19 restaurants in Hitchin
Restaurants in Hitchin:
31 Walsworth Road, Hitchin, SG4 9ST [Map]
An historic Victorian pub, The Radcliffe Arms is a popular haunt that successfully combines the traditional with the modern as its 18th Century red brick exterior gives way to a clean and airy contemporary interior. Located on the corner of Walsworth and Verulam Roads in Hitchin's historic Victorian triangle, it is only five minutes away from the rail station and a ten minute drive from nearby Letchworth.
Much more than your standard gastro pub, The Radcliffe Arms is open every day from 8am, serving honest-to-goodness British fare in a warm and friendly atmosphere whether it be a hearty English breakfast that sets you up for the day, a laidback lunch with old friends or an intimate dinner for two. As well as three restaurant areas, guests can also while away the evening in the newly restored bar with open fire or sitting on the terrace which offers heated parasols for nippy evenings.
The talented kitchen team led by head chef James Nicholas has developed menus to cater to all tastes. The seasonal à la carte menu offers freshly cooked dishes that never disappoint, expect to find tempting starters such as terrine of chicken and bacon with pistachios and shallots, blade of beef with truffled mushrooms, crispy goat's cheese parcel or butternut squash soup with toasted pumpkin seeds. The main courses offer classics such as English lamb rump with minted spring peas, char grilled rib eye steak with roast tomatoes, roast chicken breast with cabbage and bacon, and Cornish sea bream with king prawns.
Dishes such as tiger prawns with pickled ginger and cucumber salad, slow cooked pork with Asian spices and bok choi and spinach and feta spanokopitta give the menu a contemporary touch. For Sunday lunch guests can look forward to roast beef, pot roast chicken breast, swordfish steak, roast pork or honey roast gammon with all the trimmings. Desserts of apple tart with caramel sauce, sticky carrot cake with stem ginger ice cream, chocolate and orange torte with crème Chantilly and white chocolate and raspberry mille fuille indulge the sweet tooth and round off the meal fabulously.
Food aside, The Radcliffe Arms also features an excellent wine menu with classics such as a crisp La Colombe Chablis rubbing shoulders with bold modern varieties such as the La Cote Flamenc Picpoul de Pinet. The list also offers an impressive 28 wines available by the glass including flavourful Cabernet Sauvignons, a subtle Pinot Noir from New Zealand and a smooth Grand Reserva Rioja from Spain. The well-stocked bar possesses real ales and beers and is where locals and visitors gather in a typical buzzy atmosphere with friendly staff adding to the positive vibe.
As well as creating special menus for Valentine's Day, Mothering Sunday and Christmas, the Radcliffe Arms can also host your special occasions be it a family birthday or a work party, with catering available for up to 30 seated guests or a buffet for 45. Their Website will tell you more and keep you up to date with events.
11 High Street, Hitchin, SG5 1BH [Map]
Café Rouge has over one hundred branches throughout Britain all offering a wide range of dishes drawn from the French cuisine. Slightly less than half their branches are in or close to London. Almost inevitably the décor and design of each restaurant differs from the others, but there is a general curtsy towards La France.
Many restaurants do an excellent breakfast, or shall we say petit dejeuner, at which such delights as scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toasted brioche, croque Madame, croissants and pain au chocolat make welcome appearances, and to their credit the English traditional gets top billing.
An array of small dishes takes in pulled pork pâté with French bread, and spicy beef and lamb sausage with harissa mayonnaise. Salads and pasta feature largely, as do baguettes and croques. Quick dishes, ideal for lunch, include slices of saucisson and cured pork loin with French bread.
Moving on to more serious stuff we find steaks, an 8oz bavette and thin cut rib eye, with a choice of béarnaise or peppercorn sauce. No French menu would be complete without the poulet jaune grille, pan-roasted breast of corn-fed chicken served on a warm taboulé of bulgar wheat and a medley of roasted vegetables with minted crème fraîche, or a steak frites before moving on to the crème brûlée, or the tart tatin. Almost invariably the coffee tastes like coffee should, something that sadly can all too often still not be said of our English restaurants, who depend too much upon technology and too little on the acquisition of a certain flair for this important conclusion to a meal.
By now we all know that the French, despite their distinctive habits when it comes to matters of satisfying the inner man, maintain a miraculous longevity of life. This is generally attributed to a number of causes, of which a measured consumption of decent wine is foremost. Café Rouge, you may be pleased to hear, encourages this with a well-chosen selection of French wines. Their prix fixe lunch and meals for children, both at a very reasonable figure, also offer excellent value.
