Seven of the best coffee shops in Exeter
Heidi Notter is a newbie to Exeter and to the blog, she has been exploring the coffee shops in town and has chosen seven of the best coffee shops in Exeter especially for you.
After moving to Exeter last September from Surrey (where I was living about half an hour outside of London) I was keen to get to know all the best places for coffee in and around Exeter, as I knew that working remotely meant that I would need to know where I can get a good caffeine fix. When Stephanie approached me about writing a blog post on Exeter’s coffee shops after seeing my Instagram post about working my way around Exeter, one coffee shop at a time. I jumped at this opportunity – who wouldn’t want an excuse to visit even more.
I would like to start by saying that I have not visited all of the coffee shops in Exeter, I have a very long list of places I am planning to visit so maybe there will be a part 2 to this blog if it proves popular.
Exeter is not by any means short of coffee shops, there are some lovely little independent cafés that are hard not to love – I mean who doesn’t love a place where all the staff have a real passion for coffee?
So, after nine and a half months of living in Exeter, here are my top coffee shop finds so far….
1. The most instagrammable coffee shop – Pink Moon Café
Pink Moon Café can be found on Queen Street, a stone’s throw away from Exeter Central station and is one of Exeter’s newest coffee and dining spots. My visit to Pink Moon reminded me of some of the trendy London cafes such as EL&N Café and GRIND with the neon lights and pink theme, it seems to be the “in place” to snap a photo of your coffee amongst the pretty décor. There is a café / grab & go side to the café and a restaurant side for those who would like to sip and dine at a more leisurely pace. The staff also informed me that downstairs there is a cocktail bar and dancefloor for their Friday & Saturday club nights which I am looking forward to going back and checking out, I mean who can turn down 2-4-1 cocktails?
Besides the pretty décor and the multi-purpose venue let’s talk coffee, I ordered my usual – a latte, it did not disappoint and was pretty reasonably priced too at £2.80. I also love anywhere that supports local businesses and I found out that Pink Moon Café uses Crankhouse Coffee which is roasted in Exeter.
For my first coffee shop there was a fair amount of detail there, don’t worry they won’t all be like this, but I got slightly carried away with writing about Pink Moon Café.
2. The best commuting coffee – The Exploding Bakery
Staying in the same area of Exeter, the next place on my list is the Exploding Bakery, also on Queen Street just beside the entrance to Exeter Central station. For me, this café is super convenient if you’re finished in the city and have some time to kill before your train is due, a perfect opportunity to squeeze in a coffee. Admittedly, I haven’t had any of the bakery items from here so I feel like I can’t properly review the café as the word bakery is in the name of the café but I can tell you that it all looks delicious.
I opted for my favourite, a latte which was beautifully crafted by baristas that clearly have a passion for coffee, I love the décor in there – I love anywhere that is full of shelves and plants. I was shocked to learn that there was no wifi in the café (working remotely means I am often on the hunt for places to work from for an hour or two)… But then I don’t blame the cafes for this, as I can imagine some people order very little and sit in cafes for half a day.
3. The best place to get a caffeine fix whilst shopping – South Street Standard
Centrally located just off of the crossroads and on the Cathedral Green, South Street Standard is one of my favourite spots when my boyfriend heads to the barbers. You can always count on there being a buzzing atmosphere and a good latte none the less.
With its trendy industrial feel and plenty of seating, it perfect for a caffeine fix during a shopping trip. I have got South Street Standard’s brunch on my list to try as whenever I’ve been in there for a latte I get food envy when the staff walk past with the food orders, oh and I hear they do a Mac n Cheese which means I have to arrange a trip to try this as Mac n Cheese is one of my favourites.
4. The place to go for coffee & doughnuts – March Coffee
A little further down South Street, you will find March Coffee, another café where you can see how passionate the staff are about coffee, finishing the latte off with creative latte art. Not only do March do coffee well, but they make fresh doughnuts every morning which are a popular hit across Exeter. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of their doughnuts as I was stood drooling over which one to go for (not literally drooling) but you only have to look at their Instagram to see how delicious their doughnuts are.
5. The Cutest Hidden Coffee Spot – Caffe Espresso
Caffe Espresso on Castle Street not only know how to make a delicious latte but you can sit upstairs and enjoy your coffee with a view over Exeter Castle. You may not notice Caffe Espresso unless you walk around the side streets of the city centre but I would encourage everyone to visit this delightful café. Everything on their lunch menu sounds delicious, the cakes at the counter make it difficult to walk away with just a coffee, especially the chocolate chip banana loaf and the staff are extremely friendly.
Make sure you get there early to get the prime spot on the first floor at the table that looks out of the glass doors over the castle.
6. Best Place to Refuel after the adrenalin has been pumping – The Ridge Coffee Shop
I love spending time by the water at Exeter Quayside, and this is where I came across The Ridge coffee shop. Located on Haven Road, next door to clip n climb and across the road from AS Watersports, the location makes it a perfect spot to refuel after a climb or paddleboarding session. The décor is fun and bright, the staff are lovely and The Ridge is also dog-friendly which is a bonus for me as I am often on the hunt for places I can go with my dog post-dog walk.
If you haven’t visited The Ridge yet make sure you add it to your list.
7. Coffee with a view – Mango’s Café & Bar
Whilst reviewing coffee around the Quayside I thought I would mention one of my favourite spots over the other side of the river for sitting and watching the world go by. There is always a great atmosphere down at the Quay, no matter what day of the week it is and I just love the location of Mango’s Café. It did help that my most recent visit to Mango’s was on one of those glorious sunny days where the temperature was in the early twenties so I was able to sit outside overlooking the river and the rest of the quay with an iced latte in hand. Even on days where the weather isn’t so great, the team at Mango’s are friendly, coffee enthusiasts who welcome dogs into the cosy café within the arches of the quayside. Mango’s breakfasts also seem to be a hot topic at the moment so I will be heading down there soon to try one myself!
As mentioned at the start of this blog post, my coffee journey around Exeter does not stop here, there are so many places for me still to visit. This post only just scratches the surface on what Exeter’s coffee scene has to offer and I am looking forward to reviewing more coffee shops and café over the summer months.
About the Author:
Heidi Notter moved from Surrey to Exeter last year with her boyfriend and pup to escape the hustle and bustle of living on the outskirts of London for a more outdoorsy lifestyle in Devon.
Heidi’s day job is marketing food which naturally makes her a foodie, meaning you will quite often find her in restaurants and coffee shops around Exeter which is unrelated to her day job but she just can’t keep away.
Heidi and her boyfriend like to spend a lot of time outdoors which is one of the reasons that attracted them to live in Exeter. At the weekends they love exploring the south-west from jumping on paddleboards and exploring by water, to putting on the walking boots and heading to Dartmoor with their dog and of course spending lots of time at the amazing beaches that Devon and Cornwall have to offer!Tags: caffe espresso, coffee, Exeter, exeter coffee shops, Haven Banks, latte, mangos cafe and bar, march coffee, pink moon cafe, south st standard, the exploding bakery, The Ridge Coffee Shop