Although a mere dot in the Mediterranean Sea, Malta has a lot to offer in the culinary sector. Its local and international cuisine diversity makes it an ideal destination for all gastronomy oriented people. Whatever your appetite, you can find a vast selection of popular dishes from around the world to satisfy your taste buds. You may be looking for an eatery where you can hold a business meeting, go for a family outing, a romantic date or where you can celebrate a special occasion. Whatever your objective, you will surely find a restaurant which satisfies your expectations and your cravings on Yellow.
Feeling overwhelmed by the number of local eateries? Yellow can facilitate your decision by giving you the opportunity to filter your results based on location, cuisine, food restrictions, atmosphere and services, such as delivery or takeaway options. You can also check out the restaurants' websites to be able to compare menus and prices and select the right place to eat.
What are the top restaurant locations in Malta and Gozo?
In contrast to various countries, good restaurants are not restricted to Valletta and popular touristic areas, but are spread out throughout every corner of the Maltese Islands. Nearly every town and village has its own fair share of popular places to eat so finding a restaurant nearby is not a challenging task. Choosing one is the most formidable thing you'll face.
If you're looking for a waterside restaurant, check out places to eat in Bugibba, Qawra, Sliema and St Julians. Valletta boasts a wide selection of eateries located along the myriad of intricate roads running in parallel to each other, but you'll also find popular places along the Valletta Waterfront. If you're a seafarer at heart, you'll find Ta' Xbiex and Birgu interesting to dine at due to the number of boats and yachts you'll see at the marina. Additionally Mgarr, Bahrija and other small villages boast several family-run restaurants specialising in Maltese delicacies. Fond of seafood? The seaside village of Marsaxlokk is the place to go for a fresh catch of the day, and the Medieval city of Mdina is always a good idea for a romantic evening. You can take a stroll around the labyrinthine paths of the silent city before going in for dinner in one of the restaurants nestled in the romantic alleys. These are just a few of the places you can visit for lunch or dinner, as each locality has renowned restaurants which offer delectable dishes. The tiny island of Gozo also offers its own range of first-class eateries which are definitely worth the short boat trip.
Which are the most popular cuisines found in restaurants in Malta and Gozo?
Apart from being renowned as a multicultural country, Malta is also a multi culinary island. It boasts a wide diversity of cuisines, providing both locals and tourists with an assortment of tastes from every continent. From European cuisines to North American, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Arab and Asian specialties, the choice is boundless.
Regular food establishments would normally offer a large variety of dishes and a mixture of tastes, ranging from salads and rice to appetising pasta and pizza, meat, chicken and burgers, fish and seafood. Complementing main courses, you'll generally find a variety of appetisers and desserts. This array of dishes can all be found in Mediterranean restaurants.
Although a number of establishments offer a range of cuisines, some restaurants specialise in specific culinary areas. If you're set on a specific dish, you can visit a speciality eatery to taste the very best dishes. Here's a brief overview of the kind of restaurants you'll find on the Maltese Islands:
Maltese food restaurants
If you wish to experience a true Maltese culinary experience, you must visit a typical Maltese food restaurant. Unique main dishes you may find in these family-run places include rabbit and horse meat, bragioli and quail, while starters may include aljotta (fish soup), snail stew and spaghetti with rabbit sauce. Otherwise, you may opt for a Maltese platter, which would contain peppered Gozitan cheeselets (gbejniet tal-bzar), Maltese sausage, cheese, olives, Maltese bread and crackers, and sun-dried tomatoes, for a holistic taste of Maltese ingredients.
Seafood and fish form an integral part of Maltese cuisine, which is expected seeing as we're an island surrounded by a variety of edible sea creatures. Although the seaside village of Marsaxlokk is the locality most associated with fish and seafood restaurants, seafood dishes can be found on an array of menus. Some of the most popular dishes include prawns, lobsters, calamari and shrimp, while popular fish caught and served include tuna, bream (awrata), grouper (cerna), dolphin fish (lampuka) and swordfish (pixxispad). Seafood is also integrated with pasta, pizza, salad and noodle dishes within other types of cuisine.
