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. Venissa

    $$$$ | Italian

    Stroll across the bridge from Burano to the islet of Mazzorbo to see some of the Venetian islands' only working vineyards, amid which sits this...Read More

  • 3. Al Gatto Nero da Ruggero

    $$ | Seafood

    Around since 1965, Al Gatto Nero da Ruggero offers the best fish on Burano. No matter what you order, though, you'll savor the pride the owner...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Busa alla Torre da Lele

    $ | Italian

    A pretty square with olive trees and a well sets the stage for Da Lele, a favorite of the Muranese and returning travelers. On the ground floor...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. La Palanca

    $$ | Italian

    It's all about the views at this classic wine bar–restaurant, where tables perched on the water’s edge are often filled with both locals and...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Ristorante Quadri

    $$$$ | San Marco | Italian

    Although the lavish interior has been updated by designer Philippe Starck, this restaurant above the famed café of the same name is still steeped...Read More

  • 10. Ristorante Riviera

    $$$$ | Dorsoduro | Italian

    The impressive panorama from their Zattare terrace attracts travelers yearning for a view, and the Riviera certainly offers that. Choose from...Read More

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