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Foodie in Venice for 8 nights(Costello neighborhood), need help...

I will be going to Venice in mid November. This will be my first time, and I have no clue where to go for good food(fine dinning/value eating). Any Suggestions in the above mentioned neighborhood??? Also willing to try any area in Venice as well. Foodie in need of help...thanks.

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  1. That would be Castello. You should search this board for the umpteen million posts on Venice restaurants, then come back with a short-list of the ones that sound most to your taste and see if people have any news about them. I myself am going to Venice this weekend and have reserved at Da Fiore and will probably also call Al Covo and Al Fontego dei Pescaori and maybe Ca' d'Oro.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mbfant

      mbfant: Unless you have not already done so, please review these restaurants. My own experience after four winter visits: It's hard to find an outstanding meal in Venice. I've found some, but with much luck and big bucks; I've never eaten as well there as in Rome, Naples, Sorento area, Siena, Pisa, even Florence -- another touristy town.

    2. Where in Castello will you be exactly? Its a pretty large sestiere, with a number of different neighborhoods and lot of restaurant alternatives. Be aware that it may be damp and chilly, depending on moon phase, tides wind patern etc you may also experience acqua alta, so come prepared.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jen kalb

        As an above poster stated, the sestiere of Castello is large; you could be a two minutes stroll to San Marco or a 30 minute walk if you are on the eastern end of Sant Elena where it is very quiet and residential. With 9 days in Venice, I recommend taking a couple of day trips to nearby cities in the Veneto: Padua, Verona, Treviso, Vicenza are just a few that can be easily reach by train. Even Trieste is an easy day trip and definitely worth it. It can be a welcoming break as well eating some different food. Below are a few earlier links to get you started:
        As you've probably have read, traditional Venetian cooking is mostly base on simply prepared seafood. Don't expect to be wow by complicated preparations; the cost is mostly for the freshest/ best ingredients and exact preparations. I have never found acqua alta to be a big deal, just an inconvenience and can be fun for a first time visitors. I have to agree, I have never gotten use to the damp and chilly winters, be prepare.

      2. We just got back from Venice a few weeks ago. Couple of rules of thumb to think about for eating in "regular" restaurants, as opposed to "fine dining.". The further away you are from the main tourist areas, (i.e., near the Grand Canal) the better the restaurants. Look for places that do not have a tourist menu posted, and preferably do not have pictures of the food posted. When dining casually in the small shops, eat standing up at the counter, it is traditional, and cheaper than taking a table. Do not be afraid to point and question. In Venice, as in all of Italy, some of our best meals were in places where nobody spoke English and we had to guess, pantomime, and point.

        It is also worth your while to travel over to Mestre and go to Restorante da Bepi Venesian (Via Sernagilia, 27, three or four blocks from the Mestre train station) While they often cater to large tour groups, the seafood is fresh, excellent, and the brothers who own the place are a hoot. My wife and I had one of our best meals in Venice there.

        5 Replies
        1. re: dinwiddie

          I congratulate you on finding places to eat in Venice where English is not the default language.

          We had superb dinners at Da Fiore and Al Covo, the latter a bargain to boot.

          1. re: mbfant

            When you say Al Covo do you mean Ristorante Al Covo at Campiello della Pescaria, Castello, 3968, 30122 Venezia, Italy or the Al Covo at Calle del Figher, 4365, 30122 Venezia, Italy.

            Also, I'm rather surprised by the amount of tourist guide web pages I find one of these on when searching google.

              1. re: mbfant

                Would Mestre be a good option to avoid the highly priced touristy restaurants that predominate in Venice itself? Are there some great places in that city in addition to the recommendation above...??

            1. re: mbfant

              We had to walk a long way to find one.

          2. It's been about two years since I was in Venice, but the one really memorable meal I had was at al Fontego dei Pescatori. While that's not in the Castello, it's not a long walk either. The owner is a longtime Realto fish market vendor and the menu is mostly, if not entirely seafood (as the name would suggest). We did the tasting menu, which was whatever the chef wanted to prepare, and perhaps it was the copious amount of wine we went through, but we had a terrific time.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dinersaurus

              One more thing, I wouldn't feel too confined to stay mostly in Castello, the city is such a joy to walk that you can lose track of time. It really doesn't take too long to go from one neighborhood to the next.

              Also, you mentioned value dining. Hit as many little wine bars as you can. Many of them have cheap small plates (tapas style) with some really delicious offerings. I have no idea what half the things I ate even were. My wife and I spent an entire day eating exculsively at the wine bars and couldn't have been happier. Oh, I am so jealous of you.

              1. Not sure of locations but here's some info I sent friends recently:

                If you go to Murano, good lunch spot is Trattoria Busa alla Torre da Lele, on Campo S. Stefano.

                Corte Sconta – definitely on the tourist route but still excellent. It is at Calle del Pestrin #3886 (be careful as there are two Calle Pestrin’s, this one is near the arsenale). It is expensive. My friend’s directions say from the Arsenale vaporetto stop, go left across the bridge to the third street on the right, Calle delle Forno. Go to the end of Calle delle Forno to Calle del Pestrin. The Corte Sconta sign is not easy to see – look up. A reservation is recommended, phone 041/522.7024. Closed Sunday and Monday. A number of the better restaurants have banded together on the website www.veneziaristoranti.it.

                Osteria ai 4 Ferri, Calle Lunga Santo Barnaba 2754, Dorsoduro. 10-15 minutes from San Marco via vaporetto. Frequented largely by Italians, few English-speakers which is a blessing. 041/520.6978. You’ll need reservations but can usually get them same-day. Their wines are reasonably priced and the local wines from the Veneto are lovely. Just off the Campo S. Barnaba, closed Sunday. Inexpensive per my guidebook.

                Osteria Anice Stellato, Fondamenta de la Sensa 3272, Cannaregio. 041720744. Reserve a day or so in advance.

                Fabulous gelato: Gelateria Paolin on the Camp S. Stefano (not far from San Marco).

                Cichetti are a Venetian version of tapas. A downscale local sort of local joint that my husband liked was Trattoria da Fiore (not to be confused with the expensive famous Da Fiore restaurant). Calle delle Botteghe near the Campo Francesco Morosini between San Marco and the Accademia, bar with chichetti 9AM-11PM; restaurant 12-3:30 and 7-10:30, near Campo Santo Stefano on an adjoining alley.

                Avoid All’Aciugheta on the Campo Santi Filippo e Giacomo. Horrid service.

                A word on Harry’s Bar – it is rumored to be excellent but it is ungodly expensive.

                Italian hot chocolate is not to be missed, the bars should have it, different than any you've ever had and utterly luscious.


                Paper store – absolutely gorgeous stuff you will see nowhere else, this is a gotta-do. It’s not that same old marbled stuff from Florence you will see everywhere, it is hand blocked and stunning. Il Pavone di Pelosin Fabio, Dorsoduro 721, 041/523.4517. We discovered it by accident when traveling from the Accademia out to Santa Maria della Salute but I hear there is also one in the San Marco area (S. Marco 3287), we just never found it. Picture albums, photo frames, cards, etc.

                Check out the Rialto market some morning as it's only open till 1PM, lively and fun.