Mdina restaurants

By Juliet Rix, your Mdina expert

I write for Books: Bradt Travel Guides, Guardian, National .... Read more

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Medina

Price guide: Mid-range
#2/6
expert-rated restaurants in Mdina
Best for Romance -
Expert overall rating:4.9 (out of 5)

Lovely atmospheric restaurant with excellent food in a medieval Mdina building.

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Trattoria AD1530

Price guide: Budget
#4/6
expert-rated restaurants in Mdina
Expert overall rating:4.3 (out of 5)

Enjoy cosy cellar or al fresco dining in a relaxed atmosphere in the heart of ancient Mdina.

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Old Priory Cafe

Price guide: Budget
#5/6
expert-rated restaurants in Mdina
Expert overall rating:4.2 (out of 5)

Lunch and snacks in the oasis of the old Carmelite Priory in the heart of Mdina.

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Fontanella

Price guide: Budget
#6/6
expert-rated restaurants in Mdina
Expert overall rating:4.2 (out of 5)

Enjoy cakes and views from the top of the bastions walls of Mdina.

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Malta used to have a reputation for having taken on the culinary traditions of its colonial masters, the British – a euphemism, I’m afraid, for lousy food. Times have changed. Whilst it is still possible to eat badly (and expensively) here - as anywhere - with a little selectivity you can eat extremely well, and often for no more money.

Food and plenty of it

The Maltese love to eat so portions here are usually large – much larger than you would expect in other parts of Europe. Restaurants have however got wise to tourists ordering starters instead of main courses and some charge extra if you do this.

Tourists and locals

The Maltese also love to eat out, so one of the pleasures of going to restaurants here is that there is no divide between tourists and locals. Where tourists go, locals do too. Where locals go, tourists are almost always welcome. In fact, the locals probably rate the big hotel restaurants more highly than many tourists, who might prefer an independent establishment with a bit more character (and lower prices).

English menus

Since some Maltese still speak English as their language of preference, the fact that a restaurant has an English menu does not (as in some countries) mean it is a tourist trap.

Vegetarianism

The only people who may find themselves less well catered for in Malta are vegetarians. Whilst there are some tasty vegetable dishes here and delicious local cheese, the Maltese do not have a tradition of vegetarian main courses. You won’t starve but the veggie option is often less tasty than the non-veggie and you might do better with a selection of antipasti and starters (check before that you won’t be charged extra for doing this). If you eat fish you will have no problems at all. Malta makes very good use of the waters around it.

Early to bed

Outside the main tourist areas (particularly St Julian’s and Paceville) restaurants close early. If you need to eat after 10pm then check ahead.
 

Set focus

I have tended to choose restaurants offering Maltese or Mediterranean cuisine, on the grounds that most of us do not go to Malta to eat Chinese or Indian (particularly since there are very few Indians and Chinese here). I have also favoured independent restaurants rather than those in big hotels – you’ll find those anyway and the smaller establishments often have more character both in terms of food and the venue, and certainly tend to be better value for money. Most of all, of course, I have picked restaurants I like. I hope you like them too.