2023 Finalists announced

St Albans Food and Drink Awards 2023 – THE FINALISTS!

1) Restaurant of the Year – An establishment that is open most evenings serving multi-course meals to patrons dining on the premises. Will usually provide table service.

  • Craft + Cleaver, Catherine St
  • Nouvelle Lounge, Marshalswick
  • Per Tutti, Holywell Hill, St Albans

2) Best pub or bar – A place where you can drink without also eating (though they may also serve food). Judges will be looking for a great selection of drink including well-kept and properly served beers, wines and cocktails, with consideration also given to those providing an interesting range of non-alcoholic options.

  • Punchin’ Palooka, Verulam Rd., St Albans
  • The Green Man, Sandridge
  • The Boot, Market Place, St Albans

3) Best Café – A less formal eating establishment open for much of the day, though not necessarily in the evenings, serving hot drinks and snacks, as well as meals, sometimes from a counter.

  • The Potting Shed at Carpenters Nursery
  • Fade to Black, Marshalswick
  • Toast, Waddington Rd., St Albans

4) Best Food and Drink shop or Market Stall – A shop or stall selling groceries, fresh produce, ingredients or food mostly in an unprocessed or minimally processed state for use and consumption at home

  • Buongiorno Italia
  • Fleetville Larder
  • Carpenter’s Nursery

5) Best takeaway or street food – A bricks-and-mortar establishment, a stall, trailer or food truck selling hot and cold prepared food for immediate consumption, but which provides only minimal seating for customers.

  • Kat’s Cuisine
  • Gracey’s Pizza, Watford Rd., St Albans
  • Beats and Beigels, St Albans Market

6) Best Local Producer – A business based in St Albans District that produces raw ingredients, or uses raw ingredients to create a fresh or ambient food or drink product which is sold in a variety of local (or national) outlets. Previous winners have included brewers, bakers, cider-makers, cheese producers, farmers etc.

  • Carpenter’s Nursery
  • Farr Brew, Wheathampstead
  • The Pudding Stop, Redbourn

7) Best newcomer – Any business in any of any of the above categories which has only been in operation since September 2019.

  • Nouvelle Lounge, Marshalswick
  • Toast, Waddington Rd., St Albans
  • The Hub on Verulam

8) Kate D’Arcy Award for Customer Service – A special award in memory of Kate D’Arcy, a much loved restaurateur who died in June 2010. This award is for a person who has provided outstanding service and delivered a faultless experience. Previous winners include waiting staff, restaurant owners and local campaigners. Any individual can be nominated, whether or not a business with which they are associated is nominated in any of the above categories.

The winners will be announced on Monday 2nd October in a live broadcast from the awards ceremony event – listen to Hertfordshire’s Mix 92.6!

The Awards process

The winners of the St Albans Food and Drink Awards are decided using a three-step process:

  1. Members of the public nominated their favourite establishments in seven categories. These nominations were checked for eligibility by the Food and Drink Steering Committee – a panel of food and drink experts from around the District.
  2. Voting opened on 7 August and ran through until midnight on 27 August.
  3. In each awards category, the three establishments with the most votes were put forward to the Steering Committee, who visited, tasted, researched, evaluated and argued until they decided on a winner for each category.