A week in Venice solo end of September
I was solo in Florence in 2009 and for the most part found it quite easy and comfortable to eat well (enough) as a solo diner. However, in the 3 days I spent in Venice that year, I had mediocre and a really terrible experience in a restaurant, so I come for advice. The terrible experience was in a place near to the Rialto Bridge that a young local girl recommended to me. It was filled with locals and initially seemed quite pleasant--definitely non-touristy. I was the only woman alone (I am middle-aged for what it's worth). I was placed at what was really a tray, not a table, they took my order, and then I was ignored for 40 minutes. Finally I actually stood up and stared at the host over the heads of all those people. Eventually I got my food but it was a miserable experience. I will say that in the US, solo women diners are often very well looked after. Anyway, I don't remember the name of the place. It was somewhere on the Grand Canal right near the Rialto Bridge.
Now that I've unburdened myself, I hope you Venice experts can direct me to places where I will be comfortable eating alone and can eat well. I tend to eat mostly fish for health reasons...but am open to all your ideas. I will be staying in the middle of the Castello area--maybe 12 minutes walk to San Marco if that can guide you.
Grazie a tutti!
I just bought a book called "Chow! Venice" that seems to have some good suggestions. I can highly recommend taking a trip out to Burano and having the seafood risotto at Da Romano. I saw it on Anthony Bourdain and took a chance and had an wonderful time. Reservations are a must. We went for a late lunch and caught the wonderful late afternoon light on the trip back to Venice.
I'm not even sure if she is still alive much less updating her books, but Sandra Gustafson's _Great Eats_ should have one for Venice, or Venice as part of the book. I can't remember and I'm not at home right now. What I can say is that we followed her recommendations and made them part of a walking itinerary and the food was brilliant when she said it was.
Venice is a difficult city to find good food in. I won't sell my copy of her book because it was spot on.
A more current source is Michela Scibilia's Osterie guide - or if you have an Iphone her App.
Based on past experience the current version of the book is availably in Venice but only fitfully in bookstores abroad - A new edition is available at Amazon UK now
re: jen kalb
Alla Testiere has turned into a tourist trap. I went a year ago and when I asked what they had from the lagoon, the owner said it was a bad time of year, which was, of course, a blatant lie. I can safely say to avoid it at all costs. My current favorite for fish is Fiaschetteria Toscana. The "Toscana" only refers to the guy from Livorno who founded the restaurant in the late 19th century. It;s a refined, welcoming place and not real expensive, if expensive at all, They take fish very seriously and they had lots from the lagoon!!!
I don't have much experience dining alone in Venice; what I can recommend are places where the owners are genuine and the staff warm and friendly. Hopefully that will translate to a pleasant experience for you. If you are spending 7 days in Venice, you want to get out of Castello, especially the area around San Marco. In that sestiere, Al Covo for a special meal. Less expensive are da Alberto, Trattoria da Fiore. Vino Vino near La Fenice is a fun place to eat alone and and order a single place of food.
Get out to Cannairegio where there are more good places: Boccadoro, Vini da Gigio, Anice Stellato; simpler places are ai Promessi Sposi, Alla Frasca, alla Vedova. Sit canal side at Da Rioba is very special. La Cantina is a bacaro but it serve excellent plates of foods rather than simple cicchetti. Get over to the area around the Rialto for a fun evening. Dining outside by the loggia at Bancogiro would be special on a warm September evening. The bacaro Cantinone del Vino Già Schiavi in Dorsodoro would be a great place for a glass of wine and a panini in the afternoon if you happen to be in that area.
Just curious, the last time you were in Venice for 3 days, were all your dining experiences that negative. Did you eat anywhere that you enjoyed.
Thanks for your kind suggestions. I did have some good cicchetti in Canarregio in '09 off the Strada Nova (was staying there). That and some nice prosecco with aperol (though got quite tipsy, which for me is extremely easy LOL). But otherwise, there was that one really unpleasant experience and a tourist place also on the Strada Nova that was a ripoff, but quiet and comfortable for one person. I didn't plan at all. Hoping to remedy that before this trip. Thanks again.
I can truthfully say I've had more meals on my own in Venice, than with someone. I've never really had any problems, but I'm used to dining on my own.
There are a lot of places in Castello, and eating fish? Well, you'll have your choice in Venice.
In Castello there is Testiere and Corte Sconta. (both have been much discussed on other boards). I recently had a fantastic dinner at Hotel Wildner.
But you shouldn't just limit yourself to Castello. Have you looked at the previous boards on Venice? There is so much written already, I'd suggest that you have a look at past discussions, then come back here with specific questions.