Year Of The Food Court: How Malta Got Three Major Food Hubs In Mere Months
What did we do to deserve all this good food?
At the tail-end of 2017, Malta's biggest - and pretty much only - legit food court was announced.
Is-Suq tal-Belt opened in the previously disused Valletta marketplace, injecting new life - and food - into a previously dead area.
Soon after, Carob Tree was announced on Spinola Hill, in a quiet area inhabited by the gourmet-focused Manouche. And just months after that, the Plaza in Sliema announced that it would be opening Malta's latest great food hall.
All of a sudden, in the span of just 12 months, three major food courts had opened around the island, all offering different and, mostly, exciting cuisine.
Malta's first modern food court, Is-Suq's opening was full of anticipation and expectations.
While there was some initial backlash to some of the design choices, the place is busy on the most part, with diners clearly happy to have a well-lit food court open until late the country's capital. Prices tend to land on the more splurge-y side of things, but can get a decent salad for €5.
The Carob Tree
Spinola Park, St. Julian's
The Carob Tree is a quite a step away from Is-Suq.
There are less restaurants, but it's also much less hectic, and situated on a hill just off of Spinola Bay. There is also ample parking as it has its own car park, and parking is free of charge when dining at Carob Tree.
There's also a range of impressive - and surprisingly affordable - foods. TukTuk's chicken lollipop is a must-try, and Brass & Knuckle have an incredible €3.50 make-your-own-sandwich section, which really comes in handy when all the local eateries have run out of bread by 2pm.
The newest kid on the block, and technically a food hall, not a food court, The Plaza offers some super interesting cuisines, such as Hawaiian pokē as well as authentic Peruvian fare, cuisines Malta had never seen before, and Tex Mex's first dedicated ice-creamery also just opened up there.
Since the new Plaza food court has literally just opened, the jury's still out on how people feel about the place, but the exciting fare being offered is more than enough to make a visit worth it.