Venice Eating

Old Sep 25th, 2004, 09:14 AM
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Venice Eating

We're off to Venice for a few days next month. Has anyone got recommendations for good places to eat where they've eaten recently? We'd like to find the places where the locals eat, not the tourist traps! I'm vegetarian but that's not usually a problem in Italy with all the great pastas, but my husband is a meat eater. Any recommendations welcome!
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 09:59 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Pam,

Venice is known for its seafood.

We liked Cantinone Storico 041.523.95.77

It's on a canal near the Accademia Bridge.
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 10:18 AM
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People are often reminded that Venice has far more tourists than locals these days, so most places depend on tourists to stay alive. I do understand what you mean though and have a few suggestions.

First, you might like to read the book "A Thousand Days in Venice" by Maria de Blasi. It's an autobiographical account of an American woman who's a chef and food writer who meets and marries a Venetian. She mentions a number of restaurants and baccaro (sp?) where the locals eat. I read it after my trip and wished I had read it before. One place she mentions is Ai Do Mori near the Rialto bridge market.

Avogaria is a place we passed while we were there that looked great (very modern) and a bit out of the way in Dorsudoro. We tried to find it later for dinner and just gave up. Another poster here has mentioned it several times as a great place and all locals. If you do a text search you might find the thread that describes the directions to get there.

Our best meal was a special occasion celebration at Antico Martini. This is expensive but great, not a locals place though although there were lots of Italians.

Finally, I'd urge you not to go to Ai Gondolieri. It was on many people's reco list and we were very disappointed. It was over priced and not all that good.

On the night we couldn't find Avogaria, we wound up just popping in some place that looked good. It was excellent with a mix of tourist and locals but service was very slow.

Make sure you drink the local wine. It's great and very inexpensive.

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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 10:26 AM
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Here is the thread with the first mention of Avogaria and directions. There are also a lot of other good mentions here.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34409662
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 04:02 PM
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Here's the relevant section of my trip report from this summer.

Eating: We ate well but it was not cheap. If set menus are offered in Italian restaurants, I failed to see them; everything is à la carte. I recommend Alle Testiere for an inventive adaptation of bistro cooking. No menu, the owner tells you what is available (he is fluent in English and French). It is not cheap, but excellent and interesting--my wife bought a bag of chestnut flour because of its chestnut flour dessert (she wants to reproduce it). Price of meal for two with wine: 114.50 euros $141.62. We also ate at Al Mascaron for about the same price. The food was not as inventive, but it was an ample meal of traditional Venetian fish and seafood (just order the fish first course and the fish grill--my wife claims that it was fried--main course). Less interesting and somewhat disappointing was Ristorante ai Gondoliere: 139 euros $171.58 + a 20 euro tip. It was the only restaurant that indicated that tips were not included, and when I did not add a tip to the credit card, the staff was a little frosty as we prepared to leave until they noticed the 20 euro note on the table, and suddenly they were gracious and amiable. The food was very good, but nothing very special. The setting is much more elegant than the other two restaurants mentioned, with more room between tables, more attentive service, fancier table settings, etc. It was the only restaurant where smoking was allowed, presumably because they had a proper ventilation system. Even the local trattorias seemed to have a no smoking rule, often represented by sign with a picture of a cigarette tied in a knot. The one where we had lunch ( 38 euros - expensive for what it was) had the locals snacking and drinking at the bar in front and stepping outside if they wanted to smoke. We did have one low priced meal; a picnic in an under-developed park on the north side of Murano, but it had a few picnic tables. We were there at the wrong time, otherwise we would have taken a sandwich and a glass of wine at the small stands near the fish market.
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 04:08 PM
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2 places I really enjoyed were Vino Vino (which Maria de Blasi mentions in her book!) and Acqua Pazza, both in San Marco. Vino Vino is a wine bar with lots of locals, but they do have food available which is heated up but it cheap & good. We loved the atmosphere & the wine, & thought the food was pretty good. Acqua Pazza had great food & very friendly service.

We also enjoyed Cip's Club at the Cipriani Hotel. It's fun to take their private boat over to the island, tour the gardens & then enjoy a sunset dinner (depending on the time of year) at their terrace restaurant. It's also a wonderful view of Piazza San Marco.

My sister-in-law was with me & doesn't eat fish (almost every restaurant is seafood rather than meat!) But she found food to eat at these restaurants.
 
Old Sep 25th, 2004, 05:17 PM
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We liked Fiaschetteria Toscana, Ca;nnaregio 5719 near the Rialto Bridge. Pick up a copy of "Chow Venice" for excellent recommendations.
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 05:51 PM
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bar da gino...on the "street" that leads from the accademia bridge to the guggenheim museum....it is on the right about 1/2 way....simple...mostly lunch fare...
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 08:36 PM
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Our favorite restaurant is Pier Dickens in Campo Santa Margherita. The pizza is greatand the people are very friendly!

I second the suggestion for buying the book "Chow Venice".
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 12:24 AM
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Hi

My wife and I went to Venice in June last year. Our experience were that you have to walk away from the main tourist areas to get some decent meals. The best meal we had was at a small place called Trattoria Antica Bessetta in San Polo. We had some lovely seafood risotto, grilled seafood etc. I have posted some pictures and some more info in my trip report which is posted on my personal homepage gardkarlsen.com. Maybe you can find some useful information there Get in touch if you have questions or comments.

