22 Best Restaurants in Exeter, NH

Best Restaurants in Exeter, NH

Living in New England, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to food.

In fact, residing in Exeter, New Hampshire, only amplifies that luxury.

Walking down Water Street, you're greeted by a medley of inviting aromas that mix and mingle with the brisk air.

Whether you're craving some freshly baked pastries, an authentic Italian pizza, or some succulent seafood, Exeter has something for every palate.

This quaint New England town is a culinary gem waiting to be explored.

So, grab your forks and join me as we embark on a gastronomic journey through the best restaurants in Exeter, New Hampshire.

About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable restaurants, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional dining establishments that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular eateries but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city's diverse culinary landscape for yourself

A Memorable Evening at Vino e Vivo

One thing is certain, an evening at Vino e Vivo is nothing short of remarkable.

The minute you step in, you are not just a customer; you are a cherished guest.

Trust me, this culinary journey is like no other.

The tasting menu is intricately designed, and the dishes are not only a feast for the stomach but also for the eyes.

One of my favorite dishes?

The pate atop a waffle.

It may sound odd, but the fusion of flavors is simply delightful.

And let's not forget the pickled herring - it literally melted in my mouth!

Another surprise was the cheese course.

Imagine biting into a warm beignet only to find it filled with creamy cheese - pure bliss.

The wines, expertly paired, compliment the meal wonderfully.

As you would expect from a place named 'Vino e Vivo,' the wine selection is excellent.

Each pour has been thoughtfully chosen to enhance the flavors of the food.

But the experience doesn’t end with the food and wine.

It's not just a meal; it's an unforgettable experience.

Yes, an evening at Vino e Vivo might be a bit of a splurge, but every penny spent is worth it for the memories you will make.

Vino e Vivo · 163 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Restaurant

The Takeout Station

Whisking myself away to The Takeout Station after a haircut appointment next door is always the highlight of my day.

It's a little gem nestled in a renovated train ticket office right next to the train tracks, making it, not just a spot to grab a meal but a quirky nook of my town's history.

The day was a beautiful visage of Spring that had just unfolded, and I decided to grab the Cuban.

Trust me; it was an absolute delight.

The bread was a perfect mix of soft and crispy.

The pork inside was scrumptious and perfectly blended with the other ingredients.

I found myself raving about it to anyone who would listen, even well into my 35-minute drive home.

It's a testament to their culinary prowess that even the bread, a seemingly mundane aspect of the sandwich, can make such a lasting impression.

Despite its small size or perhaps because of it, the Takeout Station possesses a unique charm.

They offer daily specials, which is something you should definitely check out.

The Takeout Station · 64 Lincoln St, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Afhaalrestaurant

Ambrose Restaurant

Once I stumbled upon this gem nestled in the heart of Exeter, there was no looking back.

I fell in love with the Ambrose Restaurant at the very first bite.

I never imagined it possible for the quaint town of Exeter to house a restaurant that could give fierce competition to the culinary bigwigs.

With the soft romantic melodies humming in the background and an intimate aura, it almost feels like you've stepped into a different era.

The array of choices will make you want to order everything.

And the best part - you actually can!

Ambrose operates on a tapas-style basis, which is perfect for a food enthusiast like me.

Sharing six plates between two people might seem like a lot, but at Ambrose, it's just the norm.

The prosciutto and burrata plate is a personal favorite.

Its burst of flavors, coupled with a hint of honey and slivered almonds, is just enchanting.

The gnocchi and short rib weren't far behind either; they were simply divine!

Although the bao buns were a bit disappointing, being quite tough and not as expected, it didn’t take away from the overall wonderful experience.

If you plan to visit during the summer, make sure to reserve a spot on their patio.

It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a meal.

Ambrose · 6 Front St, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Otis Restaurant

Every once in a while, you stumble upon a place that leaves you speechless.

