If you’re not sure where to go to for dinner this week and are looking for something a bit different, we’ve got something a little bit out of your way. It’s home to some great bars, amazing sweet shops and some of the biggest and best burgers in the archipelago – Gozo is an absolute must for you this winter. Here’s 13 new reasons to visit.
1. Ta’ Tona
One of the first restaurants you’ll find upon arriving in Gozo also happens to be one of its finest, if one were to follow TripAdvisor reviews. Offering seafood, steaks and even vegetarian options, Ta’ Tona is a firm favourite, perfect for a quick Gozitan in-and-out.
Il-Kartell has been making offers no one can refuse since 1973. As with most restaurants in Gozo (especially those in Marsalforn), il-Kartell is located literally metres away from the sea, and its fresh fish menu is a part of the longstanding tradition of Mediterranean food that this place boasts.
This stellar restaurant found at the limits of Victoria is approaching its second year under new management soon, but before it gets hot (and inevitably crowded) again, head on down for a great mix of Mediterranean cuisine and comfort food.
Patrick’s is actually a triple whammy; part lounge, part restaurant, part mouth-watering steakhouse. It’s constantly rated as one of the best restaurants around, and according to The Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants boasts the best wine list in the whole of Malta! Which means you’re definitely going to find something you like to celebrate dining at this 10-year-old winner.
Ristorante Arzella, as its name perfectly suggests, manages to pull off the fine balance in Mediterranean lifestyle, from exquisite Maltese fish dishes to delicious Italian pizza.
The Boat House is one of those places that doesn’t really require any form of introduction. This Xlendi restaurant has been a favourite of Maltese, Gozitans and foreigners alike for generations. Booking is recommended (perhaps even for the current shoulder season) as The Boat House offers a beautiful dining experience both during beautiful and hot summer nights to cold and clear winter afternoons.
7. Ta’ Karolina
For many people returning to Xlendi, the age old question persists; Boat House, or Karolina? Right next door and firmly standing as the last restaurant before the beach gives way to the sea and cliffs, Ta’ Karolina is as firm of a favourite as its neighbour, dominating the reviews for years now.
8. il Gambero
From the best of Xlendi, to the best of Marsalforn. Right on the seafront and door-to-door to Il-Kartell , Il Gambero has also recently been taken over by new management. This Italian and Mediterranean fusion that the menu offers has the restaurant sitting comfortably in the top of most of the lists for Gozo eateries, including currently having the number one spot for restaurants in Marsalforn!
9. Ta’ Frenc
Halfway between Victoria and Marsalforn, Xagħra’s Ta’ Frenc is an award-winning restaurant set in an authentic old farmhouse surrounded by beautiful country views of the green hilly island. Established in 1982, Ta’ French is another one of those great restaurants that can happily lie back and let more than three decades of excellence to do the talking for it.
Just in case the name, decor and the fact that it’s located in the actual Imġarr port itself weren’t enough of a dead giveaway, Tmun’s strongest suit is its seafood. Just over three years ago, Tmun won its first ever Top 40 Award at the Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurant Awards 2013, and with its incredibly accessible location and the ever increasing hype surrounding it, it only looks like it’s going from strength to strength.
11. Country Terrace
Hot on the tail of Tmun is Country Terrace, another ferry-view restaurant that actually prides itself for its multi-cuisine al-fresco dining experience. The place also offers great vegetarian / vegan options, making the drive up to Gozo even more worth your while.
12. Ta’ Kantra
Gozo has some of the most spectacular scenery in the whole of Malta, so it takes something quite impressive for a restaurant to have one of the best views of them all. And as if the food wasn’t already something amazing to write home about, Ta’ Kantra’s location definitely is.
If you’d rather leave the seaside views and fine dining to summer, then Rangers in Għarb is the place to visit this winter. Located just a couple of metres down the road from the Parish Church and with beautiful terrace views of Ta’ Pinu, Rangers offers great authentic food at even greater prices, and is the epitome of a sports-bar-turned-restaurant should feel and taste like.
Why not continue the legacy of Maltese people who drive for around an hour to Ċirkewwa, hop on a twenty minute ferry, land in Gozo, drive up the road (either for about two and a half minutes, or a quick pop-over to Nadur) stop at Rexy, Maxokk or Mekren, grab a pizza, and go back down again. Because sometimes, you just can’t beat the classics.