Renowned for their freshly tossed pizza and fresh pasta, Sicilian and Italian restaurants have infiltrated the culinary industry in Malta with their genuine Italian flavours. Italian pizzerias offer typical Neapolitan pizza with a hand tossed crust, tomato sauce and mozzarella. A variety of vegetable, cheese, chicken, meat and seafood toppings can be selected according to your tastes. This traditional pizza is sometimes cooked in traditional pizza ovens, contributing to the overall taste. Want to taste an authentic plate of pasta? There's no need to book a flight to Italy as Italian eateries can be found close at hand.
All meat lovers, check out the number of steakhouses and burger houses around Malta and Gozo. Whether you're a rib-eye type or in the mood for a tasty rack of pork ribs, we can guarantee you'll leave satisfied in terms of quality and portions. Meat will be cooked according to your preferences, and a sauce of your choice is generally offered on the side.
Fast food restaurants
No time for a proper lunch or dinner at a restaurant? Visit one of the fast food restaurants on Yellow and dig into a juicy beef burger, crunchy fries or fried chicken in no time. Apart from the regular fast food chains, you can alternatively opt for Chinese noodles, Mexican tacos, Turkish kebabs and other fast food options. Fast food outlets offering healthier items are also gradually opening up.
The Orient has also found its way into the local culinary market, with distinct Asian restaurants opening up around Malta and Gozo. Some restaurants may specialise in one specific cuisine, while others may offer an assorted menu with Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Korean and Cantonese delicacies under one roof.
Bringing us the flavours of China, Chinese restaurants offer a diversity of food items and dishes. From soups to rice, noodles, rolled appetisers such as spring rolls, wantons, and dumplings, and seasoned meat dishes, you can taste a diversity of unique flavours.
Offering a very particular taste, sushi has become a very popular cuisine in the local culinary industry. Based primarily on seafood, Japanese restaurants offer a vast selection of rolls comprised of tuna, salmon, shrimp, crabs, prawns and octopus, sashimi, and meat dishes, in conjunction with vegetarian plates. In cases where only chopsticks are provided, stress not. A fork and knife will be provided if requested.
If you're an aficionado of spicy food, visiting an Indian restaurant will surely awaken all your taste buds. The aromatic and pungent flavours can be tasted in the diversity of Indian dishes which they offer. From meat, chicken, seafood and vegetable dishes, there are options for both vegetarians and meat lovers. The menu will be varied with different spiciness degrees in an endeavour to cater for each individual's tolerances and these are generally indicated on the side of each dish on the menu.
Want to taste a piece of Mexico? Check out the number of Mexican restaurants on Yellow and savour authentic Mexican flavours. Popular dishes include nachos, quesadillas, tacos and burritos, and spicy toppings range from beef, chicken, pork and even vegetables for the vegetarians. In addition to Mexican places, other Latin American restaurants have been popping up across the island, specialising in Brazilian, Argentinean and other cultural dishes.
A popular take-away option locally, Turkish food has become a favourite amongst several locals. Turkish restaurants are renowned for their freshly cooked meat on vertical rotating spits, which is served with fresh salad on a plate, in a wrap or in pita bread. From kebabs to falafel, you'll definitely taste some unique flavours. Apart from Turkish dishes, some outlets also insert other cuisines in their menu, and add their own Turkish twist to them. Although it's a favourite take-away alternative, several outlets offer dine-in options as well.
If you're looking for a unique, but affordable experience, check out the daily dining experiences offered by students training to become chefs at the school's range of restaurants. Supervised by their lecturers, they prepare and serve exquisite dishes at affordable prices as part of their study programmes. They are well worth a visit as you'll undergo a great culinary experience while helping out future chefs.
Despite the countless number of restaurants scattered across every corner of the Maltese Islands, new exclusive outlets are opening up, introducing their own unique approach to the culinary market. Amongst the local competition, the need to be a pioneer in the dishes you offer and to provide authentic tastes is crucial in order to give people a reason to visit you, and not other renowned restaurants which have already made a name for themselves. Hence, new cuisines and specialties are constantly emerging in the culinary market.
