8 Traditional Maltese Dishes

By February 29, 2024 No Comments

Start your food adventure in the heart of the Mediterranean with our guide to traditional Maltese dishes. 


Malta is a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea, known for its stunning views and rich history. It’s also a place where food lovers can enjoy traditional dishes that reflect Malta’s unique mix of different cultures. From delicious rabbit stews to crispy pastizzi, Maltese cuisine is all about rich flavours and hearty dishes. 


In this article, we’ll  take you through some of the most loved Maltese foods and where you can eat them. Get ready to make your mouth water and discover the flavours that make Maltese cuisine truly remarkable. 

1. Fenek (Rabbit)

Rabbit meat is a Maltese delicacy, commonly prepared in two ways: as a stew (stuffat tal-fenek) or pan-fried (fenek moqli). The stew features tender rabbit pieces simmered in a rich tomato-based sauce with garlic, onions, and aromatic herbs. For the pan-fried version, rabbit meat is marinated in white wine and garlic, then fried with more white wine and garlic.


You can find delectable rabbit dishes in many restaurants scattered around the Sliema and St Julian’s area specialising in local cuisine.

2. Pastizzi

For a quick and savoury snack, Maltese pastizzi are unbeatable. These flaky pastries come with fillings of ricotta cheese or a spiced pea mixture, perfect for any time of day, from breakfast to a mid-afternoon treat.


Find them at any local “pastizzeria,” Sphinx, Mc Sims, and Champs are among the most famous chains where you can find them. For a more sit-down (but still casual) experience, try is-Serkin – Crystal Palace Bar in Rabat, known also for its chicken pastizzi.

3. Bragioli (Stuffed Beef Rolls)

Bragioli epitomises the Maltese passion for hearty, flavourful meals. Thin beef slices are stuffed with a blend of bacon, egg, breadcrumbs, and herbs, then simmered in a rich tomato sauce until tender and flavourful.

4. Kapunata (Maltese Ratatouille)

Kapunata is Malta’s version of ratatouille, a delightful vegetable stew made with eggplants, tomatoes, bell peppers, and a blend of Mediterranean spices. This dish is not only delicious, but also a vibrant representation of the island’s agricultural heritage.


This is often enjoyed as a starter with Maltese bread, or as a topping on homemade pizza.

5. Ħobż Biż-Żejt (Maltese Bread with Toppings)

The crusty exterior and soft interior of Maltese bread form the base of ħobż biż-żejt, a traditional sandwich. Rubbed with ripe tomatoes, and drizzled with olive oil, it’s then topped with ingredients like tuna, capers, olives, and onions for a simple yet fulfilling dish.


This affordable snack is a popular choice for beach outings, available at most local band clubs or snack bars.

6. Ġbejniet (Maltese Cheeselets)


No exploration of Maltese cuisine is complete without mentioning ġbejniet, a type of cheese made from goat’s or sheep’s milk. These small, round cheeses are often served fresh, dried, or pickled, making them a versatile ingredient in various Maltese dishes.


These cheeselets are readily available in supermarkets, typically found in the refrigerated section. They’re often served as a starter, accompanied by Maltese bread or crackers (galletti). 

7. Imqarrun il-Forn (Baked Macaroni)


Imqarrun il-Forn is the Maltese version of baked macaroni, and it’s a comfort food classic. Al dente macaroni is layered with a rich meat sauce and a blend of cheeses for a savoury, cheesy delight ideal for a hearty meal. 


Most pastizzerias offer this dish at very affordable prices.

8. Timpana (Baked Pasta)

Timpana is another savoury baked pasta dish, also available at most pastizzerias. It showcases the Maltese love for pasta and rich flavours.The pasta is mixed with a flavourful Bolognese sauce, eggs, and cheese, then encased in shortcrust pastry and baked until golden.


ST Hotel: Where Comfort Meets Culinary Excellence


Exploring the rich tapestry of Maltese cuisine extends beyond the plate; it’s about immersing yourself in the island’s vibrant culture and lifestyle. 


A stay at any ST Hotel, ideally located in the bustling areas of Gzira and Sliema, positions you at the heart of Malta’s culinary scene. These central locations offer unparalleled access not just to Sliema and St Julian’s but also to the historic charm of Valletta, each area brimming with restaurants, pastizzerias, and eateries that showcase the island’s traditional flavours.


Whether you’re craving the savoury richness of a stuffat tal-fenek, the flaky pleasure of a freshly baked pastizz, or the hearty comfort of imqarrun il-forn, the best of Malta’s traditional dishes are just a short walk or drive away. 

Let ST Hotels be your gateway to a culinary adventure that blends the comfort of modern accommodations with the authentic flavours of Malta.

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