Are reservations needed for dining early dinners in Venice or Florence?
We are visiting Venice & Florence in early September and will have our 18month old daughter with us. We have gotten a lot of tips already from this website, so thank you! It sounds like these places tend to be kid-friendly, so that's promising. How important is it for us to get reservations for dinner, when we plan on eating early dinners and we don't plan to go to the more expensive nor fancy restaurants... but do want to try as many great restaurants as allowed?
At least for Florence, I think if you get to a place by 7:30, in September, you should be ok for the most part.
As for Venice, it's a bit harder to judge. Since it's generally a more touristy city, many of the places in fact do book up on the early side. Especially near the area around San Marco.
But in either case you should be fine reserving once you get into town. You can have your hotel do it for you.
Hi: Okay, I am assuming then I should make the reservations when I'm in town myself (no hotel, we're getting an apartment). Are these places open in the mornings, so I can just drop by and make the reservations? I don't think we'll have access to a phone.
Thanks for the great app, I can't wait to test it out! I still wanted to have an idea of things I should NOT miss in Florence, so here is my first list of places... I just keep adding more to the list as I go through all these posts and I know I should stop as there is not an infinite amount of time in Florence. So, feel free to opine.
The same question I had for PBSF, is what I want to ask of you: are any of these places not so good with toddlers? Are they really expensive? OH! And the teatro de sale, definitely: kid or no kid? I know I can't hit all of them, let's hope I get to eat at the better restaurants and gain those 10lbs I expect to gain during this trip. :)
Thanks so very much for your assistance.
Osteria Cinghale Bianco
Trattoria Mario - I figure with an early rising daughter, I can make it to this place before the line starts...
Vini e Vecchi Sapori
Il Santo Bevitore
Trattoria Il Contadino Via Palazzuolo
Trattoria Antico Fattore
Sostanza - can we fit a toddler in there?
For Venice: it is difficult to make a generalization if reservations are necessary, even if one wants to eat early or regardless if a place is not expensive or fancy. Except those around San Marco, most sit down places in the evening do not start serving until 7 to 7:30pm. Except on warm weather weekends, Venice is not a late dining city. It comes down to individual restaurants (popularity), area, number of seats as some of the less fancy or 'great' places are small or only have a few outside tables. One doesn't have to make reservations way ahead, a day or same morning will work. If you have a tentative list of places for Venice, I might be able to give you a better answer.
Sorry it's taken me so long to reply to your timely response. It is overwhelming to sift through all the recs on this website. So, this is just a list of potential restaurants. I still have to map them out and figure out prices. Before I list the restaurants, let me ask you a couple of questions:
a. are any of these places not so good with toddlers? She's generally well behaved but who knows what'll happen after a long flight and different time zones & sleeping issues.
b. is it okay to assume that the little bar/restaurants where you snack on chichetti - they will let us bring in a child?
Restaurants that I've gathered from a couple of sites, I get cross-eyed every time I start doing this research. The list will likely be narrowed down if it's not kid friendly and if's too expensive or someone mentions that it's not good eats.
Osteria Oliva Nera
Cantinone Già Schiavi
Ristorante Pizzaria Da Giorgio
Am I missing some important places? We just want more homey places that won't make us feel too out of place and won't be more than $-$$.
Thanks for ALL your help on this post and all the other posts I've read from you.
I haven't been to Oliva Nera or Pizzeria da Giorgio. Skip Ostaria Garanghelo in San Polo because it changed owners a few months ago and not for the better.
As for the remaining on your list, it all depends on what you are looking for. None I would consider not good and all would be 'kid friendly'. We have different opinions on what that means and most of all depending on how an individual child behave in a restaurant, ie, do you need a lot of space between tables, outside sitting, can your child sit through a two hour meal. Also we all have different concept of 'expensive' and $-$$
I would consider Al Paradiso expensive, about 55 euro for a 3 course meal before anything to drink. Though it is an informal restaurant, it is more like a sit down leisurely type of place. Excellent food, a nice mix of traditional with some creativity and friendly staff.
Oniga is a fine but nothing special food wise; moderately price with lots of outside seating on a busy campo.
La Zucca is very popular on this board, therefore, there are many post on its food and ambience.
The other four, gia Schiavi, do Mori, Naranzaria and La Cantina are bacari; each has it's own personality.
Cantinone gia Schiavi: one of the most friendly bacari in Venice. Wonderful wines by the glass; cicchetti are all based on bread: crostini, bruschetta, panini, all well prepared. the down side is that it is very popular and can be packed on weekend afternoons.
Do Mori: is a classic bacaro near the Rialto market. Standup only; simple cicchetti, mainly on top of bread. Lots of small tour groups during lunch and early evenings because of it's fame and ambience.. Closed by 8pm. I prefer other bacari in the neighborhood.
Naranzaria: small stand up bar and lots of outside sitting right on the Grand Canal. Most of the cichetti are Japanese inspired as one of owner/chef is Japanese.
La Cantina: one of the best bacaro in Venice; friendly owner; only serve composed plates using very good ingredients and some simple hot entrees in the evening. It is very crowded during lunch and early evenings; a few outside tables right on the busy Strada Nuova, great for people watching.
"am I missing some important places?": while there are no 'must' restaurants in Venice, there are a many good trattoria/osteries serving very good Venetian food; the downside is that Venice is an expensive city to dine out; the very good restaurants tend to be on the expensive side. For moderate, I would do ai Promessi Sposi, Alle Vedova, Alla Frasca. ai 4 Feri for simple seafood.