Their Website will keep you updated on menu changes, news and other competitions and offers from the Café Society.
Christmas Party Menu - 3 courses £23.95 / Christmas Day Feast Menu £50 Book
20% off your total bill - Book our Christmas Party menu any time in November and get 20% off your total bill Book
20% off food – Book your Christmas Party menu on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at the beginning of December Book
New Year's Eve Menu Book
25b-26 Sun Street, Hitchin, SG5 1AH [Map]
Strada describes itself as 'a group of stylish, contemporary Italian restaurants, serving good quality, simple and freshly prepared dishes'. The statement sums up what this group of around seventy restaurants offers to people looking for good Italian food. The first outlet opened in Battersea in 1999 and their clientele has been increasing steadily ever since.
Though Strada has grown into a fair sized group, each outlet retains the feel of being a local neighbourhood Italian restaurant. The menu includes pastas, risottos, salads, and fish dishes, but they are best known for their quality pizzas.
They present authentic Italian dishes in contemporary surroundings and aim to use only the freshest and finest ingredients, such as Luganica sausages, Parma ham and buffalo mozzarella, imported from Italy to provide exactly the kind of rustic, traditional dishes one would expect to find travelling around its regions.
A meal could kick off with zuppa vongole e fregola, a traditional clam soup with Sardinian fregola pasta grains, wine, chilli and parsley, served with bread, or the delicious sautéed king prawns with garlic, white wine, chilli, and lemon butter served with your choice of bread.
Move on to their creamy risotto verdure, freshly grilled asparagus, broad beans, peas, spring onions, zucchini, green beans, white wine and mint, finished with baby spinach leaves. Or you could opt for the healthier, tagliolini nero granchio, black cuttlefish ink pasta with crab, courgette, red and yellow peppers, spring onion, and a hint of chilli and parsley. A real treat for the taste buds comes in the form of the bistecca manzo, a 10oz rosemary-marinated char-grilled, rib-eye steak with fries and fresh rocket.
A range of pizzas, all spun by hand, is an integral feature of each restaurant. They include the rossa, with spicy southern Italian salami, roasted red peppers, chilli, caramelised onion, garlic, fresh oregano, tomato and mozzarella. Nor are vegetarians are overlooked, and can be found tucking into dishes such as fiorentina, made of spinach cooked with garlic, nutmeg and black pepper with mozzarella, parmesan, tomato and an egg.
For those wanting to satisfy their sweet tooth, there is torroncino affogato, an iced nougat semi freddo with a shot of espresso to pour over, or a classic Italian tiramisu and, as you might expect coffee to round off the meal.
A wine list consisting of purely regional Italian wines, beers and liqueurs, all carefully chosen to complement the menu comes as no surprise and in addition, every table receives a complimentary bottle of purified water.
For further details including their latest news, menus and deals, and to find a Strada nearest to you, their Website certainly warrants a visit.
Unit 4, 15 Bancroft, Hitchin, SG5 1JQ [Map]
Prezzo has been delighting diners for over eight years, and this Italian restaurant chain has since been able to expand throughout large parts of England and Scotland with some 141 outlets.
Interestingly, the company seeks to restore either impressive buildings or ones of local interest. The conversion of the Newbury library and other listed buildings, such as those in Salisbury, Romsey and Mayfair, are all welcome examples of 'new use'. Their trendy and sophisticated décor usually consists of tiled or wooden floors with delicate lights and colourful paintings, along with wooden furniture and sparkling cutlery, creating a setting that is suitable for a relaxed lunch, a family meal or an evening out with friends.
The restaurants are of particular appeal to those who like genuine Italian cuisine, and they use only the best seasonal products, many of which are imported directly from Italy. The menu includes pizza, pasta, risotto, grilled meats, fresh salads and frequently changing specials.
The freshly baked breads, like the garlic bread with mozzarella cheese, are perfect for sharing and give you adequate breathing space to order starters to follow. Crab cakes served with garlic mayonnaise or grilled goat's cheese with plum tomatoes and caramelised onions on foccacia bread with a balsamic glaze set the tone for a hearty meal. Best fun is to order an antipasto platter to share made up from seven well loved Italian nibbles.
Find pastas such as the unusual penne con salmone, with oak-roasted salmon, broccoli and fresh chillies in a red pesto and cream sauce, or firm favourites like spaghetti with meatballs, spaghetti Bolognese, and fusilli al pesto, asparagus spears with field mushrooms and roasted peppers in a basil pesto sauce.
