Entertainment in Valletta


Pubs, Cafes and Restaurants in Valletta


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Drink

Local specialties: Non-Alcoholic

  • Water: Water is completely safe to drink from the tap in Malta, and any undesirable taste can be removed by using a home filter.
  • Tea: Given its links to Britain, tea is quite popular in Malta and available at all restaurants and cafes.
  • Coffee: Given its links to Italy, you can expect to find strong espresso and cappuccino everywhere in Malta. Curiously, instant coffee is also popular on the island.
  • Soda/Pop: Kinnie is the national drink of Malta: A dark, bittersweet orange soda. A must try for expats and tourists on the islands, but certainly an acquired taste!

Local specialties: Alcoholic

  • Beer: The local beer in Malta is Cisk (Farsons Brewery) which is available in several types: Lager, Excel, Export, Extra Strong, Lemon. Farsons also locally brews and distributes Blue Label and Hopleaf beers, Farsons Lacto Milk Stout, Shandy, and Strong Ale. Other European beers are available to purchase in Malta. Common draught beers include Heineken, Guinness and Carlsberg. Beer in Malta is relatively affordable, from €2 per pint.
  • Wine: There are three major wineries in Malta: Delicata, Meridiana, and Marsovin. Winery and vineyard visits can be arranged with these vineyards on request. White wines in Malta are slightly acidic, while red wines are bold and rich. Wine in Malta is relatively affordable (€3-€6 per bottle, up to €20 for a premium local bottle at a supermarket and from €2.50 a glass in restaurants).
  • Liquor: Local liqueurs in Malta include Leila (a carob digestive liqueur), prickly pear liqueurs, and limoncello.

Liquor Laws

Alcohol is freely available in Malta at restaurants, cafes, bars, roadside kiosks, and public events. The minimum drinking age in Malta is 17, however, it is not strictly enforced. While legally you are not allowed to drink openly on the street, it is very commonly done in Malta, especially at events and festivals.

Penalties for drunk driving (called drink driving in Malta) are unfortunately lax, with enforcement relatively rare.

Eat

There is something for every palate in Malta. The most common types of restaurants are Maltese, Italian, Mediterranean fusion, and Japanese/Asian fusion. Restaurant prices vary, and are more expensive in popular tourist areas (Valletta, Sliema, St. Julian's) than rural villages. Reservations are required during the summer months, on Sundays and on holidays, and are recommended in popular restaurants during the winter. Restaurants in Malta do not typically have a dress code.

Maltese Specialties

Rabbit (fenek): Rabbit stews and pastas are a local specialty in Malta, typically served at traditional Maltese restaurants geared towards tourists.

Bragioli: An olive and beef roll unique to the island.

Ravioli: Ricotta ravioli, served in a butter and sage or tomato sauce, is a common dish in Malta.

Ftira: Although the word ‘ftira' typically refers to a small flatbread common in Malta, it is also used to refer to the tomato, tuna and caper sandwich made with this bread, served at cafes and roadside kiosks.

Bruschetta: The most common starter on a menu in Malta is undoubtedly tomato bruschetta (followed closely by octopus salad and fried mushrooms).

Pizza: Served at almost every restaurant in Malta. Typical toppings include Maltese sausage, Gozo cheese, prosciutto, olives, capers, anchovies, corn, ham, eggs, and marrow (zucchini).

Timpana: A pasta casserole dish found on traditional Maltese menus, made of macaroni, tomato sauce, corned beef, and sometimes eggs.

Aljotta: A Maltese fish soup, common to many restaurant menus on the island.

Stuffed marrow (small, round zucchini): Usually stuffed with a vegetable or meat and tomatoe sauce.

Stuffed olives: Green olives stuffed with a tuna mixture are a popular snack in Malta.

Ross il-forn (baked rice): Rice baked with vegetables in a tomatoe sauce, a hearty winter dish served at traditional Maltese restaurants.

Lampuka/Lampuki: A fresh white fish, popular in the late summer and early autumn.

Broad beans: Beans cooked in butter and herbs are a common (and delicious) side dish at Maltese meals.

Vegetarian

There are few vegetarian restaurants in Malta. However, Mint café (Sliema) and Angka Café (Marsa) have many vegetarian options. Almost all menus in Malta offer at least a couple vegetarian options (normally pastas or salads), and most restaurants in Malta also offer gluten free options.

Tipping

Tipping is not required in Malta, but is recommended for exceptional service. For lunch or casual meals, round up to the nearest €5 or €10 (e.g. for a €8 meal, round up to €10). For dinner or formal meals, tip 10%-15%.

Cafes and kiosks

Cafes and kiosks are prevalent throughout Malta and Gozo, ranging from chic seaside cafes with free WiFi and plush décor, to cheap and cheerful self-serve kiosks located on the side of the road or on the seafront that serve chips, beer and pizzas.

Expect to pay:

  • Coffee: €1.60-€2
  • Tea €1.50-€1.90
  • Chips €1.50-€2
  • Pastizzi €0.40-€0.70
  • Pizza €5-€10
  • Croissant €1.50
  • Full English breakfast: from €8

Fast Food

For a truly local fast food experience, visit a pastizzeria (found on practically every corner in every village!) which serve up hot pastries (such as the famous pastizzi) and hot pies filled with cheese, sausages, vegetables, peas, rabbit, beef, chicken, or spinach and tuna. Pizza is also commonly available by the slice. Imqaret - hot, deep fried date squares - are also popular fast food desserts.

Prices for these fast food dishes range from €0.40-€2 each.

Restaurants

Malta's most posh restaurants are located in Valletta, Sliema, St. Julian's, Mellieha and Bugibba, and around Malta's large resorts, such as the Hilton/Portomaso, Radisson Blue St. Julian's, and Corinthia.

Trip Advisor and RestaurantsMalta.com are great resources for local reviews of restaurants.

Great Maltese restaurants:

  • Gululu (St. Julian's)
  • The Chophouse (Sliema)
  • L'Artiste (Sliema)

Great Italian restaurants:

  • La Cucina Del Sole (Sliema)
  • Vecchia Napoli (Sliema)
  • Piccolo Padre (Sliema)
  • Barracuda (Sliema)
  • Frescoe's (Sliema)

Great Asian restaurants:

  • Blue Elephant (St. Julian's)
  • Zest (St. Julian's)
  • Medasia (Gzira)
  • Hugo's Lounge (St. Julian's)

Great Indian restaurants:

  • Sa Re Ga Ma (Sliema)
  • La Mere (Valletta)

Other great restaurants:

  • de Mondion (Mdina)
  • Palazzo Parisio & The Luna Collection (Naxxar)
  • Tapaz (St. Julian's)
  • Sharma (Mdina)
  • Fontanella Tea Garden (Mdina)

Great pubs and cafes:

  • UBistrot (Sliema)
  • Café Jubilee (Gzira, Valletta, Victoria [Gozo])
  • Balluta Bar (St. Julian's)
  • Mint (Sliema)
  • Café Cuba (Sliema, St. Julian's)
  • La Rive (Sliema)
  • Henry J. Beans (St. Julian's)
  • Café Cordina (Valletta)

Update 25/05/2013


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