Best Restaurants In Venice, Italy september 28, 2021 – Posted in: Italy, Travel – Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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Find the great restaurants in Venice

Venice offers many great restaurants – but you have to know where to find them! Where in Bologna you can just walk into any restaurant, with the certainty of being served a good meal, then Venice requires you to be on the lookout for three important things: 1) is the menu only in Italian, 2) is the restaurant well attended by locals and 3) is there a nice smell of food in the air? Then, and only then, you can sit down at the table!

Before we take you to the good restaurants in Venice, however, it is appropriate to just talk a little about the bad reputation that clings to Venice as a culinary city – or actually, the opposite! We love to eat well and restaurant visits are usually a big part of our vacations.

We are also always on the hunt for the great dining experiences and prefer to eat something we have never tasted before. And with that said, we were actually a little bit in a panic before we left, because in several places we read that 90% of the restaurants in Venice serve tacky crap food. What if there were no good restaurants in Venice at all!

How did we find the great restaurants in Venice?

Back home we started researching to have a list of restaurants we could eat at. But in fact, we ended up not visiting a single of them. This is partly because in Venice you have to book a table if there is a place you would like to eat and also partly because we came past so many good places, especially when we got a little lost. We can honestly say that there are so many great restaurants in Venice that we will have to return again.

So to those who write that the food in Venice is bad: Your’re wrong! There are an infinite number of amazing restaurants in Venice, but you have to go out and find them yourself. What is true, however, is that there is a lot of crappy food in Venice – because that is what a lot of tourists demand.

In Venice it is an either-or: either you eat everything good from the freezer at the tacky restaurants that have pictures of food instead of a menu or you eat local, Venetian food, a very seafood-heavy cuisine. But if you want to, you can have many great dining experiences in Venice. To find them, however, requires you to move around the small, labyrinthine streets and sniff your way to the good places where the locals eat.

A tip for eating well in Venice

We’ll be there in a minute – at the list of good restaurants – but before that we also have just a few tips up our sleeve for eating well in Venice (and just scroll down if you’ve been to Venice before). But the most important thing first: in Venice it is illegal to sit on the street or in public parks while eating. You get a hefty fine if you open the picnic basket on St. Mark’s Square – and that’s really okay.

Venice is visited by 30 million tourists every year, so we will have to behave properly if the Venetians are to keep welcoming us as guests. In short, it’s okay to give your child a banana to ward off small and large tantrums, but you’ll just have to wait for your lunch, until you’re seated in a place where you’ll be serviced.

In return, you can eat well and cheaply in the small bàcari, the local wine bars serving the delicious cicchetti. You can read much more about this here: Where to eat Cicchetti in Venice? Here you can get a glass of wine for €1.5 and a chichetta for between €1.5 and € 3.5 euros.

Otherwise, the price level of the restaurants in Venice is average, but also not inexpensive like many other places in Italy. By the way, as soon as you sit down at a restaurant, you also have to pay coperto of a few euros. It’s a standard price that covers tablecloths, napkins and bread, and you just pay it without complaining. Finally also say yes to water, otherwise you are just being rude, in the eyes of the Italians.

3 great restaurants in Venice

We had 3 and a half day in Venice, and the three restaurants we had the time to visit are the result of us being too slow to book a table – and luckily for that! We even visited Venice in September 2021, where the big tourist crowds had not yet returned, just to experince the popular restaurants filling up very quickly, leaving no room for us.

We solved the problem by walking down a side street, finding somewhere other than planned. However, we can’t say what it will be like to eat in Venice when tourism has returned to normal. But from here a clear recommendation to always book a table, preferably at the same moment as you have booked your vacation in Venice.

But as you can read below, the restaurants that we ended up eating at in Venice were really good!

Levante

Crossing Strada Nova in Cannaregio, you end up at the canal street Fondamenta Misericordia. In the late afternoon you will find a unique atmosphere, all the way from the ultra-delicious wine bar Vino Vero, which you can read about further down, and up north along the canal towards the more local osterias and trattorias. This is where the locals hang out to eat and drink and there is plenty of partying in the restaurants and bars.

Reading about Osteria Anice Stellato form home, it was one of the restaurants, we had looked forward to. When actually in Venice, no matter when we passed by, it looked closed. We instead ended up at the romantic restaurant Ristorante Levante, which lies on the brinks of the canal. There in the moonlight we were served seafood, which had just been pulled up by the lagoon in the morning. We shared an orata, a larger carp fish, and also a plate of Fritto Misto. Here you get everything good from the sea, small fish, shellfish and squid dipped in tempura dough and deepfried.

