5 of Malta’s Best Traditional Maltese Food Restaurants
- Feb 15, 2020
Maltese bread, rabbit stew, ravioli & much more!
If you’re coming to visit Malta, then you really must try our traditional food! Anyone who has visited Malta and tried some of the homely dishes and wonderful sweets that our nation loves to cook will tell you that the Maltese cuisine is truly unique. Maltese food has been influenced throughout the years by our colourful past that has included French, British and Arabian rule and you will find restaurants and cafés specialising in a little bit of everything. Here are some of our favourite restaurants in Malta for trying authentic local food.
It’s no wonder that three of our favourite Maltese restaurants are in the capital city Valletta. Valletta is a hub of culture and the streets are lined with restaurants, cafés and bars where you can enjoy a quick bite or a three-course meal inside or outside, throughout the year. Legligin is a beautiful example of an old Valletta restaurant set in the slope of the cobbled Santa Lucia Street. Expect a cosy, homely bistro feel inside the arches of the sandstone building with a beautiful classic tiled floor. Enjoy the famous 5 course tasting menu to try a little of everything, including Maltese bread with the traditional ‘bigilla’ dip, octopus, quail, pork & rabbit.
You know when you see “Nanna’s Ravioli” and ‘Lampuki Pie’ on the menu that you’re in for a treat of wholesome, filling comfort food! Café Jubilee has three outlets in Gzira, Victoria (Gozo) and Valletta. The restaurants have an almost Parisian theme to them, with vintage carved wood interiors and wicker bistro chairs around marble topped tables. The menu includes homemade Maltese classics such as delicious ‘Bragioli’ which is slow braised beef stuffed with bacon and eggs and ‘Fenek’, the classic Maltese rabbit stew that’s served on special occasions, the equivalent to the British roast dinner.
Nenu can be found on St. Dominic Street and its strap line is “the home of authentic Maltese cuisine”. Situated in a beautifully restored old bakery, the restaurant also offers private dining experiences. It’s a wonderful place to sample traditional Maltese stews made from braised pork or rabbit, or for a quicker, lighter bite there is a great selection of ‘Ftiras’, that is, traditional Maltese bread topped with meats, cheese, vegetables and herbs, similar to pizza.
If you want to explore outside of Valletta then Gululu in Sliema also make an excellent ‘Ftira’ too and offers a range of traditional Maltese grill-based dishes. The waterfront restaurant is in the beautiful St. Julian’s bay, so is perfect for sipping on a glass of wine or two with your meal as well. The menu is extensive and has a range of mezze plates with traditional dips, sheep cheese, and meats such as rabbit liver and pork cheek. There is a very good vegetarian selection here too.
La Reggia is our number one recommendation for a fresh fish restaurant. Situated on the seafront in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, booking at this fine dining restaurant is highly recommended before you visit. You can expect mussels, local prawns, swordfish, octopus and squid, and traditional ‘Aljotta’ fish soup. If you’re a lover of seafood, then this restaurant is a must-visit during your trip to Malta.
Wherever you decide to eat in Malta, make sure you stay somewhere central to all the delicacies! Valletta is the perfect starting point and is home to some wonderful boutique hotels like Casa Ellul. When you stay in a traditional Maltese, family run hotel, the staff are always happy to recommend their favourite restaurants to you. Bon appetit!