7 of the best places we've eaten in Hertfordshire
Anne Suslak, Georgia Barrow and Maya Derrick
- Credit: Google Street View/Danny Loo
Since restaurants and pubs reopened after lockdown, our news teams have taken full advantage of some of the delicious food and drink on offer locally.
From classic pub fare to quirky cafés and restaurants - there's something for everyone to enjoy.
1. The Bull, Cottered
"On what was possibly the hottest, most humid day of summer 2021, I visited the Bull for the first time as a birthday treat - and a treat it was.
"Considering there was little to be done about the sweltering heat, staff did their best to make us comfortable, offering water jugs and top-ups frequently.
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"There was something on the menu to suit everyone, with a mix of restaurant classics, and more obscure options you wouldn't find elsewhere. Absolutely perfect value for money, and we all left very full and happy!" - Georgia Barrow
2. The Beech House, St Albans
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"I visited the Beech House for my first post-lockdown dinner with friends, having previously only been there for brunch.
"The dinner was delicious - I recommend the Milanese chicken burger, which comes with pesto, mozzarella and rocket, but there's a wide variety of food to suit everyone.
"The Beech House also does excellent cocktails, with equally enjoyable virgin options, and the service was great even though the restaurant was busy." - Anne Suslak
3. Rump and Wade, Stevenage
"Everything at the Cromwell's restaurant and bar was spot on! A three-course meal and several cocktails later, I felt it was worth every penny. Had I not been on a reporter's salary, I'd have indulged even further and ordered another cocktail!
"The waitress was extremely attentive and armed with recommendations and suggestions. You got the impression she loved working there, which makes a huge difference to the service you receive." - Georgia Barrow
4. Cote Brasserie, Welwyn Garden City
"Cote is perhaps best known for its dinners, but the brunch is perfect on a lazy weekend morning!
"I went on a gloriously sunny day to celebrate my birthday, and the front windows were fully open to let in the sunshine - giving the town centre location a summer holiday atmosphere.
"There's a wide range of French-inspired brunch options to choose from, and you can mix and match by ordering additional sides like avocado, extra bacon, or the best black pudding I've ever eaten." - Anne Suslak
5. Mevan, Hitchin
"A joint birthday treat for myself and my dad, we went to Mevan on a rainy Monday in June, the streets scarce of people. But when we walked into Mevan it was warm, cosy and inviting.
"We were served (multiple!) platters of Turkish flatbreads with a spread of delicious dipping sauces - my favourite - and I had the Mevan special, a mix of seasonal vegetables and halloumi cubes in creamy sweet pepper and tomato sauce with rice. The Adana kofte, my dad assured me, was equally delicious.
"Absolutely full to the brim, we were disappointed that we had no room left for one of their decadent traditional deserts. But, in celebration of our birthdays, we were sent home with homemade baklava. Chef's kiss." - Maya Derrick
6. L'Italiana, St Albans
"L'Italiana is my go-to place to take visitors from out of town, because it's probably the best Italian food St Albans has to offer.
"I returned to the restaurant, nestled in French Row, soon after lockdown, to find that it was just as good as ever. There's a huge list of pasta dishes and pizza to choose from, with other meat and fish options to suit everyone's taste.
"The service was great as always, and the small, cosy location provides a contrast with some of the bigger restaurant chains." - Anne Suslak
7. Bun' Lovin Criminals at The Victoria, Hitchin
"The Vic's always been a hub bursting with character and good vibes, and my visit there back in April - my first post-lockdown pub trip - was no exception.
"The BLC crew are hot on it with their varied menu, putting spins on pub classics and with options for any and every dietary requirement. Our eyes were definitely bigger than our bellies - the sizeable portions made finishing our plates quite a feat.
"We ate under the canopy of warm fairy lights, the pub abuzz with people who love good food, good drink and good company. Bun Lovin' Criminals really do serve food for your soul as well as your stomach. I mean, what's better than a burger meal washed down with your favourite pint?" - Maya Derrick