The Exeter is like the Keith Richards of pubs. It’s hundreds of years old, with no desire or need to bring itself into the 21st Century. Built in 1851, the last time The Exeter was updated was in 1929 when the distinctive green glass tiles were added to the exterior.

And why ruin a good thing? It’s the anti-suburban pub. There are no pokies nor any references to Mondayitis, and you don’t turn up here to watch the footy. Instead there’s the distinctive beer garden, live music almost every night and the ever-popular (and blistering) Wednesday curry nights, where the heat rating is tailored to suit those with a lifetime of chilli experience.

The wine list is unashamedly Australian, with options by the glass and bottle written above the bar on a blackboard. Coopers is always on tap, with a couple of craft beers thrown in every now and then. The menu is a tour through classic pub food, done well.

There’s a steak sandwich and chips for under $10, burgers (including tofu), chilli con carne and a rotating pie and fish special. The walls are covered in show posters – especially around Fringe time – and the bathroom walls are full of musings from Adelaide’s greatest anonymous wits.

To call The Exeter an Adelaide rite of passage would be too sentimental for the eternally moody yet endlessly treasured pub.

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Updated: March 13th, 2018

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