The Best 15 Restaurants in Venice
If Rome is the heart of Italy, then Venice could be considered its stomach. My favourite part about the cucina Veneta is the variety. Fresh, local ingredients are at the root of every dish, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be. The region’s prime position, anchored between land and sea, allows for daily catches of fish and seafood (what an evocative name—frutti di mare, the “fruits of the sea”). Just a few of the local catches? These seaborne ingredients mingle with seasonal vegetables and meats from independent farmers, and hearty risottos from the nearby rice fields. Lest we forget the wine—this is the home of celebrated varieties like Valpolicella, Amarone and Prosecco.
To dine like a Venetian, start your evening before dinner even begins. Venetians enjoy gathering prior to their main meal to socialize over tapas and cichetti (Italian-style snacks). You’ll find them nibbling with a glass of wine in hand (surely a label from the Veneto) in their neighbourhood bacari, which are intimate and lively wine bars that are usually tucked away on side streets or in quiet squares.
These bacari and other more relaxed spots like trattoria (taverns) are typically open from around 12 pm to 2 pm for lunch service and reopen from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm for a light dinner or aperitivo. Fine dining establishments will generally serve lunch between 1 pm and 3 pm and dinner between 7:30 pm and 10 pm. Seemingly born with impeccable style, the Venetians like to dress up. While smart casual is fine for bacari and trattorias, men should wear jackets (though a tie is not necessary) for dinner service.
Though a daunting task, we managed to narrow down our 15 favourite spots to sip and savour the local cuisine in Venice. Find yours on our list below.
CASUAL SPOTS FOR LUNCH AND DINNER
This small and charming spot houses only 20 seats, allowing guests to dine on fresh seafood and shellfish in an intimate and warm atmosphere. Don’t expect to look up the menu before you go; it all depends on the daily catches at the market.
Linedombra’s dreamy terrace seemingly floats above the Giudecca canal, creating a romantic setting to enjoy a glass of wine from their award-winning selection. Inside is just as inviting, with sleek modern furnishings accented by a warm touch of exposed wooden beams.
Located in Rialto, the heart of Venice, Naranzaria occupies a former warehouse of Mediterranean citrus fruits. Their light menu includes a selection of salads (including the ever-so-Italian fennel and orange insalate), organic soups and pasta and Italian cheeses and charcuterie.
Find this elegant yet relaxed restaurant and wine bar just steps away from the bustling Piazza San Marco. Their wine list that offers over 300 bottles is sure to satisfy even the most discerning oenologists.
Get a taste of the Amalfi in the centre of Venice at Aqua Pazza, where Mediterranean flavours dominate a menu of mouth-watering seafood, pasta, and Neapolitan-style pizzas. Be sure to snag a spot on their beautiful terrace in the Campo Sant’Angelo.
Harry Dolci’s tranquil position on an island separated by Giudecca Canal from the central part of the city is a welcome respite from the crowds. Look on as yachts and barges pass you by from your table draped in white linen.
Tucked away on a side street between Campo San Paolo and the Rialto fish market, Antiche Carampane is an osteria away from the big tourist walks. Sample fantastic and fresh fish in a cozy atmosphere.
Located just beside the Rialto Bridge, dining on Bancogiro’s outdoor terrace overlooking the Grand Canal is a moment you won’t soon forget. Their menu rotates to align with the flavours of the season and sees an updated wine list to match.
Vini da Gigio
Located in the Cannaregio sestiere (district) near the Santa Lucia train station, this rustic trattoria will make you feel like you’re at home with your Italian relatives. The small menu of classic Venetian dishes ensures that each plate receives the care it deserves.
Address: Sestiere, Calle Stua Cannaregio, 3628A, 30121 Venezia, Italy
Phone: +39 041 528 5140
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Tradition and locally sourced ingredients are the focus of this family-run establishment that’s been in business since 1987. Extra virgin olive oil and their list of over 240 wines are carefully selected to match their thoughtful menu that uses only ingredients from small-scale producers.
The art of cooking a great meal was passed down to Chef Mara from her grandmother, and today she shares her gift with her welcomed guests at Da Fiore. At one time a Venetian tavern, today this gastronomic address houses a refined dining room matched by high-end service.
Awaken your taste buds at Il Quadri, where traditional Italian dishes get a modern update, as seen in their penne with cuttlefish, ginger, and spring pea ragu and a ricotta cheese cannolo served with pepper tonka bean and cocoa jam.
Do Forni rests on the site of a former bakery that provided bread and sweets for the Doge’s Palace. Nowadays, its opulent dining room sees guests enjoy plates from a menu with a large selection of pasta, risottos, fish and meats.
Il Ridotto has been proudly wearing a Michelin star since 2013. Indulge in multi-course tasting menus or an à la carte selection of new takes on classic meals. The minimalist dining room ensures to place all the emphasis on the high-quality fare.
This buzzy wine bar and restaurant is the perfect locale to sip on a local Soave or glass of Prosecco. An all-day establishment, you can grab a simple yet divine Italian sandwich for a quick lunch during the day, nosh on some light snacks aperitivo or settle into a full meal for dinner.
Nestled on Mazzorbo Island in the northern part of the Venetian Lagoon, Venissa offers an unforgettable 1-star Michelin dining experience with its seasonal dishes sourced from local ingredients. Surrounded by a peaceful walled vineyard and vegetable gardens, Venissa is the perfect spot to enjoy lunch, dinner or a rare vintage cultivated from white-wine grapes grown exclusively around Venice.
Located on Burano island, Trattoria al Gatto Nero has been a family-owned, family affair since 1965. This idyllic island restaurant offers some of the freshest seafood in Burano, and its bright blue facade and the ever-present lineup of hungry guests outside its door can be spotted from a mile away.
Still owned by the Cipriani family today, Locanda Cipriani first opened its doors as a modest inn and restaurant in 1934. With its typical Venetian cuisine, vegetable gardens and charming views of the churches of Torcello, Locanda was a favourite spot among celebrities and royals alike, having hosted Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh and Ernest Hemingway, who first visited in 1948 and spent an entire month writing his novel Across the River and Into the Trees at his table alongside a rustic Valais fireplace.