Maltese cuisine is a Mediterranean style of food with strong Italian influence. Surrounded by water, seafood features prominently on most menus, as do local items that are grown on the island, such as rabbit, tomatoes and beans. Fenkata is rabbit marinated in bay leaves and wine and is one of Malta’s most famous dishes. Another Maltese specialty is the pastizzi, a pastry stuffed with ricotta cheese or mashed peas. Malta is a also a wine growing country so be sure to try the locally produced reds, whites and sparkling bubbly.
Bars and Pubbing in Malta
The Paceville area of Malta is the center of the island's nightlife with a multitude of restaurants, bars, pubs, and clubs to keep the visitor occupied. Whether you prefer a traditional Irish Pub or a vodka bar, Paceville has it covered. There are lots of venues offering live music or DJs, such as the popular Footloose Fun Bar (St. George’s Road, Paceville) which has locals spinning party music. The Bar Celona Lounge (Wilga Street, Paceville) is a good place for late night cocktails and snacks amidst sleek modern decor.
Other areas of Valetta also have venues where tourists can relax over a drink, ranging from traditional English style venues like The Pub (136, Archbishop Street, Valetta) to Maestro e´ Fresco (8 South Street, Valletta), a bar in a converted music shop that has live bands on Friday and Saturday nights.
For those seeking a unique experience, Gianpula (limits of Rabat, Rabat) in the valley below Mdina, is a large summer nightclub housed in an old farm house with a huge tent where up to 4,000 revelers party the night away in various bars, chambers, pools, and terraces dancing to the beats of local and international DJs.
Dining and Cuisine in Malta
The medieval town of Mdina makes a romantic place to have dinner. The restaurant of the Xara Palace Relais & Châteaux hotel, de Mondion (Misrah il-Kunsill, Mdina, Island of Malta) was voted best food and ambience according to resturantsmalta.com. High end Mediterranean dishes are served in the dining room of a converted knight’s palace which offers stunning views from the terrace. Alternatively, there are a number of places to eat around Mellieha, including Bouquet Garni (4, Gorg Borg Olivier Street, Mellieha) which serves a modern take on Mediterranean cuisine in a cozy cream and dark wood colored dining room.
Paceville is the center of nightlife in Malta, with a range of dining options, as well. The award-winning Zeri’s Restaurant (Portomaso, St. Julians, Paceville) serves up innovative seafood in an elegantly modern dining room with sea views. For a much more casual experience, visitors can try arguably the best pastizzi in Malta at the Crystal Palace (Portomaso, St. Julians, Paceville), a hole in the wall wine bar popular with locals.
The Chamber of Mysteries theater restaurant (1743 Razzett L-Antik, Valley Road, Qormi) is a rather odd, but extremely popular attraction. Guests get to enjoy a traditional three-course Maltese meal in the courtyard of an old flour mill in Qormi before watching a world class magic and illusion show inside a theater hidden in a secret chamber of the 18th century building.