Have you heard people talk about the wonders of Venetian cuisine and you are looking for a trattoria where you can try this amazing food?
You won't find any. And don't get us wrong - Venice is full of famous and prestigious restaurants which excel in preparing local specialities; the thing is, we don't call them restaurants. Of course, there are many classic restaurants and pizzerias, but if you want to know where to eat in Venice to experience its authentic cuisine, you need to look for osterie, malvasie, cicchetterie or, even better, bacari.
To try the pleasure of real Venetian food and wine, you need to carefully select which restaurants to go to (let's call them restaurants, to make things easier).
This is why it's important to trust those who know the city well, like the experts at Avventure Bellissime, who will recommend the best restaurants and bars to eat in Venice.
In the osterie, you can try traditional cuisine and taste dishes such as Venetian-style liver, the "risi e bisi" (rice with peas) and creamed cod, while you can opt for a bacaro or a malvasia for a quicker meal based on cicchetti (small dishes similar to Spanish tapas) accompanied by the best Venetian and Italian wines.
Many restaurants in Venice will allow you to eat al fresco and look out onto the canals, watching Venetian life go by.
Below you will find a list of restaurants in Venice that have been recommended to us by our Venetian friends and/or clients who have taken our tours in the past. We have provided a list of different types of eateries ranging from casual stand-up bars where you can chooose from a vast array of typical Venetians snacks and local wines as you rub shoulders with the locals to fine restaurants where you can truly celebrate La Dolce Vita.
Different types of Restaurants & Eateries in Venice
Bacaro's or Chiccetteria's - Tired of formal dining at restaurants, or too busy sightseeing to spare time to sit down at a restaurant, then try one of the local Venetian bars where you can endulge in an incredible assortment of local snacks accompanied by local wines while rubbing shoulders with the locals.
These hole-in-wall eateries are basic stand-up places where there is no room for tables or chairs as the locals congregate to catch-up on the local gossip and grab a snack or two before their evening meal. A visit to a Bacaro is an enchanting experience and is best visited either prior to dining at a restaurant or for grabbing a quick lunch on the go between your sightseeing.
Osteria's - Typically these types of restaurants are family-run affairs serving up the best of local fare. Hidden away on side streets and alleyways throughout the major cities of Italy they offer arguably the best value and most authentic experience for travellers visiting Venice and Italy. Popular with the locals as well, not everyone can afford to dine in an expensive restaurant, your find them brimming over with atmosphere and charm of the real Italy.
Ethnic Restaurants - Italians are extreme nationalists when it comes to food! And probably for this reason you won't find many Ethnic restaurants outside the major cities, as the typical Italian wants Italian food! But, slowly but surely there has been signs of a minopr revolution as more and more Ethnic restaurants are starting to appear.
Restaurants in Venice - A selection of recommended restaurants in Venice where you can indulge in local delicacies and delicious regional wines from the famous vineyards of the Veneto & Friuli.
Fish is the speciality of Venice and the fine white wines of the Veneto and Fruili combined with the mouth-watering specialities of the lagoon make an irresistible combination.
Cannaregio 3054, Fondamenta Capuzine, San Girolamo - Venice
Not far from the Jewish Ghetto, this old "osteria" offers simple and traditional fish dishes. Ideal for those looking for restaurants not on the usual tourist itineraries.
Osteria da Alberto
Cannaregio 5401, calle Giacinto Gallina, Santi Giovanni e Paolo - Venice
Recommended by many guide books, this rustic tavern is frequented by Venetians too! Enjoy traditional Venetian dishes such as Sarde in soar, spaghetti Busara, and squid in their ink with polenta. Located close to the San Giovanne e Paolo church enjoy a delightful walk through enchanting local neighbourhood after dining at one of Venice's best value dining establishments whose staff are friendly and helpful.
Osteria Da Andrea
Cannaregio 1423, Venice
A pleasant and relaxing atmosphere, if not luxurious, the perfect example of a Venetian Osteria. It's advisable to reserve, especially in the summer months whenthe restaurant also has tables set up outside.
The menu is mainly based on fish dishes, but there are always several meat dishes , as well as a good selection of Italian cheeses. Close attention is paid to products in season, especially regarding fish which is purchased daily from the nearby Rialto market and never frozen.
There is an excellent variety of both raw and cooked vegetables, and from April to June, you can find the purple artichokes of Sant'Erasmo that are used for certain dishes. Amongst the first courses you can try ‘bigoli in salsa', (pasta with sardines, raisins and pine nuts), or penne with a fresh peas and broad bean sauce. Whilst during the winter you can sample ‘pasta e fagioli'.
For second course try ‘seppie in nero con la polenta' (cuttlefish cooked in its black ink and served with polenta), ‘I sardoni in agrodolce' (sardines in a sweet and sour sauce). This is a typical dish from the Istrian area of Italy, from where Elena originates.
Also on the menu is ‘pesce spada al forno'(baked sword fish with a spicy aubergine sauce). Or alternatively ‘fegato alla veneziana' (liver and onions), or sausages cooked in a red wine and thyme sauce served with polenta. Amongst the homemade deserts you will find strawberry tartlets with chestnut honey, or ‘pannacotta' with chocolate sauce.
Osteria Antico Dolo
San Polo 778, ruga vecchia San Giovanni, Rialto - Venice
This restaurant dates from the 14th Century. Features typical Venetian cuisine "bacala mantecato", fish "pasticcio", "gnocchi" with pumpkin, and grilled bass and scampi.
Osteria al Mascaron
Castello 5525, calle lunga Santa Maria Formosa - Venice
One of the most popular restaurants in town, so it's best to book a table in advance. Main dishes include spaghetti with mussels, "astese" or cuttle-fish ink.
