DISCOVER THE BEST FOOD & DRINK PLACES IN MALTA
Malta’s unique but traditional Mediterranean cuisine is a complete melting pot of fresh flavours and vibrant ingredients, meaning that the food and drink places of Malta are both diverse yet traditional. You have seafood sourced direct from the ocean with the country’s great positioning, handpicked medley of capers, fresh melt in the mouth ravioli, Caponata, influenced by it’s Sicilian neighbours. Food is washed down with some of the best wines in the world. Wines containing a mix of grapes but such unique tones to the land. When it comes to sweet treats lets drool over ricotta cassata, hot chocolate puddings and a speciality of fig ice-cream. Influence heavily by north Africa and Italy, the dining scene is a hugely decadent affair, with the Maltese being supremely passionate about cooking and eating out, you’d be hard pushed to find a good restaurant without reservation.
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Oh and lets not forger the national snack of preference Pastizzi. Layers of filo pastry encasing a ricotta filling or curried peas and mince, this is one snack that’s a must.
Dining in Malta is a slow and laid-back affair with each morsel being cherished al fresco as a preference. Feel the midday sun slowly gliding across the blue skies and sipping wine into the late afternoon and into the evening.
- Discover The Best Food & Drink Places in Malta
- Wine Bars
- Malta Best Food & Drink Places Round-up
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Discover The Best Food & Drink Places in Malta
Fontella Tea Garden, Mdina
Most definitely a Malta institution, the Fontella Tea Garden, has a fine selection of cakes accompanied by some excellent fresh brewed coffee. One of the draws is that as well as the indoor spaces, it has an outdoor roof terrace with beautiful views over the walls on Dina to the surrounding countryside.
Service here is fast but feel free to linger and enjoy those views in. a leisurely fashion.
Fontella Tea Garden gets its name form the 17th century fountain found inside the tea garden belonging to a prominent Mdina family. The Putto con Delfino (angel with dolphin) was made from the original cast of II Putto di Verrocchio.
Pastries, Pizzas, sandwiches, and light brunch options are also available to keep you well fuelled throughout your Mdina visit.
Be-lavie Loves: The Pastizzi here is perfectly flaky and crispy filled with ricotta cheese and mashed peas.
- Location: 1 Bastion Street. Triq tal-Infetti, Mdina. +356 2145 4264. Website
- Reservation: Walk-in
Sunday in Scotland, Valletta
Created by Entrepreneur Amer Wahoud, Sunday in Scotland, is an eco-conscious, zero-waste, handcrafted chocolate brand.
With its striking blue and gold-mirrored façade, with tiles in accents of fresh blue, orange and red, along with vintage wicker chairs, dark wood and brass and original art – Sunday in Scotland stands out among the charming shops, restaurants and bars that line up the streets of Valletta.
Take a pew inside and sip on the chocolate delights from pastries to chocolates and cakes or sip on a glass of wine. The atmosphere is clean and inviting as if of course all the chocolate.
Be-lavie Loves: Watch the typical local events of a Maltese day by sitting outside with a cup of their extra rich, smooth, but velvety luxury hot chocolate.
- Location: 173 Triq Santa Lucija Street. +356 9999 6656. Website
- Reservation: Walk-in
Gourmet Kafe, Valletta
One of the cutest cafes in Valletta, located close to the old Theatre and ferry port to Sliema, Gourmet Kafe serves delicious coffee, refreshing milkshakes and some very lovely snacks. Grab a seat inside, curb side or in their very cool intimate terrace in the back. Free wifi means you can also use this to work from should you desire.
Be-lavie Loves: The mini lemon meringue tarts work well with a cappuccino as do the muffins.
- 103 Old Theatre Street, Il-Belt Valletta, Malta. Tel.+356 9971 0258. Website
- Reservation: Walk-in
A little café and Pizzeria, Baroque has a great location, right next to the Mosta Rotunda. (Mosta Dom). Everything from local and Sicilian savouries to vino and sweet treats, be sure to pop in following your visit to the awe-inspiring Mosta Dom.
Be-lavie Loves: Coffee with cannoli, chocolate cookies or a delicious chocolate and caramel slice. Its all serving with pretty pimped drops of cream!
- Location: 13, Church Street, Mosta. Tel. +356 2744 0707. Website
- Reservation: Walk-in
Caffe Cordina, Valletta
Founded in 1837 by the Cordina family, Caffe Cordina and Patisserie is quite the local institution. Traditionally decorated and with a take-out bakery on one side and a dine in confectioners on the other, this is a must-visit for your list.
