Where to eat in Venice? One of the questions we are frequently asked is “where should we go for dinner?” meaning, “where is it that the locals go and the chances to find a tourist are slim?” Eating well in Venice shouldn’t be very hard, since the city delights the palate with dish after dish of local goodness. But because Venice is such a popular tourist city, here’s a little guide we put together featuring some of the best restaurants in Venice to eat like a Venetian. Buon appetito!
Please note: we have NO business connections with the places mentioned in this article and received no compensation or incentive to list them here.
Some of the Best Restaurants in Venice’s St Mark’s District
Quadri $$$$ – Sestiere San Marco
Blessed with an alluring history and a magical location, the historic Quadri is a Michelin-starred dining experience where you can enjoy a visual and palatable feast high above Piazza San Marco. The Quadri menu is a tribute to the lagoon and to the Italian tradition, completely devoid of concessions to the “tourist vocation”. A large wallet allows you to recognize the combination of elegance and the superstar chef Massimiliano Alajmo personal touch in reinterpreting the Venetian cuisine. Try cappuccino of baby shrimp and curried clams, black cuttlefish risotto with spring peas and sea urchin, as well as steamed sea bass. Here with friends? Go for the tasting menu and sample the best of seasonal flavors with wine pairings expertly chosen by Quadri’s sommeliers. The tasting menus change with the season, a chance to savor the flavors of the Veneto while gazing at Europe’s most beautiful drawing room below. If you are willing to spend, the Quadri is definitely one of the best restaurants in Venice.
Piazza San Marco 121, 30124, Venice, Phone:+39 041 5222 105
Quadrino $$ – Sestiere San Marco
With large windows that open up onto beautiful Piazza San Marco, Quadrino is an informal yet elegant and romantic restaurant. Take a break from the throngs of tourists in the square and come in for a relaxing lunch. Have a seat and admire the stucco art as you browse the menu spotlighting traditional Venetian fare: fish tartare with capers and lemon, sea bass ravioli and other distinctive dishes. As the sun sets, why not stop for a spritz and delectable cicchetti?
Piazza San Marco 121, 30124, Venice, Phone: +39 041 5222 105
Bistrot de Venise $$$ – Sestiere San Marco
A fine dining restaurant and wine bar, Bistrot de Venise approach to cuisine and culture offers a rare opportunity to savor ancient Venetian recipes: 14th century roasted eel with bay leaves, 15th century marinated and baked sturgeon in cherry sauce, 17th century pasta with goose sauce, pine nuts, raisins, rosemary and sage, and many more. Long-lost Venetian recipes brought back by the Bistrot will give you a new insight into olden-day Venice.
San Marco 4685, 30124 San Marco, Calle dei Fabbri, Venice, Phone: +39 041 5236 651
Chat Qui Rit $$$ – Sestiere San Marco
The Chat Qui Rit AKA “The Laughing Cat” bistro is one of the best restaurants in Venice from a design perspective. Very good food experience and attentive service a mere 3-min walk from Saint Mark’s Square. In addition the wine cellar boasts an accurate selection of the finest Italian wines from distinguished wine makers, including vintage and collectible ones.
C. Tron, 1131, 30124 Venezia VE Phone: +39 041 522 9086
Grand Canal $$$ – Sestiere San Marco
Grand Canal, with a breathtaking terrace right on the water, is just as cozy in the cooler season with romantic indoor seating and classic Venetian specialties. With many types of seafood to choose from, tuck into signatures such as pilgrim scallops au gratin with a lobster crust, Venetian fish risotto, and monkfish with sweet peppers and red prawns. In addition, a wonderful selection of duck, lamb, veal and beef will without doubt whet your appetite for true gourmet cuisine.
Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal, Piazza San Marco 1332, 30124 Venice, Phone: +39 041 5200 21
One of the Best Restaurants in Venice’s Dorsoduro District
Riviera $$$ – Sestiere Dorsoduro
“You are what you eat” – this saying means that much more when you are beholding one of the world’s most unique sights, Venice’s Giudecca Canal. From Riviera restaurant’s waterfront terrace, you can take in the Serenissima’s evocative skyline while savoring regional dishes. The menu highlights fresh genuine produce and the best catch of the day, as every plate heartily dishes up Venetian culinary tradition and innovation.
Fondamenta Zattere, Al Ponte Lungo, 1473, 30123 Venezia VE Phone: +39 041 522 7621
Some of the Best Restaurants in Venice’s Castello District
Local $$$ – Sestiere Castello
The Local is constantly experimenting, revamping traditional ingredients into works of art, always with an eye on sustainability. With Matteo Tagliapietra in the open-air kitchen even the humble mackerel morphs into a tasty delight. The Local accommodates both demure and adventurous eaters. Local is so named because everything is local, from the Venetian floor embedded with murrine, to the fresh catch from the lagoon. If you’re looking for creative and deliciously refined cuisine, this one of the best restaurants in Venice for local and traditional dishes. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Castello 3303, 30122, Venice Phone:+39 041 2411128
Osteria Alle Testiere $$ – Sestiere Castello
Situated just across Santa Maria Formosa Church and wedged between picturesque bridges on the canal is an osteria not to be missed. The name, Alle Testiere means “At the Headboards”, and there are old wooden headboards making up part of the bar and old wrought iron ones hanging on the walls. Intimate and very local, this popular restaurant creates seafood specialties with the lagoon’s catch of the day and produce from their own garden from the island of Sant’Erasmo. Every ingredient is handpicked and the grilled octopus gazpacho, pumpkin and scampi ricotta ravioli are not to be missed. Have sommelier Luca suggest a wine pairing with your dish for a truly memorable Venetian experience. With only 24 seats, reservations are essential. This is a seafood only restaurant and it is closed on Sunday and Monday when the Rialto fish market is also closed.
