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wrenwood Sep 2nd, 2012 02:31 PM

Is there good Pizza and Pasta in Venice?
I sure am seeing a lot of seafood in the restaurants in Venice! Lots of pictures of whole fish and squiggly things. :O We'll eat some seafood, but not every night!

Anyone have good recommendations for nice restaurants with good Pizza (eat-in, not take-out, or stand and eat a slice) and for homemade Pastas?

We'll be staying at Ca'Angeli, so looking for something at about a 10-15 min walk.

aguamineral Sep 2nd, 2012 03:17 PM

I don't know what your standards for food are. I would not eat pizza in Venice. You can more easily find acceptable pasta, but you need to know where to look, and to pay for it.

You can find non-seafood choices in Venice (it is a tourist town, after all), but you need to realize that if you go to a city built on water that any meat you eat is coming from someplace else unless it is duck. Other meat won't be great or if they are, you have to pay for that.

Doing a search on the Chowhound message board for Venice will be pay off as an investment of your time if you care about eating well in Venice. If you care most about price and eating nothing-too-far-out-of-your-norm, then asking tourist you pass on the street in Venice will get you the same quality of advice you get on the internet.

jammendolia Sep 2nd, 2012 03:23 PM

love Venice. but not crazy about northern Italy food. In the states, we're use to the southern Italy food. Venician food is just Ok.

zoecat Sep 2nd, 2012 05:09 PM

I've had some very good pizza in Venice. My favorites-

Casa Mia- Calle dell'Oca 4430 (Cannaregio)

La Perla- Rio Terra dei Franceschi 4615 (Cannaregio)

da Sandro- Campiello Meloni 1473 (San Polo)

Ae Oche- Calle delle Tintor 1552 (Santa Croce)

nytraveler Sep 2nd, 2012 07:12 PM

We have had great pizza in Venice (for a casuale lunch) at a little neighborhood place down a random calle - and I could find it again only on the spot. But this is like coming to NY for TexMex food - it's not what is local or we do best.

The cuisine of Venice is based heavily on seafood (of which there are many types - lots of fish as well as shrimp, clams and all sort of things - besides the ones with squiggly bits). Also, while you can get pasta, the areas around Venice is know for it;s rice - an I would definitely try a couple of risottos - which can be excellent.

anna_roz Sep 2nd, 2012 08:26 PM

Birraria la Corte in San Polo is a very good
Recommend starting with an arugula salad with thinly sliced pecorino cheese all drizzled with chestnut honey.

aguamineral Sep 2nd, 2012 09:03 PM

>>But this is like coming to NY for TexMex food - it's not what is local<<

There is plenty of good pizza in New York City, even though it's not "local." Like NYC, Venice is historically a city of immigrants and trade, so it is hard to identify what is "local" when it comes to local cuisine. The problem with eating pizza in Venice is that nobody is making good pizza in Venice. You would hear about it if it was happening, believe me. In fact, what you generally hear is how awful the pizza in Venice.

Rice was brought to Venice from China by Marco Polo, and there is now a long tradition of making good rice dishes (just like there is along tradition of making good pizza in New York City). But the areas around Venice are not known for rice. Venetian risotti are made from a specialty rice grown near Mantova, in Lombardia. (In the Veneto, people more often eat polenta as their starch.) The area of Italy most known for its rice is Piemonte, which is on the opposite side of the country from Venice.

More importantly, eating risotto in Venice is no answer to the too-much-seafood problem. Most risotti in Venice are seafood risotti. (Good luck tracking down risi e bisi outside of springtime.)

If you want to eat something other than seafood within a 15 minute walk of where you are astying, you can find it. If you want have passable or even great food eating in Venetian restaurants, or are looking for pizza and homemade pasta in Venice that isn't sub-par, check out what's recommended on chowhound, where there is a lot information about Venetian restaurants posted by people who go there several times a year and are professionally involved with food.

HappyTrvlr Sep 2nd, 2012 09:27 PM

You can order pasta at Ristorante Fiaschetteria Toscana. Good restaurant

oldmacdonald Sep 2nd, 2012 09:30 PM

The best pizza I ever had was a margarita in Venice - it was simple and perfect, washed it down with some local wine. I have no idea where we went, but it was a small place with some locals I think.

tarquin Sep 3rd, 2012 12:20 AM

Ae Oche has a new branch on the Zattere if you want pizza. I haven't tried it but it gets good reviews.

Try Polenta with Baccala, or Pasta or Risotto with Sepie, Spaghetti Vongole, grilled seafood. The myth that food is poor in Venice emanates from people uwilling to make an effort, do research and expand their horizons. Italy is a large country food-wise with distinct regions.

ekscrunchy Sep 3rd, 2012 03:13 AM

This restaurant in Dorsoduro, not too far from your hotel in San Polo,might suit your needs.

They have pizza and non-fish dishes and are accommodating to tourists:

caroline_edinburgh Sep 3rd, 2012 03:58 AM

There is indeed a lot of rubbish pizza in Venice, but there are some places we find acceptable. So far our the best is either of the 2 Casin dei Nobili restaurants in Dorsduro, the original one on Fondamenta della Toletta and the Terrazza di CdN on the Zattere (also one of our favourite places generally, particularly for the seafood pasta & main courses from the daily specials menu). The FdT one only does pizza after 7pm, not sure about the Zattere one. FdT is about 10-15 mins walk for you, the Zattere about another 5 mins on top.

We've also had quite good pizza at Le Due Colonne in Campo Sant'Agostin - we have only been once so far but will go back. Quite cheap, has tables out in square.

