Sliema is a place that foreigners love and locals love to hate. Maltese people refer to Sliema residents as “tal-pepes” (aka upper class English-speaking snobs). Historically, Sliema was created palazzo by palazzo as a seaside summer getaway for the wealthy residents of Valletta. This carried on and overtime, as Malta got on the global holiday radar, concrete hotels and holiday apartments came to replace the traditional limestone buildings which lined the Sliema coast.
Today Sliema serves as the central business district and is the most sought over area in Malta’s property market due to its location, variety of shopping and restaurants, ease of public transport, and breathtaking views of Valletta.
Standing seaside, a tourist to Malta could easily be deceived by Sliema’s concrete high-rise facade. But it just takes one stroll through the neighbourhood to understand the true backstreet charm of Sliema.
These are my favourite Sliema shops and restaurants that you might not even stumble upon if you didn’t know what you’re looking for.
Café Berry is the chicest café around Sliema with, I must add, the best coffee in town too. Scratch that. The best coffee in all of Malta. But please, if you know of a place that serves a better coffee, do prove me wrong. I’m always up for a cup. Café Berry makes these delicious coffee concoctions named Berrycinos, served hot or cold, with homemade pistachio or hazelnut cream.
They also serve up some pretty mean cakes, fresh juices, breakfast jars and smoothies.
San Duminku, Tas-Sliema
Music enthusiasts/vinyl collectors, Sunset Records has a great selection of new and used vinyl records. Cool t-shirts too.
57, Triq San Piju V, Tas-Sliema
Casa Natura organic shop is tucked away just off the main shopping strip in Sliema. They have all the dry organic goods that you can possibly dream of that can otherwise be quite hard to find in Malta. The prices aren’t bad either.
117 High Street, Tas-Sliema
L-Ahwa is Sliema’s favourite 125-year-old bakery and is the first stop in the morning for that fresh, wonderful Maltese bread that’s soft inside with that perfect crust thanks to the wood fired oven. They also have some lovely scones, jam tarts and other baked goods.
St Trophimus Street, Sliema
Pure is cold pressed juice and salad galore. Walk in and find bottled juices in every shade of the rainbow ready to go. They have a salad bar where you can create your own salad with super healthy veg and meat options. They actually have two locations in Sliema – one catered for enjoying a quick snack and the other is a real chilled restaurant with bean bag chairs and everything.
Quick Snack: High Street, Sliema
Restaurant: Triq Windsor, Sliema
While you will find second hand shops in Malta, vintage shops are hard to come by. Stop by Fly the Fly Vintage and see their unique, quirky and fashionable finds for yourself.
6A Manuel Dimech Street, Tas-Sliema
Epic is a skate shop just off the main road. They have a nice selection of skateboards, scooters and clothing.
379 Manwel Dimech Street
Mint is another great Sliema café with a little quirk: it’s proudly New Zealand. Mint serves up New Zealand style breakfast and lunch items and some pretty stellar coffee.
Having lived in New Zealand for a year myself, going to eat at Mint is really nostalgic for me. Where else can you order a flat white on the island? The café itself is super spacious and comfortable making it a great place to meet friends or bring the whole family on Saturday morning.
30/39 Luzio Junction/ Stella Maris Street, Sliema, Malta
Soap Café is a shop dedicated to healthy alternative self-care and beauty products including soaps, lotions, natural makeup, bathroom accessories, tea, and you’ll just have to pop in to see all the beautiful little handmade delights they have in store. You won’t be disappointed.
46, Santa Marija, Tas-Sliema, Malta
If you’re looking for a souvenir that’s something other than shot glasses and prickly pear liqueur – you now know where to go. Souvenirs That Don’t Suck has a carefully curated selection of original Malta souvenirs like tshirts, maps, totebags and mugs. All the souvenirs are designed by the creative duo who run the shop.
108 Manwel Dimech Street, Sliema
Holy Trinity has a knicks and knacks donation store right next door to the church. You can find many great books and things like picture frames and mirrors. Here’s the best part: you can choose if your donation goes to the church or towards the care of the stray cats.
Rudolphe Street, Sliema
Homesick Swedes, this one is for you. Little Sweden is a Swedish candy and drink store. For those of us who only care about those candy Swedish fish, yes they have those too, I checked.
61 TRIQ L-IMRABAT, Sliema
Hole in the Wall is Sliema’s coolest hangout that just reopened last year with some modern hipster refurbishments. Incredibly, Sliema’s neighborhood bar has been around for almost a century. It’s a great place to enjoy a beer with friends or make some new ones. Every week live bands play on the balcony stage inside.
31, High Street, Sliema
135 Rudolphe street, Sliema
Quirky has all those things we don’t know we need until we see them like Cards Against Humanity and vegetable spiralizers. When Christmas comes around, Quirky has your secret Santa gift sorted.
28 High Street, Sliema
What’s your favourite shop or restaurant in Sliema? Did I miss a goodie?