Venice Restaurants

Dining options in Venice range from the ultra-high end, where jackets and ties are a must, to the very casual. Once staunchly traditional, many restaurants have renovated their menus along with their dining rooms, creating dishes that blend classic Venetian elements with ingredients less common to the lagoon environs.

Mid-range restaurants are often more willing to make the break, offering innovative options while keeping traditional dishes available as mainstays. Restaurants are often quite small with limited seating, so make sure to reserve ahead. It's not uncommon for restaurants to have two seatings per evening, one at 7 and one at 9.

There's no getting around the fact that Venice has more than its share of overpriced, mediocre eateries that prey on tourists. Avoid places with cajoling waiters standing outside, and beware of restaurants that don't display their prices. At the other end of the spectrum, showy menu turistico (tourist menu) boards make offerings clear in a dozen languages, but for the same €15–€20 you'd spend at such places you could do better at a bacaro making a meal of cicchetti (savory snacks).

Budget-conscious travelers might want to take their main meal at lunch, when restaurant prices tend to be lower. Also keep an eye out for cafés and trattorias that offer meals prepared for operai (workers); they’ll have daily specials designed for those who have to eat and run, which anyone is welcome to partake in. Bacari offer lighter fare, usually eaten at the bar (prices are higher if you sit at a table) and wine lists that offer myriad choices by the glass.

Although pizzerias are not hard to find, Venice is not much of a pizza town—standards aren't what they are elsewhere in Italy, and local laws impede the use of wood-burning ovens. Seek out recommended pizzerias, or opt for a bacaro snack instead of a soggy slice of pizza al volo, which is too commonly precooked and reheated. Tramezzini, the triangular white-bread sandwiches served in bars all over Italy, however, are almost an art form in Venice. The bread is white but doesn’t at all resemble the "Wonder" of your youth; many bars here still make their own mayonnaise, and few skimp on the fillings.

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  • 1. Caffè Florian

    $$ | San Marco | Café

    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...Read More

  • 2. All'Arco

    $ | San Polo | Café

    Just because it's noon and you only have enough time between sights for a sandwich doesn't mean that it can't be a satisfying, even awe-inspiring...Read More

  • 3. Bar all'Angolo

    $ | San Marco | Café

    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...Read More

  • 4. Caffè Bar Ai Artisti

    $ | Dorsoduro | Café

    Caffè Ai Artisti gives locals, students, and travelers alike good reason to pause and refuel. The location is central, pleasant, and sunny—perfect...Read More

  • 5. Caffè Florian

    $ | San Marco | Café

    Venice's oldest café, continuously in business since 1720, has served coffee to the likes of Wagner, Casanova, Charles Dickens, and Marcel Proust...Read More

  • 6. Caffè Quadri

    $ | San Marco | Café

    In the Procuratie Vecchie, Caffè Quadri exudes almost as much history as Florian across the way, and is similarly pricey. It was shunned by...Read More

  • 7. Da Titta

    $ | Café

    On the Lido, strategically located on the main drag between the vaporetto stop and the most central beaches, Titta is one of the oldest gelaterie...Read More

  • 8. Gelateria Il Doge

    $ | Dorsoduro | Café

    This popular take-away gelateria, just off Campo Santa Margherita, offers a wide selection of flavors, from a few low-calorie options including...Read More

  • 9. Gelateria Nico

    $ | Dorsoduro | Café

    Enjoy the Zattere's most scrumptious treat—Nico's famous gianduiotto, a slab of chocolate-hazelnut ice cream floating on a cloud of whipped...Read More

  • 10. Gelatone

    $ | Cannaregio | Café

    Though it's changed hands, new owners try to adhere to the tradition that kept locals devoted. The flavors are inspired and the servings ample. ...Read More

  • 11. Le Café

    $ | San Marco | Café

    On Campo Santo Stefano across from Paolin, Le Café has see-and-be-seen tables outside year-round. It also has bar service and afternoon tea...Read More

  • 12. Millevoglie

    $ | San Polo | Café

    The creamy, homemade gelato here satisfies the ad-hoc voglie (yearnings) of mille (thousands) passersby as they crisscross between the Frari...Read More

  • 13. Nico

    $ | Dorsoduro | Café

    With an enviable terrace on the Zattere, Nico is the city's gelateria with a view. The house specialty is the gianduiotto, a brick of dark...Read More

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