Restaurants in Malta often offer the ability to eat out in the open air

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Living in Malta and enjoying a good meal out, I’ve tried a good number of local restaurants in Malta over the years. They’ve mostly been good experiences, there were the bad and the ugly and a select few are among a select few I consider to be the best, my favourites, which I’ve included in this guide of best restaurants in Malta.

 

 

Food is obviously an important part of travelling. Apart from being a basic necessity to find a place you can eat well and not risk any nasty holiday surprises, it’s often also a big part of a country’s culture.

Malta is no exception.

Good food isn’t hard to find here and Maltese food reflects on the Maltese people in general: Genuine, hearty and prepared with passion.

Before you dive in to shortlist a few places, here are a few notes to get you started:

  • I’ve separated the regular restaurants (sorted by location), mostly serving Mediterranean food, from the ones that specialise in Maltese cuisine
  • You’ll find restaurants that suit most budgets, with an indicator to give you an idea of how much a regular starter/dinner/drinks meal will cost you, with €€ being in the €25-30 per person bracket
  • Maltese street names are listed (locally English translations are used sometimes) for you to be able to easily locate them on your favourite Maps app
  • Finally – a disclaimer: The below restaurants I’ve all dined at myself and are listed because I enjoyed a good meal there and not because I was paid to mention any.

If you’ve already had a good experience at a restaurant not listed here, leave a comment below!

Tips and guide for eating out in Malta

  • Some restaurants are busier than others, so you’re best off calling in advance to make a reservation.
  • Most restaurants open for dinner at 6 or 7pm, and will rarely take calls for reservations during the day. Either try your luck if it’s a normal weekday or call the evening before.
  • Even in tourist hotspots, it’s not common to be billed for cover charges. If you do encounter such restaurants, obviously don’t feel obliged to tip.
  • Speaking of tipping: Yes, tipping is common and usually a tip of 10% is just fine.
  • Major credit cards are widely accepted at restaurants in Malta.
  • Saturday nights are – as you’d expect – the busiest, closely followed by Sunday lunch and often you’d need to make your reservation several days in advance for the more popular restaurants.
  • When you get offered specials, even though you can ask for price estimate they will always tell you it depends on the weight of the protein chosen. You can count on having to pay higher prices than you’d expect in those instances.
  • Do you have special dietary requirements? Unless clearly stated on their website and/or menu, it’s advised to call and ask whether your restaurant of choice caters for your needs.

Best Restaurants in St. Paul’s Bay, Buġibba and Qawra

Lunch and snacks

La Krepree

Location: Buġibba Seafront, opposite McDonald’s – 165, Triq Dawret il-Gzejjer
Opening hours: Daily from noon till 23:00h
Cost:

You’ll find a few places here and there that make French-style crêpes, but the guys that were around first still make the best ones in Malta. They’re located on the seafront of Buġibba and it’s rarely ever quiet here. You get served pretty quickly nevertheless and you’ll have a good choice of savoury and sweet crêpes, to go or to eat on the small terrace out front.

Dr. Juice

Location: Buġibba Square
Opening hours: Daily, 7:00h – 22:00h
Cost: €5 for a regular-sized juice

If you’re looking for a healthy snack, you can find Dr Juice at the Bugibba square. They prepare a variety of juices made from fresh ingredients.

oz Sofra

Location: Triq Il-Korp Tal-Pijunieri, Buġibba
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 10:00h – 4:00h
Cost: €

Looking for a quick kebab? These guys are located in the street leading to the Buġibba square and offer decent quality Turkish grub at reasonable prices and with fresh ingredients.

Dining out

Zeus (Greek restaurant)

Location: Xemxija Hill, Xemxija (outskirts of St. Paul’s Bay, on the road towards Mellieha)
Contact details: +356 2157 8585 | zeusgreekrest@onvol.net
Opening hours: Tue – Sat 19:00h – 23:00h, Sun 12:00h – 15:00h and 19:00h – 23:00h
Cost: €€

Zeus is one of those restaurants that establish a good level of service and food and remain consistent in terms of quality. They serve Greek dishes, which means good meats and fish but also a select choice of vegetarian-friendly options. Add to that the very hospitable owners and staff and you have a restaurant you’ll want to visit for dinner more than once.