Go early as the queues often are pretty long but service is fast and efficient and you do not have to wait long to be served by the long bar that run almost the depth of the store. This is where you’ll find a lot of locals and tourists a like as it’s located in one of the main squares.
Be-lavie Loves: the pastizzi with ricotta is one of the lightest here but also there’s a huge selection of cakes as well as boxes of gift-like goods to take home.
- Caffe Cordina 244, Republic Street Valletta VLT 1114. Tel. +356 2065 0400. Website
- Reservations: Not available – just turn up
Manouche, St Julians
With numerous locations around Malta, it’s no wonder that Manouche, craft bakery and bistro is such a great hit with the locals. Whether it’s afternoon tea, brunch, dinner or a light afternoon snack with coffees, Manouche delivers it all and they also deliver out to you! Check out their offers too for romantic evening, good value pasta and wine. You can be assured to gaze their counter for hours in awe of their pastry work and also they have a dedicated bread counter.
Be-lavie Loves: A healthy granola slice or marshmallow snowball slice with a helping of coffee of course!
- Location: Spinola Park, SPK 1000, San Ġiljan, Malta. Tel +356 2704 1478. Website
- Reservation: walk-in
Trabuxu Wine Bar, Valletta
Basing their concept and rightly so on the fact that wine and cheese is the best combo, Trabuxu Wine Bar is housed below street level in a 400-year-old stone vaulted cellar.
The atmosphere indoors is cosy and atmospheric, or sit and sip at a barrel outside and experience the more lovely evening Valletta moods, the choice is yours.
Trabuxu as you can imagine has an extensive list of wines to choose from as well as cheeses and a delicate selection of cured meats and salumi, the cheeses are carefully sourced from hand-selected suppliers.
Select from the menu or build your own cheese board which is always accompanied with fresh Maltese crusty bread, water crackers and a selection of seasonal chutneys and jams.
Truly one of the best ways to enjoy the evening with a belly full of the best wines and cheese.
Be-lavie Loves: Choose a traditional Maltese wine, Marnisi Marsovin with a selection of cheeses and consider trying the cauliflower and spinach Pastilla with Harissa yoghurt and pumpkin seeds as a small plate accompaniment!
- Location: 2 Strait Street, Valletta 1430. Tel: +3562122 3036. Website
- Reservations: Essential
Café Society, Valletta
A favourite hangout with the locals is Café Society. It’s captioned as ‘The wrong place for the right people’, Café Society is most definitely a cool and hip hangout for the less fussy and bohemian minded crowd! They have regular DJ sets and acoustic performances.
They may open late but Café Society has a great crown who tend to spill over onto the street even in winter with blankets and cushions scattered on the steps.
Craft beer lovers will also love the selection here as well as cocktails.
Be-lavie Loves: If you love beer, go for one of the craft beer recommendations or choose from their cocktail menu. If they have the ingredients, Café Society can make you anything. A classic Negroni or Whiskey Sour is. Winner.
- Location: 13 Triq San Gwann, Il-Belt Valletta. Tel. +356 2713 7491. Website
- Reservation: Not required
Del Borgo, Birgu
If you’re in Birgu, ensure you do not miss Del Borgo. Wine bars really don’t get better than this. This wine bar and café opens at 6 pm so make transportation plans if you’re not based in Birgu, you will not regret it!
Opening back in 2005, Del Borgo, offers a grand selection of local and international wines with a menu of small plates emphasising local ingredients and produce. The cellar was once a centuries old palace and housed the Prince of Wales’ Own band club. Take a seat in the vaulted simple interiors and allow the wine and food to do all the talking.
The owner is well respected and very knowledgably about his craft and is on hand to advise on selections based on your preferences. In fact, he was the first to introduce Be-lavie to the unique taste of Maltese wine, notable the Marnisi Marsovin.
Be-lavie Loves: Start with a glass of fizz, followed by Maltese Wine. Share a cheese board containing five different cheeses, with bread, nuts, homemade chutney and water biscuits. Move onto the antipasti and tapas and maybe try the mushroom arancini or the calamari fritti.