Restaurants catering for dietary restrictions
In this time and age when more people are being diagnosed with food intolerances, several eating places are constantly updating their menus to include dishes which cater for specific dietary requirements. Diabetic dishes, gluten free and lactose free servings are provided, together with vegetarian and vegan options. Some eateries are also creating additional menus to cater for these food intolerances and restrictions, so do inquire with the waiting staff to check if the chef can cater for your needs. Intent on eating only healthy food? Check out the range of healthy restaurants on Yellow.
How are Malta's restaurant menus organised?
A la carte menus, being the most common type of menus offered locally, would generally include starters, main courses, desserts, and beverages, together with a section dedicated to kids dishes. Daily specials may be offered, so check with the waiting staff accordingly. Buffet restaurants are a favourite, especially for a Sunday lunch or for a celebratory dinner. They offer a vast selection of appetisers, pasta, pizza, meat, fish and sides from different cuisines and you are free to take as many servings as you want. Soft drinks and table wine would generally be included in the buffet price. Many Asian restaurants offer buffet options to enable you to taste as much unique food items as possible. Certain eateries also provide set menus and may create a special menu for special occasions such as Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter. Local eateries also offer a wide selection of beverages which includes soft drinks, juices, local and foreign beers, wines and other spirits, coffees and teas.
Delivery and takeaway services offered by Malta's restaurants
If you don't feel like cooking, some restaurants offer delivery and takeaway services, especially Chinese, Indian and Turkish eateries, fast food restaurants and pizzerias. However, these services are not restricted to these cuisines as even regular eateries offer delivery, take-away or both. A number of online take-away portals have been established throughout the years, with one of the most popular being timetoeat.com.
Check out possible delivery fees you may incur when you don't spend the minimum amount of money and the fees charged according to the locality which needs to be delivered to.
What type of atmosphere and amenities can be found in Malta's restaurants?
So you've selected a cuisine, have taken a look at a variety of menus, but you're still not sure whether a specific restaurant will suit your expectations? On Yellow, you can filter eateries according to the atmosphere and amenities provided. Thanks to the photo galleries on our website, restaurants can be chosen based on their ambience. The type of establishment you choose depends on whether you feel like a proper meal, a quick bite, a slice of cake, a cup of coffee or a pint of beer. Regardless of whether you're in the mood for a casual or formal dinner or lunch, looking for a restaurant to hold your business meeting at, or a place which caters for large groups, there's an eatery to cater for all your requirements. Here are some of the environments you can select:
Whether you're planning a proposal or looking for a place to celebrate Valentine's Day, romantic restaurants in Malta and Gozo are bountiful. With our green countryside, scenic beaches and pleasant Mediterranean weather, finding a restaurant with outdoor terraces in summer will ensure an enjoyable lunch or dinner against a backdrop of breathtaking views. On the other hand, a cosy intimate ambience in a rustic restaurant would be a romantic alternative for stormy winter nights.
You cannot travel to Malta and not visit one of the waterside restaurants along the island's shores. Some of them offer alfresco dining so you can relish in the summer breeze while enjoying lunch or dinner next to panoramic beaches. Seafront restaurants offer a romantic setting even after the sun sets, when all night lights are lit up and are brightly reflected in the sea.
Fine dining restaurants
If you're in the mood for a sophisticated and elegant dining experience, check out the number of fine dining restaurants in Malta and Gozo. Dress up, and dine away on a range of delectable delicacies in celebration of your anniversary or special achievement.
Let's face it: kids get bored in restaurants and they will hijack your dining experience. Select an eatery with a designated play area where kids can interact and have fun, while you enjoy lunch or dinner in some peace and quiet.
Feel like going out for dinner and drinks? There's no need to select two venues. Find a bar restaurant or select one of the wine bars or cocktail lounges on Yellow. The latter would normally offer a range of platters and snacks to nibble on while drinking. You may even be on time for happy hour.