Gillieru Restaurant

Location: Triq il-Knisja, St. Paul’s Bay
Contact details: +356 2157 3480 | info@gillierurestaurant.com
Opening hours: Daily 12:30h – 14:30h and 19:30h – 23:00h
Cost: €€

If it’s fresh seafood you’re looking for, you’re at the right place with Gillieru in St. Paul’s Bay. Known even locally as a good seafood restaurant, they do fresh fish, octopus, calamari, etc. justice. Although personally I feel that sometimes their food is pretty pricey and the restaurant itself could do with a lick of paint, the food itself never disappoints.

La Stalla

Location: Triq it-Turisti, Qawra
Contact details: +356 2157 1368
Opening hours: Daily 17:30h – 23:30h and Sun also 12:00h – 14:30h
Cost: €€

Quaint little family-run restaurant in Qawra (one of the few left in the area) that serve good food at reasonable prices. The type of food is Mediterranean, with a selection of salads, plates of pasta, pizzas, steaks, fresh fish, etc. The interior could do with a bit of a facelift but with food being the priority it’s worth paying a visit.

Fat Harry’s

Location: Pioneer Road, Buġibba (road leading to Buġibba square)
Contact details: +356 2157 2163 | nfo@mirabellemalta.com
Opening hours: Daily, from 11:00h till late
Cost: €

If you hadn’t already gotten the impression, the Buġibba area is popular among British tourists, which means you’ll come across places like Fat Harry’s – A proper pub that also sells typical pub food. Nice place to eat and drink even if you’re not British.

Duo Restaurant & Bar

Location: Dawret il-Qawra, Qawra
Contact details: +356 2157 8236 | tonio@duorestaurant.com.mt
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 18:00h – 23:00h
Cost: €€€

I’ve dined at Duo a few times over the past couple of years and both the food and service have been very good each time. With a variety of high-quality Mediterranean dishes, it’s a great place for some proper dining out, with a nice selection of wines and a lovely setting. Although a little pricier than other restaurants, you get good value and I definitely recommend giving them a try.

Ta` Cassia

Location: Triq Il-katakombi, Salina, Malta
Contact details: +356 2157 1435
Opening hours: Daily, from 18:30h till late
Cost: €€

This restaurant is another one of my favourites. They’re located just outside of Qawra, at the start of the coast road that takes you to St. Julian’s in a small place called Salina (a name earned thanks to the nearby salt pans).

Ta` Cassia are an established name in the local restaurant scene and is a family-run establishment, with excellent food, consistent quality and very friendly service who are happy to accommodate any special requests. They offer a good selection of meats and fresh fish – great Mediterranean food. There’s nothing wrong with the decor either, with the restaurant housed in an old-style farmhouse with a lovely garden at the back where food is served in summer.

Tarragon

Location: Triq il-Knisja, St. Paul’s Bay
Contact details: +356 2157 3759 | inform@tarragonmalta.com
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 18:30h – 23:00h, Sun 12:00h – 15:30h
Cost: €€€€

If you’re looking for gourmet dining in this part of the island, Tarragon is a restaurant with a good reputation for serving high-quality dishes and a good selection of quality foreign and local wines. Consistent, passionate about their food, I’ve had good dining experiences here. Obviously, expect to pay gourmet prices.

The restaurant overlooks the bay, so be sure to ask for a table with a view!

Best Restaurants in Sliema

Being a town that’s both popular among tourists as well as the locals, there’s a good choice of restaurants around in Sliema to choose from.

Lunch and snacks

Cafe Cuba

Location: Triq Ix-Xatt Ta’ Tigne, Sliema (close to The Plaza Shopping Centre, opposite the bus terminus)
Contact details: +356 2010 1313 | info@cafecuba.com.mt
Opening hours: Daily 8:00h – 23:00h
Cost: €€

Cafe Cuba is a great little place to grab a quick bite for lunch with a selection of pasta, pizza, salads, wraps and baguettes, etc. It’s usually pretty busy but if you’re lucky or have 5 minutes to wait it’s worth giving a try. Service is usually pretty quick and prices reasonable considering the location. (Places in Sliema are known to charge a little more than in other places on the island).

Just Burger

Location: The Plaza Shopping Centre, Bisazza Street, Sliema
Contact details: +356 2133 2232 | hi@justburger.co
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 9:00h – 20:00h and Sun 10:00h – 20:00h
Cost: €€

Probably the best burger place in Sliema, Just Burger make burgers with high-quality meat, a good choice of styles and a nice atmosphere to grab a good bite and pat your belly in full satisfaction afterwards.

