Welcome to Malta! Are you visiting Valletta? Here is my list of must-see addresses in one of the most photogenic cities on the planet.
What would a trip to Malta be without Valletta?
Although it is tempting to flee to the other end of the main island and its beautiful beaches (or to Gozo and Comino, the other two islands), Valletta and its direct surroundings clearly deserve a few days of walking. Its alleys, squares and beautiful gardens are easy to walk through in a day, but that’s without counting the Three Cities just opposite, and the time to indulge in Maltese style dolcevita, urban just the right amount of time.
Valletta has some exceptional establishments, both in terms of accommodation and restaurants and, if you are a history buff, an impressive number of museums… All this in a vintage-style setting, bathed in the soft light reflected by the limestone rock, typical of its architecture: it’s good to be there!
Many cruise ships seem to stop here, but don’t let yourself be put off by the sometimes overflowing crowds that stagnate in the main arteries: deviate, take any alley and you’re free to play with the shadows, the Maltese dramas (we are in the south here) and the small cafés right on the stairs. And if you dream of seeing the Co-cathedral of Saint John, be patient, the line is long…
Valletta is a city that explores itself by chance. One can be ecstatic about a colourful door, a forgotten light panel or a corner of the sea appearing here or there. Here are all my good addresses, as well as some practical information for your trip to Malta at the very bottom of this article.
Eating in Malta: local specialties
Rabbit is Malta’s national dish and you will find it cooked in many different ways in Valletta’s restaurants: in stew (stuffat tal-fenek), in the oven… Or in the imagination of your chef! I was able to taste it at the Rubino restaurants in the traditional way and at the Guze in the fusion way. I’ll tell you about these two experiences below!
Valletta’s restaurants: know-how and experience
From the impressive wine cellar, take a few hours to let yourself be seduced by Maltese cuisine in all its glory.
Eating in Valletta, Malta
Legligin, a family-run establishment with a very friendly service, offers a unique tasting menu for the modest sum of 25€. What’s in it? You won’t really know until you see the almost infinite succession of new dishes, served in a beautifully mismatched set of dishes. Yes, as with all the other guests, you will inevitably end up wondering if “There’s going to be a lot more? ».
Between soups, mezzés and meat and seafood dishes, all made from local ingredients of course, let us suggest the perfect wine (or wines!), selected from a menu as infinite as the meal itself.
And if you are offered the selection of homemade truffles, don’t miss out, you will think about digestion later. You only live once!
For a refined meal, to the sound of delicate jazz, you can book (as far in advance as you can) a table at the restaurant Guze. In my search for Maltese dishes (because here, we eat a lot of Italian food) I found at the Guze the most exquisite rabbit of my life, without any hesitation: presentation, texture and composition were all there.
Everything, from the presentation of the dishes to the service, including the wine was perfect. This restaurant is a little star that will, in my humble opinion, only go up.
Ah, the sweet memory of Italian trattorias! This old establishment (1906) offers a fine selection of Maltese dishes, without a menu. Your waiter will give you details of the menu, composed of Maltese names that seem mysterious at first sight, enthroned on a beautiful slate in a corner of the restaurant. Here, no fuss: the dishes are simple, fresh, and the rabbit… you eat it with your hands! It is ideal for lunch.
With its Irish bar feel, Café Jubilee is the perfect option to sample the local beer and try the Maltese food bar. It offers a selection of salads, pasta, snacks, mezzes and quiches (tortas) made with local ingredients. The establishment offers live music (jazz!) evenings on Wednesday and Friday evenings. Try out this Blue Label? It is excellent amber ale that goes perfectly with a quiche with gbjena (a local cheese) and ful (a local green bean, in season).