Osteria Do Mori
San Polo 429, calle dei Do Mori, Rialto - Venice
One of the most ancient and typical restaurants in Venice. A wine lovers paradise, with delicious sandwiches to accompany the excellent wines.
Ethnic restaurants in Venice whose menus reflect the cuisine of other countries or cultures other than Italian.
Cannaregio, Calle de l'Aseo, 1885 - Venice
This popular Mexican restaurant offers Guacamole, burritos and many other specialities. This restaurant is very popular with the student crowd and local residents of the Cannaregio district. There is always a lively atmosphere and if you arrive early tables are set-up outisde the restaurant in the summer months along the fondamenta over-looking the canal.
Cannaregio 1122, sotoportego del Ghetto vecchio, ponte delle Guglie - Venice
Israeli, Jewish-Askenazite and Italian Jewish specialities. The only Jewish restaurant in Venice, located a stones-throw away from the Jewish Ghetto.
Restaurants in Venice
Established restaurants in Venice that offer high quality food and wines.
RISTORANTE ANICE STELLATO
Cannaregio, 3272 Fondamenta de la Sensa
This restaurant is tastefully decorated with two rooms, one of which is non-smoking. Located in the Cannaregio district of Venice, It's a family run business with home made cooking of expert ‘mamma' Luciana helped by her son Silvio and his wife Franca. Whilst her other son Alessandro and his wife Martina will provide you with hospitality and expertly serve you mainly fish dishes, purchased daily from the fish market of Rialto.
The fragrance of ‘carpaccio di tonno'(tuna slice) served with thyme and dill, of salmon or of sword fish, not to mention ‘sarde in saor'(a Venetian dish of sardines and onions) are just a few examples of starters.
Amongst first course dishes you will find ‘tagliatelle con scampi e fior di zucchine' (tagliatelle with scampi and courgettes) and ‘alla Buranella', (the pasta is home-made and arrives from Naples) A good variety of Risottos such as ‘risotto al nero di seppie' (risotto cooked in black ink from cuttlefish) or ‘pesce alla Luciana' (risotto of fish).
During the winter there is the well known ‘pasta e fagioli' (minestrone of pasta and beans) on the menu. Amongst the second courses something highly recommended is the generous helping of ‘frittura di pesce' (mixed fried fish), also fresh salmon flavoured with dill, gilthead, and the typical ‘seppie al nero con polenta' (cuttlefish served with polenta). As an alternative to fish, you can choose from the excellent selection of fresh and seasoned cheeses, such as vezzena and various goats cheeses.
Although not a vast selection of wine, there are some regional examples, whilst on tap, white wine is very good and drinkable. It is worth mentioning that there is also the possibility of sampling typical ‘cicheti' (typical Venetian snacks)such as ‘folpeti' or ‘canoce' served at the bar with ‘un'ombrete' (a glass of wine)
RISTORANTE DA CARLETTO
Castello 5272, calle de le Bande, Santa Maria Formosa - Venice
Very characteristic restaurant offering international cuisine. Specialties include fish and vegetarian dishes.
RISTORANTE AGLI ALBORETTI
Dorsoduro 882, rio tera Foscarini, Accademia - Venice
Traditional Venetian cuisine in a refined and classic ambiente.
RISTORANTE HARRY'S DOLCI
Guidecca 773, fondamenta San Biagio - Venice
Cheaper than Harry's Bar with tables facing the Giudecca Canal and Venice.
Other high-quality restaurants in Venice we recommend:
San Marco area:
ANTICO CALICE: Calle dei Stagneri, San Marco 5228
TRATTORIA DA FIORE: Calle de le Botteghe, San Marco 3461
ROSA ROSSA: Calle de la Mandola, San Marco 3709
RISTORANTE ALLE MASCHERE (Splendid hotel): San Marco 760
ACIUGHETA: Campo SS. Filippo e Giacomo, Castello 4510
TRATTORIA DA REMIGIO: Salizada dei Greci, Castello 3416
OSTERIA OLIVA NERA: Salizada dei Greci, Castello 3417
EL MAGAZEN: Calle Larga Gallina, Castello 5402
San Polo area:
LE ANTICHE CARAMPANE: Rio Terà de le Carampane, San Polo 1911
TRATTORIA ALLA MADONNA: Calle della Madonna, San Polo 594
Santa Croce area:
OSTERIA ZANZE XVI: Santa Croce 231
AL TIMON: Fondamenta dei Ormesini, Canareggio 2754
OSTERIA AL CANTINON: Sottoportego de le Colonete, Canareggio 2152
VECIA CAVANA: Via Tera Santi Apostoli, Canareggio 4624
ONIGA: Campo San Barnaba, Dorsoduro 2852
AL BOTTEGON GIA’ SCHIAVI (cicchetti tasting!): Fondamenta Nani, Dorsoduro 992
RISTORANTE RIVIERA: Fondamenta Zattere Al Ponte Lungo, Dorsoduro 1473
Typical food to taste:
CICCHETTI, you can find them everywhere; these are appetizers like a fishball,
there are 1000 and you can try them with a glass of wine as an aperitif!
RISOTTO, traditional way of cooking rice
PASTA with fish
BACCALA' MANTECATO, the best cod ever
FISH there are so many things that you can try,
and these are all included in cicchetti, very small portions of traditional food to taste
Nightlife & Entertainment
We have listed a couple of suggestions, but also look-out for bill-boards as you walk around Venice as there are often concerts and clubs in nearby Mestre.
Ca' Vendramin Calergi, Cannaregio 2040 - Venice
It's not Las Vegas! But given the location and ambience, it offers those who want to gamble a unique experience.
CASANOVA MUSIC CAFE'
Lista di Spagna 158/a - Venice
Located near the railway station, it also has internet connections and food available.