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Feb 2, 2014 09:20 AM

One lunch in Venice

We are heading to Verona in April and are going to do a day trip to Venice, as we only get one meal - lunch, where should we go?

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  1. Be more specific,
    what area of Venice, what day of the week, food preference, is view/outside table important, how long you have for lunch, budget.

    8 Replies
    1. re: PBSF

      PBSF, thanks for your reply. We will be there mid-week, probably Tuesday. As we are only going for the day, I imagine we will try to squeeze in some sights so we are looking for somewhere central for lunch, although we would prefer somewhere slightly off the beaten track / not touristy if possible. We won't be rushing, but as we only have the one day, we would prefer not to spend all day at lunch either... I don't mind about the view, once the food is good and the place is authentic and as for budget, I'd say mid-range - we don't want a michelin standard place but somewhere decent would be good!

      1. re: TrulyMiss

        Ok, one day jaunt through central Venice, if walking rather than taking the vaporetto, 90% of day trippers will take the route from the train station down to Strada Nuove, Campo San Bartolmeo, Rialto, San Marco, back to Academia, cross the bridge to Dorsodoro, Frari, Railto Market back to the train station by the way of Santa Croce. Or reverse and some variations of it. For informal traditional osterie/trattorie and good bacari:
        Around Strada Nuove: La Cantina, ai Sposi Promessi, Alle Vedova
        Around Rialto (San Marco side): upscale Fiaschetteria Toscana; da Alberto
        Around Campo Santo Stefano and before San Marco: Trattoria da Fiore, Osteria della Bottege, Al Bacareto, ai Assassini, Alle Testiere (only one that needs reservation for lunch)
        San Marco: not much; the upscale excellent Osteria San Marco and it's front cicchetti bar, Acuigheta, Cavatappi
        Around Accademia: La Cantina gia Schiavi
        Around Campo San Barnaba: La Bitta, ai Quattro Feri, Casin dei Noboli
        Around the Rialto Market: Bancogiro and some of the most atmospheric bacari such as Do Spade, do Mori, All'Arco, La Merca, Antico Dolo and the nearby all seafood trattoria, Antiche Carampane.
        Up toward Santa Croce: Il Refolo,
        Some of the above are bacari where it is mostly stand up. All serve mostly traditional Venetian food; good to excellent on most days and at least acceptable on their got up the wrong side of the bed days. Skip dessert and grab a gelato after lunch. Fortunately, there are at least one or two good ones in just about area of Venice.
        When your sightseeing is tentatively planned out and know about where you'll might be during lunch time, you might zero in on a couple places in that area. Besides lunch, late afternoon/early evening are some of the best times to head for a bacaro for spritz and cicchetti.

        1. re: PBSF

          I don't know whether this is acceptable, but I wonder if you could email me, PBSF -- sunsetbeach at hawaii dot rr dot com. It's about our upcoming trip to Venice. Thanks very much.

          1. re: alohatoall

            Like you, I don't know what is acceptable on this forum. If you can give me an idea of what I can help with in terms of food, I'll try my best on this board.

            1. re: PBSF

              It wasn't food, PBSF, which is why I requested an email. It was a cancelled apt. in Venice, but the problem is solved, thank goodness. We'll be in Cannaregio for 3 weeks in April/May and would love to take you out for a spritz if you're going to be there then.

              1. re: alohatoall

                Am glad that you resolved the problem with apartment rental. Three weeks in Cannaregio, excellent; it is the best sestiere for a long term stay. The best area for eating and somewhat away from the tourists.
                And thank you for the spritz. We'll be in Venice sometime in late Spring. We haven't decided exactly when or for how long. Have a wonderful time.

          2. re: PBSF

            A second vote for La Cantina gia Schiavi!

          3. re: TrulyMiss

            One place I really loved in Venice, near the Frari Basillica and the amazing Scuolo Grande di San Rocco (a must see if you love Venetian art and Tintoretto) is Osteria Al Ponte La Patatina. Great pasta, great seafood antipasti, a super-filling mixed plate of cicchetti if you wish. The crowd is mixed at lunchtime, some tourists but also a lot of gondoliers on their lunch break. Not fancy just very good classic Venetian food, if you can find it.

            For something a little more elegant, yet away from the tourists enough to be a good experience, check out a beccafico in Campo S. Stefano, not too far if you might be going to the Accademia. Loved their marinated seafood plate (see photo below) and their really amazing mussels dish with the bread baked over the bowl...mmm...we went twice to both restaurants on our last trip to Venice and I still dream about their food.

            (My Italian father from Milan joined us at both these meals and he is a very fussy diner, especially when it comes to seafood, and thought both were exceptionally good compared to some other places we ate.)

        2. For one lunch, I would say La Cantina. Get a fish platter--either raw or cooked. It's a bit of a splurge but so worth it!

          6 Replies
          1. re: jangita

            Jangita, thanks so much for your reply. Just wondering how much of a splurge?!

            1. re: TrulyMiss

              I wish I could remember. Maybe the platter was 30euros? It was meant for one but was more than I could eat.
              There is a more economical option of ordering a crostini plate. Their salami is really tasty!

              1. re: TrulyMiss

                Unlike most bacari, La Cantina only serves composed platters of food. They do not serve small individual portions of cicchetti. The cost the various platters depends on the what they are composed of on a particular day. There is no menu and we usually just ask the owner for a platter for two for a light lunch. From recent visits, a cheese/salumi platter was around 16 to 18e. Seafood always cost more, about 22 to 25euro which is plenty for one but not enough for two hungry people. Like most bacari, wine by the glass can be as inexpensive as 2.25euro. And they have tables and chairs and a few outside on the Strada Nuove.

              2. re: jangita

                PBSF, thanks so much that's fantastic! I think you're right - I'll have to plan the sightseeing out a little more and see where we're likely to end up. I don't suppose you have any recommendations for Bologna or Verona?

                1. re: TrulyMiss

                  You can use the search feature (in the upper right-hand corner of this page) to find past threads discussing dining in Bologna and Verona.

                  Osteria la Fontanina in Verona is very good, if a little on the expensive side.


                  1. re: TrulyMiss

                    We haven't been to Verona in a number of years. When we did, it was usually a day trip from Venice. We've had good lunches at Al Pompiere and Trattoria alle Colonna. Our favorite has been the bar of Bottega Del Vino. The cooking is very different from Venice, much more land based-meat including horse meat and poultry.
                    As for Bologna, I would check this board as there have been many good recommendations.