Listings of where to eat in Venice
As I mentioned in the previous post, I compiled this list based on Chowhound reviews, and in part referencing slowtravels and slowfood (although I can't read Italian, so only have th restaurant rec!). I was looking for moderate places to have good food, so have a fairly good collection of places for lunch (our big meal), and pizza/enoteca types for dinner. Hope this helps anyone else travelling to Venice! (ps If you want a cleaner version, contact me at email@example.com and I can email a word doc.) Thanks!
Trattoria Busa Alle Torre Da Lele, Campo San Stefano 3, +39 041 739 662, closed M/evenings
Twice I’ve been to Trattoria Busa Alla Torre Da Lele, Campo San Stefano 3, Murano. Twice I’ve arrived for lunch right at 12 noon, the latter visit SA 13 i 07. Twice I’ve had the spaghetti in cuttlefish ink. Twice I’ve had the grilled fresh fish. Twice I’ve had the Tiramisu. And twice I’ve eaten as well as ever in Venice for a midrange price restaurant – and it isn’t even in Venice, but in Murano. So after touring the glass blowing, the glass museum, and the sublime Sts Maria and Donato (the exterior apse a hymn to the humble brick, the interior apse the otherworldly mosaic [have your party not look up and walk to the steps of the altar; you at the door put two Euro in the light machine; all will be transported to Paradise]), this restaurant is well worth it.
Trattoria ’Busa alla Torre’ da Lele_Campo San Stefano, Murano_041 523 7027_We sat down at this bustling island restaurant and asked the waiter about canoce. “Finished,” he replied. I was disappointed, but not surprised at this point. We ordered the fried shrimp and calamari and a grilled branzino fillet. We waited. We waited some more. Lele, the friendly red-haired giant of an owner was chatting with some of the regulars and bringing them food himself. We waited some more. The waiter said it was coming. About 45 minutes after ordering, our food finally appeared. As we started eating, I heard Lele talking to a table that had just arrived. My Italian is pretty bad, but I know enough to know that they asked for recommendations and he recommended the branzino and the *canoce*. Okay, maybe I misunderstood. So the next time the waiter came by, I asked if he was sure that they were out of canoce. “Yes, sir. I am sorry. They are finished. No canoce.” As we finished eating Lele walks to the nearby table with three plates, proudly announces “canoce!” and sets the plates down. I was pretty sure about what was going on now. As I paid the bill, I asked the waiter again, “Isn’t that canoce they are eating?” “Yes, “ he said, “but they reserved it.” Grrr. We were going to have to find someplace that wouldn’t deny us the good stuff because we were tourists. The food we did get, by the way, was very good. Busa alle Torre da Lele (Murano) - very good value fixed price lunch (16E for 2 courses and contorno)in extremely congenial surroundings- the host Lele and I think this eatery is a landmark. Pasta and fresh sole were both very good. Other dishes were on offer on the mostly fish oriented a la carte menu The place was full of locals and visitors, and people were eating on the piazza too, this on a rather cold winter day. If you are visiting Murano this is the place I think - would be very busy in the high season so get there early for lunch as we did or reserve.
Trattoria della Marisa, Fondamenta di San Giobbe 041 72 02 11 (LP), closed Sun,M,W. nights, no cc.
Trattoria Della Marisa where it was 'meat' night (sometimes its fish night - you find out when you ring to book.) You go in sit down, there’s little English, and they just bring you food. No ordering, no menu's...just the mama's out the back cooking up a storm. So simple and so delicious. I cant remember the street but it was close to the train station, fontamente Giobbe, along a canal (funnily enough). Its faces the Cannareggio Canal, side closest to the Station and almost to the lagoon end of the canal. We started with two pasta dishes. A lovely lasagne with truffle and porcini mushrooms light but rich too, and a ground pork in tomato sauce and tagliatelli. Both perfectly executed. Next came some more sauteed mushrooms, a smokey baked artichokes, polenta and beef in wine braised, all washed down with several carafes of local red housewine. To finish we had a superb marscapone cream served in bowls with small spoons and biscuits to dunk and Vinsanto. The marscapone cream and lasagne were the highlights for me. The room was boisterous and lively and we ate and drank and talked till we'd had enough!! Recommended to go for dinner, possibly different menu for workers at lunch. Marisa is an un-touristy trattoria without a sign, frequented by bricklayers and gondoliers at lunchtime. They come for enormous portions of hearty home-cooking prepared by Marisa Verdolini, served by her daughter Vanda and son Stefano Bianchi. The ambience is no-frills — paper placemats on Formica tabletops. The selection expands in the evening and may include baked pasta or risotto with beef trimmings and main courses such as rabbit, duck, pheasant, hare, or venison, all accompanied by polenta. The house wines are easy and appropriate.
