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. Impronta Cafe

    $$ | Dorsoduro | Italian

    This sleek café is a favorite lunchtime haunt for professors from the nearby university and local businesspeople; unlike in more traditional...Read More

  • 2. La Bitta

    $$ | Dorsoduro | Italian

    The decor is more discreet, the dining hours longer, and the service friendlier and more efficient here than in many small restaurants in Venice...Read More

  • 3. Osteria alla Bifora

    $$ | Dorsoduro | Italian

    A beautiful and atmospheric bacaro, Alla Bifora has such ample, satisfying fare that most Venetians consider it a full-fledged restaurant. Offerings...Read More

  • 4. Al Nono Risorto

    $$ | Santa Croce | Italian

    Although in the Santa Croce neighborhood, this friendly trattoria popular with the locals is really only a short walk from the Rialto Market...Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Botteghe di Promessi Sposi

    $$ | Cannaregio | Italian

    Join locals at the banco (counter) premeal for an ombra (small glass of wine) and cicheti like polpette or violet eggplant rounds, or reserve...Read More

  • 7. CoVino

    $$$ | Castello | Italian

    A charming new concept in Venetian eateries, diminutive CoVino offers a fixed-priced, three-course menu, from which you'll choose among several...Read More

  • 8. Enoteca Do Colonne

    $ | Cannaregio | Wine Bar

    Venetians from this working-class neighborhood frequent this friendly bacaro, not just for a glass of very drinkable wine, but also because...Read More

  • 9. La Perla—Ai Bisatei

    $ | Italian

    A perennial favorite with locals (Murano and otherwise) and a welcome respite for travelers, La Perla offers a relaxed, local atmosphere and...Read More

  • 10. La Trattoria ai Tosi

    $ | Castello | Italian

    Getting off the beaten track to find good, basic local cuisine isn't easy in Venice, but La Trattoria ai Tosi (aka Ai Tosi Piccoli) fills the...Read More

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