Malta’s food is awesome, and not just for the actual Maltese food, but for how many different types of cuisine are represented all over the islands – and represented damn well.
Different towns have different specialities. Some towns offer a range of great restaurants, while other towns are buoyed by one or two standout eateries.
All towns are unique in their offerings, but only one can come out on top. Here are Malta’s towns ranked by how good their food is.
This is the place to come to if you want free appetisers with your drinks. Places like Dos Avos and Remissa Sports Bar take you back to a time when every place used to send out a plate of horse meat or bebbux with your first round of Cisks.
39. Santa Venera
Andrew’s Snack Bar in Santa Venera is like a food market in one big single room – their menu is endless, and their ħobz biż-żejt renowned for it’s particularly herb and caper-based flavour, making it stand out among stiff competition. Get there early though, the place can be closed by 2pm, which means you’ll need to head to nearby Ħamrun or Birkirkara for any food.
Anyone that loves Lebanese food needs to get to Floriana. Olive House serves some ridiculous takes on classic dishes like hummus with their signature sesame cream and avocado as well as the tastiest falefal and olive wrap around. Get your food to go and take a walk through one of Floriana’s garden, or chill in the Fosos.
It’s got beautiful sea views of Filfla, great coffee houses and some legit restaurants like Papa’s, Carmen’s Bar or Lapsi View. What more could you ask for?
Qrendi’s got some surprisingly serious seafood restaurants, perfectly situated to take in the fresh fish caught nearby. Places like Cassarini Restaurant and El Patron shouldn’t be missed, but the real hidden gem in Qrendi is the Italian-owned, authentic fish restaurant Il Corsaro.
Of course there’s the picturesque Fumia, but Pieta has more food than meets the eye. Head to the area near Junior College and find some great value-for-money eateries like Duke’s, as well as a New York Best and even a newly opened Greek deli near the marina.
Apart from having some cool eateries like Fat Harry’s Pub in the Luqa Airport, some really great restaurants like Beer Kitchen and Vecchia Napoli have opened in Sky Parks complex, with all the parking you could ever need.
Don’t let Ghajnsielem fool you, it’s packing heat. Go to The Clubhouse and try and overcome their insane ten patty burger (you need to sign a waiver to even try it), try the gluten-free treats at Wendy’s, or get your hands on some suckling pig at Ta’ Philip.
Sitting alongside the Marina with the parish church lit up in front of you as the sun sets reminds you how special Malta can really be. Get some seafood from Enchante or Il-Hnejja for the full experience.
Hidden away as it is, any Maltese meat lover knows about Chukkas in Marsa. But if you’re looking for a more down to Earth meal, head to Ta’ Ċensu Pizzeria for a pizza or pasta in a casual dining setting.
Any town that has both Mekren and Maxokk in it probably doesn’t need any promoting, but Nadur definitely deserves a visit even when it isn’t Carnival.
29. San Gwann
San Gwann has a bounty of eateries to suit all tastes and budgets. From the epic burgers at Sticky Fingers Eatery to the asian food at Okurama to the lovely food at Emma’s Kitchen, you’ll find something, no matter how picky you or your partner is being.
Xlendi has an insane amount of restaurants for such a small town. This is the perfect place for a day visit, what with all the landmarks to see. Go to Sofia Bar and Restaurant for lunch then grab a seafood dinner at The Boathouse or a meat dinner at C Seven.
Go to Hefu for the local experience, or order Dominos take-away if you want to stay at home. Tremici is a good place for to head to for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but if you want something a bit more focused, head to Dayfresh: it’s both a butcher and a restaurant, meaning you can select your piece of meat from their range and have it cooked just as you like it.
If you don’t like fish, then don’t come here – this is a seafood lover’s paradise. Nearly every restaurant will be serving you the freshest prawns, calamari, and whatever the catch of the day is, fresh of the boat that morning. Check out Il-Kartell for a romantic and inspired menu.
In the quiet desert that is Attard, the gastronomy of Rickshaw stands out, with it’s intense mix of Thai and Chinese flavours always hitting home. But both Jalie’s and Santa Lucia serve incredible dessert, with the latter sometimes also offering Croque Madames.
