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Kid-friendly but delicious in Venice and Tuscany?

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  • SareS Jun 8, 2008 10:09 AM
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I am travelling to Rome, Venice and Tuscany in July with 3 kids, ages 12, 9 and 6. Any suggestions for places to find delicious, not too fancy and not too expensive dinners? Suggestions gratefully appreciated!

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  1. Id suggest your search the posts on your destinations - there have been many - dozens, hundreds of discussions on these - and pretty much anyplace that is not too fancy will also be good with kids - Italy is a kid friendly destination.

    Do be realistic though about what your kids will be willing to eat and how long they will be willing to sit at table. There are quite a number of restaurants in Venice that do not serve much but fish based dishes - if they dont like fish and shrimp (and I dont mean fish fingers) they will be eating a lot of pasta with tomato sauce like my vegetarian daughter did.

    11 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      Thanks - how did you find the food in Venice - I hear mixed reviews. Also, my son is allergic to fish (and nuts) so will have to deal with that. Good to know there is always plain pasta.

      1. re: SareS

        There is a lot of good pizza in Venice if your kids like pizza.

        Three places that have pizza, pasta, fish, meat - you name it - and also meet your other requirements are: Taverna San Trovaso and Casin dei Nobili (both in Dorsoduro,) and Casa Mia (more for pizza, less for fish) in Cannaregio. A google search should pull these up but if you can't find them here or elsewhere I can post the addresses.

        1. re: Shannon

          There are no good pizza places in Venice becuase wood burning ovens are not allowed!

          1. re: Tuscanlover

            I was wondering why everyone says there is no good pizza in Venice! Thanks.

            1. re: SareS

              Not everyone agree to the statement "that there is no good pizza in Venice". There are posts on this thread to the contrary.

        2. re: SareS

          Because Venice caters to so many tourists, eating out can be a hit or miss. Compounding the difficulty is that the best restaurants in Venice are seafood base and expensive. Couple of good moderate places that has non-seafood dishes are Osteria San Barnaba, Alle Frasa and Da Alberto. Contrary to couple of earlier posts, there are good pizza (maybe not in the same league as Naple or Rome). Try Nono Resorto, Dai Tosi, and Vecio Canton. Aciugheta is a large trattoria near San Marco. It is somewhat touristy but has decent food including pizza, pasta, seafood, meat with a lively fun atmosphere.

          1. re: PBSF

            these are some of the same places we liked- you mean Alla Frasca, I think. Their outdoor dining area would be enjoyed by kids - esp at lunchtime when groups of venetian workers show up for their bargain mean. Im not sure YOU can get that meal, but their pastas, fish etc are very good. Has anybody been to the newish Pane, Vino e San Daniele place in the space where the old Anzolo Raffaele parish trattoria was way out it Dorsoduro? It and the cluster of places around San Barnaba (in addition to Ost. San Barnaba which I can personally recommend, there are also Oniga and La Bitta serving meat dishes - and is that Sardinian place still open near there too?- as well as Quattro Ferri and other fish oriented ones. Theres definitely good pizza in Venice - one place as two branches, one on the Zattere and one I think over by Campo San Giacomo del;Orio (NOT Le Refolo) had large, tasty and very good value pies.I sure someone with a better memory will come up with this one. Im not claiming that is the best in Venice, but its enjoyable and a good choice with hungry kids.

            1. re: jen kalb

              Incontro, the Sardinian trattoria between c/San Barnaba and Santa Margherita, is still open, good meat dishes and quite popular. I believe the pizzeria with two branches that you are referring to is Ae Oche. Only been to the one near c/San Giacomo del Orio (a wonderful area to stroll). The pizzas are hit and miss but there are a large selection of good salads and decent pastas with a lively younger crowd in the evening. There is also a terrific bakery, J. Majer, off the other side of the campo right before alla Zucca.

              1. re: PBSF

                Yes we went to that Ae Oche, and you are correct about the salads. I personally liked Dai Tosi the best of the Venetian pizzerias we went to (and its nice to march kids a long way for their dinners) but the whole package at Ai Oche is tasty and good value. Fair number or Americans there swilling beer (the pizza drink) but it was congenial rather than oppressive. This was a nicer place tha Ai Sportivi in the Campo Santa Marghita, another possibility.

