5 Must-Try Maltese Dishes

Posted 17 February 2021 by Rachel Davis

Many think that a trip to Malta means eating at resort buffets or in copy-cat Italian restaurants. In reality, a trip to the Maltese islands isn’t complete without trying its local dishes. 

Whether you’re just after a quick snack or a hearty meal, Malta is well suited to food lovers of all budgets and tastes. The five dishes we recommend in this blog are just some of the best Malta has to offer. Rest assured though, there are many more to try!


Arguably Malta’s most famous food, Pastizzi are flaky, golden pastries baked to perfection! Designed to be eaten as a snack, Pastizzeria shops can be found throughout Malta. Traditionally, Pastizzi are stuffed with one of two flavours; creamy ricotta or spiced mushy peas. In recent times, stores have started selling more unusual flavours; think chicken curry or creamy mushroom. Prices start from just €0.40c/$0.60/£0.35, so we recommend grabbing a selection and pairing them with a bottle of Kinnie (a local root-beer style of soft drink) or Cisk beer for a tasty afternoon snack!

Rabbit Stew

Eating rabbit often conjures visions of tasteless, stringy meat for many. Rabbit becomes the star ingredient though when prepared in the Maltese fashion with a rich tomato gravy, mashed potatoes, peas,  olives and an abundance of herbs. This is a main dish at most restaurants across Malta, and is well worth trying. A word of caution however - the kidneys are sometimes served with the meat so be sure to check with your waiter if you don’t wish to try them (though we 100% would recommend it - the meat is incredibly succulent). 


Another great choice if you’re on-the-go and looking for an inexpensive meal is a Ftira. Ftira is a ring-shaped roll stuffed with nearly any filling imaginable; choose from deli meats, salads, cheeses and relishes. Perhaps the most popular variation has a filling of tomato paste, capers, onions, broad beans, tuna and Ġbejna goat’s cheese. Some cafes even borrow the British tradition of serving Ftira with crisps on the side.

Maltese Pizza

Maltese pizza features the best of local ingredients. First, the tomato base is seasoned with paprika, chilli, oregano and other spices. Next, toppings of  Maltese-style sausage, meaty black olives and sheep’s cheese from neighbouring Gozo added. Often, the finishing touch is a tomato chutney of eggplant and courgette. You’ll find that each restaurant has their own take on the pizza (ie different types of cheese, varying thickness of dough, sausage from different producers) so it is like trying a new style every time.


Traditional Sweets

A fantastic Maltese pastime is to visit the local cafe for a coffee and a selection of sweets. Most of the popular choices are filled with almonds or use it as a main ingredient, such as krustini, village biscuits or marzipan fruits. During the Christmas period, the range also includes treacle rings, fig rolls and mince pies. If you’re staying in a more residential area, you’ll often hear a van beeping its horn mid-morning at least once a week - this will be your local baker selling fresh jam and nutella doughnuts and eclairs.


Even if you have just a few days to spare, or time for a longer adventure - you certainly won’t go hungry during your travels through Malta. Bon appetit, or as they say in Maltese, l-ikla t-tajba!

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