With more than 10% of people in Europe following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, many holiday destinations offer visiting veggies a wide range of cuisine and products to make their stay more enjoyable, and Malta is no exception.
Here’s some tips for being meatless in Malta.
1. Food Shopping
Filling up the fridge is easy in Malta, as veggie staples can be found in most supermarkets and grocery stores across the island. More specific ingredients, especially required if there are any vegans in your party, may also be found in health food stores, which are more likely to stock items like tofu or vegan cheese.
Malta’s fresh produce – acknowledged to be some of the best in Europe – is also readily available from the regular street markets in most larger towns, road-side produce trucks, and at the Farmer’s Market held weekly at Ta’Qali. The latter are ideal if you’re also trying to buy your produce plastic packaging-free.
2. Eating Out
Going out to a restaurant for lunch or dinner can prove challenging for vegetarians, no matter what country you’re in. Fortunately, Malta offers a variety of options for meat-free eating out. Most restaurants include clearly-marked vegetarian and vegan options on their menus, so dining with non-vegetarian friends and family is still possible. Meanwhile, a quick chat with your waiter will normally ensure any specific dietary needs can be accommodated.
Popular local vegan and vegetarian-focussed establishments include Soul Food and The Grassy Hopper, both based in capital city Valletta. But be sure to also check out Le Bistro at the Radisson Blu Resort St Julian’s, which recently launched a specialised vegan and vegetarian menu that includes a range of delicious starters, pastas, main courses and desserts that are all in keeping with the veggie lifestyle.
3. Coffee Shops & Sweets
Café culture is very strong in Malta, with a massive choice of coffee shops and tearooms available in every town and village across the island. Several of these also serve vegan and vegetarian desserts, many of them raw. Vegan milk choices are also increasingly available – even coffee shop giant Costa Coffee has recently introduced non-dairy milk choices to its beverage menu.
Fortunately, Maltese traditional sweets are typically vegetarian, with pastizzi (ricotta cheese-filled filo pastries) and imqaret (deep-fried date pastries) being popular favourites. Vegans can enjoy Maltese bread known as ‘hobz’, which is delicious with fresh olive oil, local tomatoes, and perhaps the Maltese bean paste called ‘bigilla’.
4. Personal and Home Care
Being vegetarian in Malta can also be extended to home and beauty supplies. Virtually all health shops on the island offer veggie personal care and cleaning items, and the Soap Café in Sliema specialises in these products. This means you can enjoy gorgeous-smelling products safe in the knowledge that they’re also cruelty free.
So, with all of the above in mind, you can be sure that being vegetarian or vegan in Malta is easily achievable, and actually very tasty!
Do you have any other tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!