Looking for the absolute best restaurants in Exeter New Hampshire? We’re sharing 16 delicious spots you won’t want to miss!
Exeter, New Hampshire, is a charming town that offers a diverse culinary scene, from classic American diners to authentic Thai restaurants.
With so many dining options, it can be challenging to decide where to go. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 16 best restaurants in Exeter to help you plan your next meal.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner, a quick lunch, or a family-friendly spot, our list has got you covered. So, let’s explore the best restaurants in Exeter New Hampshire!
16. The Conservatory
18 North Street, Exeter EX4 3QS England| European, British| $21 – $33 | Tuesday to Saturday 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm and 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
If you’re in the area and looking for an upscale dining experience in a historically significant and visually appealing setting, The Conservatory is an excellent choice. This fine dining establishment is located in the historic Gideon Gilman House in downtown Exeter, and it prides itself on using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients to create its menu.
The Conservatory is famous for its elegant and romantic ambiance, gorgeous furnishings, and cozy fireplace. It provides top-notch Mediterranean food in lavish, comfortable settings, ideal for a date night out.
As soon as you step into this Exeter restaurant, you’ll be greeted by towering exotic plants and enormous windows draped with curtains that let in plenty of natural light. The romantic ambiance perfectly complements the delicious cuisine that emphasizes fresh local ingredients and tried-and-true cooking techniques without being overly pretentious.
Some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes include grilled ribeye steak, seared scallops, and roasted duck breast. They also have an extensive wine list that features both local and international wines. However, it’s worth noting that the menu changes frequently to reflect the seasons and availability of fresh ingredients.
Due to its popularity among both locals and visitors, we strongly recommend making a reservation if you plan on dining at this restaurant.
15. Otis Restaurant
4 Front St, Exeter, NH | American, Cocktail Bars | $11 – $30 | Thursday 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Nestled in the heart of downtown Exeter, New Hampshire, is a charming restaurant bursting with personality. Otis Restaurant offers a diverse selection of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, ranging from sandwiches and burgers to seafood, salads, and craft cocktails. In addition, they have a seasonal five-course tasting menu that changes regularly.
For a more intimate dining experience, you can reserve one of the four seats at the chef’s counter and watch as your food is prepared. Otherwise, you can sit back and relax by one of the restaurant’s stunning windows, taking in the beautiful scenery.
Don’t miss out on trying some of Otis Restaurant’s mouthwatering entrees, such as crispy chicken rillette, duck breast with confit tortellini, or a delectable stone fruit galette for dessert.
However, with only 28 seats available, reservations are essential. Despite this, Otis Restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy warm hospitality and exceptional cuisine in a charming and historic setting.
11 Water St Exeter, NH 03833| Italian| $5 – $33 | Wednesday to Saturday 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm
This next restaurant in Exeter, New Hampshire, is ideal for those searching for delectable Italian cuisine, a cozy atmosphere, and outstanding service.
Cornicello is one of the most famous Italian restaurants in Exeter NH. This Italian restaurant offers a selection of pasta dishes, wood-fired pizza, seafood, and other traditional Italian dishes.
This Exeter restaurant pays homage to its rustic roots by offering a seasonal menu that creatively reimagines Italian cuisine using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
For a taste of ultimate Italian comfort food, try their Bolognese or aragosta fra diavolo, which features Maine-caught lobster. Vegetarians, on the other hand, should opt for the ziti with porcini and mushroom cream, prepared with king oyster mushrooms.
To elevate your dining experience, don’t forget to peruse their exquisitely curated Italian wine list.
Aside from the food, the warm atmosphere of this restaurant is one of its most endearing qualities, making it an ideal spot for dining with loved ones. The dim lighting, warm hues, and rustic decor create a cozy and intimate ambiance. You can choose to sit on their cushioned benches with earth tones or dine outdoors on a sunny day.
However, due to the restaurant’s small size, reservations can be difficult to come by. We recommend making a reservation several weeks in advance if you plan to dine at this Italian restaurant while in town.
Rockbeare, London Rd, Exeter EX5 2EE, United Kingdom | British, Pub| $29 – $50 | Monday to Saturday 11:00 am – 2:30 pm and 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
If you’re looking for another restaurant to add to your list in Exeter, New Hampshire, be sure to check out The Jack in the Green Inn. Located a few miles west of downtown, this restaurant offers delicious, high-quality meals prepared with only the freshest ingredients, along with a great selection of beers.