Such was my experience at Otis Restaurant - a hidden jewel nestled in the heart of Exeter.

The moment you enter this former vintage jewelry store, you're enveloped by its intimate atmosphere, bandstand views, and the promise of a culinary adventure.

When I heard they offer a 5-course tasting menu, I was excited and intrigued.

The menu changes every week, keeping things fresh and exciting.

Their deftness with locally sourced ingredients, the intricate balance of flavors, and the impeccable presentation left me in awe.

One standout dish was the salmon, cooked to absolute perfection.

Each bite was a symphony of indescribable flavors.

The trout on pumpernickel and sweet potato pasta were other highlights of the night, and the steak was juicy and cooked to perfection.

What added to the appeal was the chef's counter, where you can watch the magic unfold right before your eyes.

And to quench your thirst, there's a comprehensive beverage menu offering both alcoholic and nonalcoholic options.

Otis Restaurant · 4 Front St, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Amerikaans restaurant

Khaophums II

There's a hidden gem nestled right in the heart of Exeter, a spot that I've become quite fond of after numerous visits - Khaophums II.

You can find them online at Khaophums II.

Asian cuisine is their specialty, and they are flawlessly excellent at it.

Their glass noodles?

Simply out of this world!

And oh boy, the Crab Rangoon?

Absolutely delightful.

I can assure you that every visit feels like a treat.

I remember one particular day, quite vividly, after attending a funeral, I popped in, driven more by curiosity than hunger.

I used to be a regular at the original Khaophums in Dover, NH, and I was curious to see if this location offered the same taste.

I must say, it was more than I expected.

The Tom Ka Gai soup had more elements; the chicken basil fried rice bursting with flavors.

Yes, the place might look quite simple, and it was a bit noisy that day, but the superior quality of the food outweighs any minor inconveniences.

Khaophums II · 1 Portsmouth Ave, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Laney & Lu

Every town has that one spot that feels like home - for us in Exeter; it's Laney & Lu.

Picture a cozy, welcoming cafe where the aroma of locally roasted coffee wafts through the air, mingling deliciously with the scent of fresh salads and warm soups.

This is the place you go to when you need a comforting bowl of soup on a rainy day or a refreshing salad on a sweltering summer afternoon.

I remember my first time walking into Laney & Lu.

The charming ambiance immediately won me over.

The option to sit outside on the patio, enjoying the cool breeze while savoring my meal, was a delightful experience.

But it's not just the setting that has me coming back for more; the menu is equally impressive.

I recall ordering an iced honey latte and huevos rancheros on my first visit and being blown away by the burst of flavors.

My spouse opted for the pineapple smoothie and egg sandwich, and it was equally worth the praise.

The freshness of the ingredients and the finesse in preparation was apparent with every bite.

What I particularly love is their unique initiative, where you can opt to donate a bowl while placing your order.

It feels great to know that I can enjoy my meal while also doing my bit to help someone in need.

It's a simple yet impactful way to give back to the community.

Switching things up on another visit, I tried the Dirty Nog, a hot drink that proved to be a perfect pick-me-up on a chilly afternoon.

And let's not forget the healing dipping broth, a true comfort food.

For meals, the Fiesta Bowl and nori rolls are my go-to options.

LANEY & LU · 26 Water St #6, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Trackside Cafe

You know that feeling when you stumble upon a hidden gem in your hometown?

That’s what Trackside Cafe feels like.

Nestled at the back of a convenience store, it's a diner you wouldn't know existed unless you were looking for it.

I remember the first time I walked in; I was confused for a moment until I spotted the bustling little restaurant tucked away behind the store shelves.

The first thing that struck me about Trackside Cafe was its unique location.

But once inside, it was the heavenly aroma of fresh coffee that hit me.

The coffee here is just the right amount of robust, always fresh and hot - a perfect start to my day.

Then comes the breakfast; cooked to order and always tasty.

My personal favorite is the veggie omelet.