Mint

Location: 30/39 Luzio Junction, Triq Stella Maris, Sliema
Contact details: +356 2133 7177 | info@mintmalta.com
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 8:00h – 16:00h
Cost: €€

Mint is a waterfront cafe offering a selection of freshly prepared salads, freshly baked cakes and also dishes ranging from Thai fish cakes, Moroccan lamb tagine to a Spanish tortilla.

Dining out

La Cuccagna

Location: 47, Triq Amery, Sliema
Contact details: +356 2134 6703
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 19:00h – 23:30h
Cost: €€

La Cuccagna has a reputation for serving genuine, hearty food and is a great place if you like pizza and pasta, with a mostly Mediterranean menu. Gets good ratings and for good reason.

The Chophouse

Location: Censu Xerri Street, Sliema (on the seafront at Tigné Point)
Contact details: +356 2060 3355 | info@chophouse.com.mt
Opening hours: 19:00h – 23:00h (Mon-Sat), 12:00h – 15:00h (Sun)
Cost: €€€

If you’re a meat lover you’ve found a good candidate in The Chophouse to get a juicy steak from, although they offer a variety of meats that go beyond just beef. Very tasty, good service and a great location. Ask for a sea view outside of the summer season or to be seated outside if you’re in Malta during the high season, to enjoy the views across Marsamxett Harbour.

La Vecchia Napoli

Location: 255, Tower Road, Sliema
Contact details: +356 2180 3303  | info@vecchianapoli.com
Opening hours: 12:00h – 23:00h (weekdays), 12:00h – 16:00h and 17:00h – 23:00h (Sat, Sun and public holidays)
Cost: €€

Looking for some of the best pizza around? You’ve found the right place to go to. La Vecchia Napoli has a reputation for serving some of the crunchiest, tastiest pizza in the area. The top tip for pizza choice: Try the Capo Di Monte (Mozzarella Fior di Latte, Parmigiano, Crema di Funghi e Tartufi, Prosciutto – awesome!).

Il-Merill

Location: Triq San Vincenz, Sliema
Contact details: +356 2133 2172 or +356 7942 3568
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 18:30h – 22:00h and Sat 19:00h – 22:00h (Summer) and Mon – Fri 18:00h – 22:00h and Sat 18:30h – 22:00h (Winter)
Cost: €€

Il-Merill is a small, family-run restaurant tucked in a side street away from the hustle and bustle of the main street. Their menu consists of a mix of Mediterranean and Maltese dishes and is highly rated, also for its friendly service.

Fratelli La Bufala

Location: Tigne Point, Sliema (opposite The Point shopping centre, at the foot of one of the high-rise buildings there)
Contact details: +356 2138 7888 | flb-malta@fratellilabufala.com
Opening hours: 12:00 – 15:00h and 19:00h – 23:00h (weekdays), 12:00h – 23:00h (Saturdays), 12:00h – 15:30h and 19:00h – 23:00h (Sundays)
Cost: €€

Fratelli La Bufala is a little bit special in the food they serve. Genuine Italian ingredients, cooked to perfection, whether you choose meat, chicken, pasta, pizza or salads. The downside? It’s a very busy place and service suffers sometimes. (Make a reservation in advance!) The upside? It’s busy because the food is really very good if you’re into Italian.

Best Restaurants in St. Julian’s and Paceville

Lunch and snacks

Badass Burgers

Location: No 1, Triq San Gorg, St. Julian’s
Contact details: +356 2138 4066 | info@badassburgers.eu
Opening hours: Mon – Thur: 18:00 – 23:00 Fri – Sun: 12:00 – 00:00
Cost: €€

Badass was one of the first proper burger places around in Malta and they’ve managed to maintain their standards of big, juicy burgers with a creative selection of options. The St. Julian’s restaurant has a nice open air backyard and the service is quick and friendly. The burgers themselves are a little pricier than you’d expect, but you’re eating out and the portion sizes are generous. Never been disappointed here.

Dr. Juice

Location: Spinola Bay, St. Julians
Opening hours: Daily, 7am – 9:30pm
Cost: €5 for a regular-sized juice

Not a restaurant as such but a good place for a healthy juice, with a choice of a variety of blends, freshly prepared right there and then.