Jack in the Green Inn prioritizes using only the finest ingredients and has developed a local network of suppliers to achieve this goal. When we visited this restaurant, we learned from the staff that some of their suppliers have been with them since day one.
The menu at this Exeter restaurant features elevated versions of traditional tavern fare, including dishes like rack of lamb and duck. In addition to their impressive selection of entrees, they also offer a variety of appetizers that go beyond what you might find at other restaurants.
If you’re having trouble deciding on a main course, we recommend trying one of their delicious steaks or unique dishes. Alternatively, you can opt for something from their straightforward pub menu.
No matter what you choose, you’re sure to love the food at this Exeter restaurant. Don’t hesitate to give it a try!
12. Vino e Vivo
163 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833 | Wine bar | $8 – $38 | Wednesday to Saturday 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Next on our list of the absolute best restaurants in Exeter New Hampshire, is Vino e Vivo!
On the narrow path between the river walk and Water Street is Vino e Vivo, a wine tavern with a European atmosphere.
If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, this Exeter restaurant is a must-visit. They serve a variety of traditional dishes that are hard to find elsewhere in the region.
While the dinner menu is an eclectic mix of contemporary American cuisine, we highly recommend starting with their cheese and charcuterie. And if you have a sweet tooth, you won’t want to miss their famous duck fat beignets.
As the name suggests, Vino e Vivo also offers an extensive wine selection, with many Italian options. With twenty wines available by the glass and over fifty by the bottle, wine enthusiasts will have plenty of opportunities to discover new favorites and pair their meals perfectly.
The restaurant’s warm and inviting ambiance also adds to the dining experience. Inspired by the warmth and social qualities of European wine bars, the restaurant features plenty of windows, light wooden colors, and pleasant lighting. It’s the perfect setting for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner.
If you’re looking for a unique dining experience in town and enjoy Italian food, be sure to check out this restaurant.
6 Front St Exeter, NH 03833 | Contemporary | $5 – $24 | Wednesday to Sunday 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Ambrose is another fine dining establishment that should be on your itinerary when you visit any of the best restaurants in Exeter New Hampshire.
This town’s restaurant delivers modern American cuisine focusing on fresh, locally produced ingredients and lies in a restored 1809 Federal-style mansion.
Ambrose provides a sophisticated dining experience with an elegant ambiance, attentive service, and delicious cuisine. If you are searching for a restaurant for a special occasion or desire a more refined dining experience in Exeter, this establishment could be a good choice.
It’s worth noting that Ambrose’s menu changes with the seasons, so you can expect to find new and exciting dishes throughout the year. This is great news for those who enjoy fresh, seasonal flavors.
During our visit to Ambrose, we were impressed by the truffle burrata, a highlight of their summer 2022 menu. The deconstructed patatas bravas served with homemade harissa was another standout dish that was not only delicious but also fun to share.
Their selection of wine, beer, and specialty cocktails were also excellent. These drinks pay homage to regional producers and perfectly complement their small-plate specialties.
In addition to the food and beverages, Ambrose is known for its charming atmosphere and historical location, which adds to the overall dining experience. However, it’s worth noting that there are only six intimate tables in the restaurant’s dining room, which features a fireplace and views of Exeter’s charming downtown. If the weather permits, their outdoor patio is a lovely option for al fresco dining.
The service at Ambrose is also exceptional, with the host closely monitoring operations and the chef making rounds to ensure guests are enjoying their meals.
10. Lexie’s Exeter
82 Lincoln St Exeter, NH 03833 | Burgers | $4 – $13 | Monday to Sunday 11:30 am – 8:00 pm
Lexie’s Exeter is the place to go if you’re searching for reasonably priced, casual food.
Lexie’s is one of the top casual dining restaurants in Exeter New Hampshire. This restaurant is well-known for its inventive burger combinations, such as the poutine burger with french fries, gravy, and cheese curds. The banh mi burger with fermented vegetables and sriracha mayonnaise is also a crowd’s favorite.
In addition to their creative burger combinations, Lexie’s offers a selection of appetizers, salads, and sandwiches. Additionally, they offer vegetarian and gluten-free options and a selection of beer and wine.
When ordering at the counter, make sure to look at the chalkboard menu for the day’s specials. They often provide unique burgers, side dishes, and beverage specials daily.
Try their famous tacos with spicy aioli. You can also order one of their customizable burgers, another customer favorite, at this restaurant.
Apart from their delicious food and reasonable prices, our favorite aspect of this Exeter restaurant is its cozy ambiance, which includes indoor and outdoor seating. They also provide takeout options if you would rather eat dinner elsewhere.
