As you walk down the steps in St John’s Streets towards St Barbara Bastion, at the very bottom you will find a very humble looking outlet. Small and dark on the inside, the action at the Sicilia Bar & Restaurant happens on the magnificent public terrace that commands views of Grand Harbour and the fortifications. The plastic table and chairs outside might lead you to think that this is nothing much, but don’t be fooled by first appearances. This is one place you’re going to want to experience.
If you’re after the genuinely Maltese lunch experience, this is it. At the Sicilia Bar & Restaurant the menu is simple – mostly pasta-based – and there are no frills. But the cooking is genuine, homely and extremely well-priced for such a prime spot in the city. Our advice is to pick a sunny day and make the most of it, starting out with a couple of spritz and taking your time. After all, nabbing a table here is like finding gold. So you may as well make the most of it when you’ve got it.
Sicilia Bar & Restaurant – what to try
We do have some personal recommendations as tried and tested by the Very Valletta team. Seafood is a big deal here – anything with mixed seafood or, even better, fresh cozze (mussels) is a guaranteed win. When in season, the spaghetti rizzi (sea urchins) are definitely worth trying. The little morsels are becoming increasingly difficult to find, but the chefs at Sicilia Bar & Restaurant know how to get the best flavour with a simple, olive oil and garlic based pasta sauce and homemade linguini.
If you have space for desserts, ask for the homemade apple pie with ice-cream or the cassatella Siciliana. The latter is not always available, but this decadently-rich ricotta-based sweet is very beloved by the Maltese and it’s easy to understand why. The one served at Sicilia Bar & Restaurant is the real deal, freshly prepared the traditional way.