Traditional food to try when in Malta

Let’s face it, whether we admit it or not, we’re all foodies. So, a big part of visiting a new place is its cuisine. In terms of food, Malta is bound to surprise you. It’s a place full of contradictions. The great Mediterranean diet here perhaps takes on a few twists, probably due to its French and English histories.

If you want to experience everything that Malta has to offer in terms of culinary adventures, then you’ve landed in the right place. Here is a proper foodie itinerary for the taste bud adventures you seek.

1. Cheap and cheerful corner-shop food

Malta is dotted with little shops that sell the local pasties called ‘Pastizzi’ - a puff pastry mini-pie that is designed to be eaten on the fly. Filled with ricotta or mushy peas, it is super-tasty and easy to eat. Often these shops also sell pizza, made with a bread dough. It’s nothing like its stone-baked Italian counterpart, but it’s very filling and very tasty.

Often you can buy any of these local foods for less than €2.00. Some also offer a modern twist on these delicacies such as the chicken-filled pastizzi or the sausage and egg pizza (as opposed to the more common cheese and ol-ives pizza.)

Although super-tasty and cheap, we do not recommend you eat this stuff too often as it is calorie packed and certainly not a healthy alternative. However, if you’re a true foodie, you certainly have to eat at one of these local shops at least once.

2. Totally Traditional Restaurants

Traditional restaurants are the best places to try local food. You will find quite a range, for almost any price range. Most restaurants are good at preparing these dishes. Here are a few you must try if you want to have a true Maltese culinary adventure:

a. Rabbit Stew

You may be used to thinking of these furry creatures as pets; however, the local hare has been part of the Maltese diet for centuries. Today these rabbits are grown especially on rabbit farms and are a source of tasty lean meat. It’s often cooked with tomato sauce and lots of onions and served with peas, and roast or stewed potatoes.

b. Octopus Stew

Octopus stew is a Sunday special. If you pick a restaurant in Marsaxlokk, you can’t go wrong. No matter the price range, you’re in for a treat. The octopus is very tender and cooked in tomato sauce with herbs, spices, olives and capers. If you feel this isn’t adventurous enough for you, try the pasta with octopus’ sauce. You get less octopus and it’s cut up in smaller pieces. It is a very unique dish.

c. Beef Olives

Beef olives are another typical Maltese dish. Often made with beef minute steak, it is similar to other beef olive recipes found in European countries, but it’s filled with minced meat, ham and boiled eggs. Sometimes it is spiced up with Maltese sausage, which is a local fresh sausage prepared with minced meat and spices that tends to have a peppery after-taste. It adds an interesting kick to the beef olives.

d. Snail Stew

Yes, you read that right. Snails are on the local menu, which is often cooked with an amazing sauce. Once you smell this dish you will be willing to get adventurous even if you haven’t eaten snails before. This dish is not so easy to find in restaurants but a few specialised traditional restaurants still make it. You are sure to find it in local traditional bars that serve it as free finger food. So, if you want to have a little sample, ask the locals for a bar that serves them. If you want to go all the way and eat the full meal, you will need to specifically find a higher-end traditional Maltese restaurant.

If you’re planning your trip around a culinary experience, you’re going to need to get around easy. GoTo offers car sharing cars that you can book through an app and pick up from the street. Once booked, the car is yours to use for as long as you need.

You can get anywhere easily and park without trouble in the allocated reserved spots. Register before you fly to Malta. Just get your holiday top-up and use our cars that are available for pick-up from the reserved parking spots in very town and village on the island. Easy travelling is guaranteed!