If you’re searching for a place to have a relaxed meal with friends or a nice family dinner, Lexie’s is the place to go!
156 Epping Rd, Exeter, NH 03833 | American, Bar, Pub, Brew Pub, Beer restaurants| $6 – $22 | Tuesday to Thursday 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Sunday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sawbelly Brewing is an Exeter-based New Hampshire specialty brewery. They offer a rotating selection of seasonal and limited-edition beers and a piece of distinct and flavorful pints.
This brewery has a taproom where you can purchase cans or growlers to take home. They also offer a tour of their facility where you can learn about fermentation and how they produce their beverages.
Aside from that, Sawbelly Brewing also offers a limited selection of snacks and light bites. Among the items on their menu are soft pretzels, nachos with salsa, and cheese plates. Even better, this brewery frequently hosts community events such as live music shows and trivia nights.
With their cozy ambiance, snacks and small bites, brewery tours, and community events, you can easily spend the whole night here!
This is one of our favorite restaurants in Exeter NH despite not having a ton of food because the atmosphere is just awesome.
98 Fore St, Heavitree, Exeter EX1 2RS, United Kingdom | Local Cuisine, Cafe, British, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options | $2 – $17 | Monday to Friday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Nestled in Exeter, New Hampshire, the Daisy Cafe is a warm and welcoming establishment that’s not to be missed.
As a community benefit cafe, they strive to be accessible and serve high-quality British cuisine that’s perfect for the whole family. Their breakfast menu offers traditional options like pancakes, omelets, and breakfast sandwiches, but they also have unique selections that are sure to delight.
For lunch, they serve a variety of sandwiches, salads, and soups, as well as daily specials that showcase their creativity and culinary expertise. And in addition to its culinary menu, the Daisy Cafe provides a variety of coffee, tea, smoothies, and other specialty beverages.
Coffee and sweets are the restaurant’s specialty, so be sure to sample a pastry when you visit if you want the whole experience of this friendly cafe.
With indoor and outdoor seating options, this restaurant offers a warm and inviting ambiance where you can unwind and enjoy a meal or a drink on your own or catch up with friends and family.
If you’re searching for the best restaurants in Exeter NH, look no further than this gem. Not only do they serve up delicious breakfast and lunch options, but they also showcase the works of local artists and host community events like poetry readings and live music performances. These events provide the perfect opportunity to engage with the local community and enjoy some entertainment while you dine.
97 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833 | Asian, Thai, Vegetarian Friendly, Seafood, Bars | $5 – $23 | Monday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Wednesday to Sunday 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
When it comes to the best restaurants in Exeter NH, Capital Thai Restaurant and Bar is a standout. Located just a block west of String Bridge on Water Street, they serve up authentic Thai cuisine, including traditional street food.
Their menu features a wide selection of dishes, including curry, stir-fry, and noodle meals, all made with top-notch, fresh ingredients. The flavors are traditional Thai with a contemporary twist, resulting in distinctive and inventive cuisine that stays true to its origins.
If you’re looking for a great starter, be sure to try their vegetarian crispy rolls and chicken satay. And don’t miss their vegetarian twist on the traditional tom yum soup.
In addition to their delectable cuisine, Capital Thai Kitchen and Bar also offers an array of specialty cocktails and other drinks. Their drinks menu features traditional cocktails reinvented with a Thai influence, as well as a selection of beers, wines, and other alcoholic beverages.
Best of all, their food and drinks are reasonably priced. The only downside is that they close at eight o’clock in the evening, so be sure to arrive early.
Overall, Capital Thai Kitchen and Bar is a must-visit restaurant in Exeter, NH, offering a unique and delicious Thai dining experience. With authentic cuisine, modern touches, great ambiance, superb service, and specialty cocktails, it’s no wonder this restaurant is so well-loved in the city.
69 Water St Exeter, NH 03833 | Thai, Chinese | $6 – $22 | Monday to Thursday 11:00 am – 3:00 pm and 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Friday 11:00 am – 3:00 pm and 4:30 am – 9:00 pm, Saturday 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Sunday 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
For a contemporary twist on traditional Asian cuisine, make your way to Oba Noodle Bar in Exeter. This cozy restaurant specializes in ramen and classic Thai dishes, offering a combination of traditional and modern flavors.
Their extensive menu features appetizers, soups, flavorful Thai dishes, and their signature dish, ramen. Start your meal off right with some edamame and a seaweed salad, and be sure to try their Oba ramen. This thick and savory dish comes with your choice of chashu pork, shrimp tempura, or no meat.
