Maltese cuisine is a unique mixture of Arabic and Italian flavors unlike anything you’ve tried! Traditional Maltese ingredients include rabbit, pork, cheese, pasta, olive oil, vegetables, fish, tomatoes, and flatbreads. The island of Gozo offers its own special gastronomy, which can be sampled at these awesome restaurants in Gozo!
Below are six restaurants we recommend plus photos of the dishes we tried at each.
Also check out our article on Traditional Maltese Food and Drinks
Ta’ Rikardu (Victoria)
Ta’ Rikardu is a delightful, family-owned restaurant located within the Citadel walls of Victoria, making it an ideal lunch spot while touring the old city. Ta’ Rikardu specializes in Gozitan bread, cheese and homemade wine, but also features a few scrumptious local specialties like soups, stews, cheese platters and pasta dishes.
Guests arrive at this rustic venue and once past the limestone entrance arch, are invited to take a seat at one of wooden stools. All food is made the same day, which ensures that each meal is ultra fresh, tasty and authentically Maltese. As it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an entire family to run a restaurant. Hustling back and forth with steaming hot plates of rabbit stew are the siblings and cousins of the owner’s family. You too will feel as though you are part of the family when you come.
This unpretentious restaurant is a casual place where the wine is robust and the food goes straight from the pot to your plate. Sip, sip and enjoy! There is also a small shop inside the restaurant if you wish to purchase Gozo olives, local honey or tomato preserves. Ta’ Rikardu is open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm during winter and 7:00pm during summer.
Best time: Lunch
Rec’s: Gozo platter, pasta with rabbit stew, cheese ravioli, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Contact: (356) 21555953
Ta’ Frenc (Marsalforn Valley)
Who says you need to be in France to enjoy exemplary French cuisine? Ta’ Frenc has become synonymous with upscale, fine dining throughout Malta. This elegantly renovated farmhouse attracts discerning diners who wish to splurge on incredible service and beautifully crafted meals. The chefs and staff at Ta’ Frenc take every opportunity to enhance your experience, from the complimentary champagne upon arrival to the dramatic flambé of each cut of meat.
Quality of food and wine is the number one priority at Ta’ Frenc; it is what has allowed the restaurant its prestigious reputation for over 30 years, and is what keeps customers coming back time and time again. The restaurant features indoor and outdoor dining, a full service bar, an extensive collection of wine (over 600 labels from 200 countries to be exact) and a dedicated, knowledgeable staff.
Ta’ Frenc produces its own branded Champagne and Bordeaux wine, seasons its dishes with herbs from its own garden and produces its own olive oil. Special events are held here frequently like weddings out on the terrace or private business meetings in the wine cellar below. Ta’ Frenc makes memorable meals and provides outstanding service. It is open every day (except Tuesday) for lunch 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm and dinner 7:00pm to 10:00 pm.
Best time: Dinner
Recs: Lobster and prawn bisque, seven-course tasting menu (60 Euros), Ta’ Frenc Champagne, Crepes Suzette Ta’ Frenc
Contact: (356) 21553888
Patrick’s Tmun Lounge & Restaurant (Victoria)
Patrick’s Tmun has been named in a variety of ‘best of’ publications since opening in 2005. Located just outside the heart of Victoria, this modern restaurant is a breath of fresh air when compared to the other monotonous Maltese venues throughout Gozo. Contemporary décor compliments the savory Mediterranean fusion dishes that the restaurant is known for. A considerable list of starters, soups, pastas, steaks and seafood comprises the menu, but unfortunately we all have just one stomach, so pace yourself!
Dishes are marinated, infused, seasoned, drizzled and plated with a variety of techniques to ensure the same result every time- brilliant plates in a fun, contemporary setting. Patrick’s Tmum also boasts an impressive wine list that even its owner, Patrick Buttigieg, isn’t afraid to brag about. Grab a seat at the swanky cocktail bar while you wait for a romantic table for two and look over the tantalizing menu.
Patrick’s Tmum is open for dinner Monday to Saturday 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm, and for lunch (winter only) from 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm. Advance booking is advised.
Victoria, VCT 2735
Since 1973 Il-Kartell has been a trusted name on the island. The restaurant is located inches from the water in Marsalforn and specializes in local recipes. With a strong emphasis on super fresh local produce, Mr. Spiteri and his team craft beautiful dishes out of Gozo’s seasonal bounty. The menu includes hot and cold starters, soups, stews, salads, steaks and of course fresh-caught seafood. The atmosphere here is family-friendly and in true Mediterranean fashion, dishes can be shared among the table.
Guests can dine al fresco, which provides them with unobstructed views of the ocean as well as the best opportunity for people watching along the promenade. Inside, diners can experience the rustic décor, wide arches and relaxing setting of a converted antique boathouse. The service at Il-Kartell is prompt and polite, but the food should be savored with all the time in the world.
Save room for dessert and remember to pair your meal with a bottle of local wine like a red from the Ta’ Mena Estate. There are a number of seaside restaurants in Gozo, but few have had over 39 years of (very) satisfied customers like Il-Kartell. Advance booking is required. Check the website for opening times, as they change with the season.
Best time: Lunch or Dinner
Recs: Bruschetta, mixed antipasto, penne Gozitana, grilled seabass,
Contact: (356) 21556918
Zafiro Ristorante e Bistro (Xlendi)
Situated on the ground floor of the San Andrea Hotel in the quiet, seaside town of Xlendi is Zafiro Ristorante e Bistro. The Xlendi promenade is home to few quaint bars and restaurants, but Zafiro stands out above the rest as an excellent, family-run establishment dedicated to diners’ enjoyment of both food and atmosphere. Owner Jason, his family and staff work diligently to provide personable service and customer satisfaction.
The restaurant features a full service bar, indoor and outdoor seating, air conditioning and an extensive Mediterranean-inspired a la carte menu. Dishes like fresh pastas, risottos, shellfish, fish filets, antipasti and steaks are served daily, and special orders can be requested in advance to comply with dietary requirements or restrictions. Portions are generous, so come ready to eat, share and eat some more. Pair your meal with an Italian white from Umbria or Tuscany.
Zafiro is open everyday for lunch 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and dinner 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm.
Best time: Dinner
Recs: Fried calamari and prawn starter, Carpaccio of Smoked Salmon, Swordfish and Tuna marinated with lime dressing, duck risotto, banoffee pie dessert
Contact: (356) 21565555
After 12 years at the helm of Oleander, one of Gozo’s most celebrated restaurants, the Magrin family has decided to open another restaurant in the heart of Xaghra. DVenue is a chic, contemporary eatery that specializes in traditional Maltese cuisine. Guests can enjoy dining beneath the elegant stone arches on the first floor, or head up the winding staircase to the large open-air terrace on the second floor. The restaurant’s modern furnishings and sultry colors add ambiance to the rustic surroundings of Xaghra.
DVenue features a full service bar complete with a lengthy wine list. On Friday nights guests have the pleasure of unwinding to live music while they sip on cocktails or chow down on Gozitan delicacies. There is no doubt that the Magrin family has mastered the art of entertainment and delivers it to each individual patron of the restaurant. Whether you are in search of a fresh fish filer or a heartier meal of steak and potatoes, DVenue has ample selection of tried and true family recipes.
DVenue is open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm and dinner from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm (closed all day Monday). You can reserve a table via their website or by calling ahead.
Best time: Dinner
Recs: Soup of the day, fried rabbit with red wine glaze, roasted lamb, homemade dessert, house red wine.
Contact: (356) 21566542
Do you have any restaurants in Gozo that you recommend? Leave us a comment below!