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10 Cents For A Cup of Coffee? Vintage Menu Shows Jaw-Dropping Food Prices From 1970s Malta

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This vintage menu is a blast from the past, showing what prices in Valletta would have looked like in the late 1970s.

A photo posted in the Facebook Group “Malta Lura Fil Passat” shows an old menu from Happy Return Bar & Restaurant, with prices as low as 50 cents for a plate of spaghetti bolognese.

The menu provides an interesting variety of meals, ranging from a steak and chips to a hamburger and spaghetti. A T-bone steak with eggs and chips would have only set you back Lm1.50c, while a serving of bread and butter would hardly dent your budget at 10c per serving.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Galea

Photo courtesy of Ashley Galea

According to the Facebook post, the menu comes from the late 1970s. This was a time when the first six-figure property for sale in Malta entered the market at Lm100,000, or €232,936 by today’s standards.

The jaw-dropping price included an Olympic sized pool and 1.6 hectares worth of garden space – nowadays that budget might get you a two-bedroom apartment.

But how do the prices on this menu weigh up in comparison to today’s economy? While the restaurant would have offered a cup of coffee for a mere 23c, nowadays a cup would cost you €1.50. This is almost 7 times the price from the 1970s menu.

On the other hand, while the minimum wage in the late 1970s stood at around €200 a month, today’s minimum wage guarantees €776. This is just 4 times the minimum wage from the 1970s.

What do you make of these prices?

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