Osteria Alla Frasca, Corte de la Carità 5176, Di Loreto Mehdy 5176, Phone:041.5285433, W-M
Osteria alla Frasca is just barely in Cannaregio (near castello) , and is a very nice, simple place on s tiny campo. The fish will be expensive (I recommend getting it, or the seafood app, for one person , not two if you are a couple and want to save) but very good - weve had really excellent pasta there as well. If you go at lunch, they, like some other venetian osterie, have a fixed price cheap lunch deal they offer to locals. Osteria Alla Frasca (Castello) - our only return visit - a very good lunch at an unpretentious back-calle spot which mainly serves cheap fixed price lunches to locals. this was actually our most expensive meal (90E for 2) because we ordered 3 courses including the mixed seafood app for 2 and the whole orata. While the roasted orata was very good, I would recommend going for their mixed grilled fish instead - the grilling seems to bring out the fine quality of the venetian fish rather better than the moist oven cooked versions we have had, including that day. Osteria Alla Frasca- -Cannaregio- We really liked this place. Hard to find, paper napkins, no menu and really good food. Really good seafood platter for a starter. Seafood lasagna was great. Bill was 68 Euros. Neighborhood type place.
Osteria Giorgione, Cannaregio, calle dei Proverbi, tel 041 522 1725, closed M.
(near but not part of hotel of same name). The mosaics on the doorstep of this small, simple establishment say that it’s been there since 1885. A few tables outside, a few more inside. We all had the whole grilled Mediterranean seabass (bronzino alla griglia) and it was simply superb. The contorni misti (eggplant, peppers, zucchini and artichoke hearts) were also very good. With a bottle of pinot grigio, bottle of water, 2 espressos, 89 euros (30 pp). Only one review found.
Hosteria Al Vecio Bragosso, Strada Nuova 4386 S.S. Apostoli, closed M.
Hosteria Al Vecio Bragosso and it's located on Strada Nuova in Cannaregio. The staff was very friendly, the atmosphere is great and the fresh seafood was awesome. We had the pasta e fagioli soup, the pasta of the day which consisted of tagliolini with fresh tuna sauce and grilled sole.__Buon Appetito!__www.alveciobragosso.com
Hosteria Al Vecio Bragosso (on Strada Nuova), was recommended/ reserved for us by our hosts. However, went up to our room to get ready and pulled out some recommendations I had taken with me & there was a post from CH ("Adam", from his Feb trip -- see above), saying that he found this "locals" restaurant w/an assist from his water taxi driver & had one of his best dinners there. Well, it was quite good. Shared an app. of scallops in the shells, both large and small, which was very fresh and excellent with some evoo. My pasta course (I'm really not a risotto person) was paparadelle w/mushrooms, more scallops & light cream. Great. Then, pieces of "angler fish" (?? -- is this related to monkfish? Similar texture-taste) with polenta cakes. Also great. Ginny had a whole fish, I think a small sea bass, which was meaty, simply grilled w/polenta cakes. Grappa and espresso, no dessert. Total bill before tip (service wasnt included -- unusual, perhaps to capitalize on tourist dollar tipping?) was 86 euros. I wouldn't mind this place in my neighborhood.
Anice Stellato, Fondamenta de la Sensa, Cannaregio 3272, closed M/Tue., CC
Anice Stellato - modern updates on Venetian dishes - the lamb rolled in green pistachios, amazing. And the prices are reasonable. Anice Stellato, Cannaregio highly recommended - fine cooking, moderate price, good house red - we walked in for lunch - the mixed fish antipasto, risotto, tagliatelle with scampi and radicchio, crusted lamb and fritto misto (including many small fish, an oyster, a small sole and vegetables as well as squid) were all excellent.I would say they take extra care with everything.
Osteria da Alberto, Calle Larga G Gallina, M-S, kitchen close at 9:00pm, closed Sun.
Osteria da Alberto, Cannaregio 5401 on Calle Giacinto Gallina. This was the closest osteria to my apartment and I ate there all the time. Order from the specials, not the menu. They serve great pasta and risotto (sometimes with gorgonzola and radicchio - to die for.) They always have a good meat special and one or two fish specials. I have heard the house wine is not so good though in those days, it was always fine, you get use to Venetian table wine after a while. Desserts are just OK. Get there early, or reserve ahead. 041-523-8153.
Bentigodi Osteria da Andrea, Cannaregio 1423, Callesele, 041 716 269, closed Sun.
Bentigodi (also known as Osteria da Andrea) is a great choice for vegetarians. It offers superfresh seasonal vegetables such as Sant'Eurasmo artichokes, Treviso radicchio, winter squash, or asparagus from the nearby Rialto market, treated with the same respect usually reserved for fish and seafood. Look for these Venetian classics: pasta with squid, gnochetti with fish sauce, braised cuttlefish, liver with onions, or sausage — all paired with polenta. Try ricotta with berries and chestnut honey or panna cotta for dessert. The decor is rustic and understated. The wine list is a joy, mostly from Veneto and Friuli. Recommended by Jen and Slowtrav, but maybe downhill/changed ownership?