- Location: 33 San Duminku, Birgu. Tel. +356 2180 3710. Website
- Reservation: Advised
Cellini Wine & Dine, Naxxar
Named after a reputable designer and painter, Piju Cellini, this house was built at the turn of the 19th century and is the perfect spot for a wine bar with high ceilings, laid back seating and a roof terrace.
Cellini Wine Bar, has an impressive wine selection but when in Malta, I guess Maltese wine is the winner and the menu is small and seasonal but great produce as well as artisanal local ingredients. Opt for antipasti, sharing platters or even some traditional hearty mains, like the rabbit – you will not be disappointed.
Dining at Cellini feels grand but in a laid-back kind of way, cast your eyes on the beautiful staircase.
Be-lavie Loves: Accompany a bottle of Maltese red or white with Trio Bruschetta followed by the cheese or meats platter if not opting for a traditional meal set up. The cheese platter is accompanied with some great options including pesto cheese. It’s beautifully decorated with a scattering of walnuts, dates, homemade chutneys, balsamic vinegar, honey and olive oil dressing.
- Location: 2 Triq Toni, Bajjada, Naxxar. Tel. +356 2143 3670. Website
- Reservation: Advised
A unique restaurant, Rampila is situated in the historic bastions of Valletta. An absolutely hidden gem, Rampila comprises of a restaurant, a vault for private dining and a beautiful terrace at the rear of the property in a unique location. This is one utterly romantic restaurant but with knockout food, wine and service to match.
Built by the Knights of St. John in the sixteenth century as part of the defensive bastions guarding the newly constructed city of Malta, Rampila is truly a stunning baroque backdrop. The heated terrace boasts views of the flood lit 450-year-old entrance via the City Gate.
The food is modern Mediterranean with Maltese influenced ingredients and cooking methods with a contemporary twist. The menu is fish and meat heavy but the few vegetarian dishes are cooked to absolute perfection.
The service and atmosphere is stunning and they even have a bit of a tongue-in-cheek exhibition in one of the side rooms should you require a break between courses!
Be-lavie Loves: Asparagus Napolean, Burratina Salad, Parmigiana, traditional Maltese rabbit (for the non-veggies).
- Location: St. Johns Cavalier. Valletta, 1110. Tel. +356 2122 6625 website
- Michelin Guide: Yes
- Best table: On the edge of the terrace overlooking the gates.
- Reservations: Essential
Well talking about Maltese fine dining, it doesn’t get better than Noni. Gaining a Michelin Star in 2020, Noni is a place where history meets modern décor and stone vaults, encased in a warm and unstuffy atmosphere where the food is more than the icing on the cake. Noni serves the best in fine dining including Maltese and Mediterranean cuisine cooked with French classical flair. Noni is one place where incredible food and service are on a par with each other.
The restaurant is kept in pristine order by founder and co-owner Chef Jonathan Brincat, also known as Noni and his sister, Ritienne, who manages the restaurant like a well-oiled machine. There is most definitely a great passion in this family business which exudes into the whole ‘Noni’ experience.
The tasting menus are a real treat and can also be accompanied with carefully picked wine flights to elevate your dining experience. Dietary requirements are happily catered for here but ensure prior notice to allow for full inventiveness from the kitchen team.
Ingredients are kept local and cooked to perfection. Menu options include a la carte three course options as well as tasting menus comprising of eight courses including chocolate and petit fours and a cheese course is available should you desire.
Be-lavie Loves: The taster menu is an absolute treat, both the vegetarian options and non-vegetarian are a sublime treat to the senses and a work of art. A favourite would be the organic egg cooked to perfection with wild mushrooms and a yellow sauce with the option of truffles.
Most definitely recommended to elevate your experience here. Also start the evening with one of their beautifully made classic cocktails and maybe try one of the local Maltese wines that can be recommended by the team.
Bonus Tip: Peek into the glass-windowed kitchen on your way down to the dining area to see the precision of the chefs at work. You can even get a wave from Chef Jonathan!!
- Location: 11 Republic Street Valletta, VLT 100. Tel. +356 2122 1441. Website https://noni.com.mt/
- Reservation: Essential
- Michelin Guide: Yes. 1 Michelin Star
T’anna Mari, Marsaxlokk
A family-owned restaurant owned by Sicilian Chef Salvatore and his team who have spent many years in Malta and serves a fine mix of Sicilian and local cuisine.
Located in the traditional village of Marsaxlokk, T’anna Mari is well placed to have heavy accents on seafood and fresh regional cuisine which reflects the restaurants involvement in the Slow Food Movement promoting organically grown local foods.