It's loaded with fresh vegetables and cooked to perfection.

The diner tends to get a bit busy, especially during weekday mornings.

But don't let that put you off.

And oh, there's a secret door that lets you bypass the front store.

Locals use it all the time.

They don't advertise it; I guess some things are kept best as secrets.

One thing that deserves a special mention is their homemade corned beef hash, Benedict.

It's absolutely delightful!

Trackside Cafe · 66 Lincoln St, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Eetcafé

OBA Noodle Bar

Picture this: a cozy nook in the heart of the town, where the aroma of fresh ingredients and simmering broth fills the air.

Welcome to OBA Noodle Bar, a place that feels like a culinary exploration of Asian cuisine.

My first time here, I ordered the Green curry with tofu.

The dish arrived steaming and fragrant, the tofu perfectly tender.

Every bite was a revelation, the flavors fresh, robust, and wonderfully balanced.

It was, without a doubt, the best Green curry I've ever tasted.

My partner, on the other hand, was just as thrilled with his scallion pancakes.

He claimed they were the best he'd ever had, perfectly crisped and bursting with flavor.

We also tried their soy nuggets - oh, what a delight!

They were creamy, soft, and unlike anything I'd ever had before.

As we shared several small plates, we marveled at the fast service and the level of culinary expertise in each dish.

We also indulged in the Crazy Me Duck.

The meat was tender, flavorful, and crisp to perfection.

Aside from the excellent food, OBA Noodle Bar offers a comprehensive selection of hot noodle soups, appetizers, and boba drinks - all quickly served and well-prepared.

They also have an impressive selection of wine and other spirits, making it a perfect spot for a casual drop-in or a special celebration.

OBA Noodle Bar · 69 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Pizza Academy

There's something about the smell of a perfect pizza crust wafting through the air at the Pizza Academy that feels like home.

This little gem tucked away in Exeter has quickly become a favorite of mine and my family.

The pungent aroma of simmering tomato sauce mingled with the mouthwatering scent of cheese hit us like a warm, comforting blanket.

We ordered their classic pizza, and it was cooked to perfection with a super speedy delivery to our table.

Over time, we've come to appreciate not just the delectable pizza but the unique atmosphere too.

It's filled with action figures and sports paraphernalia, which reminds me of my childhood, adding a nostalgic charm to the place.

But let's talk about the pizza because that's the real star of the show.

I’ve visited hundreds of pizza places, and let me tell you, the Pizza Academy’s pepperoni, sausage, and onion pizza is leagues apart.

It’s in my top 5 favorite pizzas for sure!

The sausage has just the right amount of kick, and the sauce and crust?

Unbelievably tasty.

Whether you're a pizza connoisseur or just someone who enjoys a good slice, I can assure you that the Pizza Academy won't disappoint.

Pizza Academy · 159 Front St, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Pizzeria

D Squared Java

Every morning, I find myself drawn toward D Squared Java; it's like a homing beacon for coffee lovers.

This quaint little shop, with its inviting and cozy atmosphere, is a sight to behold.

The moment you step in, you're welcomed by the enticing aromas of fresh coffee beans wafting through the air.

Every sip of their coffee is a testament to the freshness and quality they ensure.

I don't know how they manage to keep their prices so affordable, considering the stellar quality of their brews.

The shop's interior is an art form in its own right.

I often find myself nestled in one of their cozy study spots, losing track of hours while working or merely soaking in the ambiance.

The music always hits the right note, setting the perfect mood for a relaxing day.

Even their lattes are a visual treat, with intricate coffee art that almost makes you hesitate before taking the first sip.

I remember the first time I tasted their latte; it was a sublime experience that took my taste buds on a delightful ride.

Their cheerful demeanor and engaging conversations add a personal touch to the experience.

I remember one of the baristas, who was exceptionally skilled at brewing and creating coffee art always greeted me with a smile.

To see such dedicated baristas take pride in their craft is truly heartwarming.