Marcianino

The night after it was the same story. This time we had chosen Ostaria da Rioba, again in Cannaregio. We were waiting at the bar right next door for it to open, but because we just had to have another aperitif, it was completely full when we finally got up and asked for a table. It was a matter of maybe 20 minutes, from the time we agreed that we then didn’t need to book a table, until the restaurant was full. This is how fast the tables are taken in the popular restaurants in Venice! But it’s definitely a place we’ll have to eat next time.

Luckily we found Marciano PUB Venezia right accorss the canal. They call themselves a gastropub, but it was much more than that! Yes, they make excellent cocktails and also have small snack dishes – but you can also get a really good meal here. Their  Fegato alla veneziana, veal liver, was unfortunately sold out, and instead they served a pork shank that had been simmering in the mushroom sauce all day. Geez, that was delicious!

Antica Besseta

After two nights in the lively restaurant area of Cannaregio, we decided to go exploring the restaurants of our local neighborhood in Santa Croce. And we were certainly not disappointed, in fact the biggest problem was to choose where to eat! Eventually, however, we passed Antica Besseta, one of Venice’s oldest trattorias. Here was everything we are always looking for: local produce and a chef who really knew what he was doing. And lots of new flavors with sea asparagus, buffalo mozzarella, risotto and a crazy dessert: celery leaf sorbet with a splash of tequila.

… and something for next time

There are a few more restaurants on the list that we really would have liked to have eaten at. Next time we come to Venice, we have to book a table, because the dissapointment was big having sailed all the way to Burano, only to be told that everything was busy at the island’s best restaurant, Gatto Nero. The small restaurant, where the picture at the top is from, is especially known for its risotto, and next time we are definately going to taste it.

On the very last night, we passed Al Grill on our way home. It’s just one of many gems in the tiny streets around San Stae, but Al Grill stands out a lot among the other Venetian restaurants by not primarily serving seafood – here you can get a good steak! The guests were Italians, and that in itself promised well. We are indeed looking forward to our next visit to Venice!

Great bars in Venice

However, no article about restaurants is complete without also telling where you can get an aperitif before the meal or a good cocktail after. It can be difficult to find a good bar at the major tourist attractions, but you don’t have to walk very far away from the tourist crowds before you find them. Here is a small selection that you can steer towards if you don’t find something even better on the way.

A good afternoon activity is to get a Bellini. Actually, you can’t visit Venice without drinking a Bellini, the famous cocktail that was invented at Harry’s Bar. Going here is expensive, but you can get a great Bellini at a reasonable price all over the city. We can recommend La Cantinetta on Calle Larga in the Santa Croce neighborhood.

At La Sete and Vino Vero, two finer wine bars at the Fondamenta Misericordia, the evening starts with a glass of wine and a chicchetta. If you are more into beer, visit  Il Santo Bevitore, a craft beer bar with beers from around the world. After dinner, it can be a little harder to find good real cocktail bar. By chance we passed Osteria da Filo, which at that time (quite late, admittedly) was full of young students. But their cocktails were insanely good! Do try a Zazá or a Poppa Mule, both with fresh ginger. During the day, Filo is place to eatand meet up for the locals, with music and game nights.

More tips for your holiday in Venice

Where to stay in Venice?

There are many wonderful hotels in Venice, but where is the best place to stay? On Booking.com you can see the large selection of hotels in Venice, and in the article Where to stay in Venice you can read more about where in Venice you should book your holiday. There are several romantic hotels for couples on the list, and you also get a really good tip if you are on holiday in Venice with kids.

You can also do your own search on Booking.com  for a good hotel in Venice right here:



Booking.com

Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo - Sidder Under En Palme

Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo – click here to see more!

A recommendation: Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo

Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo is a perfect setting for a romantic holiday in Venice. The hotel is located right in the heart of Venice, away from the tourist crowds and with a vaporetto station (San Stae) down the street. Otherwise, the Rialto Bridge is only a seven minute walk away and St. Mark’s Square a quarter of an hour.

The small boutique hotel has just 10 beautiful rooms, all decorated in Venetian 18th-century style with exposed ceiling beams, damask curtains, large chandeliers and soft beds. In the morning, the hotel offers a wonderful breakfast in the small courtyard, serving eggs and bacon, crispy croissants and most importantly: great coffee!

See more good hotels here: Where to stay in Venice

How do you get to Venice?

Venice has two airports: Marco Polo Airport, 10 km from the city center, and Treviso Airport, 40 km north of Venice. If you land in Treviso, there are airport buses to Venice all day, which cost 12 euros (2021) for a single ticket. Read more here: Treviso Airport Shuttle Bus.

Read the other articles about Venice here!

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