It’s a beautiful restaurant inside but to appreciate the location fully, take a seat outside with a view of the traditional Maltese fishing boats whilst enjoying a delicious lunch or dinner. During the summer months, they have tables right on the water’s edge too.
The service here is also second to none and the team are happy to explain all the intricacies of the ingredients too, catering for dietary requirements and being very flexible with vegetarian cuisine in particular.
If visiting Marsaxlokk for the day book in advance to enjoy a lovely memorable lunch here and you won’t be disappointed with the Maltese meets Mediterranean menu and wine selection.
Be-lavie Loves: Seafood lovers don’t miss the fried calamari and veggies the gnocchi with tomatoes, onions and mushrooms is a dream. Both washed down with a glass of local red wine.
- Location: 28 Xatt is-Sajjieda, Marsaxlokk. Tel +356 2744 6211. Website
- Reservations: Advised
- Best table: Outdoors with views of the fishing boats.
Trabuxu Bistro, Valletta
Trabuxu Bistro is a great place to sit in the winter months. It is cosy with red walls, checked red and white tablecloths. quirky memorabilia and striking contemporary artwork for sale. The menu at Trabuxo changes with the seasons and is prepared in their kitchen in the basement of the restaurant. There’s a great atmosphere in the evenings with lots of conversations and a great background track.
The food is very much Mediterranean with a fresh, skilled, nicely presented homely dishes.
Trabuxo Bistro is run by the same guys as Trabuxu Wine Bar, so the wine list is pretty extensive too and as you’d expect, they’re very knowledgeable!
Be-lavie Loves: Vegetarian favourites here include Cauliflower & Spinach Pastilla with harissa yoghurt, pumpkin seeds and the Rigatoni Peperonata made with sweet bell peppers, pine nuts, basil & goat cheese
- Location: 8, 9 Triq Nofsinhar, Il-Belt Valletta. Tel. +356 2122 0357. Website:
- Reservation: Essential
Pallazzo Parisio, Naxxar
One of the most grandest venues to dine at in Malta, the Pallazzo Parisio is an 18th century country retreat in Naxxar, with stunning interiors and beautifully manicured gardens that are located to the rear of this private house.
Pallazzo Parisio is known for its fine dining Luna restaurant as well as traditional afternoon tea, light lunches in the garden and drinks in the outdoor bar.
The ingredients here once again are very seasonal and as you sit on the garden terrace of the garden restaurant sipping on a glass of wine be wowed by your surroundings as you wait for the food to arrive. It’s quite private with the fountains and low-cut hedges and orangery to the right, which gives it a very regal stately home feel.
Service is quite old school and formal as you’d expect but the menu has options to suit all but a lot of focus on meat and seafood as throughout a lot of Malta.
Once you’ve finished dining take a walk into the orangery and walk back through the beautifully landscaped gardens complete with swings, lemon and orange trees and a turtle pond.
Be-lavie Loves: Zucchini rigatoni or maybe the calamari for light lunching. They have a great list of wines which can be recommended too.
- Location: 29, Victory Square, In-Naxxar NXR 1700. Tel. +356 2141 2461. Website
- Reservations: Advised
Raffael, St Julians
Located in St.Julians with a prime location overlooking Spinola Bay and housed in the old arched boathouses, built 250 years ago by Grand Maser Spinola Raffael restaurant has all the views and delicious Italian food and wine. It’s easy to spend a leisurely lunch sat out on the patio overlooking the bay watching the boats go by.
Raffeal is ideal for an al fresco one dish lunch or dinner, offering a great variety of pizza, pasta, salads, home-made burgers, fish, kebabs, cevapcici as well as Maltese specialities like Bragioli, Timpana, Octopus Stew, Stuffed Calamari, Coconut style rabbit and much more!
Service is pleasant and casual and the staff are great at suggesting what their favourites are!
Be-lavie Loves: Select from one of the many great Mediterranean wines and tuck into a Margherita or Calzone Boscaiola for a just-enough lunch options!
- Location: Triq ix Xatt Ta Spinola, San Ġiljan. Tel. +356 2135 2000 Website
- Reservations: Advised to get an outdoor table with bay views.