Great pizza at Il Faro in Cannaregio (on the calle between the two ghettos).
Osteria dalla Vedova, Trattoria Ca’d’Or, Calle del Pistor 3912, M-W, F-Sat, dinner Sun.
Trattoria Ca' d'Oro (aka La Vedova) for Venetian food (and cicchetti - the grilled vegetable plate for 10 euros was particularly good). Good cicheti- Alle Vedova by Santa Sophia- great fried squid, shrimp & little fish. Osteria Alla Vedova is very near, almost across from the vaporetto stop Ca' d’Oro. At the rather late lunch hour when we arrive, the osteria is not quite busy. Alla Vedova, a venerable Venetian establishment, is one of those places where menus are not offered, a traditional spot where staff and clients seem to know each other very well. While our neighbours are served antipasti without having ordered any, we make decisions. We will share a selection of crostini and Josette will have grilled vegetables while I ask the waiter to help me for a decision on a selection of sea food from the bar, which arrives as a heaped plate of marinated and grilled squid, polpetti, scallops, a paste of bacalá, clams, sardines, a cornucopia framed with a few slices of sausage. It pays to ask the locals what to eat! And so, the food lives up to the expectations, and we also use the time to observe the surrounding and the happy patrons. The above lunch for two, including wine, water and coffees sets us back only €40, which also includes a nice tip.
La Cantina, cichetti, Strada Nova, Campo San Felice, Cannaregio 3689, temperamental openings/closings.
La Cantina on Strada Nova in Cannaregio, fresh imaginative stuff along with traditional style. Can be pricy if you let them tempt you into a lot of seafood. La Cantina is the kind of casual place you wish were around the corner at home. Not far from Venice's railroad station, it is a great stop for a glass of wine and fine cicchetti — or a meal for those who are tired of fish. Owners Francesco (in the kitchen) and Andrea (in the dining rooms) take good care of their customers. Look for hearty soups, first-rate salumi, and artisanal cheeses. Andrea is willing to open almost any wine from his ample selection, making wine by the glass an incredible experience. La Cantina, where we were fixed up an amazing plate of veggies, meats, and
cheeses for about 20 euros. (They also are famed for their crostini, but actually have tables both inside and out.
Trattoria da Remigio, Salizada dei Greci 3416, closed lunch M, all T.
Trattoria Da Remigio (A Jen recommendation) and it was one of the most reasonable places we ate at. One of top 3 meals we had in all of Italy. There are other places too. My favorite was Trattoria da Remiggio. We went Sunday for lunch and it was filled with local families eating for 3 hours. Scia in polenta, razor clams, grilled monk fish...fab. Popular, in the guidebooks.
Osteria al Mascaron, Castello 5225, Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa, closed Sun.
Mascaron ("boat" in Venetian dialect) is a casual trattoria that's always crowded with a devoted following of Venetians as well as visitors. Owners Gigi Vianello and Momi de Momi bustle between tables, helping to explain their handwritten menu, which is not always easy to decipher. It includes octopus salad, pasta (listed by the sauce — mixed seafood, cuttlefish, or clams), grilled or baked fish, and simple desserts (panna cotta or cookies). There is dessert wine to conclude. The house wines are from Veneto, but there's also a small selection of fine wines from Italy's northeastern regions. Al Mascaron. This is what Alle Testiere wants to be, a no frills/high quality seafood place. No CC.
Alla Rivetta, San Provolo 4625, closed Mon., 041-528-7302 (res.)
Vaporetto: San Zaccaria (with your back to water and facing Hotel Savoia e Jolanda, walk straight ahead to Campo SS. Filippo e Giacomo; trattoria is tucked away next to a bridge off the right side of campo. Alla Rivetta in Castello (Salizzada San Provolo 4625) is a busy, fun restaurant that is packed with tourists and locals every day and night. I mean it is uber-popular and you will probably have to wait to get a table. You can eat well and relatively cheaply here but the only drawback is they get you in and out pretty fast. Very crowded, recommended in Frommers. Alla Rivetta in Castello was memorable. I had one of the best meals there, and it was a super simple branzino and french fries. Unbelievable. Chow Venice says it would not be "a good choice for anyone suffering from claustrophobia" and truer words have never been spoken. It is *very* crowded, and my boyfriend nearly suffered from a panic attack being that packed in.
Osteria Santa Elena (Dal Pampo)
Some good value restaurants are Osteria Santa Elena (aka Dal Pampo) in the Santa Elena District of Castello, Ost. Santa Elena (Dal Pampo) far out Castello, next to soccer stadium - informal, local.
