I have gathered a list of places to eat in Venice from Chowhound and friends.
I'd be extremely grateful if someone/anyone who knows Venice well would comment. Here goes:
Taverna san Trovaso
Ostaria da Rioba
Osteria Alla Frasca
Osteria Santa Elena
Il Refolo Pizza
Ostaria da Mariano
Osteria di Santa Marina
PBSF's post is great, but I would just like to add a comment about Al Covo. We have been there twice, 15 years ago and 3 years ago, and though I was shocked at the price increase, I felt after the meal that it was still pretty good value for Venice. The food had risen to a much higher level that justified the high prices. I also thought it felt more formal, but in a good way. The service was very attentive and gracious.
These are restaurants that I’ve eaten in the past couple of years:
Taverna San Trovaso, large, bustling with a varied menu and very reasonable price, something for everyone, good with families and groups but the food is is ok, nothing special.
Alle Testiere, have eaten here often and one of my favorites in Venice, small (around 12 tables) and crowded. Creative all seafood menu which is recited by the wait staff; antipasti, primi and desserts are all terrific. For secondi, I would order the grilled seafood offerings (comes with a side of grilled vegetable) rather than the daily specials which I find the creativity a little forced. The late seating is more relax and not rushed.
Osteria de Rioba, small, moderately price, very good classic Venetian osteria.
Anice Stellato, large restaurant that is divided into many rooms to give it an intimate feel; the mostly seafood menu is very good, especially for the moderately price. I like to take visitors here because the service is accommodating and everyone seems to be having a good time.
Cantinone Storico, I would put it in the same category as Taverna San Trovaso though the setting is nicer and a little more expensive.
Fiascehtteria Toscana, large menu of beautifully prepared Venetian dishes; don’t expect anything overly creative or showy. The ingredients are top notch, wonderful cheeses and wines. The dining room is somewhat bland but the service is very professional without been stuffy. Reserve in the main dining room and not upstair. If I had to choose one classic Venetian restaurant and want to splurge (though not overly expensive like Da Ivo or Da Fiori), this would be it. A restaurant for food lovers.
Alla Zucca, no seafood, very moderately priced for Venice, simple modern setting which can be welcoming; the vegetables dishes are very good; the secondi are a mixed bag; some with influences and ingredients from around the world: avocado, couscous, basmati rice, Latin American and Indian spices.
Avogaria, dined here couple years ago with friends; beautiful garden setting but the inside dining room is somewhat tacky. The food from the Pugliese is a hit or miss and we received very poor service. Very expensive for what it is.
Il Refolo Pizza, no longer just a pizzeria and now open all year round; excellent pizzas but have not been there since they changed.
La Bitta, a favorite when I want a change from seafood; small and very popular with a friendly and efficient staff; well prepared fowl and meat dishes that comes with vegetables which is rare; also good simple salads for antipasti.
Couple of places that I have not been to in a few years (also two of the most written about):
Al Covo, first ate there about 10 years ago and like it very much; excellent ingredients, creatively prepared and friendly service; returned a second time a few years ago and left less so; the food is still very good but the atmosphere felt too exclusive and the prices has gone way way up. Three years ago, a couple of the staff left and opened Boccadero which I really like, small, intimate, good service, creative food and less expensive.
Da Fiori, well worth it if one can afford it; difficult to eat for less than 300E for two even with an ‘inexpensive’ wine; top notch seafood prepared with great care and many creative touches; the small dining room is beautifully lit, excellent service. It is near our apartment so we always stroll past it wishing we could afford to eat here.
If I am not mistaken, La Pergola is in Rome and well worth the trip; and if Moro you are referring to is Al Moro, it is also in Rome and is not worth the trip. There is a wine bar in Venice call Cantina do Moro, near the Rialto Market; old-fashioned and atmospheric; excellent wines by the glass and a good selection of cicheti; stand up only, closed by early evening.
re: Beach Chick
Beach Chick - I've seen your posts on the California board - I live in San Diego too but I lived in Venice for a while. Would be happy to meet up with you and tell you about some cool things to do there - and definitely some good places to drink. :)
Great post, PBSF. Fuffy will eat well with it.
re: Beach Chick
I was supposed to be on a cruise leaving out of Venice in September but we bagged it and going to Kauai for a couple of weeks..
