7 of the best brunches in St Albans and Harpenden

The best brunch spots arournd Ely. Image: Supplied

The best brunch spots arournd Ely. Image: Supplied - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Mums meeting the gal pals in a coffee shop, lads hungover and in desperate need of a full English, organising a bottomless brunch with the gang...
Whichever way you brunch here's a list of the best seven places in St Albans guaranteed to provide an egg-cellent experience. Because first, we brunch. 

Hatch in St Albans

Hatch in St Albans - Credit: Laura Bill

1. HATCH, St Albans 
Located on Holywell Hill, HATCH serves all-day brunch, with a main, vegan and takeaway, kids and juniors’ menu, but is perhaps best known for their legendary burgers. With over 4,000 followers on Instagram, Hatch is well-connected to its customers with its own app that you can download and get a 10th coffee free!   
It serves classic brunch items with a twist, like chicken schnitzel waffle and fried egg, maple syrup butter and chili flakes. Or why not try the ‘Dirty Reuben’ - a salt beef and Emmental toasted sandwich topped with a fried egg cooked in caper butter and crispy shallots. Add an Espresso Martini for an extra £6.50. 
The vegan menu also does not disappoint with a wide variety of options including ‘The Full Vegan’ breakfast, avo toast, Greek style yogurt bowl and roasted tomatoes and garlic cream cheese on toast. HATCH really does cater for all. 
Opening times: Monday to Friday 9am-4pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am-5am

Waffle House

The Waffle House - Credit: Archant

2. Waffle House, St Albans
The Waffle House has been a family run business since 1978, serving sweet and savoury Belgian waffles by Kingsbury Watermill. Take note this extremely popular St Albans staple is walk-in only! With COVID-19 leading even our pubs to introduce advance booking this makes a delightful change.
Family friendly, dog friendly, drive for sustainability with food products and recycling 
Relax on the patio of a 16th century building that is family friendly, dog friendly and open 7 days a week. All waffles are made fresh, using organic flours, organic, milk and free-range eggs, they can be white, gluten or dairy free waffles and are vegan friendly. 
From classic brunch and waffle combinations such as Hummus and Avocado, Smoked Salmon and scrambled egg to the more unusual BBQ pulled pork and Chili Con Carne. You’ll struggle to choose between sweet and savoury with tempting Pecan Nut and Butterscotch Sauce and Hot Dutch Apple waffles.
Why not make it boozy? Cocktails are served from 11am if breakfast does not tickle your fancy with options such as ‘Lemon Sherbet Martini’ or an ‘Orange & Raspberry Mimosa’ or even a ‘Lady Verulam’.
The Waffle House is a real crowd pleaser and reviewed very highly by critics, and even some famous faces like Giovanna Fletcher (winner of I’m a Celebrity 2020) who writes "It was so good! In fact, just thinking about it is making me salivate once more!"
Opening times: Monday to Thursday 9:30am-5pm, Friday 9:30am-7am, Saturday 9am-7pm, Sunday 9am-6pm

Smokehouse Deli.

Smokehouse Deli. - Credit: Danny Loo

3. Smokehouse Deli, St Albans 
Another highly reviewed brunch spot with 4.9 out of 5 stars on Facebook. The Smokehouse Deli offers sandwiches, smoked roasted meats, ribs, salads, desserts, sweet treats, hot and cold food and a cheese counter. 
Established in December 2014, this family friendly deli is located along Cell Barnes Lane, with the goal of cooking local and global producers to enjoy in St Albans. 
Perfect for customers looking for a reasonably priced brunch with 4 Breakfast items (toast included) costing just £5.95 and 6 items £7.95. Serving an array of traditional British brunch options, like full English and griddled pancakes to gourmet sandwiches; Greek, fish finger, jerk, double Swiss and brie and cranberry. 
Opening times: Monday to Wednesday 7:30am-4:30pm, Thursday to Friday 7:30am-5pm Saturday 8am-3pm

The Goode Kitchen in Harpenden.

The Goode Kitchen in Harpenden. - Credit: Goode Kitchen

4. The Goode Kitchen, Harpenden
Located in Southdown, The Goode Kitchen brings high quality food and service to a relaxed setting. The beautiful flower wall behind the counter is very insta worthy especially as the Goode Kitchen becomes a trendy cocktail bar by night. Run by two Harpendenians, Lianne and Rowan aim to promote as many different local independent businesses.
Other than a great vibe, Goode offers Breakfast, Brunch, Sandwiches, Sharing Plates and Burgers and even encourages customers to ask if there is anything not listed that they can make for you. Healthy options like Acai Bowl, Poke Bowl and superfood salad will allow you to walk away feeling guilt free. 
Opening times: Monday to Thursday 8:00am-4:00pm, Friday to Sunday 8:00am-10:00pm

The Potting Shed in Sandridge

The Potting Shed in Sandridge - Credit: Becky Alexander

5. Potting Shed Café, St Albans 
Located on the edge of St Albans, the Potting Shed Café provides a real ‘field to fork experience’ and is the perfect stop for cyclists. Overlooking Heartwood’s open fields and surrounded by an elegant landscape garden dining outside along the sheltered patio is a must. 
This award-winning café is set in a converted barn using grown and locally sourced produce, growing fruit and veg on their on-site farm for over 90 years. This allows for a changing menu with seasonal favourites depending on the time of year.
Dog and family friendly, the menu boasts a full English, peanut butter and jam overnight oats, buns, bagels, and toasties, sandwiches and salads. Alternative brunch choices include potting shed omelette, mushrooms on toast and chorizo baked eggs with vegetarian vegan and gluten-free options. 
Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 9:00am-4:30pm, Sunday 9:30am-4:30pm (Brunch 9:30am-3:00pm)

Café Aroma in Harpenden.

Café Aroma in Harpenden. - Credit: Google Streetview

6. Café Aroma, Harpenden 
Located opposite the Goode Kitchen, Southdown really is spoilt for choice when it comes to a spontaneous brunch. Great for students looking for an affordable brunch or trying to get over a hangover because Café Aroma serves breakfast all day! 
Outside decking has recently been completed, perfect for those sunny summer mornings. Serving a classic full English is an unbelievable £5.00 with extras for just £1.00, with many more options such as jacket potato, omelettes and sandwiches. 
Always busy with a friendly vibe and lovely food this little café has an impressive 5 out of 5 reviews on Facebook.  
Opening Times: Monday to Thursday 7:00am-4:00pm, Friday 7:00am-10:30pm, Saturday 8:00am-10:30pm, Sunday 9:00am-10:00pm

Alban's Well in St Albans.

Alban's Well in St Albans. - Credit: Matt Adams

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7. Alban’s Well Pub, St Albans 
Alban’s Well opened just a few months ago (April 2021) in the heart of St Albans. With a stunning open kitchen, they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with adventurous brunch options for all you real foodies out there. 
Start with some freshly made juices and smoothies like a pear, cucumber and mint smoothie or a tomato, black grape and horseradish juice. Brunch ranges from Kefir yogurt, seasonal granola, crab royale with brown crab hollandaise and Green shakshuka to the intriguing smoked salmon and spinach croissant, and cinnamon toasted brioche and yogurt sorbet. 
It's easy to see how Alban’s Well has quickly established itself as one of the best brunch spots in St Albans and scored a 4.5 out 5 on Trip Advisor.
Opening times: Monday to Sunday 9:00am-11:00pm