Holy guacamole – 2024 is here and to kick start the year, we’ve rounded up 24 of Hertfordshire’s hottest vegan and veggie foodie destinations, proving that cutting out meat doesn’t have to mean it’s just salad for dinner!

Great British Life: Stylish food at Courtyard Cafe Photo: Courtyard CafeStylish food at Courtyard Cafe Photo: Courtyard Cafe

Courtyard Café, St Albans

Must try: Vegan toastie with cumin spiced baked chickpeas, smashed avocado and chilli jam

This independent café possesses a passion for tasty food made from scratch. They offer breakfasts, brunches, sandwiches and toasties, and a host of vegetarian and vegan specials including soups, salads and fritters. They’re renowned for their delicious cakes (available with vegan, dairy and gluten-free choices). Veganuary is the ideal month for first-timers to try their vegan delights! courtyardcafestalbans.co.uk

Daisy’s in the Park, Radlett

Must-try: Shakshuka

Opened by vegetarian Julie Wright, this little café conveniently located by Radlett Train Station is the perfect place to stop by mid-week for a friendly chat and catch-up session. Their talented young chef brigade uses uniquely sourced ingredients, to handmake delightful brunches, with plenty of vegetarian and some vegan options to choose from! daisysinthepark.co.uk

Thompson, St Albans

Must-try: Crisp potato terrine

This fine dining 3AA rosette restaurant is recognised for its quality ingredients and creative dishes from head chef Phil Thompson. He’s created a seven and nine-course plant-based tasting menu featuring intriguing concoctions, designed to take tastebuds on a journey. The independent, family-run venue is the perfect place to relax and catch up with loved ones. thompsonstalbans.co.uk

Great British Life: Staff at Mudlarks Cafe Photo: Mudlarks CafeStaff at Mudlarks Cafe Photo: Mudlarks Cafe

Mudlarks Café, Hertford

Must try: Weekly ‘hot from the pot’ special

The only award-winning vegan and veggie café in Hertford, Mudlarks provides meaningful training and employment for adults with learning disabilities and mental health concerns. The café's offerings feature recipes from around the world and inspired twists on dishes from closer to home. They support ‘plot-to-plate growing’ and their on-site artisan bakers create a wide range of baked goods daily. Pup treats are also always available! mudlarksgarden.org.uk/cafe

Tamarind, Potters Bar

Must-try: Vegetable Zharda

This family-run Indian restaurant showcases the vibrant, bold flavours of Southern Asia, delivering a variety of Indian fusion cuisine. Using only the finest of ingredients and the highest quality service, their goal is to ensure all who visit feel instantly happy and right at home. Diners can delight in the many vegetarian starters, mains and sides on offer! tamarind-pottersbar.co.uk

Lussmanns Sustainable Kitchens, across Hertfordshire

Must try: Linguine Fiorentina Nduja

There are five Lussmann venues across the region in Berkhamsted, St Albans, Harpenden, Hitchin and Hertford. Each is equally breathtaking, charming and historic. The Lussmanns Group are passionate about serving simple dishes, using the best quality ingredients, cooked excellently. They’ve been pioneers in sustainable dining, championing local produce and delivering wonderful, interesting and flavoursome vegan and veggie dishes. lussmanns.com

The Wellbeing Café, Watford

Must-try: Vegetable curries

A sanctuary of healthy and tasty vegetarian and vegan food, The Wellbeing Café is the perfect place to eat, refresh and connect. They offer everything from homemade vegan chilli to superfood salads and hearty vegan bakes. Visitors can also stop by for a spot of yoga, taking part in one of the classes on offer at Feel Hot Yoga’s Watford studio (where the café is located). feelhotyoga.co.uk/the-wellbeing-cafe

The Old Bell, Harpenden

Must-try: Vegan Sriracha & Beyond Burger

Surrounded by the enchanting Chilterns, this delightful pub, a grade II listed former farmhouse, boasts ample charm and character, providing the perfect backdrop for a relaxing meal with friends, family and colleagues. Serving yummy, traditional dishes, there’s plenty on offer to get stomachs rumbling, including a selection of scrumptious vegan and vegetarian starters, mains and desserts! chefandbrewer.com/pubs/hertfordshire/old-bell

Great British Life: Plantopia Chick'N & Waffle with Maple Syrup & Butter Sauce. Photo: Alessandro CortiPlantopia Chick'N & Waffle with Maple Syrup & Butter Sauce. Photo: Alessandro Corti

Plantopia, St Albans

Must-try: Bang Bang Skewers

This takeaway offers vegan alternatives to classic fast-food dishes, including Italian, Japanese and West African meals. Their goal is to create great-looking and tasting food that just happens to be vegan. Plantopia loves Veganuary as it encourages so many new people to explore a vegan lifestyle, educate themselves on the cause and make pledges to eat less animal-based products. plantopiavegan.com

Nourish, Letchworth Garden City

Must-try: Nourish Curry and Brownie served with vegan ice cream and fruit compote.

