Venice is an enchanting city with so much to see and do, it’s easy to eat in whichever trattoria or osteria you come across. However, this often leaves visitors eating at overpriced, tasteless restaurants, and consequently leaving Venice feeling dissatisfied. The truth is, Venice is full of delicious restaurants. If you plan your day wisely, you can get the best of both worlds–delicious Venetian food while still visiting all of the places on your list. So here you have it, our list of the best restaurants in Venice.
1. Trattoria Al Gatto Nero
This old inn on Burano island is perfect if you’re looking to taste a real home-cooked Venetian meal. With fresh seafood and pasta, you can’t go wrong. Start with the Tris di Crost Acei alla Griglia (a mix of grilled comb shells, razor clams and scallops). For the Primi Piatti, we highly recommend the risotto alla Buranella (typical of Burano island, made with Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice and Ghiozzi fish). Make sure you leave room for dessert and choose from the Torta di Giorno or try the typical biscuits dipped in sweet wine. The restaurant’s owner, Ruggero Bovo says:
I love my country, its traditions, its old flavors and I love the fish of the Venetian lagoon and the Adriatic Coast, the raw material which has fed my island for generations and which I still have the fortune of getting fresh every day.”
2. Ristorante Quadri
Located in the heart of St. Mark’s Square, Ristorante Quadri serves traditional Italian and Venetian dishes with a contemporary twist. Using only fresh fish from the Rialto Market and local, seasonal vegetables to produce the most exquisite food, this restaurant has earned its Michelin Star. Of course, this luxury dining experience comes at a steep price, but if you’re looking for an unforgettable night out in Venice, this is the place to go.
There are various tasting courses available, including a five or eight course tasting menu. Or, if you have a smaller appetite, choose two or three dishes from the tasting menus that sound appetizing. A sneak peek at their dishes reveals Spaghettoni with Skate Fish Milk and Mantis Shrimp, Tuna Belly with Bottarga Cream and Camone Tomato “Panzanella” and Black Cuttlefish Risotto Coconut, Curry and Peach. Gluten free options are available.
3. Paradiso Perduto
This lively osteria, not far from the Jewish Ghetto, is the perfect place for a vibrant and authentic Venetian meal. With live music to keep you entertained, enjoy seafood dishes and vegetable platters, hearty pasta dishes or some cicchetti (finger foods) at the counter. Since the menu changes on a daily basis, according to the produce available from the local market, you know everything here is fresh and delicious. However, you can’t go wrong with Frittura di Pesce (fried fish) or Il Baccalà Mantecato (creamed dried cod served on slices of crusty bread). Make sure you book in advance, as it can get very busy in the evening.
4. Osteria La Zucca
La Zucca, located close to the San Giacomo square, is a small and charming restaurant that offers a variety of dishes, including tasty veggie-friendly options. La Zucca prides itself on using only fresh and natural ingredients to create the most sensational dishes, in the spirit of authentic Italian cuisine. As opposed to most Venetian restaurants, they do not serve seafood, so stop by here for a change of place. Try the Asparagus Flan with Parmesan Fondue or the Zucchini and Almonds Lasagna for the perfect refuel before a busy afternoon of sightseeing.
5. Ostaria Boccadora
Boccadora is located in a charming piazza surrounded by children playing, dogs barking and neighbors enjoying an evening stroll. At Boccadora, enjoy traditional Venetian fish specialities, fresh pasta dishes and a numerous vegetarian options. If you’re dining as a group, we recommend sharing a few antipasti from the restaurant’s extensive menu, before moving on to your main course. Choose from a selection of pasta fish dishes such as Tagliolini con Sardoni (Taglioni with Fresh Sardines) or Gnocchetti alla Gransevola (Gnocchetti with Spider Crab), and if you’re avoiding carbs, there are a number of fish dishes available as second plates. Also, dessert is non-negotiable at Boccadora. We suggest the Panna Cotta con Fragola or the Tiramisu.
6. Venice Food Tour
If you have limited time in Venice, a Venice food tour is a great way to discover some of the best food and drink Venice has to offer. This food tour even offers a short ride on a gondola to get you from one foodie stop to another. Taste the best cicchetti, spritz and gelato that Venice has to offer with a local foodie guide.
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