When it comes to food, the Isle of Wight is up there with the very best of British. Famed for its island status, seafood lovers will be in for a treat when they visit this part of the UK - but food options don’t stop there. Thanks to locally sourced produce and innovative approaches to cooking throughout the area's kitchens, a holiday in this eclectic location is guaranteed to bring a smile to any foodie’s face.
From sourcing through to serving, this guide showcases the best food on the Isle of Wight and lets you know exactly where you can find it. Whether you’re a fan of freshly caught sea bass or want to know who whips up the best ice creams, you’ll find it all right here.
Among those who produce the ingredients that go into the Isle of Wight's greatest dishes are farmers, artisans and fishermen, all exceptionally skilled at what they do. Find more about these locals below:
- The Isle of Wight Cheese Company: this award-winning company not only serves up a variety of delicious cheeses, but also works closely with suppliers to ensure their cows are properly managed and taken care of
- The Tomato Stall: committed to selling juicy tomatoes which have been grown on the Isle of Wight, the Tomato Stall supplies a wide variety of markets, farm shops and restaurants across the island and throughout the UK
- Minghella Ice Cream: a family-run business that has been making ice cream on the island for over 60 years, head to Brading Down on a sunny day and you’ll find an impressive selection on display from a Fiat van!
- Isle of Wight Biltong: a perhaps surprising addition to the island, biltong has been made here by Nick Greefe since 2011 - after he inherited his Zimbabwean grandfather's recipe for the salty meat snack
Taking the best produce from the island and converting it into delicious dishes are a wide range of establishments, from fish and chip shops and cafés to pubs and restaurants. If you’re holidaying on the Isle of Wight and keen to try as many of the local eateries as possible, you’ll have no trouble finding a new spot for each meal. Although, it’s not unlikely you’ll find a favourite and find yourself going back time and time again!
Some of the island’s best food spots include the Appuldurcombe Restaurant. Located within The Royal Hotel in Ventnor, just 15 minutes’ drive from Lower Hyde Holiday Park, the restaurant serves up sumptuous dishes masterminded by head chef Dan Maskell. Just some of the delicious food here includes local Moor Farm pork, fresh sea bass and cherry tomato tarte tatin. All this can be finished off with an elaborate creation from pastry chef Steve Bott; the passion fruit soufflé is especially good!
For an al fresco-style dining experience, the Edulis café and restaurant at the Ventnor Botanic Garden features an open kitchen, allowing visitors to watch the chefs as they prepare their food. Edulis prides itself on using locally grown ingredients, with some of them coming from the garden and making it to the plate within minutes!
When looking for great pub food on the Isle of Wight, The Taverners, headed up by chef and proprietor Roger Serjent, can't be matched. His dishes are strictly seasonal and change on a regular basis, depending on which ingredients have come his way. The fisherman's pie, including five types of local fish, as well as mussels and prawns, takes a humble meal and transforms it into it a bona fide masterpiece.
If you want to really get stuck into some of the finest seafood on the Isle of Wight, family-run café The Best Dressed Crab Ltd is headed by a team with more than 20 years of experience. As well as whole crabs, they also offer giant crab claws and delicious fresh lobster. Each meal is simply cooked, to allow you to taste all of the stunning natural flavour in these beautiful specimens. If you’re keen to stretch your legs, you can walk here from Nodes Point Holiday Park in just 30 minutes.
Housed within what was once a cow barn, Bluebells at Briddlesford serves up truly delicious meals without exception. This café is perfect for family lunches and can seat up to 60 people at any one time, so it’s uncommon to have to wait long for a table. Produce from local farms is transformed by a team of talented chefs to create stunning dishes the whole family will love.
The Isle of Wight Farmers’ Market is brimming with quality produce that has been locally grown, reared, caught, brewed, pickled, baked or otherwise processed by the local stallholder - meaning you can buy with complete peace of mind. For a true taste of all that the Isle of Wight has to offer, this is the place to visit!
When dining on the Isle of Wight, you can rest assured of the provenance of ingredients by the Wight Marque. This instantly recognisable symbol was developed by the Royal Isle of Wight Society and is bestowed on pubs, restaurants, tearooms and individual products to show they use local fare or that their meals are made exclusively on the island.
These are just some of our favourite Isle of Wight eateries, but, from pie shops and fisheries to stores dedicated to chilli and garlic-based foods, you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to where to visit on your tour of the island’s best food spots.