We explored Malta from our AirBnB apartment in St Julian’s, spending almost all of our evenings in this seaside town. Below, we share our favourite places to eat in St Julian’s, locally known as San Giljan.
From a food court to a fancy meat restaurant, we tried as many food spots as possible during our short time here. You wouldn’t expect it from a small town like this, but there are a ton of restaurants in St Julian’s. A lot more than we could lunch or dine at in a week.
Lunch with a view at Marina Terrace
We spent our first day in Malta exploring St Julian’s on foot. Around lunchtime, we were admiring the luxury yachts moored at Portomaso Marina. We were getting hungry, and picked Marina Terrace Pizzeria & Brasserie from a couple of restaurants with a view on the marina. The terrace was pretty busy, but we managed to grab one of the last al fresco tables.
Marina Terrace Pizzeria & Brasserie is open from breakfast to dinner. Apart from a couple of breakfast options, they serve a range of pizzas, homemade burgers, freshly made sandwiches and baguettes, filled focaccia and some wraps. For €15 (~ $17) you can have a decent lunch with a glass of wine, all served with smile.
I expected more of the Caprese Salad (€14.25 ~ $16.15) in terms of amount and variety, although the menu clearly states what you’ll get. My bad. Don’t get me wrong, what I got was really good, but now I know a Caprese Salad just doesn’t do it for me as lunch. Brecht made an excellent choice ordering a Warm Chicken Caesar Salad (€12.25 ~ $13.90) though.
Fresh and healthy lunch at U Bistrot
Starting off with a Superberry Heaven Smoothie (€4.50 ~ $5.10) and a cappuccino (€2 ~ $2.27), we enjoyed the view over Balluta Bay.
The U Bistrot menu is rather small, but supplemented with a bunch of suggestions. We ordered the Spaghetti Tomato Pesto (€8.50 ~ $9.63) and the Ravioli Prawn and Leek (€12.50 ~ $14.17). Both dishes were very good and fairly priced.
Solid dinner at Caffe Bocconcino
After informing for a table at Wigi’s Kitchen (see below), we ended up at Caffe Bocconcino, situated on the ground floor of the same building. There was no table left on the sidewalk terrace, so we sat down for dinner inside.
It’s a simple cafe with solid food, nothing too fancy, just good. I had the beef ravioli, Brecht the grilled salmon.
Best Burgers at Badass Balluta
Balluta Square is a lively spot, smack in the middle of St Julian’s. Elderly locals sit on the benches throughout the day for a marathon of people watching, and at night, the terraces on the east side of the square fill up for dinner and drinks. One of those cosy terraces belongs to Badass Balluta, a gourmet burger bar that has a pizza menu as well.
Badass prides itself on being a home grown concept (Maltese that is), striving to serve the best burgers on the island. Their Badass Burgers contain only the freshest ingredients, and are served with a side of your choice. Most of them have an Angus Patty, but there’s a salmon one as well, a vegan one, and even a Rabbit & Maltese Sausage Patty, among others.
Brecht and I both ordered The Obama: a Badass Angus Patty, Lettuce, pickled Onion, Tomato, Cheddar, Bacon, Onion Relish, and Cocktail Sauce, with Badass French Fries on the side. Yum, a very good burger and fries! We tasted the pizza that Brecht’s mom ordered as well, which tasted very good, although it was a little soft in the middle.
We didn’t try any other burgers in St Julian’s, so for us Badass Balluta is indeed the best burger restaurant in St Julian’s, Malta!
Something for everyone at Carob Tree Food Court
Not a restaurant, but a food court is one of our favourite places to eat in St Julian’s. Carob Tree Food Court brings together a bunch of food stalls with different cuisines and flavours in one modern space. Perfect for large groups, with something for everyone.
All food stalls are situated around a large common space with plenty of inside seating, but there’s a terrace as well. If you prefer, you can also get the food to take away. Unlike most food courts, you can pay separately at each food stall. No need to think about how much you will spend beforehand, guessing how much money to load onto a “Carob Tree Card”.
