Vegan in Malta

My airbnb host in Malta expressed alarm and concern when she found out I am vegan. I hadn't gone there with particularly high hopes, but there were a few places on Happycow. So without further ado...

Valetta

Our first night in Malta was NYE and we wandered into Valetta to find it packed and bustling. We stumbled upon Soul Foods, who were able to squeeze us in at 1900 but were otherwise full. Soul Foods is really wholesome homemade food for omnivores. The vegan main was an ayurvedic dish of lentils and grains. It was really delicious and flavoursome. Liz and I split two raw desserts; chocolate 'salami' and carrot cake. I loved them both, but they were 'too healthy' / not sweet enough for Liz. More for me. Not cheap, but justifiably so.

A white bowl with orange broth and dumpling things A woman in a black top looms over carrot cake in a white dish Chocolate cirlces on a white plate with a fork

Every time I tried to stop at Grassy Hopper, a veggie place, it was closed.

We found Theobroma, a rawvegan dessert stand. I had a spectacular chilli hot chocolate with homemade almond milk (cashew is also an option; and hot chocolates come in plain, orange or white too). We picked up a peanut butter cup and a hemp seed chocolate bar ('too healthy') to enjoy later. Everything is also gluten free.

Next to Theobroma is Pastahaus. We went in on Liz's instinct, and this was probably both of our favourite meals. They have a huge array of homemade pasta, and at least four without eggs. They understand and are happy to explain what's vegan, and persistently offered a vegan wine. I chose a pasta made from semolina and hemp, accompanied by an avocado and almond sauce. They have a vegetable curry sauce too, as well as basic chilli oil and tomato and basil ones which I suspect are amazing. We shared bruschetta to start.

A display full of many pastas A wooden board with four pieces of tomato-topped bruschetta A white plate with a mount of green pasta and tomato on top

On the way to the ferry on my final evening, I stopped by Gurag. This place was somehow just what I needed; it seemed attuned to my mood. It's an all-veggie 'hangout and bar'. The space is small and was busy and loud, but they have seats downstairs. Nobody else was down there, so I had sofas and a generally peaceful laid back space all to myself. The wifi doesn't reach there, so I read for a couple of hours. They have a lot of vegan options, but upcharge (50c) for almond or soya milk in the smoothies. I chose a traditional Maltese sandwich, which at a mere 3.50EUR was a whole and hearty meal, along with a peanut butter chocolate milkshake. I took two energy balls and an orange fig brownie to go.

Sliema and San Giljan

There are quite a few Indian and Asian restaurants along the Sliema waterfront. We didn't try any, but it's good to know they're always an option.

On a wander around the coast at Sliema, we stopped at a random waterfront place called Il Gabana, which had a falafel burger. The location was good but the burger was pretty bad.

We ate twice in San Giljan. I found Naar and Two Buoys Bistro on Happycow. The first time we went, Naar was closed, and the options in Gululu (a traditional Maltese one) were more appealing than Two Buoys, so we ate there. We shared an antipasti plate of white beans, sundried tomatoes and olives. Liz followed up with risotto, and I had another anitpasti option of a small aubergine and artichoke salad thing. And lots of Maltese bread. The restaurant is nice, and everything is very clearly labelled with allergens on the menu, but the food I ate in the end wasn't super inspiring.

We made it to Naar for brunch eventually, and I had an all vegan breakfast. Nothing I can't make at home, except past months in Bosnia make most of the ingredients unavailable to me so I actually haven't indulged in this for a while. Apart from everything tasting slightly sweet for some reason, it was great. Naar also have a vegan burger, salads, and various sides, all labelled. Good smoothie options. The location on the water is pretty fantastic too.

Two plates, one with bread and oil, the other with white beans, red sundried tomatoes and green olives A lit sign reading 'gululu' next to the well-lit restaurant entrance A white plate with toast, sausages, beans, hash browns, tomato, mushrooms, spinach and avocado

Marsaxlokk

This is a fishing village, so obviously most places specialise in fish. A few have veggie pastas, risottos, and most places have pizzas that can be de-cheesed. All of the restaurants are on the shore, and it's small enough that we could take 10 minutes to walk up and back checking all the menus before picking one. We ate at Matthew's; Liz had fish which came with an overabundence of sides (chips, salad, cooked vegetables, bread) which all appeared to be vegan and I helped with. They were pretty good. I also ate vegetable soup, which was really good. We sat outside, and it was windy, and eventually everything was covered in sand and grit.

A woman in a green cap and black jacket sits at a blue table, with many dishes laid out in front of her

Gozo

It took two buses and a ferry to get to the only fully vegan restaurant in Malta, and it was totally worth it. Green Mood in Ir-Rabat aka Victoria on Gozo (the north island) is a lovely space, serving customisable grain bowls, soup, juices and smoothies. It's comfy and there's wifi. Liz and I spent a little too long there when we arrived to Gozo. We also left with energy balls. Prices are really good; bowls between 5 and 7 EUR.

We ate dinner near the Citadel at It-Tokk; I had penne arrabiata with sundried tomatoes; simple but delicious. On the way back to the bus, I grabbed a dark chocolate ice cream from Vanilla because.. how could I not. They also have a range of vegan sorbets.

An orange smoothie in a glass on a wooden table, beside a vegetarian cookbook A white dish with grains, sliced pear, tomatoes and shredded carrots A green dish with brown rice, red grapes and avocado A table with two pasta dishes with tomato sauce, and a small bowl of chips A large dark chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone, against a background of more ice cream

The post about the rest of the trip is here.

🏷 travel vegan food malta