Regards
Gard
Stavanger, Norway
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 01:09 AM
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This is an excerpt from my trip report:

We ate in several nice restaurants, most of which I learned about on the Fodor's board. Perhaps my favorite, however, was one we found by accident, Trattoria Ca d'Oro, alla Vedova. We had been in a Lush store buying soap for my daughter and we asked the young women in the shop where we could have lunch nearby. They first suggested McDonald's. The horror! I said no, we wanted some place Italian, and they pointed us to this place. It is a wonderful small restaurant off Strada Nova near the Ca d'Oro. If you were walking from Ca d'Oro you would cross Strada Nova and walk one short block to it. No menu, just whatever they tell you they've got. We had a great spaghetti with clams and lasagna with radicchio. If it had been closer to our hotel, I would have gone back one night for dinner.

At Cantinone Storico on Fondamente Bragadin in Dorsoduro we had a really good meal. We shared risotto with shrimp and artichokes and then I had an excellent fish (don't remember what kind) and roasted potatoes that the waiter had recommended. My daughter had chicken cacciatore that she really liked.

We went to Taverna San Trovaso in Dorsoduro after reading good reports on Fodor's and it was worthwhile for good food, large portions and reasonable prices. I loved the fish antipasto. My order of cuttlefish in its own ink with polenta was good, and so large that I probably only ate half of it. I also had grilled eggplant, and my daughter had vegetable soup and steak.

We ate one night at Da Raffaele because it was located between our hotel and the concert we were going to, and it was open early enough to have supper before the concert. It has a beautiful setting on a canal but we were too cold to eat outside. They did bring out heaters later, so people were sitting outside. The food was very good. I had fish antipasto, which I loved again, and it was different from the one at San Trovaso. Then I had fritto misto, a lovely combination of fried fish, seafood and zucchini. Tiramisu to finish. This was the most expensive place we went to.

One night we were walking through Dorsoduro looking for a restaurant we couldn't find (which someone on Fodor's had described as their secret restaurant; well, it's still a secret to us) and we ended up at a place we passed that looked inviting, La Bitta. This place is on C. Lunga San Barnaba. We're really lucky we got a table; after us they were turning people away. Less traditional, more creative menu, no fish. I had a smoked duck breast and goat cheese salad which was sensational, then gnocchi with rabbit and zucchini, and a very dense chocolate cake. My daughter had a wonderful marinated artichoke salad and pasta with pumpkin and prosciutto, ending with spice cake. Loved this place.

Our last night we went to Vino Vino, which was just across the small canal behind our hotel. They have a limited menu of food prepared at their more upscale restaurant around the corner. It is all visible and you go to the counter to order it. They then bring it to your table. Very good and reasonable, and good for a quick meal since everything is prepared. I had pasta with prosciutto and mushrooms, then cold octopus salad and eggplant on the side. My daughter had lasagna and quail.
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 08:28 AM
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Thanks, everyone, for the useful suggestions. Will let you know how we get on.
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 10:41 AM
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I will be in venice next week and I have found a restaurant that sounds like it is perfect for you.
La Zucca, somewhere in santa croce. It caters to veggies, but they do serve some meat dishes from what I have read. It has recieved alot of reviews and all of them were good. Enjoy. I plan a visit as well.
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 03:00 PM
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Pam,

Another vote for Fiaschetteria Toscana. We had two meals there-one lunch and one dinner. They served excellent food, and the service was very professional yet friendly. Not too expensive either.
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 11:55 PM
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oh no do not go to Ai Gondaleri-I agree! It was very overpriced (more so than anywhere else we dined in Venice) and ridiculous! We had a very god meal at Al Covo. Since you are a vegetarian, you might check out Ae Oche. It's a student type pizza place in San Croce. YUMMMY! They serve pizza big enough for two) in a variety of ways. I had the speck,brie and arugula...but I'd even have the brie and argula. It's good and cheap. We ate there for lunch.
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 03:05 AM
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ira
 
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Hi PamSF

>brie and argula pizza.<

Others have mentioned brie on pizza. I can't seem to get my taste buds around the concept. Is there also a sauce of some sort? Other cheeses? If so, what?
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 04:08 AM
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Bancogiro is a fabulous wine bar that serves dinner. It is located between the Rialto Bridge and the fish market, along the Grand Canal. Very secluded and romantic. The carpaccio is to die for!!!

We also like Graspo De Ua... a Venice institution where all the artists used to meet for drinks! Pricey but worth it. Great service.
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 04:50 PM
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Right next to the Rialto bridge on the Grand Canal, there is a great little place with pasta, seafood, and a great house wine. I forget the name, but we walked right up and asked to be seated - no reservations, and it was the best! During the day they take the tables and chairs away, it is only set up at night. Great place!
Also, I recommend the Ristorante Sempione, it is along a small canal, about halfway between the Rialto and St Marks Square. GREAT food and great waitstaff. We did make a reservation the day before.
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 09:42 PM
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OMG Nikki, I just read your post and your experience with Trattoria Ca'd Oro is like mine!! I went into the Lush store with my niece and they also showed us this wonderful little restaurant. I think it's a little hard to find if you are trying to look for it yourself, but worth it. If you get lost looking for it, just pop into Lush and get directions.
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Old Oct 11th, 2004, 12:04 AM
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Hi Ira, just thought I would mention that my local pizza shop does a sensational pizza with brie. The pizza has a light tomato based pizza sauce, brie, king prawns, parsley and garlic. It is very simple but truly scrumptious.
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