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. Alaska Gelateria-Sorbetteria

    $ | Santa Croce | Bakery

    Carlo Pistacchi whips up delicious gelato completely from scratch, and is endlessly experimenting with imaginative flavors. Combine a tried...Read More

  • 2. Bar Gelateria Paolin

    $ | San Marco | Bakery

    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...Read More

  • 3. Boutique del Gelato

    $ | Castello | Bakery

    Even though you'll find newer, shinier gelaterie all up and down the salizzada , good value and marvelous flavors give this artisanal enterprise...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Gelateria Ca' d'Oro

    $ | Cannaregio | Bakery

    Here you'll find the usual array of flavors, which change with the seasons, plus a few more-inventive ones. You can also enjoy a granita (regular...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Harry's Dolci

    $ | Bakery

    With tables offering a spectacular view of the Zattere outside and an elegant room inside, Harry's (of Cipriani fame) makes for a supremely...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. Pasticceria Tonolo

    $ | Dorsoduro | Bakery

    Venice's premier confectionery has been in operation since 1886. During Carnevale it's still one of the best places in town for frittelle,...Read More

  • 13. Pasticceria Vio

    $ | Santa Croce | Bakery

    Besides the usual selection of small pastries and drinks, enjoy a piece of crostata di marroni (chestnut tart) or a bag of spicy cookies made...Read More

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