Locals’ fave in the heart of Exeter
There are restaurants that lay claim to the title of ‘neighbourhood bistro’ but so often they turn out to be just another casual dining chain.
It’s an absolute delight, therefore, to visit Harry’s Restaurant in Exeter, where there’s genuinely warm hospitality on tap all day every day, and a menu where ingredients have been gathered just down the road, often from suppliers who’ve been working with the restaurant for years.
With plentiful dining spots to choose from in Exeter, it says something that Harry’s is the go-to place for local foodies. It’s been in the same family since 1993, with chef Samantha Pounds now at the helm, having taken it on from her parents before her. The Pounds must have hospitality in the blood because Sam’s four daughters all work alongside her.
Inside, you’ll succumb to the relaxed, I-could-hang-around-all-day-here, bistro feel. The menus have instant appeal, offering more than 75 dishes from burgers and steaks to pasta and fish and a popular range of Mexican dishes. The exemplary wine list and intriguing cocktail menu make pre-dinner drinks a must.
Harry’s is easy to spot, the ornate frontage of this Victorian building is eye-catching to say the least. In days past it was an architectural sculptors’ workshop belonging to one Harry Hems, who by all accounts was a good chap for the city, each year hosting a meal for the poor. This unique heritage is cherish by the current owners, who clearly recognise a community champion when they see one – indeed a lucky horseshoe picked up by Mr Hems when he first arrived in the city is still on display above the front door.
The chateaubriand to share is a corker – especially when followed by the hot fudge brownie pud.
86 Longbrook Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 6AP
Chef: Samantha Pounds
Owner: Samantha Pounds
Monday to Sunday
Breakfast: 9am – 11.30am
Lunch: 12pm – 2.30pm
Dinner: 6pm – 11pm
- Kids welcome
- Disabled access
- Private dining available
- Gluten free options
- Online booking
Popcorn shrimp, aioli, £7
Slow-cooked barbecue pork ribs, seasoned fried, jalapeño ‘slaw, £15
Harry’s skillet pan cookie, hazelnut and Nutella, vanilla ice cream, £8