Choosing the right venue for a business lunch is crucial if you want to make a good first impression on your clients. Business restaurants which are not too noisy, offer a welcoming ambience and an efficient service, have sizeable tables to work on, and which have a strong wi-fi network, would be ideal venues to book.
Taking your pet out with you for lunch or dinner has become quite a popular trend lately. This is why some dog-friendly restaurants are also offering food menus dedicated to your furry friends.
Certain amenities which you may find include private parking areas, live music and entertainment, smoking areas, and live sports.
When are restaurants open?
Whether you're looking for a place to enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, we advise you to check opening hours on our website beforehand. Many restaurants are closed on Mondays and some may just open for lunch or dinner only. Some may have seasonal opening hours, may close earlier than usual on certain days or may open on weekends only. Generally, lunch is offered from 11am to 3pm and restaurants are open for dinner between 6pm and midnight.
Restaurants may be closed for private events on certain dates so do check out an eatery's social media page before visiting to verify availability.
How can you book a restaurant in Malta?
Being a highly touristic island, especially in the summer months, seaside restaurants are typically and expectedly busy during this peak season. Valletta, Mellieha, Bugibba, Sliema and St Julians are a few of the locations which attract locals and tourists alike.
If you intend on visiting a specific restaurant during the weekend, we suggest you book a table in advance to avoid disappointment. Renowned eating houses need to be booked early on in the week, as is the case with tiny restaurants having a limited number of tables. The latter would require reservations during the week as well, especially if you're booking for a large group. Do specify any requirements you may have, be it a table by a window or on an outdoor terrace, as you'll be accommodated if there's still space available.
Reservations are normally made by phone or email, but the latter is not recommended if you're tight on time. We suggest you call in the evening as a number of outlets may be closed during the day. Certain local eateries are also introducing online reservation systems to facilitate booking. Here are some restaurants in Malta with online booking and reservation. Having said that, if you forget to book, you may still decide to visit the restaurant and ask for availability. You may be lucky!
Can you book a private restaurant in Malta?
Need to organise a private event? Some restaurants can be booked for a private celebration or they may even rent you a private party room if you don't need the whole restaurant space. In these cases, they may either provide you with personalised finger food catering or with set menus, depending on your preferences and your budget.
How do restaurants in Malta accept payment?
Most restaurants across Malta and Gozo accept all types of debit and credit cards. Only a small number may just accept cash, but this is very rarely the case, and may only be required if card machines are not working. Providing a small tip is typically expected and appreciated, but is not obligatory.
Are Malta's restaurants expensive?
With the diversity of cheap restaurants and fine dining restaurants in Malta and Gozo, finding a place to eat which is in your budget is not a difficult task. If you visit a regular eatery, you'll spend a minimum of €15 if you're not a big eater and not the alcoholic type. However, if you order a nice starter, a juicy piece of meat and a bottle of wine to go with it, you may be looking at €40 per person. How much you spend depends on whether you opt for pasta or pizza over a pungent piece of meat, whether you order starters and desserts, and the number and type of drinks you consume. The price of daily specials would generally be a little bit higher than that of the standard dishes on the menu.
Prices of regular restaurants generally match those of other Western European countries. You'll find €4-€10 starters, €8-€15 plates of pasta or pizza, €15- €25 pieces of fish, €20-€30 portions of meat and €5-€8 desserts. In the case of beverages, a big bottle of water would cost €3-€4, soft drinks would cost €2 and wine bottles would be between €10-€20.
If you're on a tight budget, explore the range of fast food restaurants and snack bars which offer cheaper dishes. Otherwise, you may find a variety of dining deals online. So gobble up any bargains you may find and visit your favourite restaurant now.
The diversity of restaurants in Malta
Malta can easily be described as an international food haven due to the diversified restaurants offering an assortment of appetising local and international cuisines. New avant-garde outlets are constantly emerging, providing original food concepts with modern twists throughout the island. The food spectrum in Malta is over time becoming more extensive and inviting.
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