We also quite like the Ristorante San Trovaso (related to the Taverna San Trovaso mentioned by eks, v. similar menu but we prefer it as it has a garden) for Venetian staples - nice enough but nothing special. Didn't even realise they did pizza! We usually have pasta or antipasto then the mixed fried fish there.

When we were taking Italian classes one of our teachers recommended the new Ae Oche on the Zattere for pizza (but nothing else), but I've often walked past at lunchtime & always thought those I could see didn't look great.

For more expensive places with IMO the best pasta dishes, our favourites are the Osteria Enoteca Ai Artisti in Fondamenta della Toletta and - as of a couple of weeks ago - the Osteria Al Ponte del Diavolo on Torcello (all pasta homemade, only open for lunch), in case you are going there - I posted a review on Tripadvisor.

Most pasta dishes everywhere are however seafood pasta dishes. Ai Artisti is one of the few places usually mainly featuring seafood which is open on Monday, when it does just meat & veg dishes. La Bitta on Calle Lunga San Barnaba is a good non-fish restaurant.

Personally I don't much rate the Chowhound board for Italy.

aguamineral Sep 3rd, 2012 04:09 AM

I would never use Tripadvisor as a place to make eating choices.

The Chowhound posts for Venice are so knowledgeable and detailed about dining in all categories in Venice, I'm having a hard time believing you ever looked at them. Here is an example of specific and knowledgeable they are. I pretty much defy anybody posting here to match it for range;

And you can find others just like it on Chowhound asking specifically about where to eat non-seafood meals.

It would be a pity to try to steer this poster away from such a rich source of information.

caroline_edinburgh Sep 3rd, 2012 04:38 AM

Each to their own, but whenever I've looked at Chowhound those offering advice are nearly all Americans with limited (holiday) experience of Venice, and reviews are written from a very much American point of view. I live in Venice and don't find it useful.

javafan1 Sep 3rd, 2012 05:03 AM

We stayed in Ca' Angeli and I can second the recommendation for Birrara La Corta in Campo San Polo. We ate there 3 of the 4 nights we were there. I wouldn't say it was the best food I ever ate, but it was on par with best I had in Italy. The pizza was very good and the house wine is dirt cheap. 1 eur per glass or 7/8 eur per carafe.

It can be touristy with screaming kids and strollers, though. We tried to eat later when there are less children to ruin the excellant atmosphere. They have no apparent hostess, so you have to flag down one of the older guys running around for a table, who might treat you a little gruff.

We tried da Sandro but didn't like it very much despite the good reviews. It is very small and close to the people walking past you. Also, the waiter was a sweaty slob and stood too close to the table chain smoking. We decided to go for the better atmosphere.

Both are really close to the Ca'Angeli.

wrenwood Sep 3rd, 2012 06:29 AM

aguamineral ~ I tried Chowhound ~ couldn't find a search engine on the Italy board for "Venice." I don't want to search through all those Italy messages to find Venice. How do I do this?

I do like TA for reviews. If there are some "terribles" or "poors" you can look at them by date to see if they are older or more recent and you can check out the other reviews by a reviewer. I do like it that the reviews come from people all over the world. I use TA, this Forum, Google search and images, and the website for the Restaurant. I have also just figured out that looking at the images on the TA review for a restaurant is also pretty helpful. Many of the reviewers take pictures of the inside and outside, and the food. The pictures really help.

Thanks all, keep them coming! I will start researching today.

ekscrunchy Sep 3rd, 2012 07:21 AM

Wrenwood: Do a Google search for "Chowhound Venice."

Look for posts by PBSF, who is one of several posters who spend many months of each year in Venice. There are other very reliable posters on that board as well, many of these are people who either live in the country or visit regularly. Although they write in English, many are not American. Although there is an emphasis, perhaps, on high-end eateries in Venice, there is plenty of advice on restaurants in the moderate range as well. Agree that you need to take some time to plow through all the entries.

Virtually all restaurants will have at least a few non-fish dishes on the menu. As always in italy, I would use the written menu as a guide, but also make sure to consult with the server to see what is recommended that particular day.

I am not a fan of TripAdvisor for restaurant reviews. Although some are written by knowledgable posters, and you can sometimes get a general feel for a place by plowing through the reams of reviews, you can also get a very skewed picture of the best places to eat in a particular destination. For example, in my home city of New York, a halal street cart is rated as the 6th "best" restaurant, and a bakery is ranked at #1.

hogger1 Sep 3rd, 2012 07:36 AM

I visited Venice in 2010. I dont eat seafood of any kind but loved the food out there.

We tended to stay away from the restaurants alongside the Grand Canal ad st Marks and headed for the restaurant in the back streets the food seemed a little cheaper.

We ate a selection of pasta / risotto and pizza and every meal was beautiful.

Have a lovely trip, i cant wait to get back to Venice its my favourite Italian place so far :)

Shanna Sep 3rd, 2012 12:25 PM

The little whole fish floating in clear broth killed my appetite in Venice. Had trouble getting anything other than fish - but then I wasn't in charge of choosing our restaurants. Next time I'll stand my ground. It sounds like lots of people here were able to get a decent meal - but I practically starved to death because I seldom eat fish.

suze Sep 3rd, 2012 12:40 PM

I've been to Venice twice, hadn't thought about it but I don't think I ever ate seafood while I was there. I hadn't researched restaraurants and we just went wherever was handy without the greatest results honestly. But it wasn't because there was only seafood available.

This will sound crazy but my favorite thing to eat in Venice was the sandwiches that are made ready-to-eat in the glass cases at some of the sitdown cafes. Some delicious ones with hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, roast vegetables, etc. They just really hit the spot (fairly plain, very fresh) during a day walking around the city.

I also love that you can get a glass of cold white wine at pretty much any stand-up counter serving coffee. Handy!

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