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
Where? Burano Island
This old inn 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.
Ruggero Bovo, owner of the restaurant said: “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
Where? St. Mark’s Square
Located in the heart of St. Mark’s Square, Ristorante Quadri serves traditional Italian and Venetian dishes with a contemporary twist. They only use fresh fish from the Rialto Market and local, seasonal vegetables to produce the most exquisite food. With a Michelin star, this luxury dining experience comes with a price but for those of you looking for a memorable dinner, this is the place to go!
There are various tasting courses available, including a 5 or 8 course tasting menu. For those of you with a smaller stomach, you can choose 2 or 3 dishes from the tasting menus. A sneak peek at their dishes includes 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 available.
3. Paradiso Perduto
Where? Venetian Ghetto Neighborhood
This lively osteria, not far from the Jewish Ghetto, is the perfect place for a lively Venetian meal. They have live music to keep you entertained while you enjoy seafood and vegetable platters, hearty pasta dishes or some cicchetti (finger food) at the counter.
Their menu changes on a daily basis, according to the produce available from the local market. 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
Where? Santa Croce
La Zucca, located close to the San Giacomo square, is a small yet charming restaurant offering a variety of dishes, including some tasty veggie-friendly options. La Zucca prides itself on using only fresh and natural ingredients to create the most sensational dishes. As opposed to most Venetian restaurants, they do not serve any fish dishes. This gives your palate a chance to explore other flavors!
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
Where? A short walk from Rialto Bridge.
Boccadora is located in a charming piazza surrounded by children playing, dogs barking and neighbors enjoying an evening stroll. At Boccadora, you can enjoy both traditional Venetian fish specialities, fresh pasta dishes and a number of vegetarian options.
If you’re dining as a group, we recommend sharing a few antipasti from the restaurant’s extensive menu. For 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), or for those of you avoiding carbs, there are also a number of fish dishes as a secondi piatti. Dessert is non-negotiable, panna cotta con fragola or tiramisu!
6. Venice Food Tour
Where? City center
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 while learning about the history and culture behind the Venetian way of life.
No trip to Venice would be complete without a gondola ride! This food tour offers a short ride on a gondola to get you from one foodie stop to another. Bring your camera and be sure to snap a few photos!
Be ready to taste the best cicchetti, spritz and gelato that Venice has to offer!
If you are touring Italy and visiting Rome, check out our blog post for the 10 Best Places to Eat in Rome.