Restaurants in the North of Malta – Eating out in St Paul’s Bay & Mellieħa
Malta’s northern region is well-known for its golden sandy beaches, holiday-like semblance and seaside villages. In the winter, the quiet atmosphere that’s found in the area contrasts from that of Malta’s bustling capital city, Valletta. But as the spring season hits the island and the sun’s rays brightly light up the sky, the sleepy town of St Paul’s Bay and the village of Mellieħa slowly start to awaken. And as the months pass by and the scorching summer heat rolls in, the north of Malta is transformed into one of the busiest destinations where many locals and tourists enjoy a swim at one of the bays and have a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in the north.
Take a boat ride, walk along the coast and have lunch at restaurants in St Paul’s Bay
In times gone by, St Paul’s Bay was merely a small fishing village. Yet, over the years, the village has transformed itself into the largest town in Malta’s northern region consisting of various hamlets including Xemxija, Qawra, Burmarrad and Bugibba. It is widely believed that the town was named as such after the biblical figure St Paul who once found himself shipwrecked on the island and is thought to have introduced Christianity whilst here.
As you arrive in the heart of St Paul’s Bay, you can expect to experience typical Maltese village life. Although the area has witnessed tremendous change over the years with many buildings having been knocked down and replaced with multi-storey apartments in the process, the seaside town has still managed to retain its character. As you walk past the fishmonger, fruit and vegetable vendor and bakery in the town’s main street, you’ll notice people darting in and out of shops whilst doing their daily errands. And once you’ve headed into the side streets and managed to get to the coastline, you’ll be able to see the blue waters speckled with fishing boats that line St Paul’s Bay coast. If the weather permits, embarking on a walk along the wide promenade will enable you to see the rest of St Paul’s Bay’s small fishing harbour as well as grant you the opportunity to buy an ice cream from one of the nearby kiosks. However, if you’re there around lunch time and the waft of fresh fish being cooked at one of the restaurants in St Paul’s Bay has entered your nostrils, we recommend that you take a seat and sample a plate of locally-caught fresh fish cooked the Maltese way, accompanied by a side of roast potatoes. Alternatively, keep walking on the promenade until you get to the square in Buġibba where you’ll be able to take your pick and choose from multiple restaurants and pubs serving delicious pizzas, juicy burgers and sweet treats for you to enjoy.
Explore the sites, soak up the sun and dine at restaurants in Mellieħa
After you’ve had lunch, opt to visit Mellieħa by car – St Paul’s Bay‘s neighbouring village which sits on top of a hill surrounded by fertile grassy valleys. As you head out of St Paul’s Bay, you’ll be able to see the boats that dot the charming seaside hamlet, Xemxija. And once you’ve driven up Xemxija hill and gone round the bend, you’ll be right on the road to Mellieħa.
On driving up the road which snakes up the steep slope, greenery will surround you until you’ve reached the top of the village. If the beach is what you’re after, head further into Mellieħa and down the steep winding slope until you get to a golden sandy beach known as Għadira. If you’d rather see some sites instead of soaking up the sun, you can start by heading to Popeye Village where you’ll be able to see what’s left of the film set where the famous Popeye movie was filmed in 1980. Next drive along the bay and head to the Red tower – a striking structure which dates back to the times of the knights. And lastly, visit the village’s Baroque Parish Church before it gets dark and you’ll be able to take in Mellieħa’s sweeping panoramic views and multi-coloured sky as the sun slowly sets. Once it’s night time, take a seat at one of the local restaurants in Mellieħa and enjoy some white wine and some fine dining.
If you’re looking for something to eat whilst in St Paul’s Bay and Mellieħa, our map pinpoints the best restaurants in the north of the island gem which have gained the Quality Assured Malta seal of approval.