Whether it's a restaurant tucked away and off the beaten track, or a village pub out in the county's beautiful countryside, Hertfordshire is full of hidden gems where you can enjoy a drink or bite to eat.

Here's 11 hidden gem pubs, restaurants and cafés in Hertfordshire.

1. Kazoku - Hitchin

Neatly tucked away along Hitchin's busy and lengthy Bancroft, Kazoku is easy to miss, but a real must-visit.

The Comet: Kazoku in Hitchin.Kazoku in Hitchin. (Image: Google Maps)

Serving up some of the best Japanese food around, the small restaurant offers an extensive range of sushi, tempura and sashimi.

A cosy space with plenty of ambience, Kazoku is not to be missed out on.

2. 27 Street Bagels & Baguettes - Hitchin

Fancy something tasty for lunch in Hitchin? Well 27 Street Bagels & Baguettes is the place for you.

Operating from the back of a barbers on Sun Street, you'd be forgiven for not even knowing it was there, but one you make your visit, you'll keep coming back (trust me, I have).

Their freshly baked bagels are hearty, and with a tasty selections of hot and cold fillings to choose from, there's something for everyone.

3. Miss Vietnam - Hitchin

Sitting above a key cutters off Market Place, the restaurant is the place to go in Hitchin for traditional Vietnamese food.

Miss Vietnam is rated 4.9 stars on Google and it's easy to see why, offering up classics from the country's cuisine, including Pho and curries, that you have to try.

This little restaurant really is a must-try.

4. The Alford Arms - Frithsden

Now for the first of three village pubs, The Alford Arms in Frithsden.

Earlier this year, the pub just outside of Hemel Hempstead placed 95th in Estrella's top 100 UK gastro pubs, so we'll let them explain just how good of a place it is to dine.

"Run by legendary pub operators Becky and David Salisbury for more than 20 years, the Alford is a hard-to-find Victorian gem in the woods of the Chiltern Hills," said Estrella.

"Welcoming to locals, walkers, cyclists and destination diners alike, it’s eclectically furnished and has a restaurant and a heated terrace.

"Head chef Jamie Celnik is in charge of the kitchen, serving a mix of pub classics and internationally-inspired dishes based on fresh, local ingredients."

5. The Red Lion - Preston

An historic and award-winning village pub, The Red Lion in Preston opened way back in 1844, became Britain's first community owned pub in 1983 and won CAMRA'S Pub of the Year award in 2019.

The Comet: The Red Lion in Preston.The Red Lion in Preston. (Image: Courtesy of Mark Waters)

The sleepy village outside Hitchin is home to just a few hundred people, but the pub really is the heart of the community, offering up a great range of real ales.

And while the food menu isn't too expansive, it tastes so good, thanks to The Red Lion's use of the "first-class ingredients from many local suppliers".

6. The Cricketers - Weston

After pizza and a pint in stunning countryside surroundings? Well The Cricketers in Weston is just the place for you.

With a fine selection of pizza, all with cricket-related names, as well as pastas, salads and divine desserts, you cannot go wrong.

The Comet: The Cricketers in Weston.The Cricketers in Weston. (Image: Google Maps)

On top of that, there's plenty of drinks to choose from, a dart board and lots of outside space to sit and enjoy the summer sunshine.

A true hidden gem, and a personal favourite of mine.

7. Vutie Beets - Letchworth

Off to Letchworth now, and The Wynd, tucked away just off the town centre, is a real hidden gem in itself, filled with plenty of quirky little businesses.

Among them is Vutie Beets, a vegan café perfect for lovers of plant-based food.

A great spot to come and meet friends for coffee or brunch, the friendly staff at Vutie will make you feel so welcome, and you'll just keep coming back.

8. Garden City Brewery - Letchworth

And for those in the mood for a locally brewed pint, Garden City Brewery right next door is just the place.

Brewing their own beers on-site, there's plenty of pints for every beer lover to enjoy, and with an ever-changing selection too.

It isn't all just hype either, as the micro-brewery recently won CAMRA North Hertfordshire's Cider Pub of the Year award.

9. Locanda Bagutta - St Albans

Now for a recommendation from our reporter and St Albans' own Pearce Bates, who is a huge fan of Locanda Bagutta.

Hidden away on George Street, the restaurant opened in 2018 and serves the very best in Italian cuisine.

A must-visit for lovers of pizza, pasta and wine.

10. The Windmill - Charlton

The Windmill was the pride of Charlton, a small village outside of Hitchin, and a real community pub before its closure in 2015.

The decision was met with sadness, and desperate attempts to resurrect the pub followed. Finally, in 2022, it made a glorious return.

The Comet: The Windmill in Charlton.The Windmill in Charlton. (Image: Courtesy of Madelaine Moore)

Now decked out with modern fittings, a great selection of beer and fine food menu, it's the perfect place to stop for a pint after a long walk through the beautiful countryside surrounding Charlton.

11. The Jolly Waggoner - Ardeley

And finally, a recommendation from Comet editor Georgia Barrow, The Jolly Waggoner in Ardeley.

A traditional 18th century pub, surrounded by breathtaking scenery and long country walks, it's a great place to stop to wet the whistle or enjoy a meal with friends and family.

Go and check it out if you haven't already.