Celebrating the mind-body-food connection, this whole-food café specialises in fresh, nutritionally balanced cuisine. They work with the horticultural therapy group, Growing People, which provides ingredients for the café, adopting a plot-to-plate ethos and helping to lower Nourish’s carbon footprint. They offer a fully vegetarian menu with many vegan options included. nourishcafe.co.uk

The Grove, Watford

Must-try: Plant-based Beyond Meat burger

Discover new takes on old favourites at The Stables at The Grove. Settle in to enjoy the hearty menu, which uses ingredients picked from Jemima’s Kitchen Garden. There’s a plethora of menus to peruse, containing delectable vegan and vegetarian dishes. Visitors may also decide to explore The Grove’s other dining options including enjoying an around-the-world feast at The Glasshouse or an Indian banquet at Madhu’s. thegrove.co.uk/dining

Great British Life: Peach Vegan Burger. Photo: Phoebe PearsonPeach Vegan Burger. Photo: Phoebe Pearson

Peach, Hertford

Must-try: [MOCK] Karaage chicken burger

Part of what makes the PEACH experience so unique is that every decision has the customer in mind. Restaurant owners Dan and Leigh wanted to ensure every part was enjoyable from the aesthetic to the food and even heading to the restroom. Their menu is as inclusive as possible, offering tasty ‘like for like’ vegan alternatives for many of their dishes, demonstrating that not all vegan food has to be a salad! I: @eatdrinkpeach

Perch & Co, Croxley Green

Must-try: Chaat Masala Spiced Club Sandwich

There’s more to this café-bistro than meets the eye from the coffee to the cake, Indian and Persian cuisine, vegan treats and jazz nights. Aside from providing a ‘proper’ cup of coffee, there’s some amazing-looking cake on offer to take home and a wide selection of vegan dishes including their scotch eggs, sausage rolls and ginger and orange tiffins – delish! perchandco.com

Centurion Club, Hemel Hempstead

Must-try: Vegan Afternoon Tea

In elegant surroundings, discover exceptional dishes executed by head chef Calvin Hill, with simplicity, passion and seasonality. While taking in lakeside views, enjoy a stunning range of loose-leaf teas and fresh, delicate treats for afternoon tea in the Centurion Club’s opulent garden room. They offer a vegetarian and vegan afternoon tea menu. It’s an idyllic way to carve out some downtime during a hectic week! centurionclub.co.uk

Hatch, St Albans

Must-try: Vegan SLTA and Vegan spinach and falafel burger

This award-winning café / diner in the heart of St Albans serves delicious burgers, brunches and hot drinks, as well as cocktails for a splash of luxury. There is something for everyone to enjoy and a variety of mouthwatering vegan alternatives to sample. The restaurant just recently moved to their new site in Christopher Plan shopping centre. hatchstalbans.com

Great British Life: The Nestaurant Photo: The NestaurantThe Nestaurant Photo: The Nestaurant

The Nestaurant Food Truck, Little Hadham

Must-try: Homemade vegan carbonara

This vegan and vegetarian mobile food truck offers an enormous menu of main meals, snacks, cakes, Buddha bowls and a Build Ya Own burger bar that brings communities together through cooking, connection and compassion. They operate from multiple locations, offering an instant takeaway service and delivering fresh food as fast as they can. FB: @ TheNestaurant

The Olive Tree, Berkhamsted

Must-try: Kounoupidi (sautéed cauliflower with a red pepper koppanisti)

This independent Greek taverna has been serving locals since 2015. Their menu is built around meze-style dining which encourages guests to share and savour each dish. They use recipes that have been handed down through generations and evolved from dishes the owners enjoyed eating when growing up in Kalamata and Thessaly. There’s an array of vibrant vegan delights to discover! olivetreeberko.co.uk

Great British Life: Vutie Beets food Photo: Vutie BeetsVutie Beets food Photo: Vutie Beets

Vutie Beets, Letchworth Garden City

Must-try: The Vegan Brunch

Owners Paul and Harry love introducing customers to their fresh, vibrant plant-based brunch and coffee. Some highlights include their hash brown bites and irresistible breakfast baps. They enjoy using rescued food from Best Before Café to reduce waste and raise money for local schools. They’ve also partnered with local businesses to provide free cooking lessons for families, teaching parents how to cook nutritious meals for under £1 a portion! vutiebeets.co.uk

Misya Meze Grill, Stevenage

Must-try: Imam bayildi (stuffed aubergine with rice)

The team at Misya pride themselves on serving the finest quality food, using ingredients that are subjected to rigorous taste tests by their executive head chef. They specialise in Turkish and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, offering a variety of vegetarian dishes available to eat in or takeaway. A warm welcome awaits all that step through the door! misyamezegrill.co.uk

The Pudding Stop, various locations

Must-try: Speculoos Cookie Pudding

Home to a dedicated team of bakers, baristas and servers, The Pudding Stop ensure that dessert is the first thing on the menu! Everything they serve is handmade from carefully sourced ingredients. They have shops in St Albans, Harpenden and Radlett where customers can grab a bite of their delicious baked goods (including vegan offerings) or they can buy them online. thepuddingstop.com