Last Updated on January 13, 2021 by Nina Ahmedow
You know from my pics of Malta that my 2017 summer vacation took me to the island nation of Malta. I absolutely fell in love with the country, so how could I not post about the fantastic vegan food I had there? But now, in 2020, it’s time to update my post because sadly some places I went to closed down. So how easy is it to be vegan in Malta? Well, Malta is by no means a vegan paradise. There are not that many options, to be honest. But keep in mind that Malta is the smallest country in the EU. Here are my reviews of places and some tips to keep in mind.
The Only Vegan Restaurant in Malta
When we went to the northern island Ghawdex (Gozo), we found a cute little vegan place called Green Mood. As of 2020, this is the only vegan restaurant in the country. And since most people spend their time on the main island they might only come here once.
I had a nice bowl of brown rice and vegetables and the tropical wave smoothie. Alfonso had an amazing smoothie with a touch of cinnamon, so I immediately regretted not getting that one instead.
With better means of transportation, we surely would have made it to Ghawdex more than once. I really would have loved to go back to Green Mood. The atmosphere was lovely, and they had lots of interesting salads on their menu. If you’re a vegan in Malta please go and support them.
11a Triq ir-repubblik, Rabat. Open Monday to Saturday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Sunday 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
A Vegetarian Bar in Malta
My favorite place in Malta ended up being Gugar! Gugar is operated by a group of friends who wanted to offer something different in Malta. This little bar only serves fast food like sandwiches, burgers, and falafel. But it’s all really good, and the atmosphere at this anarchist spot is super laid-back.
All their food is vegetarian, but they have no problems veganizing some of the dishes for you. The first night I had the ftira maltija which is a yummy Maltese sandwich. We went back twice more because we liked Gugar so much. I got their falafel and the ftira maltija again (we were really hungry) and once I had the mushroom burger.
Obviously, with falafel being a Middle Eastern dish it wasn’t what you would normally expect, but it was okay nonetheless. The burger was great, but I believe I still preferred the ftira, probably because it is a local specialty. Also, they had the most delicious bottled coconut water I have ever had. So I had two bottles each time we went there.
There is not a lot of seating inside. But Gugar is so popular that people also sit outside on the street. As I said, the atmosphere is really cool. But if you’re more into fancy eateries you will not enjoy this place.
For anyone who is into leftist spots, this is surely going to be the perfect place to hang out in Malta. For a vegan in Malta, this is pretty much the second-best thing to an actual vegan bar.
89a Republic Street, Valletta. Open Tuesday 6 pm to 1 am, Wednesday to Saturday 10 am to 1 am, Sunday 6 pm to 1 am.
Fresh Pasta With Vegan Options
Unless you want to go to the same place every day you’ll probably have to try some non-veg places. Our favorite among these was a fresh pasta restaurant: Pastaus.
Italian food outside of Italy can be hit-and-miss, but we found out right away that Pastaus’ owners are Italian.
Pastaus offers fresh organic pasta with three vegan options which I’ve all tried (spinach, hemp rigatoni, tagliatelle). I tried two different sauces the three times we went there. The first and last time I had an avocado, cherry tomato, zucchini, and almond sauce which was an absolute delight. The second time we went, they recommended the tomato and eggplant sauce with the hemp rigatoni). I also tried their vegan dessert which is an orange jelly with a strawberry sauce. I’m not a fan of jelly, but I wanted to at least try it.
Even though Pastaus is not a vegetarian or vegan place, I would absolutely recommend them. The food is an absolute pleasure to eat and the service is excellent. Once, the kitchen accidentally prepared my sauce with cheese. But the waiter immediately noticed this and sent the food back to get me the vegan option I had ordered. It’s rare for non-vegan places to notice such mistakes themselves and fix them without anyone pointing them out.
I prefer to go to vegan places, but when you’re vegan in Malta that simply isn’t possible so this is a good alternative.
Old Theatre Street, Valletta. Open Monday to Sunday 12 pm to 11 pm.
Vegan Desserts in Malta
The place I went to most often in Malta (four times!) was Theobroma, a cute little pastry shop. They are located in the center of Valletta, right next to Pastaus. They have milkshakes, ice cream, and several scrumptious chocolates.
I tried their peanut butter cup, bountiful bar, vanilla milkshake, pistachio fudge, peanut protein milkshake, and a chocolate milkshake. By far my favorite was the pistachio fudge, of which I’ve had a total of three pieces on two occasions. I wouldn’t recommend more than one in a sitting, however, because as tasty as it is it’s also very heavy.
I was super full after one and a half pieces. I’m a huge fan of pistachios, and one of the things I miss most is pistachio ice cream. So I was delighted to find this pistachio fudge which tasted super luscious. Sadly, they have closed their location. But they still sell their products online, you can even have some of them delivered abroad.