The Dubliner

Location: Triq Gorg Borg Olivier, St. Julians
Contact details: +356 21367106 | info@irishpubmalta.com
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00h till late
Cost: €€

The Dubliner is one of the few (Irish) pubs around that give you a good combination of atmosphere, variety in drinks as well as some proper, tasty pub grub. It’s a popular place among locals and foreigners alike and its location at Spinola Bay is a bonus.

Hard Rock Cafe Baystreet

Location: Level 2 – Bay Street Complex, Triq Sqaq Lourdes, St Julian’s
Contact details: +356 2372 2257 | sales@hardrockcafe.com.mt
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 12:00h till late
Cost: €€

I know, Hard Rock is a franchise and all, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with their food. Fresh ingredients, good variety decent prices. To me, it’s a perfectly good option (even for dinner) that gets good reviews.

Dining out

il-Pirata

Location: 41 Paceville Avenue, Paceville, St. Julian’s
Contact details: +356 2137 5827 | csdebarro@gmail.com
Opening hours: Mon – Sun 11:45h – 23:00h
Cost: €€

il-Pirata is a fairly new restaurant on the scene that’s quickly building a good reputation for the quality of its meat dishes. Don’t worry, despite its name, there won’t be any pirate-clad waiters serving you.

ir-Rokna

Location: Triq il-Knisja, St. Julian’s
Contact details: +356 21384060
Opening hours: Daily from 11:30h – 23:00h
Cost: €€

ir-Rokna is known across the island for baking delicious pizza, and a popular home delivery option for many. Eating out at the restaurant is good just the same, so if you’re nearby and in the mood for pizza I’d recommend stepping inside and making your choice. These guys are very flexible when it comes to changing the toppings.

Sale e Pepe

Location: Portomaso Yacht Marina, St. Julian’s
Contact details: +356 2138 3345 | info@marinarestaurants.com.mt
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 12:00h – 15:00h and daily from 19:00h – 23:00h
Cost: €€€

With a good selection of high-quality seafood, pasta dishes and pizza, Sale e Pepe is one of the best options for Italian food in the area. It’s also a good option for lunch, with a view over the marina of Portomaso, one of the island’s tallest buildings.

The Avenue

Location: Triq Gort, St. Julian’s
Contact details: +356 2135 1753
Opening hours: Daily, 12:00h – 14:30h and 18:00h – 23:30h
Cost: €€

The Avenue has been around for a while now and continues to provide a great food experience, with a good variety of Mediterranean dishes at reasonable prices and a nice, homely atmosphere. Good value!

Caviar & Bull

Location: Ix-Xatt ta’ San Gorg, St. Julian’s (part of the Corinthia Hotel St George’s Bay complex)
Contact details: +356 99993301
Opening hours: Mon – Sat: 18:30h – 23:30h, Sun: 12:00h – 15:30h and 18:15h – 23:30h
Cost: €€€€

Caviar & Bull are one of the few fine dining options in the area, with an interesting and varied menu with Mediterranean flavours at its core. Apart from the sublime food and great selection of wines, there’s a great view out over St. George’s Bay to enjoy a great dinner over. Well worth trying if you’re not on a budget.

 

 

Best Restaurants in Valletta

Valletta (Malta’s capital city) is a popular dining location for locals and foreigners alike, but because it’s not a popular place to stay among tourists, there are quite a few restaurants to discover that offer a great dining (and/or lunch) experience.

Lunch and snacks

Cafe Jubilee

Location: 125, St. Lucia’s Street, Valletta
Opening hours: 8:00h – 1:00h (weekends till 3am)
Cost: €€

Cafe Jubilee is a bit of a quirky place (in a positive sense). With a 1920s feel and a combination of both local and more popular Mediterranean food, there’s nothing quite like the place. Food is consistently good, service is attentive and friendly and the variety on the menu means there’s plenty to try out. Although it’s more the type of place you’d go for lunch, they do serve hot food for a light dinner as well.

Kantina Cafe

Location: 103, St John Street, Valletta
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 8:00h – 23:00h, Sun 9:00h – 16:00h
Cost: €€

With most of their seating outside, and located right next to St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Kantina is a great place to sit down for lunch, enjoy a nice filled baguette, salad or pasta dish and watch the relative peace of city life pass by. The service isn’t always great, but the food makes up for it and is reasonably priced.

