Valletta is dotted with small restaurants, cafes and interesting bars. All have their own unique character. Maison La Vallette is situated minutes away from the best top eating places from the hip Two-Twenty Two to the Cockney’s Bar & Restaurant just down the road next to the ferry.
Maltese cuisine is similar to Italian food, with added influences from other Mediterranean countries. However, the surprising local fondness for Sunday roasts has nothing to do with geography and everything to do with Malta’s long period under British control.
The island’s cuisine has been heavily influenced by the many cultures that have occupied the island over the centuries.
The most influential and not surprising is the very strong Italian , and to a lesser extent North African influences to Maltese cuisine. Many restaurants serve antipasta, pasta and spicy Moorish sauces incorporated into the local dishes.
Valletta is most active at lunchtime. Rubino’s (53 Old Bakery Street, 2122 4656) is renowned for its Maltese stews and cassata, a ricotta-based dessert. Serving traditional and modern Maltese and Mediterranean food, this restaurant is a must if you want to savour local delicacies in a welcoming atmosphere. It is open for lunch from Monday to Friday and dinner on Tuesdays and Fridays only.
Da Pippo Trattoria (136 Melita Street, 2124 8029) is a favourite among locals and serves a variety of Maltese and Sicilian dishes, it is a small place with few tables but truly genuine food. Ambrosia (137 Archbishop Street, 2122 5923) is an excellent choice for Mediterranean comfort food.
Chiaro Scuro (previously known as Labyrinth) The location chosen for the new bar has plenty of atmosphere: a palace built in the okra colour of the Maltese stone, with wonderful arched ceilings and the suggestion given by the street where it is located: “Straight street / Strada Stretta” a place that is worth a book itself.
Cafe Cordina is the place to stop, back and enjoy the bustling life of the main street in Valletta Republic street. Caffe Cordina’s location in the heart of Valletta Malta, facing Piazza Regina and the impressive Biblioteca, puts it within reach of many places of interest. It is family owned and can be compared to Florian in Venice. The interior is magnificent and the selection of sweets excellent.
The Café Jubilee outlet in Valletta (125 Santa Lucia Street, 2125 2332) is a popular spot with locals for a snack with a coffee or a glass of wine, and serve food all day. It remains open up to late at night and has a friendly service. For a different atmosphere just cross over to Sliema by ferry. It is just five minutes down the road from Maison La Vallette to the ferry, and go to Paceville Avenue in St Julian’s which is Malta’s nightlife hub.