The Battle of Malta is all about poker, of course. But it's also all about having a good time - at the tables and away from the tables.
Food lovers, read on to find out what culinary adventures await you during your trip to Mediterranean Malta.
If you''re the proud owner of a full Battle of Malta Premium package the Hilton will provide you with a very nice breakfast every morning.
In the evening you're also free to enjoy the dinner buffet right at the Casino Portomaso. Every night there will be an array of different Italian, Maltese and international dishes. You won’t be able to try everything even if you make it to Day 3.
If you only purchased the buy-in, or if you're curious what else Malta has to offer, there is a vast range of restaurants, eateries and diners in your close proximity.
We are going to introduce you to a few of the best. These are places that the editors have tried and tested themselves. They are by no means connected to the Battle of Malta, and our opinions are totally subjective. But that’s what dining out is about, isn’t it?
So here they are, in no particular order:
The place to go if you're out for pasta or pizza. If you walk down from the Hilton, turn right and then left again, you'll see it.
Avenue is one of the larger places in St. Julian’s and, at first glance, it looks like a typical tourist trap. However, food and pizza come in good quality and copious portions.
This restaurant is on the cheaper side and if you prefer to eat back in your hotel you can even get it delivered to your place. Watch out, though, delivery can take some time.
Of course, you can also enjoy beef, chicken, or pork dishes. There is even a duck breast on the menu and the grill is always hot and working.
Suggestions: Pizza, Pasta.
Entrée prices: €6-20
Address: The Avenue, Triq Gort, St. Julian’s
Tel.: +356 2135 1735
Walking distance from Casino Portomaso: <5 min
Meet – Argentinian Steakhouse
Wanna go for a proper piece of meat? This is just the right place for you.
“Meet” is located at the bottom of Spinola Bay. If you see a large “LOVE” sign, it’s right on the opposite side of the street.
We went there during the week and the place was busy, but not packed. We tried Sirloin, Ribeye and the special Rump steak with melted blue cheese.
All of the steaks were cooked perfectly to the right temperature, sides are fresh and well done, and you can sit outside on the terrace with a nice view of the bay.
The restaurant offers steaks in at least three different sizes so you can easily find the one the “fits” you the best.
Prices are also decent. They are a little above Maltese average, but you pay for high quality.
Suggestions: Steaks, mashed potatoes
Entree Prices: €15-25
Address: Meet Argentinian Steak House, Spinola Bay, St. Julian’s
Tel.: +356 777 999 22
Opening hours: 6 PM to late, sometimes very late
Walking distance: 6 min
When you come to Malta you should at least once go to a good fish restaurant. After all, we are in the middle of the Mediterranean.
One of several restaurants at your disposal is the Dolce Vita on the main street down to Spinola Bay. Right when you walk in you’ll find yourself embraced by the soothing, calm atmosphere in the reception area where you will be waiting until one of the waiters takes you upstairs to the actual restaurant.
It features a balcony with a very nice view over Spinola Bay, but make sure you book a table in advance as the terrace tables are naturally the first ones to fill up.
The starters are the stars of the menu. If you are a fish lover, treat yourself to some of the tuna tartar or smoked whitefish.
At the end of the day it's a very nice dining experience. Maybe you should even take a little more time than just the dinner break to be able to enjoy it fully.
Suggestions: Tuna tartar, fish starters, meat entrees.
Entrée prices: €15-30
Address: 159, St. Georges Road, Spinola Bay, St. Julian’s
Tel.: +356 2133 8906
Opening hours: 7PM – 12PM
Walking distance: <5 min
If you're not the kind of person who wants to walk a lot, but you are the kind of person who really likes to spoil themselves, this is the place for you to go. Especially if you are into Asian food.
The Blue Elephant features a stylish, authentic interior, without the tackiness of your regular Chinese place. It is located on the lower floors of the Hilton Hotel.
Service is outstanding. The waiters are always present, but never visible. They explain the wines and dishes to you if you have any questions, and they will always be there to refill your glass as soon as you take even the smallest of sips.
The food is absolutely top quality. Start with classics like spring rolls or Dim Sim (minced pork, shrimp and crab), or try the Thai national dish Tom Yam, which is a very spicy and delicious soup.
There is a wide variety of sea food, chicken or lamb currys, and plenty of other Thai dishes including vegetarian delicacies. A comprehensive wine list and a selection of exquisite deserts top things off.
When you're finished you will be presented with hot towels before you take your espresso or a glass of Mekhong, if you’re that kind of guy.
The Blue Elephant is listed as no. 18 of the best restaurants in Malta on tripadvisor but it definitely deserves a spot in the top three. This will surely be a dinner you won’t forget.
Suggestions: Tom Yam, duck, lamb curry.
Entree prices: €15-25
Address: Blue Elephant, Hilton Hotel, St. Julian’s
Tel.: +356 21 383 383
Opening hours: 7-11 PM
Walking distance: <5 min
This is the best fish restaurant in Malta – at least, that’s what Barracuda says.
They have a point, though, as this restaurant has been frequented by an impressive line-up of international stars including Madonna, Guy Ritchie, Claudia Schiffer, Alex Ferguson, David Beckham, Eros Ramazzotti and the complete Liverpool FC football team.
You will be treated to delicately prepared carpaccios of octopus, beef, and even prawns. The carpaccios have their own category on the menu and are a real claim to fame.
When you move on to the entree we suggest you don’t pick from the menu but rather talk to one of the waiters and have them tell you the catch of the day. Talk to them about how you like your fish and what you like with it, and they will find a way to match and even exceed your highest expectations.
While you eat there will constantly be several staff waiting on you to make sure you have an excellent dining experience. Your dinner will be pricy, but it will also be great.
If you get lucky you will sit at one of the tables on the balcony where you will be literally sitting above the water. Quite a unique experience.
Barracuda restaurant is located on the upper corner of Balluta Bay, which is the next bay to the East seen from Spinola Bay. As this is quite a walk – of course, you can always take a bus or a taxi – we suggest you go to this place either as a compensation for your unlucky bust-out or to celebrate reaching the final table of the Battle of Malta.
Suggestions: Catch of the Day
Entrée prices: €25-50
Address: Barracuda Restaurant, 194 Main Street, St. Julian’s.
Tel.: +356 2133 1817
Opening hours: 7-11 PM
Walking distance: 20 min
More highly acclaimed restaurants in the area: Assaggi, Maltese Mama, Ir-Rokna, 1927.
Have a Good Time!
You'll only be here in Malta for a couple of evenings but that’s exactly why you should make the most of it. Hopefully, we can help you a little bit.
Feel free to talk to the PokerListings staff in the tournament area for more local advice. We are always around!