Duo Restuarant and Bar has some incredible technique in their food, as well as beautiful plating, and of course Giuseppe’s is a tried and tested classic. Ocean Basket is a great place for a big, Maltese family dinner – plenty seafood for everyone, right by the sea. But if you are looking for something a bit cooler, go to Cheeky Monkey Gastropub: make sure to book though, place is usually packed on the weekends and evenings.
Ta’ Frenc, named after the Gozitan folk hero, is the perfect place for a celebratory dinner, and Xi-Xi offers a unique take on the typical Asian fare you’d expect. But to really get a taste of Xaghra, head to Latini Wine & Dine in the central piazza, order up, and enjoy some people-watching over fresh calamari.
Anyone who has woken up with a hangover on Sunday morning knows that Bugibba is the place to go to get a cheap, massive, English breakfast. And if you’re feeling greasy afterwards, grab a Dr. Juice or an refreshing sorbet from Sottozero and go for a walk along the promenade.
One of the best – if not the best – burger place in Malta is nestled away in a central corner of Marsascala. The Mad Hatter makes its own sauces – like their nectarous Guinness Sauce – which puts its burgers on their own level. Bongo Nyah and Zion offer some of the tastiest vegetarian food on the island, and go to Żonqor Point if you are looking for fresh seafood.
Ħamrun has the potential to become something special in the next decade, but it’s not quite there yet. The amount of authentic ethnic eateries like Afghan Natural Food or Salem East Africa Bar alongside pizzerias like Pulcinella Napoletana and cosy cafes like Elia cafe show a lot of potential.
19. St. Paul’s Bay
St. Paul’s Bay has a few interesting places to offer: upscale fish restaurant Tarragon offers some great service and is the perfect place for a romantic dinner, and traditional Italian pizzeria Made in Sud will give you pizza straight from the heart of Italy. You can also pass by Pash for some healthier fare, and then get to The Donut Factory for one of their treats.
18. Mġarr (Gozo)
Of course, there’s Tmun. But there are some gems in here, like the cute Ta Pawlu, and not much beats booking a table with a view at Country Terrace on a warm summer evening or bright afternoon. Pre-drinks on the terrace at Gleneagles is a great way to start any night, and heading to a classic like Ta’ Tona is a great way to end it.
17. Rabat (Malta)
The traditional feel of Rabat jars beautifully with some of the more exciting Maltese restaurants that can be found there. Go to Umami if you want to get your mind blown a little bit, or just go to Crystal Palace for an qassata if you want to blend in with the quaint town’s feel.
16. Rabat (Gozo)
Classics like Cafe Jubilee or Brookie’s are always worth a visit, but no trip to Rabat would be complete without trying out the wares at Peter’s. From the truffle beef carpaccio to the fish ceviche, this place has some talented chefs. And this is the place for wine connoisseurs – ask for their wine list, and make sure you are sitting down for it.
Naxxar is easy, it just depends on what time of day it is. Grab a hobza for €1.10 and a small tea with condensed milk from Cafe’ OK in the morning, get some cute sandwiches and cupcakes from Flora’s around noon, get some bites at The Old Charm when you get peckish after lunch, and some killer kebab pizza from Istanbul kebab house in the late afternoon, and of course Brass & Knuckle to end the night in style.
Mosta’s piazza is full of food and great cafes with live acoustic music in the evenings, from Maltese għana at Ta’ Marija to go with their exquisite Maltese food, to folksy music at Piazza Cafe. The cool Coffee Circus have a brick and mortar right off the piazza, serving some of the best coffee on the island, with beans from all over the world. If you want to get fancy, get to the Lord Nelson for a special experience.
Mġarr’s prices are near unbeatable, and their rabbit and vegetables are among the freshest on the island. Farmers is the place to get that fresh produce cooked just like nanna used to, United Bar or Barri offer a perfect example of an affordable and local meal, and Tas-Soldi gives the true Mgarr experience at an incredible price.
In the midst of this sleepy, old town, lies Bahia, a restaurant changing in game when it comes to deconstructing dishes and plating them. Alternatively, the Lija Boċċi Club is always going to leave you satisfied and happy. Lija also has some of the best citrus plants on the island, so try and get some of them from the local greengrocers while there.
11. Balluta Bay
Balluta Bay has some incredible upscale restaurants in a very small area. You’ve got top notch eateries like Rocksalt, Taro, Wigi’s, and Electro Lobster Project all offering their unique takes on fine dining. Alternatively, you can live, sleep and eat in extreme style at Le Meridien.
