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Apr 8, 2013 01:42 AM

Venice- How do these places sound?

I'm going off to Europe this week so I don't have a lot of time to really research each city so I'm going to rely heavily on travel guides. But, I need some feedback as to which is a better guide to trust for food: Rick Steves or Walks in Italy.

If I know whether or not I can trust their restaurant recommendations for Venice, it'll give me some ideas if I can trust their restaurant recommendations for the other European cities I'll also be visiting.

Rick Steves' picks for Barcelona were surprisingly sound but that might have more to do with a city like Barcelona with so many good food options. So, I figured Venice would be a better test since Venice is notorious for having so many overpriced tourist traps.

These were Walks of Italy bacari picks where to eat cicchetti:
Ca’ d’Oro/Alla Vedova
La Cantina
Do Mori
Do Spade
Cantinone–già Schiavi
Al Ponte
Banco Giro
And, they recommended Al Gatto Nero da Ruggero in Burano for a restaurant.

And, these were Rick Steves' picks:
Rosticerria San Bartolomeo
Cantina Do Mori
Bar all'Arco
Ostaria ai Storti
Cantina Do Spade
Pesce Pronto
Birreria Forst
Bar Verde
Ristorante alla Basilica

Are there any places on these lists that stand out as really good, or something to avoid at all costs?

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  1. I am not familiar with either Rick Steves or 'Walk of Italy' recommendations. Never heard of Ristorante alla Basilica. Except for Al Gatto Nero, the places on both lists are bacari. Bancogiro is both. Rosticeria San Bartolomeo is a big busting inexpensive 'diner' type of place; ok food but always puts on a show of people watching. There are probably six eating places in Venice named 'Al Ponte'.
    In general, bacari in Venice are seldom tourist traps but not tourist free. Don't sweat over them and just go, order an ombre/a bite and if a particular one doesn't please you, move to the next one. Many are stand up only. Food wise: La Cantina, Alla Vedova, Cantinone gia Schiavi.

    1. In general Rick Steve's guidebooks are not a good resource for food-oriented travelers. Thats not to say there are no good places in his books, but food is just an incidental necessity for the folks following his quick and dirty town visits.

      In the end, it depends on how much you care about your meals, how much time you have and how much you are willing to pay, if you are interested in a bacari crawl, etc. 10 minutes looking at posts on this site and an indication of your preferences will yield you a much more appealing list of places if you are interested in food.