Great restaurants in Venice serve delicious and authentic lagoon cuisine. The food is usually prepared with market-fresh local ingredients, following old family recipes passed down through generations. Most restaurants have a strong focus on seafood, but meat lovers and vegetarians will be happy, too. Be sure to complement your meal with a glass of regional wine. Don’t be shy to ask your waiter for their recommendations.

    Most restaurants in Venice have small dining rooms with limited seating. So no matter what time of the year you visit, it’s best to call ahead and book a table, especially if you want to enjoy waterside dining. If you’re looking to eat well, read on for tips on where to eat in Venice and what to try.


    Ristorante Glam

    Upscale dining in Venice

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    Ristorante Glam is an upscale dining spot in Venice that lives up to its name, in both food and setting. A twice-Michelin-starred chef heads the restaurant and creates contemporary Italian cuisine using locally sourced Venetian ingredients. You can order dishes from the seasonal à la carte list, but the tasting menus are more impressive.

    The experience is complemented by Ristorante Glam’s location inside the Venart Palace, a sumptuous period building dating back to the 14th century. Highlights include the pretty garden terrace, where you can enjoy candlelit dinners with Grand Canal views in summer.

    Location: Calle Tron, 1961, 30135 Venice, Italy

    Open: Daily from noon to 2.30 pm and from 7.30 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +39 04 1523 5676


    Il Ridotto Restaurant

    A Michelin-starred spot to enjoy a meal with someone special

    Il Ridotto, meaning “the small, private place”, is an intimate Venetian restaurant where less than 20 guests can enjoy innovative takes on classic Italian dishes. You can order à la carte or go for the 5- or 7-course tasting menus, one of which is vegetarian. Since the menu changes daily, repeat guests are always in for a surprise.

    Complement your meal with a bottle of Venetian wine. Your friendly yet professional waiter will be happy to recommend one for you. If you need to stick to a budget but still want to experience the cooking, Il Ridotto offers an affordable gourmet lunch deal.

    Location: Campiello, Campo Santi Filippo e Giacomo, 4509, 30122 Venice, Italy

    Open: Monday and Friday–Sunday from noon to 1.45 pm and from 6.45 pm to 9.45 pm, Tuesday and Thursday from 6.45 pm to 9.45 pm (closed on Wednesdays)

    Phone: +39 04 1520 8280


    Osteria Enoteca San Marco

    A perfect cosmopolitan meal just a stone’s throw from Piazza San Marco

    Osteria Enoteca San Marco is a cozy taverna to the west of Piazza San Marco in Venice. In 2002, 4 friends with a passion for good food and wine joined forces to create the diner. The menu is international but based on local ingredients with a dash of exotic products and spices. You’ll find creatively presented meat, fish, game, and vegetable dishes. It also has a small selection of French, German, and Spanish wines.

    The restaurant occupies a renovated tavern from the 1940s, with an interior that fuses modern and authentic Venetian designs. The exposed beams and rough brick walls contrast with the contemporary decor of designer lights, leather seats, and a dazzling chandelier.

    Location: Calle Frezzaria, 1610, 30124 Venice, Italy

    Open: Daily from 11 am to midnight

    Phone: +39 04 1528 5242


    Da Primo

    A well-established family restaurant on Burano island

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    Da Primo is a family-run restaurant in the Baldassare Galuppi Square on Burano island. This is a lovely cantina to stop in between sightseeing to enjoy a home-cooked meal with warm and friendly service.

    It serves superb regional Burano fish dishes, including risotto alla buranella (shellfish risotto), seafood spaghetti, and tagliolini (ribbon pasta) with shrimps and vegetables. You'll also find meat, pizza, salads, and vegetarian-friendly options on the menu. Ask for a recommendation on wine pairings.

    Location: Via Baldassarre Galuppi, 285, 30142 Venice, Italy

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 7 am to 8 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +39 04 173 5550


    Osteria Al Merca

    Delicious fish dishes on the relaxed Lido of Venice

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    Osteria Al Merca is tucked away in a covered market area on Lido, Venice's seaside resort. The restaurant specializes in seafood dishes, such as broiled baby squids, boiled baby octopus, fish and veg fritters, and creamed stockfish locally known as baccalà mantecato.