Corte Sconta, Calle del Pestrin 3886-Castello- 041-522-7024, T-Sat, CC
The restaurants we enjoyed the most were Corte Sconta (Calle del Pestrin, just off the Riva degli Schiavoni, just before the Arsenale vaporetto stop). Corte Sconta has surely already been covered on this board, but I can report few tourists, gracious service, exemplary food, and high but fair prices. We started with the seafood antipasti, which consisted of 7 different small dishes. They included spider crab, a salmon pate, swordfish carpaccio, clams in a garlic/ginger marinade (fabulous!), and a few things I guess I cannot remember. We both had the delicious black pasta with seafood, then shared (even though we were totally full) tiny deep-fried soft-shell crabs (super tasty and fresh). Corte Sconta we liked it very much. Their multi-course seafood app followed by a pasta course is plenty for two. Reservations…
Alla Strega, Barbaria d. Tole 6418 Pizza
in Castello, down the Calle from Campo SS Giovanni & Paolo. They are only open for dinner and they have a vast selection of really good, interesting pizzas. The wine is not so good though. Mostly locals eat here. Chow! Venice (hereinafter C!V) recommends Alla Strega, a pizzeria on the way towards SS Giovanni e Paolo. Just past Bandierette, where I’d eaten well last year. Large choice of pizzas with many outrageous toppings (often on witchcrafty themes: Strega = witch), including the Pizza Harry Potter, which I didn’t have. I went for one with salami (not very) piccante, olives, anchovies & capers: pretty good. And a ‘pinta’ of very good, non-filtered beer. With a coffee, all came to €13. Popular place, virtually full by the end of my meal.
Trattoria/Dai Tosi, Secco Marina 73, Castello Pizza, closed Wed.
Trattoria dai Tosi, Secco Marina 73, in the eastern end of the city, has real locals and low(er) prices; it’s a pizza place save on the weekend. Well recommended, good value restaurant!
Avogaria, 1629 Dorsoduro, Campo San Sebastian, closed Tue. Phone 041 2960491.
Avogoria, Dorsoduro 1629, of course a worthless address. When walking from Accademia toward Campo Santa Margharita take a hard left after the sottopassagio at the entrance to Campo San Barnaba. Walk for some distance until you go over a bridge. Avogoria will be a hundred or so feet ahead on your left. Ultra modern interior and a chef from Puglia so the food takes that slant. I've enjoyed it.Avogoria (website is http://wxww.avogaria.com/index_2.html)_Very interesting modern food.
AVOGARIA is at 1629 Dorsoduro (closed Tuesdays) and is not easy to find. When walking from the Galleria area toward Campo Santa Margharita, make an immediate left when you go over the bridge at the entrance to Campo San Barnaba. Follow that calle (for quite a distance) and over the first bridge the restaurant will be on your left after a few hundred feet. I know that this is an out of the mainstream place, but the food and ambiance are worth the effort. It is a strict modernist interior (unheard of in Venice) and the food and drink excel. There will be no tourists. Avogaria is by far and away one of my favorite meals in Venice. None of the stuffiness of trattorias all looking to be "authentic" -- instead, they focus on quality. I run into Mimmo at the Rialto market frequently buying fish for the day so I know it's fresh. It's creative. His wife, the chef, is a sweetheart but more importantly is detailed about her cooking and ingredients. A massive recommendation for Avogaria The first is Avogaria. It has 2 rooms and there are twinkle lights strung between them. I had a mixed antipasti. It was mostly seafood stuffed peppers, sun dried tomatoes etc. and some cheese. The peppers were surprisingly spicy. My partner had orchiette to start and beef in almond sauce. Interesting food.
Ai Quattro Freri, Calle Lunga, San Barnaba, Dorsoduro, M-Sat.
Ai 4 Feri: a great seafood restaurant. Very small, but very good. Try the vongole and pasta with shrimp.
Osteria/Enoteca San Barnaba, Closed Wed and lunch Thu, 041 5212754
Osteria San Barnaba (Dorsoduro) - on Calle Lunga San Barnaba - lots of character, no pretension, limited menu of careful traditional meat oriented cooking with some Friulian specialties and great wines - just ask Sandro the host for a recc and he will bring a few bottles for you to choose from. We had an excellent young refosco (nothing fancy, just delicious) just a few tables in the back room, we enjoyed gnocchi with a lamb sauce,well flavored bean soup, an excellent rendition of fegato alla venezia with tender and scrupulously grilled polenta, a simple casseroled rabbit. Other places we have liked that include both fish and non-fish dishes and that kids would also be likely to enjoy are San Barnaba (Da Sandro) on Calle Lunga San Barnaba - wine bar with a few tables in the back, good welcome, tasty food (mainly meat oriented).
La Bitta, Dorsoduro, 2753 A-Calle Lunga San Barnaba, closed Sun., 6:30pm-2am, no cc
Meat. Listed in Slow Food, no cc.
Enoteca Ai Artisti, Fondamenta della Toletta, Phone: 041.52.38.944
In slow trav, authentic trattoria style food.
