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8 Reasons Why St Albans Is A Food Lover’s Paradise


Why St Albans has plenty for foodies everywhere to get excited this summer

Planning your next foodie getaway? Make sure St Albans is on your list. It’s jam-packed with award-winning places to eat and drink, from its historic 1,100-year-old weekly St Albans Market, to historic pubs and niche independents tucked away in beautiful old streets and courtyards. Here are eight reasons why you should work up an appetite and tease your tastebuds with a visit to St Albans…

A rich history

St Albans has a remarkable history with food and drink. It is said that the Alban Bun, the precursor to the famous Hot Cross Bun, originates in St Albans where Brother Thomas Rocliffe, a 14th century Monk at St Albans Abbey, developed an original recipe and would distribute these buns to feed the poor on Good Friday. The original recipe remains a closely guarded secret, which you can taste for yourself at St Albans Cathedral. Handmade in the Cathedral’s very own Abbot’s Kitchen, the bun is baked to a traditional recipe and follows the older custom of cutting the cross-shape into the unbaked dough with a knife, not piping it on.

Food Drink Festival C Stephanie Belton
Festival fever in St Albans photo by Stephanie Belton

Variety is the spice of life

With over 100 cafes and restaurants, a visit to St Albans is sure to satisfy every tastebud. Enjoy incredible flavours from around the world with street food stalls on the weekly markets offering everything from paella to pizza, Brazilian, Peruvian, and more – with plenty of plant-based and gluten-free options available. For a real treat, wander to The Hub on Verulam for wild and wonderful food and epic coffee and cocktails – showing live sport and independent cinema and hosting community events and comedy, it’s a fantastic space that offers more than great food and has a wonderful community vibe.

Pub heaven

Did you know there are more pubs per square mile in St Albans than anywhere else in the country? St Albans is also home to one of England’s most loved pubs, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, which is reputed to be the oldest pub in England. The 11th century pub building sits on an 8th century site and has fantastic views of Verulamium Park and lakes. Discover the huge array of historic pubs tucked away, Visitors can discover the best of St Albans pubs by following a Local Pub Trail (download maps from

Vibrant foodie festivals and events

The city showcases its incredible food and drink scene with legendary food markets, festivals such as Gin & Jazz and the St Albans Beer & Cider Festival – and to top it all off there is the lively St Albans Feastival event where tens of thousands of locals and visitors join the city for a huge street festival. The annual foodie event takes place in September and is an afternoon of delicious food and drink from around the world, brilliant music, fantastic chef demonstrations, activities for kids and craft and artisan stalls.

Award-winning venues

The array of award-winning venues is proof of its foodie success status. Lussmanns Sustainable Kitchen offers incredible dining in a stunning location next to the Cathedral and has a series of awards under its belt in recognition of their commitment to sustainability. Farr Brew’s flagship pub The Elephant and Castle is no stranger to awards and was a finalist in the Great British Pub Awards 2022 Best Country/Rural Pub category. Another award-winning venue is Dylans at The Kings Arms (TOP 100 Gastro Pub for 2023) which has earned an enviable reputation for serving delicious food using excellent ingredients matched with beer and fine wines. Winners of the Top 50 Gastropubs 2022 Best Front of House Team of the Year and finalists in the Great British Pub Awards 2022.

St Albans Market and Farmers Markets

The thriving twice-weekly St Albans Market offers fantastic street food to locals and tourists – but it also supports and nurtures local businesses, acting as a fantastic springboard for their new ventures. Peddling Pizza is an example of a start-up which has grown into a thriving business. Founder Adam Atkins worked on the market as a youngster after school and his grandad sold toys on the market in the 1940s. With this deep-rooted knowledge, Adam realised there was an opportunity to launch a pizza business making and selling from a novel bike trailer… and Peddling Pizza was born. Today, he has over 118K followers on Instagram and Adam serves his classic Neapolitan-style pizza with a modern twist in a custom-designed 1972 Chevrolet Van kitted out with his amazing Gozney Domes ovens- globally, it’s the very first of its kind and his customers love its quirkiness.

Darlish Ice Cream was first served by founder Laura at the St Albans Feastival event and monthly Farmers Markets. After a fantastic response, they opened a shop in French Row in St Albans in 2018. Demand grew for their unique handmade ice cream inspired by Middle Eastern flavours and in 2020, their famed Baklava Sandwich went viral on Tik Tok. They now have stores in St Albans, Covent Garden, Hatfield House, and Spitalfields. 

Only 3 AA rosette restaurant in Hertfordshire

Enjoy fine dining in St Albans with a visit to THOMPSON, which boasts 3 AA rosette awards. Their fine dining restaurant situated in the heart of St Albans is recognised for its quality ingredients, creative dishes and Head Chef Phil Thompson. Their ever-changing menus are dictated by the seasons and a selection of fine wines are carefully chosen to match each dish. Expect excellence as you enjoy the best quality seasonal produce combined with Phil Thompson’s classic training, culinary style and flavour combinations with his own modern twist.

St Albans Museum Gallery Celysemarks
St Albans Museum + Gallery, photo by Elyse Marks

Lunch with a view

Everywhere you turn in St Albans there is a fantastic view to enjoy. For spectacular views of the Cathedral head to George Street Canteen or Thai Rack on George Street. Marvel at St Albans Clock Tower – the only surviving medieval town belfry in England – as you dine at Havin on High Street. Soak up the sensational views of Verulamium Lakes at Inn on the Park. Bring order to the day with lunch in the breath-taking historic Courtroom in St Albans Museum + Gallery. The Abbots Café Kitchen is the perfect spot to enjoy tea after you visit the Cathedral. Admire and appreciate the beauty of the grand ‘Old Library’ building with a reservation at Miller & Carter.

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Picture of Mark Kebble

Mark Kebble

Mark's career in journalism started in 2001 when he landed a role on a small lifestyle magazine in Angel, North London. Soon enough, the magazine was purchased by a larger organisation and Mark found himself promoted to editor at the tender age of 23. He later became group editor, working on magazines for Angel, Crouch End, Muswell Hill and Highgate. He was also involved in a launch in Hadley Wood and a major new group website, later becoming Group Hub Editor. In 2021, Mark joined Zest Media Group and oversaw the launch of many Absolutely titles across the UK. To date, Mark has launched in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Sussex, Essex, Yorkshire and Cheshire. When he does have some free time, Mark is also the Chairman of an amateur football club in Surrey and is also a fully qualified FA football coach.
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