Here’s my recommendations on where to eat in Sliema, St Julian’s and Gzira, Malta – featuring restaurants, cafés and bars serving traditional and modern food. Also, craft beer, because what holiday would be complete without drinking slightly too much every single day?
We were in Malta for five days in April. Our apartment was in the middle of Sliema, so we ended up eating in and around there quite often. We also spent time in Valletta and the three cities, Mdina, Golden Bay, and Gozo, so have a look at those posts if you’re interested – and for yet more food and drink, of course.
Anyway, onto the grub…
Mint Cafe, Sliema
Mint Café was amazing. So good that we went there twice. It had plenty of local options, as well as organic and vegetarian.
Everything was displayed in a glass cabinet so that you could go and stare at it in the queue and feel overwhelmed by choice and then go into a total panic of indecision when it was your turn to order. Standard.
We went for a little sharing platter of delicious veggie bits and bobs, washed down with their homemade lemonade. On our last day, we cancelled out a fairly healthy salad with a slab of top quality carrot cake. Absolutely worth texting home about.
Also, a special mention has to go to their savoury, cheesy muffins. I need one of my keen baker friends to learn this wizardry because neither of us are into baking and I’ve never seen them in the UK (hint hint).
Moo’s Kebab, Gzira
Moo’s Kebab is technically in Gzira, but it’s not far from Sliema. I’m not sure where one ends and the other begins, but we ended up wandering past this a few times and it looked really good. So we ended up going there on our last night.
It’s the kind of kebab you wish every kebab tasted of, if that makes sense.
Obviously, the majority of kebabs in the UK are consumed at 4am after a heavy night out and most of it ends up down your arm so you don’t care about the taste. But if you want a civilised, sit-down kebab, this is the stuff of dreams. You can attempt to balance out the sauce and chips with a ridiculous quantity of veg, too.
Good Thaimes Bar & Restaurant, Gzira
Good Thaimes is both a bar and a restaurant serving Thai, but we didn’t actually eat there. It was all about the craft beer.
We really struggled finding a decent, atmospheric bar in Malta but luckily this was our one saviour.
You know that thing when you’re somewhere like Portugal or Italy and it’s a nice warm evening, everyone is spilling out of bars into the lamp-lit streets and it’s an amazing atmosphere? That’s a thing isn’t it? Well, that’s what we wanted in Malta. But even in Valletta, it wasn’t quite there. This bar nailed it though. Locals and tourists were all sat outside having a chat and a drink. Some locals even had their doggies with them also enjoying a drink. And if that isn’t enough to make you like a place, you’re reading the wrong blog.
I think this is also where we first tried the excellent local craft beer, Lord Chambray. It’s brewed on Malta’s sister island, Gozo. We ended up going to Gozo and finding the brewery to have some of the stuff fresh, all because of trying it here.
Ta’ Kris Restaurant, Sliema
Ta’ Kris Restaurant serves traditional Maltese cuisine, which we really wanted to try on our first night. We hardly ever eat meat these days, but Malta is all about the rabbit, so we ended up both having that, in spaghetti and stew forms. The portions were really good sizes and you could tell it was all proper homemade. We also had a selection of tiny date-based desserts – I’m really into anything with dates so this was a right treat.
Ta’ Kris was tucked away down a side street off a road of fairly naff shops in Sliema, but really worth finding. We sat outside pretending it was warm enough to do so (it deffo wasn’t) under the light of a streetlamp, hence the scary yellow glow to these photos.
Side note: I’m so glad we decided to do travel blogging and not food blogging. Food bloggers must have to eat all their main meals at lunchtime to get natural light for their photos.
Badass Burgers, St Julian’s
Hello more yellowish photos.
Badass Burgers is the place to go for some decent burgers in St Julian’s. Served on a little rooftop garden with fairylights galore, we really liked the atmosphere. The skinny chips were really nice. Also, they had some good veggie/fishy options. The buns were bready rather than brioche though, so if that’s an upsetting prospect to you, be warned.
I think we’ve been spoilt by having Almost Famous too much (for non-UK readers, that’s this small chain of experimental/wacky and amazing burger bars in the North of England). So burgers compared to there are never quite as good, but Badass Burgers was still nice and far better than a standard restaurant-type burger.
Ali Baba, Gzira
Ali Baba, which we sadly didn’t get a photo of because it was actually pitch black in there, had some of the best Lebanese food I’ve ever had. We had a mezze to share, featuring some amazing halloumi (when is halloumi not amazing, to be fair?).
It’s hidden down a side street in Gzira, just off the waterfront. I had meant to book for one night but we ended up wandering in and were lucky to get a table. It was really busy – so it’s one to book if you fancy it. I’m probably not helping with the lack of photo here. Soz about that. It really was good though. Honest.
Where to eat in Sliema, St Julian’s and Gzira, Malta: useful information
How to get there (and away)
To get to Malta, we flew from Manchester, into Luqa airport. It took about three hours. We then got a taxi to Sliema, where we were staying.
Where to stay
We actually stayed in Sliema itself, but wouldn’t recommend it to be honest. Despite having some great places to eat/drink nearby, it was a bit too commercialised. If you could stay in Valletta, you’re near the bus station for day trips.
How to get around
Everything is very walkable within the Sliema area but if you do need public transport to other parts of Malta, buses and water taxis are nice and cheap.
When to go
We went in April, when it was unseasonably cold, but apparently isn’t as busy as the summer months. Avoid in high season, though.
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