              2. re: jen kalb

                I think the pizza place you're remembering off of Campo San Giacomo del'Orio is Pizzeria Alle Oche - Calle de Tentor 1552 B, (adjoining campo San Giocomo del'Orio), Venice, Italy. They have over fifty different varieties of inexpensive pizzas (as well as other dishes) and Alle Oche is one of the best pizzerias in the city. They are closed on Mondays. Otherwise, Open daily from 12 noon-11pm. A small strip of outdoor dinig tables which are lovely, as well as indoor. It's good food, large portions (can split a pizza between hungry kids) and inexpensive. It's a regular spot for me when I am in Venice (which used to be once a month.)

              3. re: PBSF

                Just returning from Venice I also recommend Nono Risorto.

                We always failed to get there a table at earlier visits, but this time we were early and the rain just stopped, so we got a table in their small garden:

                The sarde in saor, the fegato alla venexiana and the bistecca were not only wonderful fresh, tasty and simply perfect, but also really inexpensive. The pizzas looked excellent, and they do not charge for their bottles of filtrated water.

                This is a place for children as well as adults, and it is quite centrally located, in front of San Cassiano.

          2. For lunch with the kids there is always the option of donner kebob. Also many of those places sell pizza too, but as Tuscanlover mentioned, it is not quite the best pizza in Italy.

            1. Birraria La Corte in Campo San Polo has outdoor seating on the campo.

              There is also a pretty good gelato place in Campo Santa Margherita (Dorsoduro)
              Supermarket there as well in case you want some snacks for the kids.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mangiamama

                Indeed at one end of Campo Santa Margherita, Gelateria del Doge has terrific ice cream, especially their various chocolate flavors and their signature "del Doge" flavor. The pizzas at I've had at Birraria La Corte is only decent but it is one of the most fun and lively pizzeria in Venice, especially in the evenings.

                1. re: mangiamama

                  Thanks!

                2. Where will you be in Tuscany? We just returned from Chianti and we were there with our 10 year old son and ate at many not too expensive places that he enjoyed. I just posted a note on the Italy board about osteria di vico, so take a look at that. But if I knew where you were going to be, I might be able to be more helpful. We also had a full kitcehn in our villa which helped a lot for smaller meals.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: liveforfood

                    We are going to be in Lucolena, which is a small town in central Tuscany. The closest larger town is Greve. We have a kitchen as well, which will be a big help. Thanks.

                  2. This restaurant is kid friendly but you just have to be careful when you pay with cash, that is Euros. Anyway, now that the US$ is down agains the value of the Euro, every dime counts. Please read on and you will appreciate my comment. Thank you.

                    Dining in a dark alley in Venezia….
                    MY name is Lim, Dr. Michael Lim and I am The Travelling Gourmet. I travel the world to eat and drink professionallty so I can write features about the places I experience. Recently, I was in Venezia, and after strolling about the Rialto Bridge, I felt hungry as it was 8.30pm. I chanced upon a restaurant in a dark, dark alley, only 5 feet wide. It was starting to get dark although the sun only sets usually about 9.45pm in summer. A group of seven boisterous Amercans were yelling and joking good naturedly at each other and at no one in particular. They were totally drunk. I could tell by the way they made merry and by the number of empty wine bottles on their table. At another table, there sat a middle aged couple who dined quietly, whispering sweet nothings in each other's ear. I thought, "Great atmosphere, dining in a dark alley instead of a Michelin starred restaurant..."
                    "You don't like, you don't pay!", the owner said loudly to me interuppting my thoughts.
                    "Vero??" I replied. Vero means 'is it true? or really?'
                    I decided to sit down and ordered in Italian. This suprised Sergio Nezha, the owner, who went to get his henchman to take my order. The henchman/maitre d' was a fat large aesthetically challenged guy that looked exactly like a Mafia hitman a la 'The Sopranos' with his black tie, black suit and slightly threatening demeanour. "Better and better." I thought. "Dine by the Rialto in a dark dark alley with a Mafia hitman as your server. Cool!"
                    I went to check out the kitchen and met the two cooks; I won't call them Chefs. One was from Sri Lanka so I spoke to him in Sinhalese, and the other was from Bangla Desh. The owner did not like me talking to his cooks and shooed me out with a peeved "Allora!". Perhaps he did not want his customers to see that the Italian food was cooked by a 'Tamil Tiger' (this is in jest as he was a very nice, harmless looking fellow) from Sri Lanka and a cook from Bangla Deshi. The food came. There was pasta and pizza and the inevitable l'acqua minerale naturale senza gas. It was not Michelin star food by a long, long chalk, but it wasn't too bad. Then the bill came and I paid with a 20 Euro bill. The fat, ugly Mafiosi maitre d' took my money and decided to keep the change, even though it was clearly written that all service and taxes were included in the price.
                    This displeased me, greatly. It was pitch black then and my partner pleaded in an anxious voice, "Let's go! I know your temper but it is not worth it to get into an argument. There might be violence." I did not like it but I went with her straight to my favourite cafe in Venice, namely the centuries old Caffe Florian on the Piazza San Marco. The band played Edith Piaf's signature theme, "Non, je ne regrette rein!" for me on request, and I felt better after a cup of nice Camomilla tea with honey. Caffee Florian is kid friednly and very nice to all and sundry, but it is EXPENSIVE. However, as the old saying goes, when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. So, my food loving friends, if you are near the Rialto and want to dine in a small dark alley way, pay your bill with exact change unless you are a rich New Yorker who likes maitre d's who look like Mafia hitmen. And if you happen to read this fat maitre d', I say this to you, "Idiota e imbecile!" C'est la vie, mon ami... Je ne regrette rien. {:-) Trattoria All'Antico Pizzo", Rialto - S. Polo, 814-30125 Venezia. Tel: 041 523 1575 P.I. 03523870271 (By Calle S.Matio o del Marangon) Enjoy! {:-)