D Squared Java · 155 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Koffiebar

Ani's Bagel Cafe

If you're looking for some scrumptious breakfast, don't look further than Ani's Bagel Cafe, the gem I recently discovered.

Their bagels are a bakery's pride - soft, fresh, and absolutely delicious.

The variety on their menu is just mind-boggling, with so many bagels and spreads to choose from every morning.

One of my favorites is the Jalapeño cheddar bagel, with sausage, egg, cheese, and chive/bacon cream cheese.

Believe me when I say it's the epitome of a perfect bagel sandwich.

With every bite, it feels like a culinary journey, each ingredient complementing the other so elegantly that it's a masterpiece.

What's remarkable about their service is the speed.

When I went there last time, I ordered a latte and a sandwich.

To my surprise, the latte was served within 2 minutes and the sandwich within 5 minutes.

Eager to relish my breakfast, I drove home before eating.

And guess what?

The sandwich was still perfectly warm even after the 40-minute wait.

As a coffee aficionado, I must say their latte is worth trying.

Smooth, creamy, and full of flavor, it's all you need to start your day off right.

Ani’s Bagel Cafe · 12 Hampton Rd, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Bagelwinkel

FlyBy Cafe & Takeaway

As an extraterrestrial enthusiast, there are a few places that fuel my interest, like the FlyBy Cafe & Takeaway, a space-themed café that brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘space food’.

Not only does it offer a whimsical atmosphere with its UFO theme, but it also serves up a stellar menu that never fails to satisfy my cravings.

I'll admit it; there have been days when the lunch rush seemed overwhelming, with the lone sandwich maker battling the flurry of orders.

But you know what they say, quality takes time.

For me, the wait is worth it when I bite into the scrumptious tuna salad sandwich, even if the $11.

95 price tag may seem a bit lofty.

But hey, it's not every day you get to experience space on Earth.

Their friendly banter and service are as warming as the café's well-brewed coffee.

And don't even get me started on their bagels - perfectly toasted and buttered, they're an absolute delight.

FlyBy Cafe & Takeaway · 161 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Il Cornicello

There's nothing like discovering a true gem tucked away right in your own backyard.

I'm talking about the little taste of Italy hidden in our very own Exeter – Il Cornicello.

Its exclusivity and the intense anticipation created by the 3-week wait for a reservation might lead you to think of it as overrated but trust me; it's worth the wait.

My first visit was on a typical evening out with my partner, but the experience was anything but ordinary.

You can feel the warm, welcoming atmosphere right from the get-go.

The drinks we ordered initially fell short of our expectations, but what truly stood out was their pasta.

The taste of the freshly made pasta, rolling out of their kitchen, was a gastronomic delight.

Lexie’s Exeter · 82 Lincoln St, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Hamburgerrestaurant

Las Olas Taqueria

There's something inexplicably comforting about stepping into Las Olas Taqueria.

The vibrant colors and the mouthwatering aroma of Mexican street food transport me instantly into another world.

The place is a hub for foodies and those in a hurry.

It's my go-to spot when I need a delicious, quick lunch or when I'm hankering for some genuine Mexican cuisine.

The house-special burritos are the epitome of taste and freshness.

Every bite is a burst of flavors.

Don't even get me started on their bowls.

They are my personal favorite.

A delectable medley of flavors that never fails to hit the right spot.

Sometimes I order online, especially on those busy weekdays when cooking seems too tedious.

The speed and convenience of their service never cease to impress me.

Las Olas Taqueria · 30 Portsmouth Ave, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Mexicaans restaurant

New England Pizza

It was just another typical Tuesday evening in Exeter when my cravings for a hearty pizza kicked in.

This time, I decided to satisfy my taste buds at New England Pizza, a spot known for its stellar steak and cheese.

Boy, was I in for a treat!

The size of my large steak and cheese sub was a sight to behold.

