Restaurants & Bars in Malta
Malta plays host to hundreds of restaurants, bars and street cafés that offer anything from good honest and traditional home-cooked local produce to internationally acclaimed haute cuisine. It’s very difficult to pick and choose the best as one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but here are some of the most commonly recommended eating and drinking establishments in Malta.
Malta’s Most Recommended Restaurants
Overlooking the twinklingly romantic Spinola Bay in the centre of St Julian’s, Zest is a high class, modern ‘fusion’ restaurant that artfully marries delicacies from the Orient with contemporary Continental dishes. The service is top rate while the atmosphere is chic and decadent; appropriate for larger parties or romantic dinners for two in equal measure. A meal on the outside terrace overlooking the bay is sure to evoke that giddy holiday glow.
2. The Lord Nelson, Mosta
While it sounds like it should be an Old English Pub, The Lord Nelson is, in fact, an award-winning, top rate restaurant. Creative, French inspired dishes delight your taste-buds while the quirky, romantic surroundings create a unique and intimate atmosphere for your evening. Not far from the impressive Mosta Dome, The Lord Nelson is set in an old-style Maltese town-house composed of winding stone staircases, hidden recesses and maze-like rooms that almost give you a private dining experience but with the atmosphere of a popular, thriving restaurant.
Perched on a jutting peninsula, the Barracuda restaurant enjoys stunning panoramic views out to sea while also taking in the twinkling lights of Spinola Bay. Predominantly a fish restaurant, Barracuda offers some of the finest fresh fare on the island, serving up immaculately presented dishes in highly elegant surroundings. Serenaded by lapping waves, the ambiance is one of pure Mediterranean romance, especially when dining al fresco on the balcony that hovers over the sea.
4. Zeri’s, Portomaso, St Julian’s
Zeri’s is a highly popular fish restaurant in the heart of the affluent Portomaso harbour area. Friendly service and top quality, innovative fresh dishes bring diners back again and again, creating a buzzing ambiance conducive of fun-filled evenings with friends. The view from the restaurant looks out to sea across the marina that’s filled with impressive yachts, while the modern and classy yet comfortable decor urges you to relax and settle in for the night! An extensive wine list and burgeoning menu that goes beyond fish dishes, ensures there is something for everyone to enjoy.
5. The Blue Elephant, Portomaso, St Julian’s
A taste of Thailand in Malta. The internationally renowned chain brings its authentic Thai cuisine and elabourate decor to The Hilton complex in Portomaso, proving a hit with tourists and locals alike. A warm welcome awaits as you’re guided to your table through an internal ‘garden’ of trees, waterfalls, wooden bridges and ponds of coy carp. The menu is as generous as the service, with a la carte and set menus made up of old favourites and new tantalising oriental dishes. The thai-styled wooden terrace with views across the marina is perfect for al fresco dining on Malta’s balmy evenings.
6. The Medina, Mdina
Tucked away in a cobbled side street in the picturesque walled city of Mdina, you could easily miss this little jewel of a restaurant. The Medina uses its ancient architecture to create a sense of Medieval charm with great effect. Traditional stone walls twist and turn to create cellar style ceilings surrounding an outdoor courtyard dining area, complete with creeping vines and scented trees. The menu revolves around a traditionally Mediterranean theme, using seasonal local produce to provide varied and delicious fresh dishes. The service is very good and to cap the night off perfectly, you’re only a short stroll away form the viewpoint on Mdina’s battlements which provides stunning panoramic vistas across the entire island.
7. L’Ordine, Balluta Bay, St Julian’s
Situated in Balluta Bay, L’Ordine is a typically quaint Mediterranean restaurant with a good, warm atmosphere, good service and a nice location looking out to the bay and impressive illuminated church of Balluta. The menu consists of local specialities, fresh fish of the day and other Mediterranean dishes made from fresh produce. The decor is taverna-like with stone walls, murals, vines and warm red accents that make you feel welcome and cosy. Dining at L’Ordine is a casual, comfortable affair and the restaurant is always busy creating a nice buzz.
8. Ta’ Marija, Mosta
Located opposite the immense Mosta Dome, the taverna-styled Ta’ Marija is one of the few remaining traditional Maltese restaurants on the island. Dining here is not just about sampling Maltese food, it is a full-on Maltese ‘experience’. In addition to the indigenous dishes, you can expect to be serenaded by roaming musicians, told stories from the past by the restaurant’s owner and get shown traditional Maltese costumes and dances. It’s a really fun night for a group wishing to immerse themselves in the island’s culture, but beware, you may have to join in! The service is excellent and the atmosphere is bubbly, busy and fun. Ta’ Marija attracts an international clientele and is almost always booked up, so ring ahead if you want to eat there on a performance night.
9. Peppino’s, Spinola Bay, St Julian’s
Peppino’s is a Sicilian-styled trattoria with several floors winding their way up an old-styled building and culminating in a quaint roof garden terrace that overlooks the pretty Spinola Bay. Boasting a star-studded clientele, Peppino’s has become regarded as one of the best restaurants on the island – an accolade that may make you think it’s expensive and overly posh. Not true. Dining at Peppino’s is relaxed and comfortable. The menu is reasonably priced offering a fusion of Italian and French inspired dishes alongside traditional Maltese fare and the fresh catch of the day. This is an enticing and busy little restaurant in the heart of St Julian’s so booking in advance is almost always necessary, especially if you want to be outside.
10. The Kitchen, Sliema
Situated along the promenade stretching from St Julian’s to Sliema, The Kitchen is an unassuming little restaurant set opposite Sliema’s large rock beach. However, the food is anything but unassuming. The Kitchen is owned by an award-winning chef and this is certainly reflected in the menu. The dishes are innovative and delicious, with intriguing ingredient combinations and mouth-watering sauces and jus’. The interior is contemporary, decked out largely in wood, light colours and candles, but comfortable and pleasant. The Kitchen receives a lot of repeat trade due to the quality of its food and wines so it is definitely worth searching out.