Enoteca Cantinone Gia Schiavi di Gastaldi Lino, 992 Dorsoduro, Cicheti
Enoteca Cantinone Gia Schiavi di Gastaldi Lino (its address is 992 Dorsoduro, which doesn't mean much, but is near the Peggy Guggenheim collection on a fairly major Canal). Enoteca Cantinone serves various crostini for 1,00 each, as well as a number of glasses of wine. (A small glass, called "un 'ombra" in Venetian, costs less than a euro.) Several of the crostini were fantastic, including the bacala mantecata, the runny mozzarella with pickled endive, and the uova e crema tartufo - or egg and truffle cream. My wife and I had three glasses of wine (bicchieri) each, two spritz, and about 10 crostini for about 22 euros. It's also an amazing wine store to boot - the bathroom is a bit on the sketchy side, though...
Gelati “Da Nico,” Zattere stop, Centro Storico fondamenta de le Zattere ai Gesuati No. 922
Come here just for the gianduiotto, a slab of gianduja ice cream topped with whipped cream. Amazing.
La Zucca, del Meglio/Calle delle Tintor 1762, Santa Croce_Tel: 041-524-1570, M-Sat.
This is a very popular place, and you must make a reservation. They have great pastas, vegetable side dishes, and some interesting meat dishes. No fish here... the vegetable and meat dishes often have a global theme (curry, guacamole with steak.) The desserts are incredible and the wine list is great with lots of well-priced selections (the house wine is good, too.) Just be sure to make a reservation, if possible the day before. Alla Zucca - A very fine restaurant, very popular too, runs two seatings in the evening. Strength in their veg dishes - the wonderful pumpkin (zucca) flan, gratineed leeks and curried potatoes were all very good and VERY rich. another veg-oriented item, the pizzochieri is uncommon - buckwheat noodles with potatoes, green veg and lots of butter and cheese. No fish is offered - of the meat secondi one was excellent - lamb rib chops with fennel, one was good, luganega sausage with cabbage, mine disappointed, pork with ginger and rice. This last tasted precisely like on of my failed stir fry improv attempts - slightly dried out slivers of pork with fresh ginger and I think peppers, with a side of plain white rice. Way below the level of other dishes and not worth the meal time in Venice. Alla Zucca: interesting menu, good, not amazing food, but a solid choice. La Zucca offers interesting (and sometimes extremely rich) pastas and contorni and creative meat dishes, served up at very reasonable prices. They also have an eclectic wine list with many well-priced and hard to find selections. The location is fairly out of the way, but you should absolutely make reservations before you go to La Zucca. Highlights include anything made with pumpkin (pumpkin soup, pumpkin flan), very rich lasagna, a simple pasta with fresh ricotta and tomatoes, and for dessert, panna cotta with nuts and honey.
Trattoria Nono Risorto, Pizza, Sotoportego de Siora Bettina 2338, Thu-Tue.
Trattoria Pizzeria Nono Risorto_from Campo San Cassiano, just over the bridge on Sotoportego de Siora Bettina_041 524-1169_A much better place for a relatively inexpensive meal. Very casual with great service in a nice gravel garden. A good, simple, margherita pizza and a plate of spaghetti carbonara were just the thing for our farewall to Italy.Al Nono Risorto at the border of San Polo and Santa Croce (not sure of the exact address, but have eaten there a million times).
Il Refolo, Pizza, Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio 1459, W-Sun, dinner Tue,
Il Refolo: The best pizza we've had in Italy. The same owners as Da Fiore. The food was so good that we went here twice. The best things were the pizza with baby artichokes and lard (heavenly), the pizza with arugula, gorgonzola, and walnuts and the mussels. A must do. It was at il refolo (owned by da fiore). We had a wonderful one with baby artichokes and lard and another great one with rucola, walnuts,and gorganzola. They have a lovely patio outside . You really can't go wrong with anything on the menu. It's close to da fiore (san polo?) and reasonably priced, about 10 euros for a pizza. Our favorite restaurant in Venice. Il Refolo, behind the church of San Giacomo dell' Orio. This place is owned by Damiano Martin, who's parents own da Fiore, and who wrote the da Fiore cookbook. He has a fresh fig and proscuitto pizza that is SO incredible - but I am not sure he will have it in December. But it is definitely worth looking into. Il Refolo is a wee bit pricier than most pizzerias but still a great value in Venice and I ate three meals there in September - I loved it.
Ae Oche, Calle del Tintor 1552/a, daily noon-midnight, cc
Vaporetto: Equidistant from Rio San Biasio and San Stae. You can walk here in 10 min. from the nearby train station; otherwise, from the vaporetto station find your way to the Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio and exit the campo south on to the well-trammeled Calle del Tintor. Pizza - we had good pizza experiences at Ae Oche in San Polo (they also seem to have a huge branch on the Zattere in Dorsoduro)- a giant salad with shaved parmigiano and figs was also excellent. Ae Oche, a pizza joint near Al Prosecco, turns out decent thin crust pizzas - tons of toppings, too, including dried horsemeat...
