A definitive list of the best places to go for graduation dinner in Exeter

If you haven’t booked one of these mouth-watering restaurants, you might have to brave the queue for Wagas…

Graduation day isn’t complete without a celebratory meal and one too many cocktails. Once the ceremony is complete, it’s time to strut your dazzling outfit through the streets of Exeter and cheers to all you’ve achieved. However, we know how quickly restaurants get booked up in Exeter, so if you haven’t secured a booking, you’ll either likely be dining at an odd time or settling for a cheeky Nando’s.

Hurry, these restaurants have a few bookings left, so you might be able to squeeze in somewhere. We’ve compiled a definitive list of all the best places to go for graduation dinner, whether celebrating with a large family or with the girls. All include Instagrammable interiors, and cocktails, of course. *Frantically types Côte, Exeter*

The Ivy

Of course, Exeter’s iconic Ivy had to be at the top of the list. Its elegant ambience makes it the perfect setting for a top-notch dining experience, no matter the time of day. It’s no wonder that Exeter parents reportedly reserved tables weeks before the graduation dates were released. Every middle-class mother will agree that you always know where you are with the Ivy. If your mummy managed to secure a booking, you should expect delectable cuisine, with dishes from the new Ivy Asia menu, including lots of sushi and spicy dishes for those who want more of a kick. However, the shepherd’s pie is a hearty classic. Make your graduation even more special with a celebratory chocolate bomb, and delve into the range of cocktails with a twist.




This one is for lovers of Italian food. Uni students love pasta – frankly it’s all we seem to eat. This family-owned restaurant offers a cosy atmosphere for a celebratory meal with its urban-style interior and centrepiece tree – a perfect shot for the Instagrammers among us.  They serve a variety of mouth-watering starters and make excellent carbonara as well as seafood. Make sure to cheer to graduation with the extensive wine list.



If you want to push the boat out (with the bank of Mum and Dad), you should try Stage. Found on Magdalen Road, this Michelin-star tasting menu certainly will not disappoint. Is there a better way to celebrate the end of your Exet-ah era than indulging in a six course tasting experience? If you want to take it up a notch, the cocktail flight will get the whole party staggering out of the restaurant. Cocktails with every course? Um, yes, please.


All year you’ve walked past, wishing to dine here rather than eating yet another questionable ready meal. Well, graduation gives you the perfect opportunity! This family-owned place is in the heart of the student neighbourhood on Longbrook Street. Whether having a laid-back lunch with your housemates or a sophisticated dinner with the family, this is the restaurant to see off your university days in style. The menu offers exquisite dishes with produce locally sourced from places such as Darts Farm. Come graduation week, and the place will be jammed with Exe-tah students and parents.


The Agricultural Inn

If you’re in the mood for an idyllic countryside drive followed by a delicious pub lunch, then the Agricultural Inn, located slightly outside Exeter is definitely worth a visit. The charming dining pods are a must for the occasion. Accommodating up to six people, they offer a unique dining experience in the Devon countryside.


Al Farid

If you’re one of those Exe-tah girls who live for falafel and hummus, then Al Farid is the perfect restaurant to consider for your graduation dinner. Nestled in Cathedral Square, this is an award-winning Moroccan and Lebanese restaurant. A firm favourite is the Mezze, an array of mouthwatering small dishes to be shared with the family or friend group. With their distinct flavours, complemented by the lively ambience, these dishes are guaranteed to take you on a journey to the Middle East. But it doesn’t stop there; the drinks menu includes traditional Moroccan cocktails and beers. You might find your new fav – maybe changing your regular order from anything other than a Pornstar Martini.


On the Waterfront

Every Exeter student seems to flock to the quay in the summer. Can you think of a more idyllic setting to celebrate your graduation? The restaurant boasts stunning views of the quay, irresistible cocktail deals, and gigantic pizzas that you will struggle to finish. Clearly, pizza and Pimms are the only way to go.

The Botanist

Let’s call it an up-market Mega Kebab. What a way to celebrate your graduation- with fancy kebabs and cocktails. I’m sold. In particular, the roof terrace, decked with fairy lights and fire-pits, is the perfect summer spot for a graduation dinner, whether getting boozy with friends or dining with your parents.

The Terrace

Hence the name, The Terrace, is arguably the most aesthetic roof garden in Exeter. The views across the city are top-notch, giving you yet another photo opportunity to show off your dazzling graduation attire. The signature cocktail trees you’ve seen all over Instagram are a must on this day of celebration. However, the food is also a winner; the à la carte menu offers a range of globally inspired dishes, so there’s something for everyone.


Côte Brasserie

French food screams bougie; we’re talking mussels, steak, and wine—the epitome of an Exe-tah dinner. Despite being a chain, this is a strong competitor for your graduation dinner. You’ll find yourself looking at the majestic cathedral with a glass of Pinot Grigio; the height of luxury. Like the Ivy, the food at Côte can always be relied on.

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