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. Cantinone già Schiavi

    $ | Dorsoduro | Wine Bar

    A mainstay for anyone living or working in the area, this beautiful family-run 19th-century bacaro across from the squero (gondola repair...Read More

  • 3. Aciugheta

    $$ | Castello | Wine Bar

    Almost an institution, the "Tiny Anchovy" (as the name translates) doubles as a pizzeria-trattoria, but the real reason for coming is the bar...Read More

  • 4. Al Mercà

    $ | San Polo | Wine Bar

    It's easy to spot this tiny bacaro shoved into corner of the campo just beyond the Rialto Market: it's the one mobbed with chatty patrons—dressed...Read More

  • 5. Al Prosecco

    $$ | Santa Croce | Wine Bar

    Locals drop into this friendly bacaro to explore wines from this region and elsewhere in Italy. They accompany a carefully chosen selection...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. Cantina Do Mori

    $ | San Polo | Wine Bar

    This is the original bacaro, in business continually since 1462; cramped but warm and cozy under hanging antique copper pots, it has served...Read More

  • 13. Dai Zemei

    $ | San Polo | Wine Bar

    Loads of travelers happily "discover" this relatively new arrival on the bacaro scene traversing west from the Rialto, and a fortunate find...Read More

  • 14. Dal Col

    $ | San Marco | Bakery

    This is a good spot near Piazza San Marco for coffee and pastry on the run, with bar (coffee and beverage) service at the counter. Open every day. ...Read More

  • 15. Dal Mas

    $ | Cannaregio | Bakery

    Crisp croissants, pastries such as kranz (a braided pastry filled with almond paste and raisins) and strudel from the Friuli region, and bar...Read More

  • 16. Didovich

    $ | Castello | Bakery

    At this favorite, family-run locale, you'll find all the usual amenities of a pasticceria, and also some sublime vegetable tortes. Enjoy a primo...Read More

  • 17. El Rèfolo

    $$ | Castello | Wine Bar

    At this contemporary cantina and hip hangout in a very Venetian neighborhood, the owner pairs enthusiastically chosen wines and artisanal beers...Read More

  • 18. Enoiteca Mascareta

    $ | Castello | Wine Bar

    We're just here for the wine. What it lacks in supreme cuisine, Mascareta more than makes up for with its broad and adventurous wine selection...Read More

  • 19. Enoteca al Volto

    $$ | San Marco | Italian

    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...Read More

  • 20. 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

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