It was filled to the brim with juicy, flavorful steak, making every bite an absolute delight.

The restaurant was also more than happy to give me a whole jug of iced water, a refreshing accompaniment for a savory sub.

One weekend, I gathered my family and paid another visit to this pizzeria.

We dived into two thin-crust pizzas and a heaping bowl of hot, crispy french fries.

The pizzas were a hit, their delicate crust and rich toppings bursting with flavor.

The fries, long and perfectly cooked, were some of the best I've had.

Once we were done, they even provided us with boxes to take the leftover pizza home - a testament to their excellent service.

The price point was just right, considering the quality and quantity of the food.

New England Pizza also offers a take-out option, which I found very convenient when I craved their pizza but wanted to enjoy it in the comfort of my home.

With a clean kitchen and polite service, this place stands as a testament to good old American diner culture.

New England Pizza · 92 Portsmouth Ave # 1, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Pizzeria

Ohana Kitchen

Have you ever stumbled upon an eatery that completely blew your expectations out of the water?

That's what happened when I first walked through the doors of Ohana Kitchen.

What initially seemed like a humble poke bowl and sushi burrito spot turned out to be a culinary goldmine!

I've been on a health kick lately, and Ohana Kitchen has made it so much easier to stick to it.

The day I first tried their poke bowl, I remember thinking, "This is what I've been searching for!"

The Ono Salmon bowl was a delight, packed full of flavors and prepared with top-notch ingredients - the quality was evident in every bite.

The ambiance of Ohana Kitchen is refreshing.

The interior is clean and inviting, which makes it a great place to unwind after a long day.

Recently, I found myself craving their poke bowls and decided to try their salmon poke bowl again.

This time, it was even better than I remembered.

The bowls were so well done; it felt like I was discovering Ohana Kitchen anew.

The person who prepared them did an exceptional job, setting the bar high for future visits.

I thought to myself, "Whoever made these bowls needs to train the rest of the team!"

Ohana Kitchen · 75 Portsmouth Ave, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Hawaïaans restaurant

Front Row Pizzeria

Trust me; it doesn't get any better than Front Row Pizzeria for a quick bite in town.

This place is a local hangout with a full bar, TVs, and great vibes.

We love to swing by after school and enjoy a variety of pizza and Italian eats.

And let me tell you, the Meat Lovers pizza is something to write home about - it's packed with meat, and the taste is just sublime!

One other thing that I can’t help but rave about is their chicken tenders.

Juicy, crispy, and seemingly handmade - they're a must-try.

And if you’re a fan of Buffalo wings, let me say the sauce is out of this world!

The breading can be a bit mushy sometimes, but the flavor more than makes up for it.

Front Row Pizzeria is not just about pizza, though.

They have a delightful selection of main courses and salads.

The house Italian dressing is simply fantastic, and the salads are loaded with fresh veggies and a generous amount of fresh, tender chicken.

To top it all off, the service is always top-notch.

And with their huge portions, you're guaranteed to leave with leftovers.

Front Row Pizzeria · 137 Epping Rd, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Pizzeria

Szechuan Taste

Whenever I feel the need for a quick, delectable Chinese meal, I head to Szechuan Taste.

This Chinese eatery has always surpassed my expectations, offering a menu filled with staples such as lo mein and General Tso's chicken.

Their service is not just fast but also extremely efficient.

When I walk in, I am immediately served with green tea and little fried pieces of dough.

This not only quenches my thirst but also whets my appetite, creating the perfect preamble to the culinary journey ahead.

The soups here are always piping hot, and served as soon as you order them.

But it doesn't stop at the soups.

The fried rice and sesame chicken are so full of flavor that they make you yearn for more.

He even knows when we are sharing dishes and brings separate plates without even having to be asked.

A hidden gem in their menu is the pork ribs.

These juicy, succulent ribs are a must-try for meat lovers like me.

