Maltese cuisine is very much influenced by our next door neighbouring country, Italy. Starting from tasty pasta, to delicious sauces, creamy desserts, and a rich focus on delicatessen and milk-products, the Maltese have never hidden the fact that although they prize their own traditional recipes, they are also used to borrowing, embellishing, and diversifying other styles of cooking as well.
The art of preparing Pizza, be it with a thin crunchy base or a deep-pan softer and more-filling one, is an old and revered practice in Malta. Pizzas can be open or closed, be prepared with a variety of sauces, not to mention an infinite number of toppings. This fact ensures that everyone, be they young or old, easy-going or picky, cannot help but love Pizza.
Pizza in Malta is quite popular, since it can serve as both a take-away quick snack or a proper sit-down meal. This is why around the Maltese islands, there are a large number of restaurants, bars, and establishments which specialise in preparing pizza; these are usually called Pizzerias. Personally, I love pizza, and the fact that there are so many good pizzerias in Malta makes it hard to choose where to go, however, like everyone else, I definitely have my favourite pizza places. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to leave out Pizza Hut, even if it’s one of my favourite take-outs, because I wish to focus more on actual Maltese restaurants. In no particular order, here are my top 5:
1. Piccolo Padre Pizzeria & Trattoria, St Julians – Situated in the popular Paceville/Sliema hotspot, Piccolo Padre is an island of calm in a relatively lively atmosphere. It is situated directly overlooking the sea, therefore offers splendid views from its balcony. The vast varieties of pizza on offer is really amazing, and considering the beautiful panorama, the prime location, the tasty food, and the very efficient staff, prices are quite cheap and worthwhile. Here’s a link to the official page.
2. Don Berto Restaurant, Birgu (Vittoriosa) – Having ample seating both inside and outside, where one can relax while admiring waterfront views from the restaurant’s wide balcony, Don Berto is not only a pizzeria per se, since it also offers a selection of Mediterranean food and wines. However personally, this restaurant’s pizza is really something to write home about. Moreover, the decor is very pleasant and the staff is helpful and friendly. Being served with a smile makes all the difference. This is their tripadvisor page.
3. La Vecchia Napoli, Skyparks/Sliema/Salini – Very family-friendly, this pizzeria impressed me with its efficient organisational methods, not to mention its deliciously Italian pizza! I specifically recommend the calzone or ‘closed pizza’. The pizza base was really fantastic – one definitely wonders what their secret is! Moreover the decor is interesting and suggestive, and I especially appreciated the fact that the menus were so clearly-labelled – all items were helpfully categorised as ‘vegetarian’, ‘gluten-free’, etc. Kudos for being so considerate with clients! This is their official website.
4. Apple’s Eye Bar & Restaurant, Mellieha – Again, this restaurant does not only specialise in pizza, however it is still one of my favourites when it comes to fresh, well-made thin-crust pizza. If you desire to eat a sumptuous pizza feast, with enormous portion, fresh toppings, and a crunchy base, while enjoying the sea-breeze and the beautiful panorama of Golden Bay spread beneath you – this is definitely the place for you. A very relaxing place where one can chill and just enjoy life. One can find the official page here.
5. Redwhite, Palazzo Castelletti, Rabat – Deceptively unassuming from the outside, this restaurant is actually quite impressive. Being situated inside an old historical Palazzo, it is tastefully decorated with heavy wood furnishings and stone carvings, as well as paintings. There is also seating outside in a spacious courtyard. All this does not detract from the amazingly tasty pizza. A real experience to remember. Be sure to book beforehand however, as the place is almost always packed… and no wonder! Take a look at their tripadvisor page.