To be completely honest with you, I haven’t tried much of the Maltese traditional foods. Aside from pastizzi, a fluffy pastry filled with cheese, meat or veggies. You can see pastizzerias in practically every street and corner here. Most of them also sell drinks such as coffee and sodas, and other salty treats like pizza. They are crazy affordable as well, which explains all the people on their way to work walking around with a pastizzi in hand.
Lunch and dinner
From local cafe’s, bistros, bars and fast food chains you can get a proper meal usually for under seven or eight euros. Maltese do a lot of fishing, so there are lots of fish dishes available. But for someone with specific diet or allergies, getting a meal might be a bit tricky, since a lot of meals have a dairy or meat in them.
In tourist areas the restaurants are obviously way more expensive, so make sure to check the prizes before going in if you are on a budget. So far nothing I have eaten has been very expensive. And with a meal coffee usually costs between 0,5 and 1,5 euros!
I was surprised to find Lidl in Malta, but most of the locals shop their food from smaller shops. From these, for example The Convenience shop you can find a lot of treats, frozen food, bread etc. but not a lot of fresh food. Most of the fruits, veggies and fresh produce are sold from little farmers market style places on the street, or from the back of a car. I’ve bought most of my fruits and veggies from a place like this in San Gwann, and they’re very good and affordable. There’s also some fruits and veggies I have never seen before. Maybe I’ll build up courage to try them as well.
There are a lot of plant placed products, nuts and legumes sold in the local food shops as well. Which was a pleasant surprise. And if there is still something you are missing (organic, health food) you can surely find it at Holland&Barrett in Valletta
The tap water in Malta is safe to drink, but since it is basically just poorly filtered sea water the taste is quite bad. That’s why everyone drinks imported bottled water. It is a nuisance to carry around huge bottles and obviously bad for the environment. But at least it’s cheap! A small bottle costs between 50c and 1€, and a six pack of 2l bottles costs between 2 and 4 euros.
And in public places down the street, there are a lot of water points where you can fill your own bottle with still or sparkling water.
Eating healthy has definitely been a challenge here. There are so many treats, sweets and chocolates that I haven’t been able to find in Finland. So of course you have to try them out! Gelato I’ve only eaten once so far, but it is to die for. Anywhere you go the tempting is real, because there are sooo many things like biscuits, donuts, croissants, salty treats, chocolate and chips available. Of course you can find all those things from Finland as well, but here most of them are cheaper.
You can definitely keep up the same diet here in than in Finland, but why not try all the amazing treats as well. Pastizzi and gelato at least are a must!