    The eatery's location near a fish market means freshness is pretty much guaranteed. You can also enjoy an excellent selection of wines. Service is friendly and attentive. Osteria Al Merca is very popular with locals, so it's best to reserve a table if you're planning to visit on a weekend.

    Location: Via E. Dandolo, 17B, 30100 Venice, Italy

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from noon to 2.30 pm and from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +39 04 1243 1663


    Ristorante Da Ivo

    Where celebrities go for a rustic Italian feast in Venice

    Ristorante Da Ivo is a charming family-run trattoria near Piazzo San Marco. The tiny restaurant is best known for its Tuscan-Venetian cuisine specialties, including fresh fish and meat broiled over charcoal. There is also a lengthy wine list of over 150 bottles from the best Italian vineyards.

    With space for around 40 people, reservations are a must, especially at dinnertime. While Da Ivo is popular with celebrities visiting Venice, it feels very local and unpretentious. You can choose to dress up or simply dine in jeans and a jersey.

    Location: S. Marco, 1809, 30124 Venice, Italy

    Open: Monday–Saturday from noon to 2.30 pm and from 7 pm to 10.30 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +39 04 1528 5004


    Trattoria al Gatto Nero

    A canalside gem serving fresh seafood

    Trattoria al Gatto Nero is a lively family-run restaurant on the colorful lagoon island of Burano. Its name translates to the ‘Black Cat’. Since 1965, the trattoria has been a local institution for traditional Venetian lagoon cuisine. Every day, its chef heads to local markets to handpick seafood and vegetables for his dishes.

    Try the Gatto Nero classics of Burano-style risotto with locally sourced goby fish or the homemade tagliolini (ribbon pasta) with spider crab. Call ahead to book the best seats in this house – on the romantic outdoor covered terrace beside the canal.

    Location: Via Giudecca, 88, 30142 Venice, Italy

    Open: Tuesday and Thursday–Saturday from noon to 3 pm and from 7.30 pm to 9 pm, Wednesday and Sunday from noon to 3 pm

    Phone: +39 04 173 0120


    photo by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Enoteca Al Volto

    Serving regional wines since pre-WWII

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    Enoteca Al Volto is one of the oldest wine bars in Venice. It’s the place to be for wine connoisseurs, enthusiastic amateurs, or those looking for a relaxed night out. A few blocks from Rialto Bridge, this atmospheric bar is a cozy spot for wine and cicchetti (Venetian bar snacks) or a full meal.

    Lining the bar’s original wooden walls and ceiling are hundreds of regional bottles of wine. Don’t be overwhelmed, though – Enoteca Al Volto's staff are experts and are happy to help you find the perfect ombra – a glass of wine in local slang.

    Location: Calle Cavalli, 4081, 30124 Venice, Italy

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm and from 6 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +39 04 1522 8945


    La Zucca

    A Venetian osteria for vegetarians

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    La Zucca is a great place to go if you need a little breather from Venice’s seafood. This small canalside osteria has a strong emphasis on vegetables, but it also serves some classic meat dishes. Its daily-changing menu indicates that everything comes from the city's local market in the same morning.

    The menu is in Italian, but there's give you a glossary, and the waiter is ready to guide you, too. With a small dining room with limited seating, it’s best to book ahead. Ask for a canalside table where you can get a good dose of people-watching while enjoying your meal.

    Location: S. Croce, 1762, 30135 Venice, Italy

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm and from 7 pm to 10.30 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +39 04 1524 1570


    La Palanca

    Come for the local vibe, stay for the best views of Venice

    La Palanca is a laidback neighbourhood cafe and bar on the island of Giudecca, near the Palanca Vaporetto stop. It's well off the tourist trail and frequented by locals who pitch up for coffee at 7 am or for a spritz or ombra (local word for a glass of wine) and cicchetti (bar snacks) in the early evening.

    The only meal the restaurant serves is lunch. Standouts include pasta and bean soup, swordfish carpaccio, tuna tartare, pasta with squid and artichokes, and broiled Adriatic fish. Try to book a table outside, where you can dine while gazing out across Venice's main canal to the spires of Dorsoduro.

    Location: Fondamenta Sant'Eufemia, 448, 30133 Venice, Italy

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 7 am to 9 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +39 04 1528 7719


    photo by Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble (CC BY 2.0) modified

    Jacqui de Klerk | Contributing Writer

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