Maltese cuisine is as diverse as its culture. Its rich natural larder is celebrated in every dish, and the country’s Arab and Italian influences have shaped many local recipes. Tempted to book a Maltese holiday? Here’s what you absolutely have to try (and where to find it).
Pastizzi in Rabat
Though Malta’s traditional flaky pastries can be found across the country, few are as legendary as the ricotta and pea ones made at Crystal Palace. This café-bar is located just outside the honey-hued walls of medieval Mdina.
84 Triq San-Pawl, Rabat
Ġbejniet in Gozo
Malta’s sister island, Gozo, will take you back in time. The island is home to pretty villages, ancient temples, rolling countryside and ġbejniet, a Maltese cheese. It can be made from goat’s or sheep’s milk, and can be enjoyed fresh, pickled or laced with black pepper. Head to shop and restaurant Ta’ Rikardu in Gozo’s Citadel to give it a try – Rikardu makes the cheese (and his own wine) at his farm and vineyard.
Lampuki in Marsaskala
In Malta, autumn is lampuki (mahi-mahi) season. This delicate, meaty fish is best enjoyed in a traditional lampuki pie with mint, lemon peel and raisins. Head to the charming fishing village of Marsaskala to enjoy lampuki caught using kannizzata, an ancient fishing technique that dates back to Roman times.
Rabbit in Valletta
Rabbit and Maltese cuisine go hand in hand. It’s most famously enjoyed in fenkata, a fragrant slow-cooked stew served on special occasions, but it’s also delicious when fried until crispy and golden. Fine dining joint Noni, one of Valletta’s most beloved restaurants, gives the gamey meat a makeover with a moreish rabbit saddle with rabbit confit croquette and roast garlic purée dish.
Zeppoli in Ħad-Dingli
As well as beautiful beaches, Malta’s west coast is also where you’ll find Diar il-Bniet. This idyllic estate in the village of Ħad-Dingli is a champion of farm-to-table dining. Its take on zeppoli (deep-fried pastries stuffed with ricotta) is a testament to Malta’s gloriously sweet tooth – and the perfect way to end any meal.
To plan your trip to the Maltese islands, visit maltauk.com.