I thought that Windjammer barefoot cruises was in bankruptcy?
What a sweetheart you are to take your wife on a sail but I would go with Windstar Cruises..luxury at its best..Athens/Istanbul..great noshing and lots of great wine too.
All the best to you Njoie!
Njoie -I was the one that asked the original question in this thread and I posted this report when we got back from Venice just August/September 08. I am disappointed that it doesn't appear when I search Venice.
The word is that there is a lot of not very good food around in Venice, so, before going, I compiled a list of recommended places from reasonably reliable sources. When I arrived, I discovered that the difficult part is working out where these places are and how to get to them. General advice: make sure you have a map with a street index and then a little Streetwise Venice to carry around with you.
We mainly ate lunch out and so didn't need to book anywhere. All were largely empty at lunch (12.30 to 2 usual opening time). Essential to book for the evening when the restaurants are full, often with tourists.
DA FIORE. S. Polo 2273. Tel 041 721 308 Reputed to be best fish restaurant in Venice, expensive but not absolutely the most expensive. We were invited so I have no idea of the cost.
IL REFOLO Pizzeria con Cucina, Campo S. Giacomo del l'Orio, Santa Croce 1459. Tel 041 524 00 16. Closed all day Monday and Tuesday lunch. Closed December and January. A really wonderful place owned by the Da Fiori son. Excellent pizzas with fresh seasonal ingredients (artichokes in Spring, porcini and pumpkin in the fall). Other things look tempting too. Outdoor tables behind the church by a canal. No pizza in the winter. Pizzas 10-14 euros. Vaporetto stop. S Stae.
VECIO FRITOLIN, Calle della Regina (Rialto) 2262. Tel (0) 41 52 22 881. Closed Monday. Small sober classic Italian looking place with air conditioning. Known for fritto misto. Bread made in house. We shared one pleasant fritto misto and half a liter of house white total 37.50 euros. No outdoor tables. Just north of fish market so Vaporetto S. Stae or Rialto.
CORTE SCONTA Calle del Pestrin No 3886. Tel 041 522 7024. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Our favorite - an all fish restaurant with a pretty vine covered yard. We were there for lunch so don't know about mosquitoes (see La Bitta below). Note on table says that primi (pastas etc) are 16 euros and secondi are 18-25. Deserts 7. But the waiter tells you what is on for the day - you don't see a menu until the desert. We had an excellent seafood pasta, then excellent fritto misto and soft shell crabs, and zabaglione. There are other Pestrini streets. This is near Arsenale so Vaporetto is Arsenale
VINI DA GIGIO, Fond. d. S. Felice (Their card gives another address but this is where they are) Tel 041 52 85 140. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Air conditioning.
Cucina de Tradizione and a serious wine list. Meat and fish. Another good place. We had a delicious antipasto of sardines in vinegar, pine nuts and raisins, a pasta and a liver with onions. Primi (pastas etc) 12-15 euros. Secondi 18-20 euros. No outdoor tables.Air conditioned. A great thing about this place is it is easy to find, From Ca'Doro Vaporetto and Museum turn left along Strada Nuovo, cross one bridge and you'll see it up Fond d. S. Felice to the right - so it doesn't require a lot of walking from exhausted sight-seers.
OSTERIA ENOTECA SAN MARCO, Frezzeria - San Marco 1610. Tel 041 5285242
A sophisticated wine bar with good food, surprisingly right near St Marks and the Correr Museum. Air conditioned. Quite expensive - few wines by the glass. Antipasti 16-18 euros, primi 16-20, secondi 25 - 30. No outdoor tables. Vaporetto S. Marco quite close and easy.
LA BITTA Lunga San Barnaba, Tel 041 52 30 531.
No fish. Meat only. Closed Sunday. No lunch any day and no cards. Opens at 6.30 pm. There is a small yard at the back and on the evening we were there, we were all passing around the essential mosquito spray provided, on request, by the waitress. We had one antipasto, a beautifully done Caprese salad with mozzarela, cherry tomatoes and lambs lettuce. Then we each had liver with onions that came with runny polenta. Fine, nothing special. The menu wasn't particularly Italian except for our choices. Primi 10-14 euros. Secondi 20-25 euros. The street is a quick straight line from Vaporetto and museum Ca' Rezzonico. There are several other promising looking little places on this street.
