When we went to Malta we ate at a bunch of cool places, hopefully this will help you if you are planning a visit soon! If you are looking for more comprehensive ideas on what to do as well, be sure to check out my posts on backpacking in Malta and cultural Malta too!
Here is a glance at the eateries I will be mentioning with their locations:
Ta Kris – Sliema
Legligin – Valletta
Fontanella Tea Gardens – Mdina
StrEat Whisky bar and bistro – Valletta
Papprazzi 29 Clubhouse – Sliema
Pepe’s Bistro – Spinola Bay
Tiffany’s Bistro – Sliema
Cafe Sicily – Sliema
So going to start with my favourite restaurant from the trip, Ta Kris. This is a really cool traditional Maltese restaurant tucked down a side street just off the main shopping street in Sliema.
The restaurant sort of looks like a rustic farmhouse, there are lots of knick-knacks and big wooden ceiling beams, with a giant fire place inset into the wall. Its pretty charming. most of the tables are indoors, however they do have some two person tables out just across from the restaurant in the little side street if you fancy dining al fresco.
The menu is entirely traditional Matese dishes, as were the specials, which they wrote down for us on a little piece of paper, with the prices too, very handy! Craig went for the classic rabbit. I’m not a big meat eater and so went for the ricotta ravioli, which came in a delicious and not too rich tomato sauce. Both are dishes you see a lot across Malta, but this was definitely the tastiest offering we had whilst there. They also bring you some bread for the table – useful for mopping up meat juices so I am told. We went with some Maltese wine to accompany our food, which was very nice.
The service is very Mediterranean, with a pretty relaxed atmosphere. The place was completely full despite the late time we had requested (we wanted to go for drinks at a nearby beach club first), so would recommend booking ahead. We just went past on our way to drinks and asked if we could have a table at 9 and they wrote us on their clipboard. If you are in Sliema and keen to try Maltese food, this place is an absolute must!
Craig was desperate to go and give Legligin in Valletta a try after reading about it during his trip research. It is technically a wine bar, but offers alongside its excellent selections of wine, a set 7 course tasting menu, which comes in at €30 per person. The lunch menu is 5 course I believe; we went at dinner time. We went pretty early to make sure we got a table as it is very popular and is often full.
It is partially set into the ground, which gives it quite a cosy feel. They also had someone playing dinner music later on which added to the atmosphere.
We of course went for some Maltese wine to have with our food. They bring you out bread and oil at the start, which is so so good, but try to restrain yourself and not fill up on it – they give you loads and it is really tempting but there is so much food about to come your way so resist if you can!
First course was fish soup, which was soon followed by a mix of tapas. Really enjoyed both of these, the tapas mix was great. I am a pretty fussy eater, but I had decided to be brave and have the meat / fish option, which was probably an error. I didn’t like most of the stuff that came after that, although I did give everything a try so yay me. We had sea bream, octopus, rabbit – I asked if I could have chicken instead after I heard someone else do so! – lamb and quail. They had desserts on the board if you wanted to order them, kudos to anyone who manages after having that much rich food!
It is definitely a fun and adventurous dining option, so I am glad we tried it even though tasting menus aren’t really my thing.
Fontanella Tea Gardens
Most of the places to eat we came across in Mdina’s Silent City were very pricey, much more than we wanted to spend on lunch! So we were very glad when our patience was rewarded after wandering around to find somewhere cheaper with the delightfully reasonably priced Fontanella Gardens.
Its a really lovely spot, with a downstairs courtyard and indoor part of the restaurant, and then multi levelled terraces up on the roof which had the most gorgeous view of the countryside.
Craig took this opportunity to order some pastizzi to try. These are everywhere in Malta, there are loads of little bakeries around selling them really cheap. You absolutely have to try one on some point on your trip. They are flaky pastries, usually filled with ricotta or peas. The ricotta ones are so tasty, I still crave them often – of anyone knows where to find these in London let me know!
We then had lasagna and a toasted baguette, but the menu had lots of options and the pizzas looked really great. What looked even better though were the giant slices of cake that people were ordering! They were genuinely incredible, and if I ever go back there I don’t care what meal time it is, I will be getting that cake for my food as they were beautiful and looked divine (I took no pictures since I didn’t have one but the link is there so you can check them out and make yourself hungry).
Recommend completely, especially if you don’t want to spend loads of money on your meal.
StrEat Whiskey Bar and Bistro
When we did our day trip to Valletta we wanted something relatively quick and easy for lunch so we could spend the day exploring, there was a lot we wanted to see!
The food was pretty simple – lots of burgers, grills and also a good range of pastas and salads. I had a really nice tomato and mozzarella salad, which came with the cutest tiny bread rolls and ample butter!
The prices were pretty reasonable and it looked like it would be a nice place to have a drink. There is indoor seating and loads of tables outside, including some in the square on Strait Street, which is where we chose to sit.
Paparazzi 29 Clubhouse
This restaurant is situated right by the bridge to Manoel island, so made for a convenient stop on our way to check that out. There is loads of outdoor seating which over looks all the sailing boats which is why we were attracted to it. We were expecting it to be quite pricey due to the location but were pleasantly surprised when we looked at the menu.
The menu and interior are sports themed, which is a little tacky but also quite fun, the names of the dishes provided great entertainment. The food was actually really delicious. Craig went for a pasta dish and I went for a burger having watched one go past and being envious of it! The portions were pretty big and good value.
Definitely a good spot if you are heading to or from Manoel island and fancy a bite.
We spent ages trying to decide where to eat on our walk around Spinola bay but eventually we settled on a place overlooking the harbour called Pepe’s Bistro. I am very glad we did because the food was awesome!
We sat out on the little balcony so we could look out over the harbour and had the most delicious cheesy garlic pizza bread. It was so tasty I could have eaten a whole one to myself, but sharing is caring.
Craig then had a pizza which looked incredible and I went for a smoked salmon salad as I was really craving some smoked salmon. It was a good decision it was really good. I also had some homemade orange lemonade which was very refreshing, followed by some mango sangria purely because it sounded interesting.
A good little spot if you are in the area with a very extensive cocktail menu, wish we had had time to try more of them!
This was the place we went on our first night straight after checking into our hotel, as it was on the strip and fairly close by to our hotel in Sliema. There are loads of restaurants on the strip and they largely serve similar food at similar prices. This one was almost full so we took that as a good indicator.
Their ricotta ravioli was pretty good and a great first taste of Malta for me!
We went here for lunch before jumping on the bus to St Julian’s bay, where we spent half of our trip staying. We wanted something fairly quick and not too expensive as we had done lots of eating out in that first part of the trip.
This place had pretty cheap and tasty looking pizzas, which was what we both really fancied at the time. We sat out at the front and enjoyed the pizzas and a final view of Sliema, and were entertained by the bizarre choice of music videos on the screen they had up, which ranged from forgotten bands like Keane to French pop music.
The service was quick and the food cheap and tasty so a good place to grab a bite if you want something swiftly.
Hope that this has given you some inspiration for your trips and helped you with what to expect from Maltese restaurants!