Is there a more unexpected hit than Tal-Petut in Birgu? In an unassuming little building, the restaurant is serving some of the tastiest food around, nestled in the tight little roads and alleys of the town. If you want to try somewhere else that’s just as cosy, head to Osteria.Ve for some great Mediterranean food.
The scent of freshly cooked breads is all over Qormi in the morning – you can literally just grab some basic ingredients from a grocery, buy a fresh bread roll straight from the baker, and make a good 8.5/10 sandwich right there on the pavement.
Qormi also has two of the hottest new modern restaurants in Malta, Danny’s and Fredy’s Diner, offering everything from super healthy and tasty dishes to sloppy Joe’s.
Mellieha’s beautiful views coupled with it’s high calibre of cooking makes it a perfect destination for an evening dinner, romantic or otherwise. Grab some wine and a cheese platter at Munchies overlooking Ghadira Bay, grab some cupcakes at Debbie’s, or fine dine the night away at Rebekah’s or Commando’s – you can’t go wrong with either.
Mdina has some incredibly cute and hidden away wine vaults that are perfect for a date, as well as excellent wine bars like Don Mesquita – that’s if you’re tired of the stunning views (and the chocolate cake) from Fontanella of course. And of course, Bacchus is perfect for a business or pleasure.
Places like The Chophouse, Sa Re Ga Ma and Kebab Ji are consistently great, always delivering on the flavour. But newer additions like the Hungarian Margaret Island, Il-Malti and The Brew is keeping Sliema as vibrant as ever.
One of the most iconic places to eat in Malta, if you have the time there really is nothing better than taking a stroll along the water and seeing the specials that the many seafront restaurants are offering and just choosing piqued your interest and sit down. If you are looking for something particularly special though, the impeccable Tartarun or Terrine will always do the job, as well as the more old school Il-Luzzu.
4. Ta’ Xbiex
Mamma Mia is a confirmed Maltese favourite, beloved for its pizza and pasta, and Ta’ Xbiex has had some amazing places like the Water Polo Club and The Galley keeping it’s reputation safe. But places like Mexican food house Frida, the Belgian Waffle Bros, the Indian Garam Masala and Genki Asian Cafe is giving Ta’ Xbiex a new lease of life as an incredible diverse and super pretty place for a tasty meal.
Gżira is on the low one of the hottest food spots in Malta. There’s the TWO Italian mozzerella bars on the same road to the awesome Dr. Juice diner to the epic €4 falafel wrap from Fatayyar that all offer great and affordable meals. You’ve also got the much beloved Ali Baba, the authentic Pizza Amore Fantasia as well as 4 Amici, and of course the Pulled Meat Company.
The nation’s capital offers some of the best food on the island, and only misses out on the top spot due to its limited hours and not having such an extensive cuisine range as St. Julians.
There’s something for all price ranges in Valletta though. From the carnivorous Pulled Meat Company and Meat Gang restaurants right near each other to the Maltese flavours of Nenu The Artisan Baker to the delicious Piadina Caffe, to the impeccable pasta of Pastaus, you are sure to be sorted.
If you want something more upscale, then you can’t beat the experience of Trabuxu or Rubino, or the next level meats at Sciacca Grill. And don’t dare miss out on the class culinary skills at work at Artiglio or Cristopher’s, or book a table at the delectable Il-Horza for some true mastery.
1. St. Julians (Paceville)
Where else on the island can you get food at literally any hour of the day, let alone at the calibre offered here? There’s just too many great restaurants here: Caviar & Bull, Truffle & Truffles, Sale e Pepe – and those are just the restaurants with ‘and’ in their name.
You’ve got all the incredible restaurants like Dolce Vita along Spinola Bay, you’ve got the dedicated smokehouse that is Fat Louie’s, the burgers and insane desserts at Shoreditch, or the reserved simplicity of Monelli.
You’ve also got all of Hugo‘s creations, the world class service and food of Blue Elephant, Buddhamann, Waterbiscuit, or the late night service of Champ’s, Luke’s or Adana Kebab, and everything in between, the list just goes on and on. In no other place in Malta can you find pretty much any cuisine you want, at nearly any time you want, at all the price ranges.