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Dining in Malta

Malta is fast becoming a foodie haven with fantastic restaurants, cafés and wine bars serving up delicious local and foreign cuisine.

St Julian’s is one of the most popular places to dine in Malta and you are sure to find something here to tickle all taste buds. There is a plethora of international choices – from Oriental fusion to Italian and French cuisine, as well as restaurants with a distinctly local flavour. The majority of the most-popular eateries here are dotted around Spinola Bay, overlooking the waters and pretty fishing boats. If you have the time, combine a leisurely meal in the area with a stroll along the promenade to Sliema, where you can get an ice-cream from one of the kiosks or gelaterias to enjoy on the go.

The capital Valletta is also worth a visit if you’re on the hunt for something scrumptious to eat. By day, the city is heaving with business-types and professionals, and they are well served. There are cafés and sandwich bars on every corner, all vying for your custom. Stop for a coffee and watch the world go by, and order some pastizzi (pastry-filled cheese and pea parcels) or moreish sweet almond pastries to nibble on. By night Valletta takes on a different aura. The narrow streets come alive with cocktails bars, wine bars and fine-dining establishments. Old Bakery Street is home to some really good options, while Strait Street will provide that relaxing after-dinner drink.

Up north, Mellieha (now officially a European Destination of Excellence) has become a fine-dining haunt for those who really enjoy their food. Although only quite a small village, there are several restaurants to choose from. Most restaurants in Mellieha present dishes that are Mediterranean in style but with a dynamic modern twist. Fusion cuisine is also present here. That said, some of the nicest options in the area include the simple seaside kiosks with open views of the beach. Be sure to try the hobz biz-zejt if it’s on the menu. Literally translated to ‘bread with oil’, it’s a refreshing snack made from fresh Maltese bread, tuna, olives, capers and kunserva (sweet tomato paste). Delicious!

The south, meanwhile, is the perfect place for a good old fish lunch. Sunday is a great day to head to Marsaxlokk. You can start your morning with a walk through the market here, and then choose one of the restaurants along the seafront. The fish will be as fresh as can be, and we recommend a seafood platter to start with, followed by the fresh catch to share with your party.

Finally, for a really genuine taste of Malta, head to Mgarr. Here menus take on a very traditional flavour in the form of popular fenkatas. This ‘feast’ consists mostly of rabbit – starting with spaghetti in a rabbit sauce, followed by fried or stewed rabbit accompanied by vegetables and chunky potatoes.