OSTARIA AI 4 FERI, Calle Lunga S. Barnaba. Tel. 041 520 6978
Right before La Bitta. Closed Sunday. Recommended as small, unpretentious, friendly, neighbourhood place. We had only a vegetable antipasto, one spaghetti vongole (9 euros) and a side salad. With half a liter of white this came to 27 euros. Pastas generally 15 and fish 15/16. Perfectly decent and cheap. No outdoor tables. Quick straight line from Vaporetto and museum Ca' Rezzonico.
RISTOTECA ONIGA, Campo San Barnaba. Tel 0415224410
No recommendations, we went here just because it was next to our apartment, open on Sunday and had shaded tables on the square. Closed Tuesday. We had one stuffed vegetable antipasto and two seafood pastas. Nothing special but perfectly fine. With Pellegrino and 3/4 liter of wine 50 euros. In the square S. Barnaba close to Bitta and 4 Freri. Vaporetto Rezzonico.
OSTARIA DA ROBIA, Fondamenta della Misericordia 2553. Tel 041 5244379.
Closed Monday. This was recommended by more people than anywhere else - perhaps partly because of moderate price and certainly because of quiet outdoor tables on a canal. We had good cuttlefish and ink with a runny polenta, a disappointing pasta with duck ragu. Sweet wine with the usual bad Venetian cookies to dip. Primi around 12 euros. Secondi around 15 euros. Our neighbours were eating bargain main dish salads: one with tuna fish, the other with cheese I think. Salads included grated carrots and corn. This is about a 20 minute but straightforward walk from museum and Vaporetto Ca d'Oro. Up Fnd S Felice and along Misericordia (you pass Vini di Gigio).
OSTERIA PONTE DEL DIAVOLO. Tel 041 730 401. TORCELLO Island where we went to see the mosaics. We had two excellent seafood pastas (20 each) at the most luxurious of the three Torcello eateries, in a shaded garden. With half a liter of white, and warm rolls (better than most Ventian bread) total was 58 euros. Open for lunch only.
RISTORANTE RIVIERA, Tel 041 522 7621 Zaterre on the Giudecca Canal at the far end from St Marcos and Grand Canal.
This was recommended but we only looked, didn’t have time to eat. Looked comfortable with outdoor tables overlooking Giudecca canal. Secondi 18 to 24 euros.
It comes up on page 5 of the search results if you simply search this board for the word "Venice" Its a great post and its good that you pulled the info up again The info will come up when people search under the individual rest. names, too.
Please give Ristorante Riviera a try. I spent 10 days in Venice and ate there 4 times...a huge splurge for me. The food was fabulous, and they could not have been nicer. My first visit was in the pouring rain, and I was cold, wet and disheveled after a very long walk...and a little intimidated due to the prices, and because I was alone with my equally wet 3 kilo dog (this was the beginning of a month in Italy...I got fearless after a week or so!) They instantly made me feel at home...and even served water and pasta to my dog on his own silver tray. Very cool. I've attached photos of the menu, and two versions of the Antipasto di Mare, which was so, so amazingly good...
Also, I found the book Chow! Venice to be very helpful...
Thanks for all the great posts here...Jm, have a wonderful trip!
We just got back five day ago, and regarding your list, I would say this:
I N D O R S O D U R O :
AVORGORIA: Prices were very expensive although the menu looked good. We didn't go in.
LA BITTA: The food was really simple but very tasty and economical. I would go again.
AI 4 FERI: Was very disappointing. The mixed seafood antipasto was worse than a touristy place next to the canal, and we thought we had made much better salmon and eel ourselves at home.
I N C A S T E L L O :
TRATTORIA DA REMIGIO: Very good, highly recommended. A good sign - no English menus. But the waiter spoke English well and any Italian phrase book would help you decipher the foods.
Enjoy yourself! We are are still enjoying the afterglow. Venice is surreal.