Malta is a stunning Mediterranean gem of an island; a rock rich with history, and one which offers a wealth of unforgettable experiences. The Maltese culture is fascinatingly unique – and includes a particularly distinctive cuisine. Seasonal seafood plays a big part in the island’s traditional dishes – tuna, fried calamari and swordfish featuring predominantly. Besides fish, local dishes are often focused on rabbit or Maltese sausage. In other words, Malta doesn’t exactly boast the most vegetarian-friendly of culinary cultures. Fortunately, there are some truly great vegetarian eateries to check out during your stay on the island – you simply need to know where to look…
Grassy Hopper, Gzira and Valletta
The relatively new Grassy Hopper franchise is undoubtedly the island’s leading vegetarian brand. Founded by a vegan couple in 2013, the food truck-turned-cafeteria specializes in eco-friendly, vegan and vegetarian super foods. Inside the quaint and earthy-themed cafes, the constantly evolving menu offers a wide range of wraps, salads, burgers, curries, soups and smoothies for the perfect guilt-free lunch. With a number of vegan cheeses, milks and spreads on offer – even your meat-eating friends will enjoy this place. Those with a sweet tooth should try the hearty smoothies or one of their raw vegan desserts, which include carrot cake and rich brownies.
Blue Elephant, St Julians
For Thai food lovers, the Blue Elephant will not disappoint. If you’re a vegetarian AND a Thai food lover then the Blue Elephant might just be your next favourite restaurant. Amidst the restaurant’s luscious rainforest decor and tranquil atmosphere, you can treat yourself to a veggie-based platter of traditional Thai food and enjoy it alongside some classic cocktails. The five star restaurant is situated inside the Hilton Malta, which means it is frequented by hotel guests – booking a table is recommended! The Blue Elephant has a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and was voted one of the top five dining establishments amongst attendees at the Hilton Malta’s annual Battle of Malta tournament. This restaurant is equally suitable for meat-eaters.
Roots, Various Locations
Catering to the growing demand of vegetarian food in Malta, Roots is a new and entirely vegetarian food truck with a whole range of tasty take-away on offer. The offbeat green van typically travels the centre of the island during the day and is often present at late night events and festivals. Besides delicious wraps and juices, Roots are known for their spicy cauliflower fritters, halloumi salad and pistachio burgers.
The historic and fortified town of Birgu offers the perfect setting in which to enjoy a meal with friends. Located on the gorgeous waterfront, Tate overlooks a harbour of luxurious yachts. This vegetarian restaurant has an extensive menu of veggie-based dishes from a range of world cuisines, from Mexican to Turkish. The variety of filling platters, the impressive cocktail menu and the beautiful location makes Tate a fantastic choice for vegetarians prepared to venture out to the island’s East side.
Electro Lobster Project, St Julians
If you like your dining experience a little experimental, grab a bite to eat at the trendy and sophisticated Electro Lobster Project. This fantastic place doubles up as a live music venue and cocktail bar. With several vegan and vegetarian dishes on the menu, from grilled rosemary polenta to Greek quinoa, you’re guaranteed to find a dish that entices. Just a few minutes walk from the exciting nightlife of Paceville, this restaurant is also a great choice for those planning to continue their night elsewhere after dinner. Coincide your visit with one of the Elector Lobster Project’s themed music nights by checking our their events page.
Just Burger, Sliema
This well-priced and conceptual burger place serves fresh, refined and high quality burgers in a clean and welcoming atmosphere. The Swedish brand is popular amongst vegetarians due to the option of a vegan chickpea burger or vegetarian pumpkin burger. Include one of their many thick milkshakes in your order, and you’ll see why Just Burger is one of the island’s most popular burger joints.
Whilst the beautiful island of Malta might have a long way to go in catering for vegetarians (be warned that supermarkets leave much to be desired for the non-meat eater), the options available are well worth your time and money. Rest assured there are enough veggie-friendly restaurants and cafes to keep you well-fed and satisfied during your stay in Malta.