Food & drink
Oh so sweet! Discover the history behind Malta's oldest ice cream parlour
We all scream for ice cream!

Nicole Parnis

What could be more glorious than enjoying a cold flavorsome ice cream as you look out to the deep blue Med? It doesn’t get much better!

We love a great ice cream parlour by the sea, and one in particular has been around for over 30 years and can rightly be called a Sliema institution. La Gelateria Lungomare, located in Sliema's Triq it-Torri, is a landmark gelateria and pick and mix sweet shop that’s been delighting both kids and adults since 1987!

Lungomare 1

La Gelateria Lungomare / Facebook

It was first opened by the Grech Family in the '80s and taken over by the Bartoli Brothers in 2010.

The ice cream parlour has a true retro feel, combining rainbow coloured counters and neon tube lighting, not to mention the old fashioned glass sweetie jars filled with all the classics, from coconut mushrooms to fizzy cola bottles and pink foam shrimps. Even the fluorescent mini spoons and cartoon printed cups have a vintage feel! This year, the gelateria is set for a complete revamp but will be keeping the traditional ice cream parlour look in mind.

Lungomare 2

La Gelateria Lungomare / Facebook

Part-owner Roderick Bartoli remembers the gelateria even before his family took over the business. “It was always a place we used to come with my dad on a Sunday as a kid” he tells Guide Me Malta. “It’s almost an after-the-beach tradition for families, and children come running up to the counter and put both hands on the glass and point to the blue one!” he continues. “I often meet people who tell me how they’ve grown up coming to Lungomare. We were the first to sell sugar free, gluten free and soya ice cream, and in the summer we serve 54 flavours,” he tells us.

The ice cream is all made locally themselves in a factory in Ħandaq. Way back in 1987, the original founders brought gelato specialists over from Italy to help set up the ice cream parlour with top notch machinery, and taught them how to make the ice cream, which actually used to be produced on site in the back room of the shop.

Pistachio

La Gelateria Lungomare / Facebook

“Even though there was a change of management, La Gelateria Lungomare remained the same” says Roderick. “Over the years and after many new ice cream establishments have popped up, we’ve remained busy and kept our esteemed clientele. We even have the same technician who’s worked here for 31 years, and remembers when an ice cream cost 25c in the old money!”

We don’t know about you, but all this ice cream talk has got us thinking about a Banoffee waffle ice cream cone with sprinkles!

30th June 2019


Nicole Parnis
Written by
Nicole Parnis
Nicole Parnis is a writer and lifestyle blogger with a passion for music and a penchant for anything retro. She loves nothing more than rummaging for new vinyl records on a Sunday with her chihuahua Frankie.

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