Unfortunately we only ate at Carob Tree Food Court once, so we weren’t able to try all 11 food stalls. The pizza and pasta at Marrobbio smelled good, and the seafood from Pescado sounded delicious, but we went with the South Indian street food from TukTuk. Great choice! Their food is really good, plenty of non-spicy and veggie options, and their Coca Cola is the cheapest on the food court. *wink*
We ordered some street food nibbles and the Lamb Rogan Josh curry and rice to share. We really enjoyed the Vegetable Pakoras (€6.90 ~ $7.82), fried julienne mixed vegetables, and the Vegetable Samosas (€6.80 ~ $7.71), mixed vegetables in a crusty homemade pastry, but they weren’t as good as the Bitsy Naan Bites (€6.80 ~ $7.71), cheese naan strips with Tikka Masala dipping sauce. *heart-eyes* If we ever go back, I’ll definitely have the Chicken Tikka Masala!
Apparently you can order food delivery from TukTuk as well – check their website for a list of places where this option is available. If you find yourself in Valletta, there’s a TukTuk eatery there too.
As Brecht and I are Thai food lovers, we tried the Yellow Thai Chicken Curry (€8.50 ~ $9.63) from Genki Asian Cafe as well. It wasn’t really what we expected from a curry (where is the sauce?), but it was good. Not as good as the TukTuk food though!
Note that we shared all of this with 4 people.
Pizza at the water at Piccolo Padre
Piccolo Padre is an Italian restaurant on the border between St Julian’s and Sliema. Technically it’s already Sliema, but it feels like you’re still in the centre of St Julian’s.
Anyways, their location is great, with a nice terrace above the water. Their pizza is great too, with yummy tomato sauce. We wouldn’t recommend ordering the Piccolo Padre one though. It was a little too unusual for our taste, with the balsamic baby onions and crushed pistachios. We really did like the Salumiere, Margherita and Pizza Carbonara.
Prices range from €8.75 (~ $9.92) for the Margherita to €14.95 (~ $16.94) for the San Daniele with parma ham. Very fairly priced for a pretty big pizza, in our opinion. If you can’t finish your pizza, they’ll happily wrap your leftovers to take home if you like.
Best seafood at Two Buoys Bistro
If you ask us, Two Buoys Bistro is one of the best (seafood) restaurants in St Julian’s. Their Moules Marinieres (€12.95 ~ $14.68), mussels with cream onion and parsley, were my best dinner in Malta. It was a starter suggestion, but with a side of yummy mashed potatoes (don’t judge) I was more than satisfied. Brecht had the duo of fresh fish (€24 ~ $27), which he absolutely loved. We agreed: best seafood in Malta!
I’m getting ahead of myself though, here’s some background information about the restaurant as well. Two Buoys Bistro is a family run restaurant, serving Mediterranean cuisine. Their daily specials include the catch of the day, which they will come and present at your table on a big platter. Inside they showcase local art (definitely visit the toilet), and they have a spacious terrace overlooking the picturesque Spinola Bay.
Best meat at Wigi’s Kitchen
Wigi's Kitchen is family run restaurant as well, known for their excellent meat. It’s a small, but fancy establishment with only inside seating, looking out over Balluta Bay. According to TripAdvisor it’s the best of 277 restaurants in St Julian’s. Knowing this, it’s not surprising you have to make a reservation beforehand.
Did you know the name, Wigi’s, is derived from the restaurant’s owner Louis?
The menu at Wigi’s Kitchen changes daily, depending on the fresh produce that’s available. When explaining the menu, they also present a platter of the meat of the day on a big platter at your table.
We ordered the Tagliata di manzo (€25 ~ $28.34) and the Char Grilled Irish Beef Fillet (€26 ~ $29.47) as a main, and the Chocolate Fondant (€4.50 ~ $5.10) and Crumbled Cannoli with Ricotta and Mascarpone (€4.50 ~ $5.10) for dessert. The meat was sublime!
As you can see, there are plenty of options for eating out in St Julian’s, Malta. Our favourite restaurants in St Julian’s were Two Buoys Bistro and Wigi’s Kitchen. Although these restaurants are from a different price range and “fanciness”, they respectively serve the best seafood and best meat in Malta, if you ask us.
Oh, and don’t forget to try TukTuk at Carob Tree Food Court as well. Enjoy and let us know which were your favourite restaurants in St Julian’s, Malta!
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