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Recommended Restaurants in Malta

St. Julian's in Malta - Valetta Car Hire - St Paul's Bay - Victoria town in Gozo - Mdina in Malta
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Traditinal Fine Dining in Malta

You'll never go hungry in Malta. The Maltese take their food seriously, starting with the early morning bread vans that honk their arrival just after dawn. Fresh bread is best bought before 11am, and some villages even get two deliveries a day.

Local dishes are based on fresh local produce, such as tomatoes, aubergine, green peppers, artichokes, etc. Vegetarians will always have a wide variety of dishes to choose from. Another extremely tasty speciality is fenek biz-zalza, rabbit cooked with red wine, vegetables, and herbs. Rubino in Old Bakery Street, Valetta specializes in Maltese and Mediterranean specialities. On Gozo, head for Oleander on Xagra's main square, for probably the best bunny on the island.

Fish is surprisingly expensive, given Malta's position, and may have been previously frozen. However, the Maltese certainly know how to cook it, from octopus fried and garlic to lampuki pie, a traditional dish made with swordfish, spinach, cauliflower, chestnuts and sultanas, baked in pastry. For a taste of the sea whilst it laps at the shore underneath your feet, head for Quandro Restaurant at the Westin Dragonara resort in St Julian's. For fish in the heart of history, try the Trattoria AD1530 at the Xara Place in Mdina. Scuba diving and then going for a fine fish restaurant will complete the Maltese tradition.

The Italian influence on Malta's restaurant scene emerges in the numbers of trattorias and pizza houses serving snacks and meals throughout the day. Especially in hotels throughout Malta, pasta is the number one dish. Whilst in Valetta, try either Trattoria Parolacci, in Archbishop Street or Trattoria Palazz in Old Theatre Street. Peppino's in St Julian's is a popular place to eat and meet friends in the wine bar, whilst The Avenue in Paceville will fuel any would-be clubber with hearty pasta, pizzas and meat dishes.

For more exotic cuisine, Zest at the Hotel Juliani in St Julian's serves a fusion of Eastern and Western, including sushi and sashimi. The most unusual location award probably goes to Stazzjon Restaurant in Rabat, converted from the last station of the steam train route running from Valetta until 1931. You order your drinks from the ticket window and eat on the old platform!

It's always worth seeking out the smaller restaurants too, such as Jeffrey's in Gharb on Gozo, where you eat in the back garden surrounded by plants and lanterns. The food is local, hearty and delicious. Be sure to book, as it fills fast at the weekends.

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