Szechuan Taste · 42 Water St # A, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Chinees restaurant


Ah, Street, is an exquisite place in town that never ceases to amaze me.

It's been a local favorite for years, and after trying it in Portsmouth, I was thrilled when they opened up in Exeter.

As soon as you walk in, you sense this awesome vibe that draws you in.

It was bustling with diners, but the atmosphere was still relaxed and welcoming.

When it comes to the menu, oh boy, where do I begin?

The curry fries and Korean chicken tenders are something I'd recommend any day.

They were impeccably dressed and hit just the right spot.

And let's not forget the chocolate caramel bark; deliciously rounded off the meal, and believe me; it did not disappoint when I unpacked it at home.

One sunny afternoon, I dropped in for a late lunch.

The chicken cemita, curry fries, and bibimbap with Vietnamese chicken were a feast for my taste buds.

Yes, a tad on the oily side, but packed with flavor that made every bite worthwhile.

Street's food has always had the knack of bringing a smile to my face, and it's best enjoyed in the inviting atmosphere they've created inside their restaurant.

Of course, there's always room for improvement, and a little more seasoning on the chicken cemita and fried chicken wouldn't hurt.

But the texture, oh the texture, was perfect.

The bibimbap is a must-try; it was very, very good.

I'm definitely going back to try the rest of the menu.

Street · 8 Clifford St, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Capital Thai Kitchen and Bar

I'm telling you, there's no place like the Capital Thai Kitchen and Bar right in the vibrant heart of Exeter.

It’s my go-to spot for a unique gastronomic adventure.

The bar is always brimming with an array of tasty cocktails, perfect for unwinding after a hectic day.

The menu?

Oh, it’s a tantalizing array of Thai delights that never fail to impress.

I remember how the Blossom dumplings, chicken satay, lobster Rangoon, and steamed pork buns left an indelible mark on our last team dinner.

If you're a Thai food novice or a veteran, you're in for a treat.

An unforgettable part of the experience is the speed at which they bring out the dishes.

You won’t be left twiddling your thumbs; instead, you'll dive into a world of deliciousness in no time.

The Spicy Pad Thai, Thai Sausage, Pork Rib Curry, and the Three Seafood Options- each dish is a culinary masterpiece in its own right.

But if you were to ask me (and you should!), the Spicy Pad Thai and the Three Seafood are the show-stoppers.

Capital Thai Kitchen and Bar · 97 Water St, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★☆ · Thais restaurant

Thirsty Moose Tap House

You know those long, tiring days when all you want is a juicy burger and a cold beer?

That's when I head to the Thirsty Moose Tap House- Exeter, and they have never disappointed me.

Whether it's the succulent burgers with gorgonzola and caramelized onions, topped with a light hit of steak sauce, or the super crispy fries with a delectable tender inside, I am always left longing for more.

And you gotta try their pizza; it's super yummy.

The atmosphere is relaxed and congenial, perfectly suiting my idea of a great evening.

The service?


And let me tell you from experience; it's beyond awesome!

Add to that their crispy parmesan tater tots, and you're in for a gastronomic treat.

Oh, and the best part?

They have a wide selection of draft and bottled beer and ciders.

I'm often early on my visits and sometimes miss out on the prime rib, but that gives me another reason to go back.

But be aware not all their dishes are a hit.

Once, I ordered the chicken bacon ranch pizza and was left rather disappointed.

The chicken was dry, the bacon was hard and salty, and there was no sauce.

Thirsty Moose Tap House- Exeter · 72 Portsmouth Ave, Exeter, NH 03833, Verenigde Staten
★★★★☆ · Gastropub

Final Thoughts

Exeter, New Hampshire, is teeming with an astonishing variety of culinary treasures.

From the creative Asian fusion at OBA Noodle Bar to the mouthwatering pizza at Pizza Academy, there is a flavor for every palette in this quaint New England town.

After all, there's no better way to experience a town than through its food.

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.