Da Pippo Trattoria

Location: 136, Melita Street, Valletta
Opening hours: Lunch only, Mon – Sat, 11:30h – 15:30h
Contact details: +356 2124 8029
Cost: €€

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t quite sure whether to recommend Da Pippo to you or not – it’s a place I have mixed feelings about really and truly. I recommend giving the restaurant a try for two reasons: 1) The quality of the food (super tasty, well cooked, Mediterranean – fish, veal, pasta) and 2) the atmosphere. There’s nothing like it in Valletta. It’s a small, cosy place that fills up with mostly locals and offers charm in its chaos and business with the chatter of people having a good time in good company and with good food.

So what was I not impressed with? The cost. It is good food, and it is a fun dining experience, but it’s expensive. Worst of all, you don’t get to see a menu with prices, you’re given a few options for your table, you get served wine, water, liqueurs for after dinner, etc. but when it ends up costing €60 per person on a small scribbled note for a bill you can’t help but wonder whether you just got ripped off. Another small niggle is that although it’s fun and cosy, for a 6-footer space is a luxury inside.

Still, unless you’re claustrophobic or on a budget, I think most people would say they’d recommend a visit.  Their Tripadvisor ratings seem to tell that story, anyway.

Dining out

Badass Cafe

Location: 46 Old Theatre Street, Valletta
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00h – 23:00h
Contact details: +356 2122 8347 | info@badassburgers.eu
Cost: €€

The same concept as its other restaurant in St. Julian’s, Badass serves gourmet-style burgers – Big portions, good quality meat and a variety of flavours and ingredients.

Legligin

Location: 117/119, Santa Lucia Street, Valletta
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 13:00h – 1:00h, Sat – Sun 18:00h – 1:00h
Contact details: +356 2122 1699 | legligin@hotmail.com
Cost: €€€

Legligin is something a little different. It’s a cosy wine bar on the one hand but also a great place to get a good bite to eat. They tend to serve different types and flavours of Mediterranean food, but instead of an a la carte menu or a small set of specials for the day, you can opt in for different quantities of smaller, tapas-style, tastes of a number of dishes. If you’re not too picky with food, you’ll have a great night with different flavours, good wine and ending the night having had a satisfying meal. Great atmosphere too and very suitable to dine at with a group of people.

Guzé Bistro

Location: 22, Old Bakery Street, Valletta
Opening hours: Tue – Sat 12:00h – 14:30h and Mon – Sat 18:00h – 22:00h
Contact details: +356 2123 9686 | info@guzevalletta.com
Cost: €€

Guzé has been going strong as one of the top restaurants in the capital city, with a varied menu of Mediterranean flavours and high-quality ingredients for a very nice fine dining experience. Despite having a choice of interesting dishes and a gourmet take on staples, the prices charged are very reasonable for the quality served. Highly recommended.

Malata

Location: St Georges Palace Square, Valletta
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 12:00h – 14:30h and 19:00h – 23:00h
Contact details: +356 21233967 | info@malatamalta.com
Cost: €€

Malata is the type of restaurant that’s better in summer than in winter, and that has nothing to do with their food or service, it’s simply the location. The restaurant itself is located in a cellar at the edge of St. George’s Square, opposite the Presidential Palace, which in winter months isn’t the cosiest place to be.

Come summer, however, sitting at one of their outside tables on the square does the good quality of their food justice and makes for a very enjoyable dining experience. Although mainly serving Mediterranean dishes, there’s also some French-inspired food that’s well worth trying. Their onion soup is amazing – and I’m not a soup person by any stretch of the imagination!

Black Pig

Location: 95-96 Old Bakery Street, Valletta
Opening hours: Tue – Fri 12:30h – 14:00h and Tue – Sat 19:30h – 22:00h
Contact details: +356 7922 1606 | info@blackpig.com.mt
Cost: €€€

Tucked away in one of the smaller streets of Valletta, Black Pig is a quaint restaurant that offers a fine dining option a little different than others, with a few contemporary dishes and a variety of Mediterranean foods. It’s a small, intimate restaurant that’s great for couples and smaller groups, with friendly service and a nice ambience. It’s the type of restaurant I think of when I’m the mood for a quiet meal and conversation with my better half.

Best Restaurants in other localities

There are many more restaurants worthwhile dining out at outside of the tourist hotspots, so if you’ve rented a car and want to explore a few other options, these are my recommendations.

