Due to the island’s central Mediterranean location and history of occupation, Maltese food has been heavily influenced by a melting pot of cultures. Scan menus here and they hint towards the archipelago’s heritage – traces of British, French, Italian and Arabic cuisines can all be spotted among the dishes.
So much to eat, so little time! If you’re looking for restaurants in Malta here are 10 of the best to try out among the trio of islands.
Best for traditional cuisine: Beati Paoli Restaurant
For a true deep dive into Maltese food, make a beeline for Beati Paoli in Valletta. This cosy restaurant is renowned as the best on the island so it’s definitely one for your must-try list. Graze on bread and olives as your pour over the menu – rabbit stew, squid ink spaghetti and linguine vongole are just some of the stars of the culinary show here. An extensive wine list showcasing Maltese labels means you’ll have plenty of local tipples to choose from, too.
Best for seafood: Bouquet Garni
Tucked in the heart of Il-Mellieħa, Bouquet Garni dazzles punters with its superb seafood. Of all the restaurants in Malta, it’s undoubtedly one of the best. Only a few tables are available in this rustic eatery, so make sure you book ahead if you can. Begin your meal with grilled octopus, then opt for the seafood platter. Expect a plate laden with freshly-caught mussels, prawns and clams. If you’ve got room, finish off with the dreamy pavlova. Everything is beautifully presented and cooked to utter perfection.
Best for grill: Wigi’s Kitchen
If you’re a fan of all things barbecue, head to Wigi’s Kitchen in Balluta Bay. Although the menu changes daily, it’s completely uncomplicated, with a focus on grilled goods. Dishes such as beef ribeye brushed with whisky butter, seared fresh tuna with lemon and veal escalopes with steamed veg have featured in the past. This family-run restaurant has lovely views across the nearby water too, so you can enjoy the Med twinkling under the moonlight as you dine.
Best for Mediterranean: Waterbiscuit
You’re in for an innovative experience at Waterbiscuit. Here, only the freshest Mediterranean ingredients are used to form an array of creative dishes. Orecchiette with 24hr confit of pork, glazed pork cheeks with pak choi and braised beef short rib cassoulet are all winners. Don’t miss the delicious cocktails, the perfect post-dinner aperitif.
Best for fine dining: Dinner in the Sky
Dare you try Dinner in the Sky? This incredible aerial culinary experience takes an exclusive group of 22 guests 40 metres above ground for a memorable meal. The five-course menu embraces the four elements – earth, wind, water and fire – and is accompanied by a perfect selection of wines. Devour mini beef wellingtons and a fresh seabass sandwich as you watch the sun go down in fiery style from your bird’s eye view.
Best alfresco spot: Rampila
Restaurants don’t get more romantic than this. Nestled within the historic bastions of Valletta, Rampila provides a beautiful baroque backdrop as you dine on its pretty terrace. As for the food, a medley of Mediterranean dishes floods the menu. Dig into a rich bowl of rabbit tortellacci or opt for slow-cooked chicken supreme in an oyster mushroom sauce as you take in the striking setting.
Best waterside location: The Boat House
Gaze out to the shimmering waters of Xlendi Bay when you choose to dine at The Boat House. Seafood is the speciality here, so embrace the opportunity to tuck into ultra-fresh fish. Grilled swordfish, lobster and king prawns all feature, but why not try the house special, trio di calamari? It’s also applauded for its selection of gluten-free options so it’s the perfect choice for coeliacs.
Best for ftira: Mekren’s Bakery
Ftira, a ring-shaped bread stuffed with delicious fillings, is a total must-try while on the island. And the best place to sample it is Mekren’s Bakery. There are plenty of variations to choose from, whether you’re in the mood for anchovies or local sausage. Baked in a wood oven, they’ve got a traditional edge and taste amazing. Pizza is also on sale here, topped with the likes of pepperoni, mushrooms and ham.
Best for Italian: The Rootz
The Rootz in Valletta is your best bet for traditional north Italian fare. Influenced by the Emilia Romagna region, the menu features bruschetta in various guises, piadinas, salads and platters of cheese and cold cuts. Enjoy your food to the gentle tinkle of the live pianist, who performs most evenings in the atmospheric restaurant.
Best for fusion: Noni
Mediterranean, Maltese and French cuisines collide at this stellar restaurant. Noni is shaking up the food scene in Valletta with its reinterpretations of classic dishes. Slow-cooked octopus tagine? Yes please. Or how about saddle of rabbit with rabbit confit croquettes? The whole line-up is drool-worthy!
Now you’re in the know about the best restaurants in Malta, why not book a trip to the archipelago with Jet2holidays?