If you’re a fan of spice, don’t miss their kimchi udon soup.
But Oba Noodle Bar is more than just a noodle shop. They also offer a comprehensive selection of beer, wine, and other beverages to complement your meal. Plus, the comfortable seating and open kitchen provide a great atmosphere to watch the chefs at work.
The friendly staff is another plus, as they’re happy to help you navigate the menu, make recommendations based on your preferences, and even provide delivery.
If you’re in the area and looking for a quick lunch or a night out with friends and family, be sure to visit Oba Noodle Bar. They’ll take you on a culinary adventure that’s sure to satisfy your cravings.
9 Water St Exeter, NH 03833 | American, Bar, Pub | $11 – $30 | Monday to Saturday 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The Sea Dog Brewing Company is quickly becoming a local favorite in Exeter, NH, and it’s no surprise why. This famous brewery, with locations throughout the Northeast, offers a menu of inventive American classics that perfectly complement their craft beers.
Their menu features traditional American pub cuisines, such as burgers, sandwiches, and seafood, but with a creative twist that will delight food lovers of all backgrounds.
Sea Dog Brewing Company is renowned for its wide selection of draft beers, including their famous Sea Dog Blueberry Wheat Ale brewed with genuine Maine blueberries. They also offer occasional and limited-release beers and a rotating selection of guest taps.
When you visit, be sure to try their soft pretzels and buffalo chicken wings, which pair perfectly with your favorite beer. Sharing a plate of ale-steamed mussels is also a great option, and we highly recommend it.
In addition to their delicious cuisine and drinks, Sea Dog Brewing Company offers a casual and unpretentious atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating. The nautical-themed interior design pays homage to the brewery’s coastal roots.
Don’t forget to stop by their gift shop, where you can purchase Sea Dog souvenirs and beer to take home. And keep an eye out for live music, trivia nights, and fundraising events.
If you’re looking for a convenient spot to grab a bite while exploring the area, Sea Dog Brewing Company is the place to be.
42 Water St Exeter, NH 03833 | Chinese, Asian | $2 – $40 | Monday to Thursday and Sunday 11:30 am – 10:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:30 am – 11:00 pm
If you’re in Exeter, a visit to Sichuan Taste is an absolute must. This restaurant has been one of the city’s finest dining establishments for over 25 years and is located on the south side of Water Street near various local businesses.
Specializing in authentic Szechuan cuisine, their menu features fiery stir-fries, noodle dishes, and hot pots, as well as many vegetarian options. Whether you’re in the mood for something spicy or mild, you’re sure to find something you love here.
Be sure to try their moo shi veggies, a standout vegetarian dish, and don’t forget the fried ice cream for dessert.
If you’re visiting on a Sunday, take advantage of their popular buffet lunch, which is a hit with tourists and locals alike.
Sichuan Taste is also perfect for a romantic evening or a dinner with friends and family. The intimate atmosphere, comfortable seating, and elegant decor create a traditional Chinese restaurant feel.
Their dining area features large low-top tables with comfortable chairs, as well as several lounge and bar seating options. The staff provides exceptional service, making you feel right at home.
Lastly, Sichuan Taste serves large portions at reasonable prices, offering excellent value for their exceptional quality and service. Don’t miss out on this gem of a restaurant in Exeter.
66 Lincoln St, Exeter, NH | Breakfast & Brunch, Diners, Café | $3 – $13 | Wednesday to Sunday 6:00 am – 1:00 pm
Just a short distance from the train station in West Exeter, Trackside Cafe on Lincoln Street is a family-owned restaurant that serves breakfast all day, along with a delicious lunch menu.
Their menu features classic pancakes, fresh-off-the-griddle French toast, and roast beef sandwiches, as well as contemporary dishes like breakfast burritos and a delicious Grecian salad.
Be sure to try their club sandwiches, eggs benedict with homemade hollandaise sauce, and expertly cooked omelets.
And don’t miss out on their renowned freshly brewed coffee, made from locally roasted beans. They also offer a selection of specialty beverages, including lattes, cappuccinos, and espresso shots.
If you’re in town and looking for a quick breakfast or lunch spot with freshly brewed coffee, Trackside Cafe is the place to be.
90 Front St Exeter, NH 03833 | American, Bar, Pub | $12 – $25 | Wednesday to Saturday 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Epoch Gastropub, located in the historic Exeter Inn in the heart of the Philip Exeter Academy Campus, serves modern classics and global flavors in its newly renovated space.
