Exploring Valletta's Authentic Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants, and Recipes

Exploring Valletta's Authentic Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants, and Recipes

Exploring Valletta's Authentic Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants, and Recipes

Introduction to Valletta's Culinary Delights

Valletta, the capital city of Malta, not only offers stunning architecture and a rich cultural heritage but also a diverse and vibrant food scene that reflects the island's history and influences from various Mediterranean cuisines. From traditional Maltese dishes to international flavors, Valletta's culinary delights are sure to leave you craving for more.

Traditional Maltese Dishes

Maltese cuisine is known for its hearty and rustic flavors, often featuring fresh local ingredients such as seafood, vegetables, and spices. Some must-try traditional Maltese dishes include:

Maltese Rabbit Stew

A beloved national dish, Maltese Rabbit Stew is a hearty and flavorsome stew made with tender rabbit meat, vegetables, and a delicious tomato-based sauce. It is often served with crusty bread and accompanied by a glass of local wine.


Pastizzi are a popular snack in Malta, consisting of flaky pastry filled with ricotta cheese or mushy peas. You can find them at local bakeries and street food stalls throughout Valletta, and they make for a perfect on-the-go treat.

Stuffat tal-Fenek

This slow-cooked rabbit stew is another Maltese favorite. The rabbit is marinated in wine, garlic, and herbs before being braised until tender. The result is a rich and flavorful dish that showcases the island's rustic culinary heritage.


Bragioli is a traditional Maltese beef dish consisting of thinly pounded beef filled with a mixture of bacon, garlic, and parsley, then rolled and cooked in a tomato-based sauce. It is often served with pasta or roasted potatoes.

Fenek Moqli

Fenek Moqli is fried rabbit, another popular way to enjoy this meat in Malta. The rabbit is marinated in garlic and herbs, then deep-fried until crispy. It is often served with a side of fries or a fresh salad.

Local Restaurants and Dining Experiences

Valletta is home to a variety of restaurants and dining experiences that showcase the best of Maltese cuisine as well as international flavors. Here are some establishments that are worth a visit:

The Harbour Club

Located in the Grand Harbor Marina, The Harbor Club offers stunning waterfront views and a menu that celebrates the flavors of the Mediterranean, including a range of fresh seafood dishes and traditional Maltese specialties.

Ta’ Kris

Ta' Kris is a charming family-run restaurant tucked away in the streets of Valletta. It is known for its authentic Maltese cuisine and warm ambience. Try their rabbit stew or indulge in one of their delicious pasta dishes.

Tico Tico

If you're in the mood for some Mediterranean fusion cuisine, Tico Tico is the place to go. With a menu that combines local ingredients with international flavors, this restaurant offers a unique dining experience in Valletta.


Legligin is a hidden gem in the heart of Valletta, offering a cozy and intimate setting with a focus on traditional Maltese and Mediterranean tapas-style dishes. This restaurant is perfect for those looking to sample a variety of flavors in a relaxed atmosphere.

Traditional Maltese Recipes

If you want to recreate the flavors of Maltese cuisine at home, here are a couple of traditional recipes:

Recipe: Maltese Rabbit Stew


  • 1 rabbit, cut into pieces
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the rabbit pieces and brown them on all sides.
  2. Remove the rabbit from the pot and set it aside.
  3. In the same pot, add the onions and garlic. Sauté until softened.
  4. Add the carrots, potatoes, tomato sauce, red wine, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
  5. Return the rabbit pieces to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for about 1 hour or until the rabbit is tender.
  7. Adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve hot with crusty bread.

Recipe: Pastizzi


  • 2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese or mushy peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. Roll out the puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface until they are thin and rectangular in shape.
  3. Cut the pastry into small squares or circles.
  4. Place a spoonful of ricotta cheese or mushy peas on one half of each pastry square or circle.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Fold the other half of the pastry over the filling and seal the edges by pressing down with a fork.
  7. Place the pastizzi on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  9. Let cool slightly before serving.