16 Best Restaurants in San Marco, Venice

Caffè Florian

$$ | San Marco Fodor's choice

Florian is not only Italy's first café (1720), but also one of its most beautiful, with glittering, neo-Baroque decor and 19th-century wall panels depicting Venetian heroes. The coffee, drinks, and snacks are good, but most people—including Venetians from time to time—come for the atmosphere and history: this was the only café to serve women during the 18th century (hence Casanova's patronage); it was frequented by artistic notables like Wagner, Goethe, Goldoni, Lord Byron, Marcel Proust, and Charles Dickens; and it was the birthplace of the international art exhibition that became the Venice Biennale. There's a surcharge for music; those in the know opt for the comfortable back bar.

Gran Caffè Quadri

$$ | San Marco Fodor's choice

Come for breakfast, a predinner aperitivo, or anything in between at this always lively historic coffeehouse—opened in 1775 and taken over by the famous culinary Alajmo family in 2011—in the center of the action on Piazza San Marco. Choose from a wide selection of pastries at breakfast (though the cappuccino and brioche combo is always a classic), pizzas at lunch, and tramezzini all day long, including one with lobster.

Harry's Bar

$$$$ | San Marco Fodor's choice

For those who can afford it, lunch or dinner at Harry's Bar is as much a part of a visit to Venice as a walk across Piazza San Marco or a vaporetto ride down the Grand Canal. Inside, the suave, subdued beige-on-white decor is unchanged from the 1930s, and the classic Venetian fare is carefully and excellently prepared. Harry's is not just a fine restaurant; it's a cultural institution. When founder Giuseppe Cipriani opened the doors in 1931, the place became a favorite of almost every famous name to visit Venice (including Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, and Ernest Hemingway) and still attracts much of Venetian high society as regulars. Today, many still remember Harry's as one of the few restaurants in town that continued to serve Jewish patrons during the period of the Fascist racial laws. Try the delicate baked sea bass with artichokes, and don't miss the signature crepes flambées or famous Cipriani chocolate cake for dessert. Because a meal at Harry's is as much about being seen there, book one of the cramped tables on the ground floor—the upper floor of the restaurant is the Venetian equivalent of Siberia (take heart if seated there: views from the second-floor windows look like framed paintings). Be sure to order a Bellini cocktail—a refreshing mix of white peach puree and sparking prosecco—this is its birthplace, after all. On the other hand, true to its retro atmosphere, Harry's makes one of the best martinis in town.

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Pasticceria Marchini Time

$ Fodor's choice

This popular breakfast spot close to the Rialto attracts a mix of locals and tourists. Enjoy your pastry and coffee inside the old-time pastry shop or, if you’re lucky, snag a seat outside.

Ristorante Quadri

$$$$ | San Marco Fodor's choice

Although the lavish interior has been updated by designer Philippe Starck, this restaurant above the famed café of the same name is still steeped in Venetian ambience and history (it was where Turkish coffee was introduced to the city in the 1700s). When the Alajmo family (of the celebrated Le Calandre near Padua) took over, they put their accomplished sous-chef from Padua in charge of the kitchen, resulting in the addition of dishes—best sampled with a tasting menu—that are complex and sophisticated, with a wonderful wine list to match. Downstairs, the simpler Quadrino (located next to the café)—with impeccably restored neo-rococo wall paintings—serves more traditional Venetian fare and some of the best martinis in town. As for Quadri itself, the prices, cuisine, and decor are all alta, so beware. Be sure, also, to book one of the few tables with a Piazza San Marco view.

Piazza San Marco 121, Venice, 30124, Italy
Known For
  • sophisticated and modern Italian cuisine
  • seasonal tasting menus
  • revitalized designer decor
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues., and late Jan.–mid-Feb. No lunch Wed.–Fri.


$ | San Marco Fodor's choice

This 19th-century chocolate shop serves up delicious (what else?) chocolate ice creams, along with refreshing sorbets. For the ultimate experience, add seasonal sprinkles, such as Piedmont hazelnuts, to your sweet treat.

Bar all'Angolo

$ | San Marco

This corner of Campo Santo Stefano is a pleasant place to sit and watch the Venetian world go by. The café staff are in constant motion, so you'll receive your coffee, spritz, panino (a sandwich warmed on a griddle), or tramezzino (sandwich on untoasted white bread, usually with a mayonnaise-based filling) in short order; consume it at your leisure at one of the outdoor tables, at the bar, or at the tables in the back. As in most bars, it is better to stick to cold dishes.