Their inventive menu features modern American cuisine with global influences, and an extensive selection of artisan beers, wines, and cocktails. The menu includes various small plates, sandwiches, sides, large platters, and desserts that feature seasonal local ingredients.
Their best-selling dishes include duck confit poutine, wild mushroom risotto, fish tacos, and maple-glazed pork chop, and they offer a wide selection of gluten-free and vegetarian options. Be sure to try their crispy brussels sprouts with guanciale and spring chicken and burrata salad with fresh local arugula.
The vibrant bar area is perfect for socializing with friends and enjoying craft beers, wines, and cocktails during happy hour or late-night drinks.
Epoch Gastropub offers a warm and inviting ambiance with rustic décor and a lively bar, providing an intimate and enjoyable dining experience. They also have a charming patio under twinkling lights with ample outdoor seating if the weather permits.
If you plan to dine at Epoch Gastropub during your time in Exeter, we highly recommend making a reservation in advance, especially during peak hours and on weekends.
1. Khaophums II
1 Portsmouth Ave, Exeter, NH | Thai | $5 – $18 | Monday to Friday 11:30 pm – 9:00 pm, Saturday 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Exeter, New Hampshire, is home to several excellent Thai restaurants, but Khaophums II stands out as one of the best in the area.
Whether you’re looking for lunch or dinner, this authentic Thai restaurant is a must-visit. Their menu features popular dishes like pad thai, inebriated noodles, massaman curry, and papaya salad, all of which are prepared to perfection.
Be sure to try their crab Rangoon for the perfect combination of crispiness and flavor. And don’t miss out on their wild noodles or mango curry for a flavorful and entertaining entree. You can’t leave without trying their signature dishes, such as the green curry and papaya salad.
Khaophums II’s interior is warm and inviting, with marigold walls and maroon vinyl booths. The intricate art pieces with gold foil dragons add character and transport you to Thailand.
Their patio features picnic tables with umbrellas and is perfect for enjoying takeout orders.
If you’re a fan of Thai cuisine, Khaophums II is a must-visit while in town.
Why visit Exeter NH?
There are plenty of things to see and do in Exeter, from exploring the Phillips Exeter Academy campus, one of the most prestigious private schools in the country, to visiting the American Independence Museum, which features exhibits on the American Revolution.
Exeter is also home to a diverse culinary scene, with restaurants offering everything from classic American diner fare to authentic Thai cuisine.
Nature lovers will appreciate the town’s many parks and trails, including the Swasey Parkway and the Exeter River Trail, which offer scenic views of the river and surrounding wildlife.
And of course, Exeter truly is a quintessential New England town during all four seasons.
Overall, Exeter is a lovely town that offers something for everyone, whether you’re interested in history, culture, or outdoor activities.
What are some of the best-hidden gems in Exeter that tourists should visit?
Exeter, New Hampshire, is home to several hidden gems that are worth exploring. Here are some of the best ones:
The American Independence Museum’s Ladd-Gilman House – This historic house museum features exhibits on the American Revolution and the founding of the United States.
The Exeter River Trail – This scenic trail runs along the Exeter River and offers beautiful views of the water and surrounding wildlife.
The Water Street Bookstore – This independent bookstore offers a wide selection of books, gifts, and other items, as well as author events and other cultural events.
The Phillips Exeter Academy Art Gallery – This gallery features a collection of contemporary and modern art, as well as rotating exhibits by local and national artists.
The PEA Observatory – This state-of-the-art observatory offers public viewings of the night sky, as well as educational programs and events.
What time of year is best to visit Exeter?
If you enjoy outdoor activities, the summer months of June through August are ideal. The weather is warm and sunny, making it perfect for hiking, biking, and exploring the town’s many parks and trails.
If you prefer cooler weather and fall foliage, September through November is the best time to visit. The crisp autumn air and vibrant fall colors make for a picturesque and memorable experience.
Winter, from December through February, can be cold and snowy, but it’s a great time to enjoy winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. And of course, New England has its own charm in the winter, with flickering lanterns and cozy little shops.
Spring, from March through May, is a beautiful time to visit Exeter, with blooming flowers and mild temperatures. It’s a great time to explore the town’s historic landmarks and cultural attractions.
That concludes our list of the 16 absolute best restaurants in Exeter New Hampshire. This city offers a thriving restaurant scene with many restaurants that provide mouthwatering and varied cuisine. These restaurants offer various creative and innovative menu options that reflect global influences and incorporate regional flavors.
Whether you are in the mood for traditional New England cuisine, Thai cuisine, or farm-to-table fare, you will find something you like in this lovely town!
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