Root 81, situated in Rabat, was rated top overall restaurant for 2022 at The Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants Awards Ceremony held at The Xara Lodge last Monday.

The awards celebrated Malta and Gozo’s top survey-rated restaurants as voted by diners out who participated in the Malta & Gozo Restaurant Survey online at in September.

Based on diner voting, only 150 restaurants made it to be included free in the The Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants in Malta & Gozo and on its official portal  

The results were revealed by Lisa Grech, managing director of the Definitive(ly) Good Guide Co., and were presented by Carlo Micallef, CEO of Malta Tourism Authority, Adrian Cachia from Global Payments, Giuliana Isolani and Cost Spiteri from Nestlé (Malta) and Mark Ciantar of Continental Purchasing on behalf of Schonwald, Germany, who supplied the commemorative award plates for the occasion.

This year’s Malta & Gozo Restaurant Survey conducted in September 2022 returned a high number of responses, with 3,557 participants who dined out on average one to two times a week, equivalent to a total of 277,446 dining experiences in a year.

The latest edition of the guide sees 27 new restaurants in the The Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants in Malta & Gozo which was launched on the evening. The information in the guide is also included in its newly revamped portal, which was also launched on the evening. 

The top 40 award-winning restaurants were taken from the highest rated restaurants, taking into account their overall rating, the number of people rating, comments and other data from the survey.

The top 40 restaurants winning award plates in order from most highly rated were: Root 81; The Golden Fork; The Phoenix; Risette; The Aft Galley; Grotto Tavern; Al Sale; Ta’ Tona; Maggie’s; Rebekah’s; Susurrus; Da Luigi; Noni; L’Orangerie Bistro; Step 15; Beppe’s; Onda Blu; Venus; Barbajean; Ristorante La Vela; Galea’s Kitchen; Surf N Turf; Il-Ħnejja; Tal-Familja; Under Grain; La Vida; Meraki Wine & Dine; de Mondion; MUŻA; Palazzo Preca; LOA; Fernando Gastrotheque; Ta’ Frenċ; Tarragon; The Sixth Leaf; Il-Bitħa; Ion at the Harbour; Bahia; Hammett’s Mestizo; and Dinner in the Sky.

Jean Pierre Dingli of Barbajean receiving the best chef award.Jean Pierre Dingli of Barbajean receiving the best chef award.

Additional awards were given in various categories

■ Best food (sponsored by American Express): Venus;

■ Best ambience: LOA;

■ Restaurant most dedicated to supporting local and best local wine list (sponsored by The Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Animal Rights): de Mondion and Country Terrace respectively;

■ Best restaurant in Gozo (sponsored by The Ministry for Gozo): Al Sale;

■ The best chef award (sponsored by Pentole Agnelli represented exclusively by The Catering Centre): Jean Pierre Dingli of Barbajean;

■ Best business entertainment (sponsored by Spiteri Catering): Caviar & Bull;

■ Best newcomer (sponsored by The Food Factory): The Aft Galley;

■ Most children-friendly restaurant (sponsored by the Malta Baby & Kids Directory): Don Royale;

■ Best Maltese restaurant (sponsored by Malta Tourism Authority): Diar il-Bniet;

■ Most romantic restaurant: Barbajean;

■ Best value for money restaurant (sponsored by Horeca Magazine) – Il-Kartell;

■ Best vegetarian restaurant (sponsored by FNG Supplies Co. Ltd): Emma’s Kitchen;

■ Favourite café (sponsored by Buondi’): Busy Bee.

The Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants in association with Vini e Capricci by Abraham’s Wine Awards were as follows:

■ The people’s choice wine list (taken from the results of the surveys):


■ Best overall wine list: Fernandos Gastrotheque;

■ Best presented wine list: Barbajean;

■ Best wine by the glass selection: Hammett’s Mestizo;

■ Best fine wine list: Tarragon;

■ Best short wine list: Barbajean;

■ Best Port wine list: Country Terrace.

The results of the Restaurant Survey can be found in the 2023 edition of The Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants in Malta and Gozo which is now available to purchase online at It is also available at leading stationers and bookshops in Malta & Gozo.

The awards ceremony was sponsored by the Malta Tourism Authority, Global Payments and Nestlé (Malta) representing Buondi.

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