Raffael | Sunshine and simplicity

Now that spring is officially here and the days are longer, the time has come to spend long afternoons lunching in the sun. And no place does that better than Raffael in St Julian’s

Raffael from across the water in Spinola Bay
Raffael from across the water in Spinola Bay

Many locations on the island sell sunny spots with great views either at a huge premium or keep their prices low and serve sub-standard food. Because Raffael does neither of these things it becomes a who’s who of diners and sun seekers as soon as the sun peeps through the clouds.

Catch some rays and grab a bite to eat whilst watching the world go by at Raffael in Spinola Bay
Catch some rays and grab a bite to eat whilst watching the world go by at Raffael in Spinola Bay

In the picturesque Spinola Bay, Raffael is close enough to the bustling St Julian’s to be convenient, though just that little bit removed from it, allowing you bask in the sun and watch the world go by across the glistening waters complete with reflective colours of old fishing boats. A great spot for tourists to enjoy a spot of local colours, it is also filled with locals mingling among tables, sipping rose in the sun and enjoying a variety of simple dishes.

The food at Raffael is varied yet fresh. Simple dishes made with the best local ingredients using simple cooking methods and some traditional recipes. As this is one of my regular haunts I know the menu inside out and often decide what I’m going to eat as I’m driving to the restaurant. There are few pizzas on the island I would really recommend and Raffael goes down as one of my favourite spots for pizza – thin and crispy, with the prefect combination of tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and my favourite toppings – Parma ham, rocket and Parmeggiano shavings.

If you’re looking for something lighter, try one of the salads, brimming with tasty ingredients so will be sure to enjoy a healthy lunch without feeling food envy when the boys order pasta or pizza.

If you’re looking for something more substantial, try something from the grill, kebabs served with couscous or half a roast chicken that is moist and tasty. As the restaurant is situated in an old boathouse surrounded by fishing boats, nets and other fishing paraphernalia, the fresh fish on the menu is also worth a shot.

If you’re looking for a fancy spot for a long, drawn out lunch then head upstairs to sister restaurants, San Guiliano, or Girasole on the roof of Raffael that opens when the summer kicks in, but Raffael is all about no-fuss fare, in a casual atmosphere, where you can eat and spend the afternoon chatting with friends and enjoying the first bit of outdoors of the season. You can’t reserve a table, so get there early to pick the best table and lean back and enjoy a pre-lunch drink over the long weekend ahead.

Raffael is open daily from 9:00am to midnight.


Spinola Bay,

St Julian’s

Tel: 21352000

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.raffaelrestaurant.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Raffael/183800815060772