Amongst the special pastas, the pollo mariano, seasoned chicken, pepperoni sausage, roasted peppers and fusilli in tomato sauce, is interesting and different. Italian menus would be incomplete without risotto, like tiger prawns with petits pois in a creamy saffron sauce.
Classic pizzas embrace, among a wide selection, the popular napoletana, topped with yellowfin tuna, tomato, white anchovies, capers, red onion, mozzarella and marinated olives, and the much loved quattro stagioni - pepperoni sausage, prosciutto ham, artichoke, field mushrooms, capers, marinated olives, mozzarella and tomato.
Specials could include the pollo Siciliana, char-grilled chicken breast, prosciutto ham and plum tomato slices, baked with their blend of cheese, only one example from the many tempting offerings that come out from the Prezzo kitchens.
You can accompany the food with a variety of tipples, though for many, Italian food requires Italian wines to be enjoyed to the full, ranging from house wine through Morellino di Scansano and Prosecco to liqueurs and beer, and there is espresso or fresh ground coffee to wind up an enjoyable meal, in company with a glass of grappa or sambuca.
This is Italian food at its attractive best, convincing and bringing together the traditional with the modern twist or two against a background of excellent value.
Prezzo is a lively group and opportunities to improve and update are never left on the table for long. Keep up to date with a quick click on their Website.
Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design, North Barn, Fairclough Hall Farm, Halls Green, Weston, nr Hitchin, SG4 7DP [Map]
Light, Tea, Traditional
87 Bancroft, Hitchin, SG5 1NQ [Map]
Doughty's Brasserie is a delightful and interesting addition to the eating out scene in Hitchin, somewhere not exactly over-endowed with good places to go; however, Adrian and Victoria Doughty have brought their thirty five years of experience at such excellent places as the renowned Sheene Mill or the Haycock Hotel to creating this haven of excellence.
Doughty's is set in an attractive listed building at 87 Bancroft, and specialises in providing contemporary dining in a friendly and informal atmosphere. Being owner run their approach is an extremely flexible one, meaning that you can drop into their lounge for just a drink or a coffee, or a full meal at lunch and dinner.
At lunchtime they offer a simpler menu with organic baguettes, filled with choices like Atlantic prawn and avocado or roasted vegetables and creamy roquefort cheese, served with hand cut chips and salad or paninis with Parma ham, rocket pesto and mozzarella cheese or mozzarella cheese, vine tomatoes and basil, as well as enjoying more substantial meals like crab, spring onion and ginger spring rolls and a chilli dipping sauce or sautéed chicken liver and bacon salad, baby tomatoes and red onions to start - or finish if you are wanting to eat lightly - and seared fillets of red mullet, black olive potatoes, tomato dressing and wilted rocket or fillet of beef stroganoff, herbed rice and mange tout.
In the evening Adrian lets his creative juices run riot and you could begin with smoked chicken and avocado tian, crispy polenta and basil oil or seared spice beef, peanut dressing, radish and herb salad followed by breast of duck with celeriac puree, curly kale, baby carrots and blackcurrant sauce or pan fried halibut fillet, fondant potato, creamed leeks and red wine butter sauce.
But don't go overboard as you have to save room for his thoroughly tempting selection of desserts like iced tiramisu parfait, amaretto biscuits and chocolate sauce; classic glazed lemon tart, raspberry compote and crème fraiche or vanilla crème brûlée with rum soaked fruits - all sounding too good to miss.
35 Bucklersbury, Hitchin, SG5 1BG [Map]
This Greek restaurant in Hertfordshire is warm, welcoming and is just the place to pop in for a quick lunch with friends or family. The décor is simple and unassuming although the brick building where they are housed is full of character and the spiral staircase that connects the two floors adds an element of interest. The open kitchen provides you with a clear cut view of what is being cooked and how, and customers are encouraged to share their platters.
There are no fixed starters and you can order as many or as few dishes according to your preferences. Don't miss the pastourma, char grilled spicy beef sausage; lamb cutlets or the skewered and grilled swordfish. There is also a range of cold dips served with marinated olives and pita bread and end with baklava for dessert. Beers, spirits and liqueurs are aplenty and help ease the meal along.
More restaurants in Hitchin:
Featured Group Restaurant
Café Rouge has over one hundred branches throughout Britain all offering a wide range of dishes drawn from the French cuisine. Slightly less than half their branches are in or close to London.
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Christmas Day Menu - 4 courses for £69
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