Al Prosecco, Campo S. Giacomo da l’Orlo 1503 Wine Bar
They make a mean spritz, too, though my favorite is from Al Prosecco (who also have tasty sandwiches and heartier fare in the evenings - try the wild boar mortadella sandwich - I believe it was 1.60 euros - a steal!) Al Prosecco is at Campo S. Giacomo da l'Orlo, Santa Croce 1503. Also try their prosecco col fondo - unfiltered prosecco - it's fantastic! Al Prosecco in Santa Croce (it's at the northern end of Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio) and Al Prosecco is a great place to go for an afternoon spritz (choose Aperol over Campari if you don't like bitter things) or prosecco col fundo (a natural, bottle-fermented prosecco). They have sandwiches for 1,60 and other foods ranging from 5-20 euro. You can sit on the main square or at a small dining room in back. The sandwiches included a wonderful mortadella made out of wild boar and an amazing house cured tuna.
Alaska (Da Pistacchi), Larga dei Bari 1159 (8-1,3-8).
Alaska: Right near il refolo and the best gelato we found in Venice. It is artisanal and standouts were the ginger and the yogurt.
Le Corte Antica Birraria, Campo San Polo 2168, open every day.
Antica Birraria la Corte_San Polo_041 275 0570_A okay place for a relatively inexpensive meal, but nothing to write home about. The pizza had a good crust, but was topped with cold, raw, mozzarella, which I thought was strange. The crab pasta could have been fresher. La Corte Antica Birraria in San Polo Square, which was packed with Venetians just getting off work. Try the homemade bigoli with amatriciana sauce - it was the best meal I had in Venice. Antica Birraria La Corte on Campo San Polo (the far side of the square, away from the church). The restaurant is mainly full of locals -- lots of families and groups of students, very few tourists. It was a Venetian who took us there with his friends, and he claimed it's the best pizza in Venice. It's not the best pizza I've ever eaten in my life, but it is very good, and lots better than most pizzas you find in Venice. It's a casual restaurant serving beer, pizza and pastas for reasonable prices (around €5-7 euro for a pizza). Birraria La Corte in Venice will fit your parameters perfectly. It is a ristorante and pizzeria. They have a huge assortment of really good pizzas along with a full menu of meat, chicken and fish dishes. Filled with Italian families and groups of Italian teens. We had a good time here and met some really nice folks sitting around us. You, your sons and your wallet will enjoy this place. http://www.birrarialacorte.it/ENG/ind...
Cantina do Mori, Cichetti, San Polo 429, M-Sat 8:30am-9:30pm, no cc.
Vaporetto: Rialto (cross Rialto Bridge to San Polo side, walk to end of market stalls, turn left, then immediately right, and look for small wooden cantina sign on left
)Cantina do Mori - San Polo, 429 - great place for bar snacks (crostini and the such - try the egg w/white truffles) and un'ombra (snack at about a euro each, ombras at about 0.50 euro). Great wines available by the glass and it's also a retail store. Since 1462, this has been the local watering hole of choice in the market area; legend even pegs Casanova as a habitué. Tramezzini are the fuel of Venice -- sample them here where you're guaranteed fresh combinations of thinly sliced meats, tuna, cheeses, and vegetables, along with tapaslike cicchetti. They're traditionally washed down with an ombra. Venetians stop to snack and socialize before and after meals, but if you don't mind standing (there are no tables), for a light lunch this is one of the best of the old-time bacari left. And now that it serves a limited number of first courses like melanzane alla parmigiana (eggplant Parmesan) and fondi di carciofi saltati (lightly fried artichoke hearts), my obligatory stop here is more fulfilling than ever.
Vini da Pinto, San Polo 367, Rialto, Tel. +39-041-522-4599, Closed Monday
Vini Da Pinto. They have the finest wines from the Veneto by the glass, such as a Tokai you will remember all your life (for less than a dollar) and sumptuous hot plates like squid in ink sauce over white polenta and sliced bread spread with baccala ala Vicentina or mantecata. (1997).
Enoteca San Marco
Enoteca San Marco on the Frezzaria in the San Marco sestiere (tel 041 52852420) was my favorite wine bar - the white was well chilled (a rarity in Venice) and we had an excellent cheese plate and lovely desserts. If Venice had a downtown, this urbane new haunt and its four young owners would be at the heart of it. Instead, the enoteca is smack in the center of commercial San Marco, making its marble bar and wraparound dining room a prime midday destination. The list includes 30 well-chosen local wines (try the Gini Soave Classico); older wines are poured from designer decanters into oversize goblets. There are moderately priced cheeses and salumi plates and imaginative recipes like fava bean pudding with cheese fondue (San Marco 1610, Frezzeria; 011-39-041-528-5242).
