As long as I can remember I’ve known the Mediterranean through the “Mediterranean diet” which has been glorified through all the health magazines and maybe too much mindbodygreen scrolling as the secret for longevity, beauty and well being. Eat a diet rich in fish, olive oil and red wine they say and you will live a long and ageless life.
Coming to Malta I imagined my days pass by Greek salad after Greek salad, red wine after red wine. Getting to know the real Mediterranean diet or truly, Malta’s taste of the Mediterranean, has been one of my favourite experiences during my stay here on the Maltese islands.
These are a handful of restaurants in popular destinations around the island that are perfect to get a taste of Maltese and Mediterranean cuisine without going too far off the beaten track (and without breaking the bank either). I’ve chosen restaurants in iconic locations that all deserve their 4-5 stars with high quality and great value.
Maltese platter 😍
Their penne salmon is super rich.
D’Office is a charming alley bistro which happens to be the first restaurant we stumbled upon in Valletta down one of those lovely narrow side streets. The food is delightful and a live accordionist played some modern tunes on a stool outside for all the diners to enjoy. The location and ambiance alone are enough to keep us coming back time and time again.
Redwhite is one of the three restaurants (all the same owner mind you) in Palazzo Castelleti in Rabat. Lucky for us we were sent on a food review for the local food magazine Gourmet Today to try out their summer menu on their newly opened rooftop restaurant. Everything, and I mean everything, is just amazing. We’ve been back already and it’s rare we dine at restaurants more than once since we have the gastronomy scene of not one but two islands to try. In the autumn and winter, dining in the courtyard and inside the palazzo is just as lovely as well.
62, Palazzo Castelletti, St. Paul’s Street, Rabat, Malta | Facebook
Perched above the water, Naar’s idyllic location in St Julians is a little oasis amongst the lively hustle and bustle of the area. I’m never disappointed by their reasonably priced, quality Mediterranean menu. Paired with the location and top notch atmosphere with ambient live music, bean bag chairs, and even hookah, Naar is definitely a summer hotspot.
George Borg Olivier, San Giljan | Facebook
That view though 😍
Aubergine rolls and marrow soup compliments of the chef.
Book a table on Panorama’s outdoor balcony for one of the best views in Malta. It doesn’t get more majestic than that. The waitress brought us aubergine rolls and marrow soup compliments of the chef and after our meal a limoncello to digest. Points.
267 St Ursula Street, Valletta, Malta | Facebook
Pepe Nero – Veccja in St Paul’s Bay is amazing for two things: seafood and pizza. I had one of the best seafood risottos in my life and Jonas had a perfectly cooked fish which they filleted at our table side. Xemxija is a nice area for a day’s adventure too (I’ll be writing about Xemxija’s Roman Trail soon).
Trejqet il-Veccja, San Pawl il-Baħar | Facebook
Café Del Mar, Bugibba
Seafood pizza at Cafe Del Mar.
Café Del Mar is one of the nicest lidos on the island.
I wasn’t sure about including Cafe Del Mar in this list as it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of restaurants in Malta seeing that it’s a lounge, day club, and café. But I have to say, the food at Cafe Del Mar is pretty good (we were honestly really surprised!) and I do enjoy a sunny day at Café Del Mar.
Malta National Aquarium, Triq it-Trunciera, San Pawl il-Baħar | Facebook
Nothing beats handmade Italian pasta.
We recently dined at Pastaus in Valletta for a taste of real handmade Italian pasta… and it was literally pasta heaven. At Pastaus you can pick from their bar of fresh pasta and a sauce to match. I had the hemp pasta with the Sicilian favourite “norma” sauce while Jonas had spinach egg noodle pasta with pesto. We walked away saying that was the best plate of pasta we ever had in our lives.
Old theatre street, Valletta, Malta | Facebook
Country Terrace, Mgarr, Gozo
Country Terrace in Mgarr, Gozo is one of my top picks from this list. We had guests in town and were looking for a quiet but obviously good restaurant. I searched in the area on google maps and Country Terrace popped up with amazing reviews, a view of the harbour and a note: “quiet”.
When we arrived we were so pleasantly surprised. The walls at the entry were covered with plates winning best restaurant from The Definitely Good Guide. Having attended last year, I wondered how I never heard of this place? The restaurant is more romantic than quiet and the food is amazing!
I was daring and tried spaghetti rizzi (sea urchin) and it was d e l i c i o u s. The service made us feel like we were at a wedding reception. Beyond satisfied.
Triq iz zewwieqa, Għajnsielem | Facebook
Marsalforn is a seaside village in Gozo we fell in love with last summer. Sitting on the edge of the bay, Otter’s has one of the most wonderful views of Marsalforn Bay.
We settled in for a mojito which quickly became three. The cuisine at Otters Bistro relies on seasonal and fresh ingredients and is constantly varying. If you’re a seafood or meat lover, you are in for a treat.
Triq Santa Marija, Marsalforn | Facebook
The Azure Window may be gone but we still have the Inland Sea.
The Azure Window Restaurant should really have been named the Inland Sea Restaurant all along with its cozy but classy restaurant looking out towards the Inland Sea. Really casual Maltese/Gozitan cuisine set in the perfect location. What more could we ask more?
The Gozitan pizza and a delicious ġbejna salad with local honey.
The Inland Sea | Facebook
I’m including The Cliffs Restaurant because the restaurant serves Maltese cuisine and is a great excuse to get out and go for a nice walk along Dingli Cliffs. I had a really good baked ġbejna salad with local prickly pear dressing.
Triq Panoramika, Dingli Cliffs, Ħad-Dingli, Malta | Facebook
What’s your favourite restaurant from this list? Tell me some restaurants that I should have included in the comments below!