Food & drink
Get your bellies rumbling! Here are Malta's favourite dishes in 20 pictures
Drool first and eat later. These are Malta's iconic foods!

Melanie Drury

‘The first that eats is the eye,’ - ‘l-ewwel ma tiekol l-ghajn’ - is a Maltese saying that highlights the importance of presentation. But, here, we tempt and tantalise with images of some of Malta’s most iconic foods.

1. Hobza tal-Malti

Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, there’s nothing quite like it.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

2. Hobz biz-zejt

Squeeze a tomato directly onto Maltese bread, add a few Mediterranean goodies, such as olives, tuna and a drizzle of olive oil, and head directly to heaven.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

3. Ftira biz-zejt

Just stuff a bun of Maltese bread with tomato paste and any combination of tuna, olives, capers, onions, lettuce, sun dried tomatoes, goat’s cheese, beans or pickled vegetable to taste!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

4. Maltese platter

Ah, here are those ingredients. Plus bigilla (a bean and garlic dip), galletti (water biscuits) and Maltese sausage.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

5. Maltese sausage

Here it is, Malta’s own cured sausage that can be eaten cooked or raw.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

6. Gbejniet

The best Maltese cheeselets are those made from sheep’s milk, although goat’s milk is good too. They are soft when they are fresh. Then, you can get the harder variety, or the pickled one, in different varieties: all natural or with added black pepper are very popular.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

7. Qarabaghli mimli

The Maltese love to stuff themselves with delicious ingredients ... and also their veggies. These marrows are packed with minced meat, marrow flesh, onions and cheese.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

8. Brungiel mimli

Again, the flesh of the vegetable is mixed with meat (usually) and aromatic herbs. The mixture holds together with a whisked egg.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

9. Ravjul

The Maltese like to stuff their pasta too! Ravioli are usually stuffed with ricotta cheese or gbejniet and served with a Marinara sauce.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

10. Mqarrun il-forn

They like to put pasta in the oven too. Baked pasta is quite a thing in Malta. The Maltese will bake macaroni, ravioli, stuffed shells or cannelloni and any variety of pasta really.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

11. Timpana

Envelop your baked pasta dish in a pastry as you would when making a pie and there’s your timpana. This creation is owed to the desire for a full belly, despite a lack of ingredients to go around - hence the addition of pastry.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

12. Froga tat-tarja

Fry the pasta too, while you're at it. Why not, I suppose? The Maltese certainly get creative in the kitchen, despite borrowing a lot of ingredients from our Italian neighbours.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

13. Pastizzi

A Maltese savoury street food that’s goes down dangerously well anytime, anywhere. They are bought from a pastizzeria that’s tucked into the wall. Pastizzi are usually stuffed with ricotta cheese or mushy peas, although different variations are now emerging.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

14. Qassatat tal-pizelli

This mini-pie is the ‘healthier’ variation you can also get from the pastizzi shop; it comes with shortcrust pastry instead of the more buttery puff pastry.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

15. Mqaret

More stuffing! These deep fried date cakes are as hard to resist as they are sinful.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

16. Kannoli tal-irkotta

Another traditional Maltese sweet. We're grateful it’s ricotta they’re stuffed with rather than cream!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

17. Pastini tal-lewz

Maltese sweets probably owe a lot to the Sicilians because so many of them are made with crushed almonds. These pure almond cakes are soft and chewy on the inside and more than delicious with milky tea.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

18. Figolli

Some more stuffing is naturally due. Stuff sweet pastry with this delicious almond mixture and you have one of Malta’s favourite, although seasonal, sweets. Figolli appear in Malta around Easter.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rachel Micallef (@iamrachelmicallef) on

19. Bajtar

We just had to include the fruit of the prickly pear when the plant grows practically everywhere! In local farming, it is used as a boundary wall, wind-cheater and fruit producer all-in-one!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

20. Twistees

Not a food of the earth but it makes the Maltese very proud. The Maltese love Twistees, THE local packaged snack. Period. It is made from baked rice and corn.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

Bonus 1: Kinnie

Not quite food, here's Malta’s favourite soft drink! Malta’s very own Kinnie is made with bitter oranges, herbs and spices. It has an aromatic taste that takes some getting used too, but once you do, you’re hooked for life!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

Bonus 2: Cisk

Then, Cisk is Malta’s favourite beer, with the softer, flavoured Cisk Chill having been quite a hit too. Doesn’t all food go down better when washed down with a Cisk?

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maltese Passion (@maltese.passion) on

Which of these do you want to eat right now?


Melanie Drury
Written by
Melanie Drury
Melanie was born and raised in Malta and has spent a large chunk of her life travelling solo around the world. Back on the island with a new outlook, she realised just how much wealth her little island home possesses.

You may also like...
Food & drink
Food & drink
The locally brewed beer took home a prestigious award.

Jillian Mallia
Food & drink

Jillian Mallia
Food & drink
Food & drink
Oh, when there was no need to worry about sugar...

Kristina Cassar Dowling
Food & drink
Food & drink
Natural beauties for your kitchen.

Kristina Cassar Dowling
Food & drink
Food & drink
If you needed an excuse to satisfy your sweet tooth, now you have it.

Jillian Mallia