Despite Jersey's history in excellent produce it's caught up to the mainland's booming foodie culture relatively recently. In the early 2000s the culinary apex of a trip to Jersey was the odd shack selling simple local seafood. That's still a highlight, but the island now has Michelin stars to complement the rustic pleasures of its good old-fashioned seaside fare. Together, the dining scene and exceptional produce at its freshest make Jersey a real gastronomic destination, and Jersey's food is a reason to visit in itself.
Whether you want fine dining or unfussy – or both – you'll find it on Jersey. Breakfast in your hotel, have lunch in a harbour cafe and enjoy dinner with the best sea views in the Channel. Add some of the UK's best beaches and prettiest landscapes just over an hour's flight from London City Airport, and you've got a great hassle-free short break.
Jersey is a small island, and when it comes to eating locally that's a big plus. Ingredients don't have far to travel so you can expect big things from fresh local seafood – particularly as Jersey is surrounded by exceptionally clean waters. Fish is superb, with bass, mullet and even conger eel just a few of the treats caught off Jersey's coast, but the big local specialities are scallops and Channel Islands spider crab. Most of the UK's spider crab catch is exported to Spain, but on Jersey they know better. Look for it on local menus, from the legendary crab sandwich at local institution the Hungry Man beach cafe at Rozel harbour to Shaun Rankin's complex dish with pear sauce and gingerbread at Ormer.
If you're a fan of oysters, don't miss the chance to talk a walk among the oyster and mussel beds on the Oyster Trail in the Royal Bay of Grouville for the freshest bivalves you can get – Jersey Walk Adventures runs excursions.
Jersey milk is one of the island's icons, and you'll find dairy treats all over Jersey, from the best butter you'll ever taste to locally-made ice cream and salted caramel sauces on puddings that just have something extra about them.
One of the most fun (and indulgent) ways to enjoy Jersey's most famous bounty is with a proper afternoon tea experience. Jersey does a serious line in cream teas and there are a few excellent tea rooms on the island, but some of the best are in hotels. The Somerville hotel in St Aubin does an excellent Jersey afternoon tea; search your dates on our hotels page to book a stay, or browse other hotels in Jersey.
Jersey Royals have to get a nod in any guide to food on the island. Whether it's the seaweed used to fertilise them, the island's soil or the unique growing conditions on steep slopes, there is something to the lore that surrounds Jersey Royals and they are distinctively nutty and firm. The locals keep much of the best crop on the island and you'll notice when you try them here. And try them you will – unsurprisingly you can't find a restaurant menu in town without Jersey Royals on it, but they're a treat if you pick up a bag and cook them yourself too.
These days Jersey has several outstanding restaurants and if you're here for a short break, just one of its Michelin-starred restaurants is a treat. But if you're dedicating your trip to a full-on culinary journey then Jersey's size makes it waistline-expandingly easy to visit several of the best.
Headed by TV regular and Great British Menu winner Shaun Rankin, Ormer won its first Michelin star within just four months of opening. It's built such a reputation that the mainland demanded a slice of the action and Rankin has since brought a London branch to Mayfair. But the beauty of food on Jersey is that it goes from field to fork in just a few miles, and you can only get the real experience on the island, with local lobster at its sweetest and best.
Jersey's original big name in fine dining, Bohemia, is just around the corner in St Helier, and has held a star for nearly a decade. Meanwhile, Mark Jordan at the Beach has one of the best locations on the island on the seafront near St Aubin's harbour and has earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand for its outstanding bistro-style food, which champions local ingredients, including Jersey lobster and asparagus.
At the other end of the spectrum are Jersey's many fantastic beach cafes. Jersey's casual dining scene exists in harmony with the posher places, and tucking into proper fish and chips on a harbour wall can be just as much of a treat here. Plemont Beach Cafe does sandwiches and uses Jersey produce. Bonne Nuit Beach Cafe sits by the charming beach of the same name and does traditional breakfast and lunches before transforming into a Thai restaurant for dinner – it's unlicensed and BYOB.
Jersey has a long tradition of apple-growing and local artisans are reviving cider-making on Jersey – visit in October for the island's annual cider festival. Local brewery group Liberation has pubs around Jersey and Guernsey, and the brewery has been known to host the occasional open day. For lively and informal drinks in central St Helier, head to JB's – a brightly-lit, American-styled craft beer and BBQ bar with a huge selection of keg beers from the likes of Brewdog and Beavertown. The twist is that there are also ping pong tables in the back (the eponymous JB is Josh Band, former Jersey table tennis pro and local hero). It's perfect for a fun night out and has quickly become a firm favourite with discerning locals – the burgers are excellent too.
Whether you want a quick getaway or a relaxing trip with a slower pace of life, Jersey makes a great foodie break. Check in in the morning and be there for lunch with a flight from London City Airport.