Off the Tourist Map: Experience Malta’s Best-Kept Culinary Secrets

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Heading to sunny Malta? Then read on to discover 3 gems away from tourist traps.

Malta is a popular tourist destination known for its rich history, culture, gastronomy, and stunning natural landscapes. The islands of Malta, Gozo, and Comino offer so many activities ranging from diving, enjoying the beaches, sightseeing and visiting historic sites.

Malta has a fascinating history dating back over 7,000 years. The islands have been influenced by various civilizations including the Phoenicians, Romans, Knights of St. John, Napoleon, and the British Empire. History enthusiasts can explore ancient temples, fortifications, and awe-inspiring architecture everywhere on the islands.

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I finally visited for a few days in September 2023 for the first time and I am so glad I did. I found the islands a fascinating blend of traditions influenced by its Mediterranean location and the historical occupants of the islands. It reminded me of Sicily, next door or the middle eastern architecture, or somehow, the allure of Havana.

The sea is blue and the land is dry, giving a colourful contrast to the eye and the old buildings, with their protruding balconies and multicoloured facades, are so pretty.

On the other side of the coin, there is sadly a lot of constructions in the town centres (Sliema for example, where we stayed) which is really a sore punch in the eye to a coastline that I am sure would have been stunning decades ago. There is a lot of traffic and quite a lot of booze all hours bars to cater for the tourist masses. Consequently, there are also a lot of bars, cafes and restaurants which are tourist traps and possibly, best avoided.

Read on for 3 hidden gems to check out when you visit the islands of Malta.

Seed, St Julian

Fine dining at its best a few minutes away from St Julian’s beaches, Seed‘s theme is rooted in its name; Seed is an ode to all the wonderful things that originate from little seeds of ideas, inspiration and creativity.

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Canapes at Seed

The fundamental menu concept is highly detail-oriented and focuses on the creation of special and unique menu items. From bread, to pasta, to our signature duck and desserts, all menu items are prepared in-house by our Executive Chef Ryan and his team.

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Seed dining room

We had a fantastic tasting menu meal on our last evening, with an abundance of delicious dishes, full of flavours and beautifully presented. I am still savouring the sardinian gnocchi with basil sauce!

Francesco Mazzei at Corinthia Palace

One of the best italian chefs located outside of Italy, Francesco Mazzei took up residency as the elegant Corinthia Palace in Attard, in the centre of the island, at the beginning of the summer. We could not miss out on his authentic cuisine in the incredible setting of the Corinthia.

We tried different starters, including a classic ‘gatto’ (potato bake) and zucchini fritters, the lightest ever. We followed with the most wonderful vegetarian pasta (cavatelli with aubergine and smoked ricotta) before tucking into a selection of the most classic italian desserts, from tiramisu to limoncello baba’.

With service to match the ambience, a cold glass of Ferrari to start with and a series of tasting desserts to finish our meal, it was a memorable evening all around!

Coffee & Strangers, Sliema

After a couple of days drinking average and often bland coffee in Sliema, we walked the peaceful streets of the town, away from the seafront crowds, taking in the vintage shop fronts and pretty balconies until we got to Coffee & Strangers and realised immediately we were in the right place.

Espresso tasting menu, small but lovely indoor seating area, free wifi and small bites, this was the best coffee of the whole trip.

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Tempted to visit Malta?

The official tourism website for Malta, Gozo, and Comino is Visit Malta and it offers a comprehensive guide to the attractions, accommodations, transportation, and other information needed to plan a trip to Malta.

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