Cavatappi, bacari, San Marco 525
Cavatappi_San Marco, 525 – Campo de la Guerra_041 2960252_Had a nice lunch at this friendly enoteca from the Slow Food Guide serving mostly locals (including a couple of gondoliers). My wife had octopus salad – tender chunks of chilled octopus with greens and tomatoes. I had an okay salmon pasta. Young couple Francesca Tegon and Marco Ginapri filled the viticultural void behind Piazza San Marco when they opened Cavatappi (corkscrew), a sliver of a wine bar with outdoor seating. Inside there's a museum-quality assembly of corkscrews on display and regional tastings, of wine and of antipasti, that change daily. The small cucina serves simple, seasonal dishes and overstuffed tramezzini (triangular sandwiches) at bar tables (San Marco 525, Campo della Guerra; 011-39-041-296-0252).
Mnwinship’s compilation was really helpful to us on a recent trip to Venice, as were all the chowhounds’ comments on this board. Thanks to all! Here’s our take on a few of the spots mentioned:
Il Refolo (right off Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio): really liked this place. Definitely order the pizza with artichokes and lardo, which was fantastic. (Because of the lardo—yes, we know Venice doesn’t make the best pizza in the world. New Haven does. :) Reasonably priced and we LOVED this neighborhood (Santa Croce). Nice to sit outside. Casual, pleasant, and a welcome break from the several-course overeating that Italy induces. Our lardo leftovers were even more delicious the next day.
Alla Zucca (also in Santa Croce): we didn’t have as good an experience as others. We ate late, though not by Italian standards (9:30)—we were the last people in the restaurant and the staff and kitchen seemed tired and distracted. May just have hit them on a bad night. On the plus side: I had mozzarella caprese that was absolutely fantastic, what you dream about going to Italy to eat. Just the usual ingredients, but the best ever. I also tried the lasagna, which I’m sorry to say was the worst thing I ate in Italy. It seemed to be almost entirely cheese, and to have been sitting for a while & congealed on the plate. Really not good. Mike had better luck with a pasta with gorgonzola & pistachios—very rich, he loved it. He also ordered a filet (beef) with guacamole—as you can see Alla Zucca is not a traditional trattoria—the waiter returned later to say they were out of filet and could they make him a “skewer” of the same meat? I assume at the end of the night they didn’t have one nice cut left, so they were improvising with small bits. This was somewhat disappointing, and I was a little horrified that Mike had ordered a dish with guacamole in the first place, but the eventual dish was delicious on its own terms, though not traditionally Italian of course. Our contorni and dessert were just fine, nothing noteworthy. Overall, what colored the meal most (other than the notably bad lasagna, which was perhaps the victim of the beef delay) was the atmosphere & staff—it felt distracted, worried, tired, uneven, which was very unusual for Italy in our experience. Again, maybe just a bad night—they did apologize and say they'd had a busy night. I know this is a beloved restaurant for residents of this neighborhood. Website: http://www.lazucca.it. The menu currently on the website is entirely different from the one a few weeks ago in the restaurant—I assume the real menu changes frequently. Dinner for two was 69 euros (1 antipasto, 2 firsts, 1 second, 2 contorni, 1 dessert, 1 glass of wine, liter of water).
Both Il Refolo & Alla Zucca had a fair number of non-locals, which appears par for the course in Venice.
Tonolo: bakery/pastry shop near the Frari church (a must-see). Lovely pastries, though we were at a needing-to-sit moment and it is a standing place. Also serves coffee.
Wine bars: Cantina Do Mori is definitely worth a stop. Plan to stand. Really great cichetti.
Al Prosecco (also in Santa Croce, on Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio, near Il Refolo and Alla Zucca) is a delightful place to sit outside on the square in the afternoon or early evening & watch the kids play. We liked the prosecco col fundo (bottle-fermented), the spritzes (Aperol or Campari—we are total converts to the Aperol spritz and highly recommend trying one while in Venice), and all the snacks we tried were good. Great waiter.
A bar suggestion: as someone had recommended to us, one late afternoon we headed straight back to the small bar at the back of Caffe Florian (one of the historic/super-touristy cafes with orchestras on the Piazza San Marco). The bar seats about 4—we were the only ones there. The bartender manning it is making drinks for the whole place, and he is truly amazing. He has been working there for 19 years—10 years before that at a private club in London—and is the real deal. Once we realized we had struck gold, we had him make all the classic whiskey cocktails so we could watch his technique and enjoy the results. He clearly enjoyed making cocktails for people who cared. A tipsy local joined us after a while, definitely a regular, who marshaled her few words of English to tell us he was “THE BEST! THE BEST!”
Obviously, Italy is not a cocktails place, but if you have a yen for one, or you just want to get out of the Piazza San Marco craziness, this is a great stop. And if you want to stay Italian, order an Aperol spritz or a Negroni, or one of the Florian specialties. Fyi—the prices are reasonable at the bar; there is a big premium to sit indoors, and more I think to sit outside with the orchestra. We had 5 drinks at the bar (nice free bar snacks also) for 36 euros.