Calle del Mondo Novo, Castello 5801, 30122 Venezia Phone: +39 041 5227220
L’Osteria di Santa Marina $$$ – Sestiere Castello
L’Osteria di Santa Marina is a casually elegant place with rough-plank wood walls, hanging metal lampshades and windows overlooking the lovely campo. In Chef Agostino’s capable hands, typically Venetian ingredients are brought up-to-date with a flourish: for example, folpetti, (baby octopus) served with celery and orange zest or black barley risotto with mushrooms, zucca (pumpkin) puree and grilled scampi. The service is professional and the spaces between courses are, more often than not, filled with little amuse-bouche surprises. Finish your meal with an extravagant soufflé that spurts a core of molten chocolate. Reservations strongly recommended. L’Osteria di Santa Marina is one the best restaurants in Venice’s Castello district for traditional Venetian food with a creative twist. In addition, there is the option of dining out overlooking Campo di Santa Marina.
Campo Santa Marina, Castello 5911, Venezia, 30121. Phone: +39 041 528 5239
One of the Best Restaurants in Venice’s San Polo District
Wisteria $$$ – Sestiere San Polo
A nice young couple is at the helm of this restaurant located at the heart of the San Polo district. They offer contemporary cuisine based on regional products in a tasting menu based on meat, fish or vegetarian dishes. Sit on the canal terrace and let them guide you on an unforgettable culinary escape. Prepared with care, the dishes promise an explosion of flavors with every bite. A place not to be missed Wisteria is one of the best restaurants in Venice near the Basilica dei Frari, the city‘s largest church.
San Polo 2908, 30125 Venezia Phone: +39 041 524 3373
Some of the Best Restaurants in Venice’s Cannaregio District
Osteria Anice Stellato $$$ – Sestiere Cannaregio
Here modern takes on classic regional recipes in an elegant, rustic-style setting with canal side tables. Creativity finds its way into many inspired recipes. The chef uses oriental spices such as star anise from which the restaurant owes its name. Eccentric, but delicate dishes proudly appear on the menu. Take, for example, the swordfish carpaccio or a delicious risotto. The waiters know their organic wines and give you perfect pairing options. There is a bar inside, but you can also sit outside by the canal with a view of the gondolas. Book in advance because the restaurant is very popular!
Fondamenta della Sensa 3272, Cannaregio 30121 Venice Phone: +39 041 720 744
La Colombina $$$ – Sestiere Cannaregio
Three tasting menus are offered by this small – 40 seats-restaurant/wine cellar which specializes in Venetian fish dishes, Tuscan meats and fine wines. Each menu – fish, meat and vegetarian offers five different courses plus dessert. There is a special of 9 cheeses with preserved fruits and jams and boccocini made with the famous Chianina beef and Chianti wine. In addition, the menu offers a daily selection of appetizers including a plate of Tuscan salamis, an assortment of raw fish, polenta with schie, and bruschetta Toscana or a carpaccio of tuna. The prima piatti include the famous Tuscan Ribollita, fresh pasta, pasta with a ragu of Chianina, and ravioli with radicchio and gorgonzola. Secondos include the tagliata of Chianina Toscana for a minimum of two people, a daily fish special and another plate. There are three dolce listed – an enfasi of chocolate, a basket of fruit and “Le delizie del palato.” The carne tasting menu might include a selection of salami, bruschetta, pumpkin soup, pasta with a ragu of Chianina beef, and finally a plate of sliced Chianina beef on pile of rosemary roasted potatoes and white beans. The wine list is lengthy and full of wonderful choices with a good range of prices. This is one of the best restaurants in Venice Cannaregio neighborhood for delicious local foods and Italian wines.
Cannaregio 1828 Venice Phone: +39 041 522 2616
One of the Best Restaurants in Venice’s Islands
Locanda Cipriani $$$ – Torcello Island
Torcello is an enchanting island in the Venetian lagoon, located half an hour from Venice, where a peaceful atmosphere hovers, perfect for a relaxing retreat or a restful day. Locanda Cipriani rhymes with luxe, tradition and jet set. There is a beautiful garden, the food is delicious, and the staff is old-style. An absolute classic and absolutely old-Europe. In 1934, Giuseppe Cipriani took over a small wine shop to transform it into Locanda Cipriani. The cuisine of Locanda Cipriani is classic, using only the best regional ingredients with professional old-fashioned service of long practice. Great meals aren’t made by great food alone, although that helps. Don’t go just for the food – the ambience is what makes this place great. That said, you are here for the setting and the Grand Tour experience. For a luxurious trip to Venice, La Locanda Cipriani in Torcello is the perfect place to relax, explore and unwind.
Piazza Santa Fosca 29, Torcello, 30100, Venice. Phone: +39 041 730150
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