Gemma Dauncey explores the indulgently caloric possibilities of pizza that Exeter has to offer, old and new.
Early last week the devastating news broke out that family-favourite restaurant chain Pizza Express was facing serious debts of around £1.1 billion and had subsequently been making a loss for the past two years, although the company have since dispelled rumours of restaurant closures. In light of this news, I have complied a list of my recommendations for the best places to get pizza in Exeter.
Fourth place goes to Exeter’s own The Old Firehouse. A must-have experience at least once during your Uni career, nothing can quite prepare you for the impressive size of these pizzas. Even the best of us have unknowingly ordered a whole pizza each only to be defeated, carrying most of it home in the tinfoil they (luckily) provide. With pizzas big enough for two, ‘Firehouse’ offers an affordable, causal pizza experience with problems only arising for odd-number groups debating how many pizzas they actually need to order.
Third place, for me, would have to be Domino’s. Not technically a restaurant (although in the Sidwell Street takeaway seating is provided), Domino’s remains a classic, my go to for non-restaurant pizza and temptation isn’t helped by the countless deals thrown our way.
In second place, Pizza Express, a restaurant that will always have a special place in my heart. Being such a fan of their pizza I once even gone searching for it on a family holiday; venturing to a not-so-touristy Parisian district I found that Google Maps had led me to ‘Allo Pizza Express’ a local takeaway not affiliated with the restaurant chain but hours away from my hotel. The quintessential high-street Italian, Pizza Express remains my go to for birthday meals or dinner dates and, with the correct use of discount codes, doesn’t break the bank.
Finally, taking first place on this list is Franco Manca, an impressive newcomer to the city. Not only are prices very reasonable for a restaurant experience but you are also able to trick yourself into believing that because its sourdough it’s somewhat healthy. Offering a more authentic pizza experience than some of the other contenders, this place is definitely worth a visit.
Not only are prices very reasonable for a restaurant experience but you are also able to trick yourself into believing that because its sourdough it’s somewhat healthy
Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive. Honourable mentions go to the numerous other high-street Italian restaurants, on-campus outlet Italiano Pizza and, of course, store-bought pizza (especially the Pizza Express ones, when on offer). All I can say is that I look forward to continuing my research into the city’s Italian cuisine.