Birkirkara

DayFresh Meats & Grill

Location: Naxxar Road, Birkirkara

Opening hours: Mon – Thu 10:00h – 22:00h, Fri – Sat 10:30h – 22:30h and Sun 11:00h – 16:00h

Contact details: +356 2788 7727 | dayfreshmeats@hotmail.com

Cost: €€

Birkirkara is probably not the most logical location to go out for dinner. In fact, there aren’t many options around. DayFresh is a fairly new concept where it’s all about different cuts of meat with a few decent sides, all at reasonable prices (since it’s not an expensive location to dine at).

Imagine a nicely decorated and furnished butcher shop with a dining area and you get the gist. You go up to the counter, choose your cut of meat and its sides, specify the temperature of your choice and you’ll be served with some nicely grilled, good quality meat in not much time at all.

Mellieha

Rebekah’s

Location: 12, Triq it-Tgham, Mellieha

Opening hours: Mon – Sun 19:00h – 22:30h (Summer), Mon – Sat 19:00h – 22:30h and Sun 12:00h – 14:30h (Winter)

Contact details: +356 2152 1145 | http://www.rebekahs.com.mt/

Cost: €€€

Set in a rustic old farmhouse, this romantic restaurant on the edge of Mellieha offers a great ambience with genuine food and high-quality Mediterranean dishes. Although not particularly budget-friendly, its a la carte menu is balanced with a nice selection of local fish, beef and pasta dishes.

Giuseppi’s

Location: 25, Gorg Borg Olivier Str., Mellieha

Opening hours: Wed – Sat, 19:00h till late

Contact details: +356 2157 4882 | mjdiacono@onvol.net | http://www.giuseppismalta.com/giu-home.htm

Cost: €€€€

If I had to choose one restaurant to name as my favourite place to dine in Malta, this would be it. Set within an old two-storey house with typical antique Maltese tiling in Mellieha, the food served here is divine, whether from the a la carte menu or the specials of the day, there’s a good variety of interesting dishes, full of flavour and different concepts. It’s definitely one of the pricier choices, but well worth it in my opinion.

Birgu (Vittoriosa)

il-Forn

Location: 27 Triq It-Tramuntana, Birgu (Vittoriosa)

Contact details: +356 7982 0379 | info@ilforn.com

Cost: €€

il-Forn probably shouldn’t really be classified as a restaurant, it’s more of a wine bar with a modest food menu, located in the heart of Birgu. Nevertheless, it’s a great place to discover and go for different types of ftajjar (Maltese bread) with all sorts of savoury toppings. You’ll be enjoying a bite with the setting of what looks like an art gallery, with brightly coloured art adorning the walls of this cool

Mdina

If you’re planning a visit to Mdina, you’ll have a few good options for lunch/dinner to choose from, namely:

Marsaxlokk

Freshly cooked sea bass and king prawns, from the sea onto your plate.Marsaxlokk is known as the number one fishing village in Malta and several restaurants line the seaside of this quaint little village on the East coast of the main island. Fresh fish is available daily and it usually only gets busy on Sundays when families flock to Marsaxlokk for lunch.

I’ve tried several restaurants here and was rarely disappointed, although prices can vary from place to place, and the rule here really is that “you get what you pay for”. Without particular preference – they’re all very good – these are the restaurants I believe do fresh fish justice most:

Location: All located along the seafront

As mentioned, if you’re on a budget they’ll probably be a bit on the expensive side for you, but overall the prices are reasonable for the quality of food served.

Best Restaurants that serve genuine Maltese food

If you’re looking for a taste of local food, there are a few great restaurants around that can give you a taste of some genuine, delicious Maltese food. These are my recommendations for restaurants that specialise in this type of cuisine specifically.

Nenu the Artisan Baker

Location: 143, St Dominic Street, Valletta
Opening hours: Tue-Sat – Lunch from 11:45 – 15:30h and Dinner from 18:00h – 23:30h, Sun – Lunch only, from 11:45 – 16:00h
Contact details: +356 22581535 | info@nenuthebaker.com

Nenu the Artisan Baker is a highly popular restaurant in Valletta, offering a wide variety of typically Maltese foods and dishes that go beyond baked foods. Very tasty, genuine ingredients and even the restaurant itself is a good establishment for a quality dinner

When I was there with a few Maltese friends there seemed to be a sense of nostalgia towards some of the dishes they had last tasted when cooked by their Nanna (grandmother). There’s no better rating of the quality of Maltese food than that, I suppose!