Vegan Ice Cream in Malta
One thing you won’t have to worry much about as a vegan in Malta is ice cream. Some of you will be familiar with the Italian ice cream chain Amorino. I tried Amorino in Italy before I went vegan and loved their delicious ice creams and sorbets. Well, they have a store in downtown Valletta! I asked for vegan options, so they told me there were eleven vegan flavors and that the small and regular cone are vegan.
We also got to try their flavor of the month for free. It was a detox ice cream containing kale, but I wasn’t a big fan. Instead, I went for four other flavors: raspberry, mango, lemon, and Sicilian citrus. That combination was as refreshing as it sounds – perfect for a summer day in the Mediterranean.
Amorino doesn’t use any artificial flavors so the quality is well worth the money. The great thing about Amorino is that you only have to choose a size. But then you can get as many flavors as you wish. The staff was also really friendly despite the fact that there were huge lines when we went.
We made it back a second time where I tried four different flavors: chocolate sorbet, hazelnut sorbet, strawberry, and banana. They were as delicious as the first four flavors. If you’re going to Malta and want vegan ice cream, this is definitely a must.
36 Republic Street, Valletta. Open Monday and Tuesday 8 am to 8 pm, Wednesday 8 am to 9 pm, Friday to Sunday 8 am to 10 pm.
Last Resort Options If You’re Vegan in Malta
I have to be honest with you. Outside of Valletta, you are really going to struggle to find something filling.
When we went to Mdina, the former capital of Malta, we went to a place called Fontanella. They didn’t have any vegan options on their menu, but they were willing to veganize their green salad. In the summer, I don’t like to eat warm meals for lunch because they make me very tired so I usually opt for salads. I also got a smoothie.
However, while the view of the island was lovely, the salad was very disappointing. It was a bit shocking that the salad still cost €10. Sadly, there are barely any places with vegan options in Mdina as of March 2020. I hope that changes soon. Until then, you’re probably better off taking snacks on your day trip to Mdina.
1 Bastion Street, Mdina. Open Monday to Sunday 10 am to 12 am.
The quest to find decent salads for lunch continued in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk. We ended up at a place called The Three Sisters. They also didn’t have any vegan options and whipped up a vegan salad for me. And while it was better than at Fontanella it was still a sad sight. The view was lovely from here. But in small Mediterranean villages, it’s unfortunately still normal not to be able to find decent vegan options. As a vegan in Malta, it’s particularly hard to get decent food once you leave the Valletta area.
Xatt is-Sajjieda, Marsaxlokk. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 4 pm and 7 pm to 11 pm.
One day, we made the mistake of going to St. Thomas Bay in Marsaskala which an older couple had suggested to us. There was absolutely nothing to see or do there, but by the time we arrived, we were hungry. So we went to the first place we could find which was Zion Reggae Bar. I ordered a carrot smoothie, and they were able to veganize a salad. I got a grilled vegetable salad with kale and pine nuts which was the best salad I got in Malta. They even reduced the price to €6 which I appreciated given that I had paid €10 for much simpler salads.
That said, I really wouldn’t recommend this place. First of all there is no reason you would even find yourself in this part of the country. Secondly, there were a lot of flies in the area. I only stayed because I was starving.
Il-Bajja ta’ San Tumas, Marsaskala. Open Friday 6 pm to 1 am, Saturday 6 pm to 2 am, Sunday 4:30 pm to 1 am.
Where Not to Go
As we were wandering the gorgeous streets of Valletta, we stumbled upon a random place called Soul Food. They had a vegan quinoa salad. I usually love quinoa salads – they’re cold, yet filling. But, to be honest, the quinoa tasted burned, and I wanted to be done with it as soon as possible. I wouldn’t recommend this place even though the reviews on Facebook are very good. Needless to say, we didn’t go back there. I get that when you’re vegan in Malta you want some variety, but this is not the place for it.
The most disappointing experience in Malta was the one we had at Juuls Kitchen. According to their Facebook page, they open at 11 am. When we arrived at around 5:30 pm there was a sign saying they open every day at 12 pm.
Nonetheless, nobody came to take our order. They simply put an ashtray on our table which we said we wouldn’t need. Alfonso went inside after a while where several people ignored him. Eventually, he got to ask someone about the food. But they rudely told him that they weren’t serving food yet. So he asked when they would start serving food. The person told him they start serving food at 6 pm. But at that point, it was already 5:55 pm. Such rude behavior and lack of service obviously didn’t make us want to stay around or come back a second time.
To Sum Things Up
Overall, being vegan in Malta wasn’t that difficult, but we ended up going back to the same places after finding them to be of very high quality. Absolutely recommended places in Malta are Gugar, Theobroma, Pastaus, and Green Mood.
But once you leave Valletta, the main island is not going to be easy for you. It would be better to pack snacks, self-cater, and only go out to eat in Valletta. If you are staying on Ghawdex (Gozo) you will be able to frequent the country’s only vegan restaurant.
Have you ever been to Malta? What did you think of the food there?