Thanks for the great report! You are right, Santa Croce rocks. It sounds like you had a great time - I also love Al Prosecco and Il Refolo - and La Zucca, so sorry it wasn't quite perfect for you. Artichoke and lardo pizza sounds, well, crazy good.
Aperol is now available in the U.S if you want to make yourself a Spritz at home sometime.
Thanks so much for this. We're going to Venice on a day trip from Bologna next week, and in contrast to Bologna, where I reserved 3 lunches and 3 dinners a month ago (so that I can review them) we're going to just see what we come across in Venice! But I couldn't resist doing some research anyway...
Helen Yuet Ling Pang
Il Refolo in Campo S. Giacomo dall'Orio is definitely open - I just ate there last week. In the winter months, they only have a small menu, no pizza, and obviously only indoor seating. In the warmer months, they have a lovely outdoor canal-side set up and pizza. In any case, right now the menu is small but the food is very good. We've been here in Venice for 3 months now - here are my thoughts on some of the places already posted, and on some which haven't been posted yet. If I know it, I also put the address, number, and closure dates.
Antico Panificio (S. Polo 945 A/B, tel 041 277 09 67, Lunch and Dinner, Closed Tuesdays, no pizza on Wednesdays) - Easy family meals/pizza, reasonably priced.
Taverna San Trovaso (DORSODURO 1016, tel 041 5203703, Lunch and Dinner, closed Mondays, same owners but not same place as Ristorante San Trovaso) - Neighborhood feel even if it's heavily touristed, a quick walk from the Accademia, good pizza
Osteria La Zucca (Santa Croce 1762, just off Campo S. Giacomo dall’Orio, lunch and Dinner, closed Sundays, tel. 041 52 41 570) It is not a vegetarian restaurant, but they focus on wonderfully prepared vegetables. Everything is seasonal and excellent. Seriously, this place cooks vegetables the way nature intended. It's awesome. Reservations suggested if it's a weekend. The radicchio and squash lasagne are sensational (radicchio from Treviso is now in season here, by the way).
La Bitta (Dorsoduro, 2753. S. Barnaba, Tel 041 5230531), mostly meat dishes, interesting food, homemade pastas, small and pleasant room, reservations a must on the weekends.
Fiaschetteria Toscana (Cannaregio 5719, Lunch and dinner, closed all day Tues. and Wed. lunch, tel 041 528 5281) Expensive but very good Venetian food, not Tuscan as the name might suggest
Caffe Impronta (Dorsoduro 3815, Calle dei Preti, telefono: 0412750386, Closed Sunday, sometimes briefly closed at lunch for private graduation parties during the graduation season) Bar/coffee shop/restaurant with full menu and tables, great sandwiches, pasta, etc., modern atmosphere, nice staff. This is near the Frari and the Scuola di S. Rocco. It's our favorite place for lunch.
Osteria Barababao (Cannaregio, behind the Church of S. Giovanni Crisostomo, near Coin Department Store) Very good seafood, pastas, cicchetti (little bites) as well as other dishes. No pizza.
Bar all'Angolo (San Marco 3464, Campo Santo Stefano. Tel: 041 522 07 10), really terrific sandwiches (there are some pre-made in the window but go inside and order off the menu, they're all made fresh to order). Most Venetians grab a sandwich standing up. Or, if you're lucky, there are tables outside, and there is some seating (first come first served) in the back.
Thanks for this wonderful post. Perfect timing for us! We (husband, daughter -13- and me) will be in Venice over Christmas (23 - 27) staying in a flat in the Castello section of Venice. Do you have any specific advice about dinner places for Christmas eve and anything open on Christmas? I'm thinking I should possibly call from the U.S. to book before we leave? Our Christmas eve budget is probably in the 50 euro/person range.
Thanks so much for your list.. we tried Trattoria Della Marisa during our visit to Venice and LOVED IT! It was fish night, just so yummy, the dishes just kept coming. I think we got a half litre bottle of house wine, and it came out to 80 euros for two people. Well worth every penny!
This report is truly impressive. You must have been a dedicated note taker and a very happy eater. If you are still checking the responses, these many months later, I would be most grateful for a copy I can print. It will be our principle guide to eating in Venice. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank so much for this really detailed and wonderful report. I leave this coming Tuesday and only a day trip to Venice but it sure sounds like all harmonics are converging on Anice, with lots and lots of back up Plan B's ..... now thanks to you. What a great trip you must have had. This sounds like a dream vacation to me. Thanks again for sharing all the really good detail and directions - so essential in this maze of a city.
If you're going in the high season, I think it's recommended to make reservations for most places, which I think you can do once you get to Venice (just walk in the day before and ask, saw several people doing that in Venice). And you've probably read about breakfast- just stop by any place filled with locals, ask for cafe and 'une brioche' and you should be fine. We eventually found a favorite place, but it was fun to try any place on our way to sight seeing, and the cheapest of the meals (take it standing, they charge more for sitting). Hope that helps, have a great trip!