San Marco 3464, Venice, 30124, Italy
Known For
  • simple yet satisfying fare, like tramezzini and panini
  • tasty homemade desserts, including tiramisu and cakes
  • good people-watching
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Jan.

Caffè Centrale

$$$ | San Marco

Sleek and elegant in the glowing, brick-lined ground floor of a 16th-century palazzo, the Caffè Centrale has vastly improved since it came under new management two years ago. It is a rarity in Venice: a restaurant that serves until 12:45 am, and is around the corner from the Fenice, so it makes a great place for a post-performance nosh. The menu, while giving a nod to Venetian cuisine (they serve an excellent baccalà mantecato), features mostly creatively prepared continental dishes, such as sautéed fois gras with Sauternes or a spectacular beef fillet with Amarone. There's also a broad selection of very fresh raw fish specialties. For dessert there's a sinful list of sweet temptations, including three variations on the classic Venetian sgroppino (an alcohol-laced sorbet).

Caffè Florian

$ | San Marco

Venice's oldest café, continuously in business since 1720, has served coffee to the likes of Wagner, Casanova, Charles Dickens, and Marcel Proust. Counter seating is less expensive than taking a table, but is, of course, less romantic and you don't have the view of the piazza. This is where many upscale Venetians go when they want to meet a friend for a coffee or spritz around Piazza San Marco.

Caffè Quadri

$ | San Marco

In the Procuratie Vecchie, Caffè Quadri exudes almost as much history as Florian across the way, and is similarly pricey. It was shunned by 19th-century Venetians when the occupying Austrians made it their gathering place. It's closed on Monday.

Enoteca al Volto

$$ | San Marco

A short walk from the Ponte di Rialto, this bar has been around since 1936, and the satisfying cicheti and primi have a lot to do with its staying power. Grab a table out front, or take refuge in one of the two small, dark rooms with a ceiling plastered with wine labels that provide a classic backdrop for simple fare, including a delicious risotto that is served daily from noon, plus a solid wine list of both Italian and foreign vintages. If you stick to a panino or some cicheti at the bar, you'll eat well for relatively little. If you take a table and opt for one of the day's exceptional primi, the price category goes up a notch; however, this is still a good bargain for San Marco. There are, of course, traditional secondi, such as a very good seppie in nero. Al Volto is open every day of the year but Christmas (and closes a bit early on Christmas Eve).

San Marco 4081, Venice, 30124, Italy
Known For
  • great local and international wine selection
  • tasty and inexpensive cicheti
  • fantastic main courses, including risotto and pasta with seafood

Gelateria Paolin

$ | San Marco

The morning sun draws crowds of all ages and nationalities to take a seat on busy Campo Santo Stefano and enjoy a little cup at this favorite café-gelateria. A scoop of limone (lemon) gelato is particularly refreshing on a hot summer day.

Campo Santo Stefano 2962, Venice, 30124, Italy
Known For
  • good aperitivo
  • gianduia (hazelnut and chocolate) gelato
  • lively terrace

Gelatoteca Suso

$ | San Marco

Try this fun shop for gelato that’s out of the ordinary: think walnut cream with caramelized fig, or vanilla with rum raisins and Malaga wine. Sorbets and milkshakes are also on offer.

Harry's Bar

$$$$ | San Marco

If you'd like to attend happy hour with the ghosts of Ernest Hemingway, Aristotle Onassis, and Orson Welles, head to Harry's Bar. Despite astronomical prices, undistinguished 1930s-1950s decor, and some rather brash foreign clientele, Harry's is nevertheless a Venetian institution, and is still patronized by those Venetians who want to see and be seen. Many still remember proprietor Arrigo Cipriani's courageous stand— in contrast to the acquiescence and even profiteering of many Venetian hoteliers and bar owners— during the Nazi occupaton; Jewish patrons were still welcome at Harry's. Although you'll have to use your imagination to conjure up images of the bar's former glory, Harry's still boasts Venice's driest martinis, and makes a Bellini according the original recipe (invented at Harry's). The food, while outrageously expensive and conventional, is nevertheless quite good.

Le Café

$ | San Marco

On Campo Santo Stefano across from Paolin, Le Café has see-and-be-seen tables outside year-round. It also has bar service, light lunches, and a variety of hot chocolate drinks and desserts.

Rosa Salva

$ | San Marco

There are several branches to this venerable pasticceria in town; the headquarters is a small shop on Calle Fiubera in San Marco. Rosa Salva features a wide selection of pastry and savory snacks as well as bar service at the counter.

San Marco 950, Venice, 30124, Italy
Known For
  • Venetian Carnival fritters (frittelle)
  • Venetian cookies
  • traditional cakes
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.