Travelling with the family brings a whole new dimension to holiday mealtimes, as parents need to consider what their younger companions could (and will) eat in a new country with different cuisine. Luckily, Malta is a family-focused island with extensive restaurant offerings. From Italian delicacies at Da Marina to American favourites at Henry J. Bean’s and Maltese theme nights at Fra Martino, there’s plenty of choice for both fussy and adventurous eaters. If you’re travelling with children, follow this guide to the best family-friendly restaurants in Malta.
With a beautiful poolside terrace and a large and varied menu, Fra Martino at Corinthia St George’s Bay is a great choice for families. Even the pickiest children will find something to tempt their taste buds in the extensive international buffet spread or à la carte menu of Mediterranean specials. The restaurant also hosts a variety of themed nights. Wednesday is Italian Night on the terrace and Maltese Night in the main restaurant, Fridays are dedicated to international flavours and seafood is the speciality on Saturdays. There’s also a weekly Sunday lunch, complete with a traditional carvery.
For distinctive Italian cuisine, look no further than Da Marina. While the main menu is adults-focused with an abundance of fresh pastas, salads and seafood, there’s a special menu (complete with games) for younger diners that’s packed with everything that children tend to love, such as pizza, chicken nuggets, spaghetti with meatballs, burgers and ice cream. Kids willing to try something new can’t go wrong with the grilled mini swordfish.
Henry J. Bean's is an all-American grill and bar with a relaxed, child-friendly ambience and a hearty food and drinks menu. Ideal for those days when all your youngster will eat is chips, diners can treat themselves to burgers, grills and smokehouse specialities, washed down with cocktails for the adults and chocolate drinks for the kids. There’s also a mountain of desserts for those in need of a sugary pick-me-up – the indulgent Hanks Sunday goes down a treat whatever your age.
St Julian’s is one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods in Malta. Located just to the north of the historic city of Valletta, it is the place to go to enjoy a meal overlooking the harbour. When dining with children, there are a number of great restaurants in Malta, including family-friendly pizzeria and trattoria Piccolo Padre. Book to secure a table on the terrace overlooking Balluta Bay and enjoy large freshly made pizzas and traditional dishes such as local rabbit. There’s also a kids’ menu filled with child-friendly options and an open kitchen where children can watch their food being prepared.
If you’ve been exploring the north of the island, stop off for a bite at family-run restaurant Ta’ Marija and experience true Maltese hospitality and authentic local cuisine. Don’t miss Folklore Nights on Fridays and Wednesdays, during which a lively cast takes diners on a journey through Maltese history as told through dance. Guests of all ages are welcome and there’s a kids’ menu for the little ones.
Malta has perfected its bakes – this is the island that invented the ftira flatbread and crispy pea-stuffed pastizzi, after all. Nenu the Artisan Baker is a popular hub in the heart of Valletta that serves arguably the best baked goods in Malta. Testament to its success are the hordes of local families within. Children are welcome, and there’s plenty to satiate the smallest appetite. Fussy eaters can play it safe with the pizza-like ftira, while more adventurous types can sample meaty Maltese classics.
Take a seat beneath the parasols at Mint, which overlooks Sliema’s waterfront, to enjoy fresh, homecooked food with a healthy-eating ethos. Run by New Zealanders, it serves the usual easy line-up of salads, sandwiches and smoothies, with some of the most delicious cakes on the island. If the little ones are outright refusing their greens, be content that they are at least gleaning some plant-based nourishment from the vegan banana bread and carrot cake.
While not strictly a restaurant per se, Is-Suq tal-Belt makes it into our list of best family-friendly restaurants in Malta because of its suits-all approach to dining. This upscale food market has commandeered a beautiful 19th-century building to serve a range of international and local classics, from paella and pastizzi to ramen and risotto. It’s visual, it’s fun, and there’s plenty to tempt even the fussiest of eaters.