La Zucca

Sestiere Santa Croce 1762, 30135 Venice, Italy

If you’re looking to eat veggie in Venice, head to La Zucca, which serves a sophisticated vegetarian menu that makes use of local, fresh ingredients from northern Italy, including sweet pumpkin (from which it gets its name – zucca). The chefs are talented at bringing out the flavors of the vegetables they’re working with and combining just the right amount of seasoning and ingredients to create a well-balanced dish – try the finocchi piccanti con olive (fennel in a spicy tomato-olive sauce), radicchio di Treviso con funghi e scaglie di Montasio (with mushrooms and Montasio cheese shavings) or the flan di zucca, which is the house signature, and a rich, naturally sweet, pumpkin pudding topped with aged ricotta cheese slivers.

But while the vegetarian entrees here really shine, the menu doesn’t exclude carnivores and has a number of excellent meat dishes like piccata di pollo ai caperi e limone con riso (sliced chicken with capers and lemon served with rice). The restaurant is a simple place with lattice-work walls and not a lot of pomp and circumstance, making it perfect for families.

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“The name, La Zucca, means ‘the pumpkin.’ This tiny, tiny trattoria does all vegetarian food—which is unusual for Venice. Vegetarianism just isn’t a conscious thing here. On the flip side, the Italian diet has so many great vegetables, you’re spoiled for choice and it’s easy to find things to eat.” —Skye McAlpine, cookbook author and Venice native.

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