Malta is known for its generous portions when it comes to food. However make no mistake, it is definitely not a case of quantity over quality. The local restaurant scene is bursting with activity and restaurateurs take great pride in providing world class dishes. There are about 1,800 restaurants around the Maltese islands, which is about one restaurant for every 250 persons. With such intense competition, restaurants are continuously improving and coming up with innovative dishes.
The easiest way to discover just how much locals love their food, is to ask them for a good place to eat. Strangers will suddenly transform into food connoisseurs and you will quickly find out where Malta’s hidden gems can be found.
The Maltese cuisine reflects its rich history, each civilisation that occupied Malta left a mark on the food the island has to offer.
Traditional Maltese food is generally rather simple and based on local seasonal produce. Traditional dishes such as Torta tal-Lampuki (mahi-mahi pie), Timpana (similar to baked macaroni), Bragioli (Beef Olives), Soppa ta’ l’armla (widow’s soup) are some of Malta’s most popular comfort foods. Any discussion about food is Malta is not complete without Pastizzi. These are essentially a flaky pastry filled with either curried peas or ricotta cheese. Pastizzi shops are found all over the island and you won’t be able to get your hands off them until the end of your stay in Malta. The fact that they are so cheap also adds to their appeal making them an ideal snack throughout the day.The Maltese are also quite fond of their bread. The local favourite is the Ħobż tal-Malti, crusty sourdough bread, usually baked in wood ovens. This bread is usually seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper. Different varieties then include other ingredients such as tomatoes, capers, olives and local cheese (gbejna).
Fish is also a big part of Maltese cuisine, and with Malta being such a small island, this comes as no surprise. Marsaxlokk is a fishing village found in the south of Malta, and is the place to go to for a delicious plate of fish. During the week, fresh fish is delivered to the Valletta fish market early morning to be distributed to shops and restaurants all over the island. However on Sunday, the fish remains in Marsaxlokk and is sold directly to customers (food for thought). Therefore every Sunday people flock from all over the island to buy the freshest fish, fishermen turn into salesmen and the market starts to resemble the floor of a stock exchange!Locations St Julians; Full of restaurants with a variety of cuisines. If unsure where to go, this is probably your best bet as it has a high concentration of restaurants all over. Sliema; Sliema gives diners the chance to experience great food with spectacular views. Situated along the coast it is littered with reputable restaurants and the lovely sea breeze makes dining in Sliema a particularly enjoyable one. Valletta; Malta’s capital hosts some of the best restaurants on the island. Tiny restaurants can be found in narrow side streets serving delectable dishes. Mdina; The silent city as it is otherwise known as, has only a handful of restaurants, but each one offers a unique dining experience. The restaurants are known for providing a romantic atmosphere, a must go to place for any couples visiting the island. Cab drivers usually listen to many people and have extensive knowledge of both mainstream restaurants, as well as local favourites which might be hard to come by unless recommended. Hicabs Malta has extensive information on numerous restaurants and take out places so don’t hesitate to ask our drivers for a good recommendation. Call us on (+356) 2137 2137 for more information.