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Sep 18, 2009 08:34 PM

Best Local Venice Restaurant

My In-Laws are going to Venice and are looking for the best local restaurants. Off the beaten path is best and no touristy places. They more like higher end dining with character and above all is a bit quiteter. I say quieter as my father in-law is a bit hard of hearing. Also a good wine list is a must. All recommendations are welcome and thank you so much.

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  1. It would be worth your while to do a "Search this board" search for Venice. You will find many, many prior comments and recommendations for dining in Venice already here. After, Rome & Florence, Venice probably gets more comments here than any other city in Italy.

    1. I am not sure there is any restaurant in Venice meets your many criteria of somewhat higher end, ambience with character, quiet atmosphere, good wine list, local/off the beaten path. All higher-end restaurants in Venice depends on tourists to make it and many do serve excellent food. Most Venetians who work in Venice proper commute back to the mainland such as Mestre and Marghera, therefore, leaving evenings to tourists, students and some locals. Locals tend to gather in simple trattorias and osterias or cook at home. These places are lively, crowded, somewhat cramped and tend to be located in the more remote parts of Venice, ie, eastern Castello, the quiet parts of Dorsoduro, the outer area of Cannaregio and most do not fit your in-laws preference of a quieter and more comfortable atmosphere. Also, will your in-laws be willing to stroll to the more remote parts of Venice for dinner? Most good restaurants in the center will have a good number of tourists; there is no avoiding that. Traditional Venetian cooking is based on simply prepared best and freshest seafood. If one is looking for food lots of bell and whistles, one will be mostly disappointed. Given the above I would consider:
      Da Ivo: near San Marco; small, quiet, romantic, nicely spaced tables with food service; excellent traditional Venetian cooking including meat. This is one of those money is no object places.
      Fiaschetteria Toscana: near the Rialto; somewhat modern d├ęcor but still retain some character; large restaurant but with excellent personal service; reserve in the main floor dining room and NOT the second floor; wonderful traditional Venetian cooking, mostly seafood; one of the best and well-priced wine list in Venice; wonderful cheeses and desserts. For me, there is no better traditional restaurant in Venice. Not expensive considering the quality of the cooking and ingredients.
      Boccadoro: small and personal, located in a small charming campo with a few tables outside; traditional Venetian cooking with a few innovations; mostly seafood; good small wine list.
      Ai Gondoliere: charming, comfortable atmosphere in the quiet Dorsoduro; no seafood; cooking is good but not exceptional but a very nice overall experience.
      Just keep in mind that these higher-end restaurants cater to tourists as well as locals out on a celebratory evening. If you are looking for more moderate places, I would search this board as there are tons of posts on eating in Venice.

      1. PBSF is exactly correct. Haing said that, and although it has been a couple of years, we have enjoyed the Osteria Giorgione many times and I think it fits your criteria pretty well. I don't recall anything about the wine list but I don't think that's ever really an issue at nice restaurants in Italy.

        1. try Sangal restuarant on campo it is expensive but the service and food are superb , not sure how long it has been open, they have a nice roof terrace for balmy evenings. I ate there with Venetian friends who recommended it as being not over run with tourists and having very very good food, they were right on both counts.
          Popular with locals and tourist is the Madonna but it is crowded so proably nto quiet enough.

          1. My fav. upscale restaurant in Venice is Do Forni (two ovens). among the all well-prepared dishes I enjoy the "Scampi e Capesante su letto di rucola con salsa all'olio limone, sale e pepe" and the sgroppino drink:-)