Food & drink
Hungry in Valletta? Here’s all you need to know about culinary institution Is-Suq Tal-Belt
Plenty of food, a well-stocked supermarket, centuries of history, and a buzzing atmosphere. All this and more at ‘Is-Suq Tal-Belt’.

Benjamin Abela

Valletta might very well be one of the smallest capital cities in Europe – but in no way does that mean it’s short on its cultural offerings.

Having been recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation) way back in 1980, a short walk through Valletta’s iconic streets is enough to convince anyone of the city’s sheer splendour.

One of the most well-known historic wonders in the entire city is none other than Is-Suq Tal-Belt – a centuries-old food market that has grown in tandem with Valletta.

𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩𝙨' 𝙪𝙥, 𝙑𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙖! The Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Maltese: Bażilika Santwarju tal-Madonna tal-Karmnu). A...

Posted by Is-Suq Tal-Belt Valletta Food Market on Thursday, July 14, 2022

Is-Suq Tal-Belt was constructed between 1859 and 1861, and it wasn’t long before it became regarded as one of the most impressive structures built by British Empire. Shortly after its completion, the market inspired the designs of countless other buildings in Malta and across the world.

In the years after its completion, business at Is-Suq Tal-Belt was booming.

This spot was a popular hub for commercial activity, with countless vendors selling products to hungry consumers. However, its resounding success came to a sudden halt with the onslaught of WW2 – an event which led to the destruction of a third of its structure.

Considering the fact that Malta was the most bombed country throughout the war, we’re quite lucky that Is-Suq Tal-Belt was not completely destroyed.

From the 𝟙𝟠𝟞𝟘𝕤 till this day, Is‑Suq Tal‑Belt’s message has always been the same: An experience for all. In the 𝗛𝗘𝗔𝗥𝗧 of Valletta. #IsSuqTalBelt

Posted by Is-Suq Tal-Belt Valletta Food Market on Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Prior to its destruction, this spot was deemed to be extremely commercially important for the islands, so it was not long before it was re-built. The second major obstacle that Is-Suq Tal-Belt faced, however, was the modernisation of the Maltese islands.

As grocery stores started popping up all over the country and consumer habits changed drastically, the need for a market like Is-Suq Tal-Belt diminished, and it began its slow yet steady decline to disrepair.

By 2015, only five shops were still operating at this market, so the decision was taken to temporarily close its doors, with a dream of developing it into something better.

It’s safe to say that that dream came true.

Posted by Is-Suq Tal-Belt Valletta Food Market on Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Is-Suq Tal-Belt underwent a 12-month restoration period which saw 150 tonnes of steel, 82 kilometres of electrical wiring, 288,000-man hours, and €14 million come together to give the market a new lease of life.

By 2018, Is-Suq Tal-Belt had re-opened, introducing hungry customers to a brand spanking new concept.

No longer was this market just a spot to buy your day-to-day ingredients, rather, Is-Suq Tal-Belt brought together a multitude of restaurants and eateries introducing a flurry of new cuisines to the capital city.

‘Life is too short to drink bad wine’ 🍷🍇 Which is why we make sure to have the a good selection of wines in our level -1 Food Market 🙌 #IsSuqTalBelt

Posted by Is-Suq Tal-Belt Valletta Food Market on Monday, May 17, 2021

All the restaurants housed within this spot are hand-picked to offer customers something new. That way, you can rest assured that there are no two identical spots at Is-Suq Tal-Belt.

Moreover, the market’s underground level is home to a fully fledged supermarket, selling anything from day-to-day needs to one-of-a-kind treats.

Plenty of food, a well-stocked supermarket, centuries of history, and a buzzing atmosphere – what more could you want from Is-Suq Tal-Belt?

Is-Suq Tal-Belt Valletta Food Market / Facebook

31st October 2022

Benjamin  Abela
Written by
Benjamin Abela
Benjamin is a Writer at Content House Group. With his background in journalism, marketing, and the arts, Benjamin enjoys finding the human aspect to any story he gets a hold of. When he's not too busy writing his next article, you could probably find him playing with his cats or performing on a stage.

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