                    Dining in a dark alley in Venezia.
                    How do you structure your Italian meal in a remote part of Venice, Italy...very far off the beaten track....?
                    MY name is Lim, Dr. Michael Lim and I am The Travelling Gourmet. I travel the world to eat and drink professionallty so I can write features about the places I experience. Recently, I was in Venezia and after strolling about the Rialto Bridge, I felt hungry as it was 8.30pm. I chanced upon a restaurant in a dark alley, only 5 feet wide. It was starting to get dark although the sun only sets about 9.45pm in summer. A group of seven boisterous Amercans were yelling and joking good naturedly at each other and at no one in particular. They were totally drunk. I could tell by the way they made merry and by the number of empty wine bottles on their table. At another table, there sat a couple who dined quietly whispering sweet nothings in each other's ear. I thought, "Great atmosphere, dining in a dark alley instead of a Michelin starred restaurant..."
                    "You don't like, you don't pay!", the owner said to me interupting my thoughts.
                    "Vero?" I replied. Vero means 'is it true? or really?'
                    I decided to sit down and ordered in Italian. This suprised Sergio Nezha, the owner, who went to get his henchman to take my order. The henchman/maitre d' was a fat large aesthetically challenged guy that looked exactly like a Mafia hitman a la 'The Sopranos' with his black tie, black suit and slightly threatening demeanour. "Better and better." I thought. "Dine by the Rialto in a dark dark alley with a Mafia hitman as your server. Cool!"
                    I went to check out the kitchen and met the two cooks; I won't call them Chefs. One was from Sri Lanka so I spoke to him in Sinhalese, and the other was from Bangla Desh. The owner did not like me talking to his cooks and shooed me out with a peeved "Allora!". Perhaps he did not want his customers to see that the Italian food was cooked by a 'Tamil Tiger' (this is in jest as he was a very nice, harmless looking fellow)from Sri Lanka and a Bangla Deshi man. The food came. There was pasta and pizza and the inevitable l'acqua minerale naturale senza gas. It was not Michelin star food by a long, long chalk, but it wasn't too bad. Then the bill came and I paid with a 20 Euro bill. The fat, ugly Mafiosi maitre d' took my money and decided to keep the change, even though it was clearly written that all service and taxes were included in the price.
                    This displeased me, greatly. It was dark then and my partner
                    pleaded in an anxious voice, "Let's go! I know your temper but it is not worth it to get into an argument. There might be violence." I did not like it but I went with her anyway, straight to my favourite cafe in Venice, namely the centuries old Caffe Florian on the Piazza San Marco. The next time such things occur, I shall have other bold and daring plans to execute without hesitation. The superb and well trained band played Edith Piaf's signature theme, "Non, je ne regrette rein!" for me on request, and I felt much, much better after a cup of nice Camomilla tea with honey. So, my friends, if you are near the Rialto and want to dine in a small dark alley way, pay your bill with exact change unless you are a rich New Yorker who likes maitre d's who look like Mafia hitmen. And if you happen to read this fat maitre d', I say this to you, "Idiota e imbecile!" C'est la vie, mon ami... Je ne regrette rien. Next time when I am in Venezia and near the Railto, I shall structure a much better Italian meal.
                    As Shylock in Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, said, "If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you prick us, do we not bleed? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? if we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.{:-) Trattoria All'Antico Pizzo", Rialto - S. Polo, 814-30125 Venezia. Tel: 041 523 1575 P.I. 03523870271 (By Calle S.Matio o del Marangon)
                    your article here