U Bistrot, St Julians
A wonderful little Bistro perfectly situated in St. Julians opposite the bay, cue U Bistrot. Taking the farm to table concept very seriously. From breakfast, light bites, lunches, dinners, sweet teats to drinks and fancy cocktails, U Bistrot is super cool and delivers on flavours, atmosphere and presentation.
Be-lavie Loves: Weather permitting grab a seat al fresco and head here for breakfast. Breakfast comes with a complimentary Mimosa! The simple maple syrup pancakes are delicious as is the French toast, made from a soft brioche slice smothered in vanilla custard and pan seared with syrup over the top is just simplicity at its best.
- George Borg Olivier St, St Julian’s. Tel. +356 2311 2361 Website
- Reservations: Walk-in
Guzé Bistro, Valletta
Guzé Bistro, part of the Michelin Guide, is located in one of the oldest houses in Valletta, belonging to the city’s main Maltese architect, Girolamo Vassar. This pretty intimate family-run restaurant serves elegant food in relaxed surroundings of limestone and white linen interiors.
The food is absolutely perfection with fresh fish dishes, affordable good quality steak, sublime hot chocolate puddings and of course great wine.
The staff are also quite playful, which lightens the dining mood, creating a relaxed but tipper evening.
Be-lavie Loves: Risotto with broccoli and pistachio to start followed by a mille feuille of sweet potato and turnips savoy cabbage, celeriac. The waiting staff can also suggest some fab wines such as the Antonin from Marsovin in Marsaxlokk.
- Location: 22, Old Bakery Street, Valletta. Tel. +35621239686 Website
- Reservations: Essential
59 Republic, Valletta
Situated just steps away from the historic Grandmasters Palace Square, located in the stunning 59 Republic has quickly become popular with the locals as well as tourists visiting Valletta.
Executive Chef, Maria Sammut has been cooking with perfection for the past 15 years. Focusing on fresh seasonal produce with innovative flavours, they bring a new menu every 12 weeks absorbing international style, local flavours, tastes and trends, with an interior and ambiance that are chic. Tables are located in the Main Grandmasters Palace Square, for a more intimate cosy dining experience, take a seat in the vaulted basement.
Both service and presentation is sharp and attentive and all the recommendations live up to the hype.
Be-lavie Loves: It’s good to note, that 59 Republic serves an international array of food so is a good choice to accommodate different tastes. Great vegetarian options to share include the asparagus arancini followed by a main of white onion quiche and remember those truffle and cheese fries for the win!
- Location: 59, Republic Street. St Georges Square. Valletta, VLT1117, Tel. +356 79264613 . Website
- Reservaions: Essential
Ta’ Philip, Gozo
If you’re staying in Gozo, or even visiting, book yourself in for lunch or dinner at Ta’Philip. Here you can enjoy traditional Gozitan dishes which are cooked in the traditional slow way by means of a wood burning oven.
It’s also a great place to sample some cold starters, such as soups, pasta, grilled meat dishes and of course sea food. They have fish dishes cooked al sale with the local Gozitan Rock Salt.
Ta’ Philip has a dedicated menu for vegetarians and vegans as well as catering for other dietary requirements.
Ta’ Philip is a place where you’ll see a lot of the locals hanging out so you know this place is authentic!
Be-lavie Loves: The Caprese Salad or antipasti to share for two is really tasty and for mains the homemade ravioli filled with fresh Gozo sheep cheese with napolitana is a fine classic combination of flavours.
Photo Courtesy: Ta’ Philip
- Location: Triq Sant’ Antnin Ghajnsielem, Mgarr, Tel. +356 2156 1965 Website
- Reservation: Advised
Malta Best Food & Drink Places Round-up
As demonstrated by this mouth-watering line-up Malta has a lot of choice with regards to food and drink places you can enjoy. Although the country as a whole has a large focus on meats and sea food, many places will include a a few vegetarian and vegan options (although vegetarianism is a little more unusual), it’s always best to contact the restaurant before hand to discuss what they can offer, and with enough notice, many of the chefs will definitely be able to creatively put something delicious together for you.
If you love your nighlife, Sliema, St Julian’s and Peaceville would be a great area for you to eat out. Whereas for more quiet spots head to Naxxar or Marsaxlokk. Fine dining, wine bars and Michelin Star restaurants, are great in the capital, Valletta. Wherever you’re staying in Malta, fresh, local, seasonal food is sure to be available in great abundance.
Please note during the high summer season and festive period, it is advisable to book a table wherever you can to avoid disappointment.
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