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By Lauren Hill | January 8 2018
The Italians take their cuisine very seriously and Venice restaurants are widely regarded as some of the best in the country. Risotto and bigoli pasta are classic dishes to try here, along with seafood, which is a big feature of the Venetian diet. Ranging from fresh sardines to crab, shrimp and cuttlefish, the fish and seafood offering is rich and varied. The best restaurants source this seafood locally from the Lagoon, so your catch will always be fresh. On top of this, Venice is celebrated for its traditional cookies, cakes and desserts such as Tiramisu, so it’s well worth leaving some room for each restaurant’s sweet plates. To try this exceptional produce and local recipes at their best, follow our guide to the best restaurants in Venice.
Cuisine: Venetian seafood and pasta
Style / Ambiance: A typical Venetian restaurant, located away from the tourist trail in a quiet Venetian square, the Osteria offers traditional Venetian dishes using only fresh fish, homemade pasta, vegetables and local ingredients, giving diners the chance to savor the authentic and natural flavors. This is easily one of the best places to eat in Venice.
It is also equipped with an excellent wine cellar and the resident sommelier will happily advise you. The atmosphere of the restaurant is simple and elegant, and there is a small private dining room for business lunches or more intimate gatherings. The restaurant has played host to many famous people, including former Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi and the Secretary of the Treasury, Tommaso Padoa Schioppa.
+39 041 521 1021
Cannareggio 5405/a, Campo Widmann, 30131 Venice
Style / Ambiance: Located on historic Torcello island, Locanda Cirpriani is just 30 minutes from the center of Venice, and despite not being in the city center is still regarded as one of the best places to eat in Venice.
Since it opened in 1938, the restaurant has attracted an elite clientele including Ernest Hemingway, Paul Newman and Queen Elizabeth II. It is still owned and run by the Cipriani family and specializes in rustic, traditional cuisine, such as the John Dory fillet which is cooked according to Carla Cipriani’s recipe. The three indoor dining rooms, outdoor terrace and garden can all be booked for special events and customized according to guests’ requirements.
+39 041 730 150
Piazza Santa Fosca 29, 30142 Torcello, Venice
Style / Ambiance: One of the city’s oldest trattorias, located near the Rialto Bridge, Antiche Carampane serves an authentic menu with traditional cooking, fresh wild fish, handmade sweets and biscuits.
In the last few years VIP guests have included: Yoko Ono, Bill Murray, Monica Bellucci, Natalie Portman, Salma Hayek, Audrey Tatou, Timothy Dalton, Brian Ferry and many Italian actors and international politicians.
Image © Instagram @hungry.pea
Piera Bortoluzzi Librai
+39 041 524 0165
San Polo, 1911, 30125 Venice
Style / Ambiance: With its splendid panoramic terrace next to the Grand Canal, L’Alcova Restaurant (at the Casagredo Hotel) is the perfect setting to watch all the action on the Venetian waterway and one of the most romantic restaurants in Venice.
Open all year round, L’Alcova is an exclusive and intimate restaurant with Chef Klostermaier preparing refined natural dishes characterized by rich tastes and great personality. He has a strong ‘Natural Flavors’ philosophy, providing a fresh twist on traditional Venetian cuisine.
+39 041 241 3111
Campo Santa Sophia 4198/99, 30121 Ca’ D’Oro, Venice
Style / Ambiance: Located right in the heart of Venice, a few steps from Saint Mark’s and the Rialto Bridge, Osteria Alle Testiere is a very popular romantic restaurant with only nine tables.
Luca, the sommelier, and Bruno, the chef, offer the best of the daily fish market – no bolognese, no pizza – just the catch of the day. Listed in the Michelin Guide since 1997, l’Osteria alle Testiere has become a haven for artists during Art Biennale and the Film Festival, partly because of its ‘secret’ location away from the paparazzi. Osteria Alle Testiere is open for lunch and dinner; closed Sunday and Monday.
Image © Instagram @welovefoodtweets
Luca Di Vita
+39 041 522 7220
Sestiere Castello 5801, 30122 Venice
Style / Ambiance: Setting the standard for Japanese dining establishments in Venice, the alchemy of flavors at the Mirai is thanks to the creativity and talent of top sushi chef Norio Nishibori, who has created exquisite dishes for the restaurant.
In Japan, ‘sushi’ refers to a wide range of dishes, not only fish-based, but all using rice as a staple element, and prepared according to rigid and complicated rules. The Mirai uses fish of the highest quality and freshness and for this reason the fixed menu always gives way to the specialty of the day.
Image © Instagram @miraivenice
+39 041 226 517
Sestiere Cannaregio 227, 30121 Venice
Style / Ambiance: Cuisine at the Antico Martini offers diners the choice of fresh fish, such as king prawns and scampi, or traditional meats like Venetian-style liver (fegato alla Venezian) accompanied by fresh seasonal vegetables.
The first course embodies the delicacy of Venetian cooking with an array of flavors and colors. The desserts here are worth savoring with a wide choice of pastries, cakes and confectionery. Located close to the Fenice Theatre, Antico Martini it is an ideal pre-theater restaurant. Dine in the enchanting private courtyard, the terrace facing the square or in one of the three elegant dining rooms.
Image © Instagram @braulionyc
+39 041 528 9857
Campo Teatro Fenice 2007, 30124 Venice
Style / Ambiance: Dine on classic dishes interpreted in a modern and lighter way. Offering specialist seafood, emphasis here is on fish caught in a local harbor and nearby.
The elegant restaurant offers delicious gastronomic dishes characterized by a prominent use of the best first seasonal fruits and vegetables. Much relished are the entrees of raw fish and the vast and selected cakes choice.
Among the most famous dishes are the bass in balsamic vinegar and the tunny-fish with rosemary flavor, the risotto and the “molecche” (typical Venetian food), which are the favorites of demanding gourmets.
Image © Instagram @gianni_campi