Alternatively, they have plenty of outdoor seating right on the river meaning you can enjoy your coffee with a view, and hopefully in the sun.

Food: They serve typical café food, ranging from jacket potatoes to sandwiches and soups. The food is good quality and the service is efficient, with a varied menu to suit anyone’s taste.

Price: With a panini priced at £5.95 and a latte at £2.40, it’s definitely on the more expensive side. However, the location makes it worth spending a bit more – I’m determined everything tastes better with a view.

Best for: Lunch with the grandparents. Take any visiting family members here and not only do you get to show off the Quay, but it’s likely that the price won’t affect the poor student of the family.

  1. Artigiano, Exeter High Street


Atmosphere: Wine bar by night, Artigiano definitely has a sophisticated feel to it. It’s chic and spacious and has a variety of seating, with tables big enough for large groups.

Food: They serve fresh, artisan food. There is a good selection of fancy looking sandwiches, wraps, bagels and salads tempting you from the counter display. 

Price: Very student-friendly prices…the day your loan comes in: coffees are priced around £2.90. However the food is cheaper than the Coffee Cellar and a panini around the same size will cost you £3.95.

 Best for: A coffee date.

  1. Cakeadoodledoo, Deanery Place


 Atmosphere: Cakeadoodledoo is a light and bright café just behind Exeter cathedral which is hugely reminiscent of a Bath tea-shop. Aside from the masses of cake, the window display features a joke of the week. The most recent: ‘Went to a seafood disco…pulled a muscle’.

Food: Sandwiches, soups, and plenty of cakes baked to perfection.

Price: The prices are decent. A coffee will cost you £2.10 and a tea £1.80. The food is also well-priced, with cakes around £2 and a large bowl of soup at £4.50.

Best for: Tea and cake. Lots and lots of cake. Or scones- they’re big on their cream tea. Basically anything that’s quintessentially English.


  1. Boston Tea Party, Queen Street

BTP Atmosphere:  BTP is a vibrant café with high ceilings, long wooden tables, sofas, lamps and quirky wall art. It’s always buzzing with people, filled with flyers and it even has a table full of board games for you to try your hand at.

Food: They have the most extensive menu of all the cafés, serving breakfast foods (pancakes, Full English, eggs in every form they come in), as well as sandwiches, burgers and even rice dishes.

Price: A toastie will cost you £5.50 but the servings are generous. A fully packed burger with a pile of chips is £8.95, and coffees range from £2.45 to £2.95.

 Best for: When you have work to do. If there’s not enough space on campus, head to Boston Tea Party on a weekday. All the other students with notebooks and laptops surrounding their coffee might even motivate you to get a tiny bit done.

  1. Devon Coffee, Queen Street

devoncoffee2 Atmosphere:  Devon Coffee is a small and arty wooden café. They provide blankets for you to use and have plenty of books dotted around that are free to flick through.

Food:  The range of savoury food is small but at a high standard, all made to order. Go in for toastie, or, if you’re in need of some comfort food, a bacon butty.

They also have cakes, croissants, pain au chocolats and possibly the best brownies in Devon.

 Price: While a coffee is generally around £2.50, a toastie costs £3.95 and is decent sized and full of flavour.

Best for: A proper coffee. For those who know a bit about coffee, you’ll really taste the good quality. Other than that, it works for all of the above- a date, family visits, a place to work that’s more peaceful than BTP. All in all, Devon Coffee is an all-rounder and well worth a visit.

**Devon Coffee have announced that they are opening a new, larger store on Heavitree Road, currently under construction and opening soon.

Anna Bonet

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