Ta` Marija

Location: 71, Triq il Kostituzjoni, Mosta (across the street from the Mosta Dome)
Opening hours: Lunch time 12:00 – 14:30h, in the Evenings at 18:00 – 22:30h (7 days a week)
Contact details: +356 2143 4444 or +356 7957 3796 | info@tamarija.com

Ta` Marija in Mosta is a family-run restaurant and a recommendation for an evening out rather than just dinner with Maltese food. The food served is mostly Maltese, of very good quality, and over and above guests are provided with entertainment in the form of traditional musical performances by traditionally clad performers. It makes for a different type of dinner experience and well worth a try. The staff are very friendly, helpful and happy to meet any dietary requirements and it’s not surprising the restaurant has won several awards over the years, as well as good reviews from its diners.

Ta` Kris

Location: 80 Sqaq Il Fawwara, Sliema
Opening hours: Lunch time 12:30 – 15:30h, in the Evenings at 19:00 – 23:00 (7 days a week)
Contact details: +356 2133 7367 | takrisrestaurant@gmail.com

Whereas in Sliema you’ll come across restaurants and bars that are a little touristy, Ta` Kris is a little gem in a spot where you’d least expect it: In a small alley in the middle of a shopping area. It’s a cool little restaurant with a warm interior and a few tables set up outside in the alley when the weather suits dining outside. The food is of high quality and the service never disappoints either.

Malet Restaurant

Location: 178, Triq San Xmun, Bugibba
Opening hours: 18:00 – 23:00h, 7 days a week
Contact details: +356 7921 1414
Cost: €€

Probably one of the lesser-known restaurants that serve Maltese food, in the middle of a popular tourist town (Bugibba) and serving different types of food, including more exotic things like quail and horse meat but also the more common bragioli, calamari and octopus dishes (and chicken, beef for the less adventurous diner). Great little place with well-cooked food at very reasonable prices.

Gululu

Location: Spinola Bay, Saint Julian’s
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 09:30-17:00h
Contact details: +356 2133 3431 | info@gululu.com.mt
Cost: €€

One of the few restaurants serving Maltese food in the area, Gululu do a good job of serving a selection of typically Maltese dishes in one of the nicest dining locations on the island of Malta, at Spinola Bay (St. Julian’s). I wouldn’t say theirs is the best restaurant for Maltese food on the island, but the quality is good, prices fair and you can’t beat the location either.

Dar Il-Bniet

Location: Triq il-Kbira, Dingli
Opening hours: Mon – Thu 10:00h – 15:00h and 19:00h – 22:00h, Fri – Sat 12:00h – 15:00h and 18:30h – 22:00h, Sun 12:00h – 15:00h and 16:00h – 20:00h (Afternoon tea)
Contact details: +356 2762 0727 | info@diarilbniet.com
Cost: €€

Dar Il-Bniet is something a little bit special. Located in the village of Dingli, in a rural part of Malta (South of Mdina and Rabat), this family-run restaurant serves delicious, traditionally prepared and genuine Maltese food with ingredients sourced from their own crops. You’ll be getting a taste of Maltese food prepared according to age-old traditions with ingredients that are fresh of the land surrounding the village.

It may well be the best place in Malta to try Maltese dishes and although not centrally located it’s fairly easy to reach by public transport as well as by car.

Ta` Mena Estate

Location: Rabat Road, Xaghra (on the main road between Victoria and Marsalforn)
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 09:30-17:00h
Contact details: +356 21564939 | info@tamena-gozo.com
Cost: €€

Ta` Mena isn’t really a restaurant, but a local agricultural company that grow their own vines, olives and more types of produce in Gozo.

They organise a tour of the estate and food tasting for smaller groups or individuals which lasts around two hours, on Thursdays at 4:30pm (June-August) and Saturdays at 1pm (all year round). You’ll need to book in advance for this. Highly recommended!

Otherwise, during opening hours you can always visit the Estate (free of charge) and buy from their selection of local produce. Their Marsamena wines, particularly the red blend, are of high quality and I usually buy a few bottles when I’m Gozo (although they’re also available in liquor stores and wine shops in Malta).

Do you know of any restaurants you’d like to recommend?

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Discover my personal top 50 restaurants in Malta and Gozo, with typical Mediterranean cuisine as well as Maltese food.