The Best Restaurants in Venice

The comforting taste of familiar Italian food is transformed into a different cuisine in Venice, where the cooking is influenced by spices like saffron brought by traders and by its proximity to both the Alps and the sea. Fresh fish dominates menus, turning up in seafood risotto and pasta as well as in spreads for cicchetti, tapas-like snacks. Sample typically Venetian dishes at family-run trattorie or dine at a fancy restaurant with a view with these top restaurants in Venice.

Campo San Giacometto, Ponte di Rialto, 122, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
At the foot of the Rialto Bridge with fantastic views of the Grand Canal, Osteria Bancogiro sits under the archway of the Bancogiro (a bank founded in 1600) from which the tavern gets its name. Here, you’ll find a ground-floor wine bar serving carefully curated varietals by the glass and bottle, as well as stellar crostini cicheti choices like salumi and cheese, warm octopus and eggplant, and shrimp curry risotto. There are also blockbuster canal views from tables on the stone terrace in front. Upstairs, surrounded by brick walls and vaulted ceilings, the stylish dining room offers a full menu of intriguing, modern Venetian dishes, including cocoa fusilli with boar ragù and a flavorful sea bream fillet.

Piazza San Marco, 57, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
During the day, the Piazza San Marco in Venice is an overwhelming flurry of activity, but once the sun sets, you’d be surprised at just how much a sense of ease and languor settles in. Life simply slows down as the crowds depart. Stop by Caffè Florian for a memorable evening. Opened in 1720, this is Italy‘s oldest cafe, and features ornate frescoed and gilded salons, as well as an outdoor seating area for great people-watching. Sip a drink and enjoy Caffè Florian’s live orchestra and singers as you sit under the beautiful night sky, with an illuminated St. Mark’s Basilica in the background. Looking around at my family, I could see total contentment reflected on each of their faces—the most magical and relaxing night of my trip. While not inexpensive, this evening was worth every Euro to me—a night that I will remember fondly for the rest of my life.
Rio Terà de le Carampane, 1911, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
If you’re looking for some of the most authentic and delicious seafood in Venice, pay a visit to Antiche Carampane. Located in an unassuming building a few minutes’ walk from the Rialto Bridge, this trattoria is where the locals eat when they’re craving seafood-focused Venetian dishes. It’s a cozy family-run restaurant with framed photos in the dining room and friendly service. The local fish, octopus, clams, shrimp, and scallops are what to order here, as it tastes about as fresh as it comes and is served in a variety of styles, including a simply prepared catch of the day. The menu here is more complex than that of the typical tourist joints, featuring traditional Venetian dishes that are not usually found outside a local’s kitchen. In spring, try the fried soft-shell crabs.
Cannaregio, 30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
L’Alcova, within the posh Ca’Sagredo Hotel, is an intimate dining experience with just nine tables on a delightful panoramic terrace fronting the Grand Canal. It serves a traditional Venetian menu that changes daily and is sourced from the Rialto Market across the street. Dishes like monkfish with cherries and wild baby asparagus, and burrata-filled tortellini with clams, fresh basil, capers, and pine nuts, are paired with a well-curated wine list representing Italy’s different wine regions. The desserts here are stellar, so try to save room. It’s also not unusual for the chef to come chat with diners post-meal. This is a great romantic pick—just make sure to reserve ahead.
Calle Vallaresso, 1323, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
The Bellini was born in Venice at Harry’s Bar, which has been hopping since 1931. Declared a National Historic Monument by the Italian government in 2001, this San Marco bar and restaurant is a cultural institution. Even though it doesn’t do the best food in Venice, and prices are ridiculously expensive, it’s worth dining here once just for the experience. Over the decades it has served a global collection of writers and artists, including Ernest Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin, and Orson Welles, and today it’s still popular with Venetian movers and shakers.

The interior decor has not changed since Giuseppe Cipriani opened Harry’s on the eve of World War II (and during the war, Harry’s was one of only a handful of restaurants in Venice that would serve Jewish patrons). The food is classic Venetian. Try the baked sea bass with artichokes for a main, and make sure to save room for dessert. Harry’s is famed for crêpes flambées and also its Cipriani chocolate cake. Reservations are imperative; when booking ask for the ground floor because dining here is all about seeing and being seen, and the second floor is considered much less cool by Venice society (although it has much better views and more dining space).
Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa, 5183, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
Run by the affable Mauro Lorenzon, himself as much a Venetian institution as his wine bar, Enoiteca Mascareta has been a neighborhood favorite for decades now. It began as a wine bar with some light fare but today serves a full menu, although locals will tell you it’s best to avoid the peak dinner hours and come for the wine before 8 p.m. or after 11 p.m. The wine-by-the-glass menu changes daily and is posted on a chalkboard on the wall, and nearly always features mostly regional wines from northeast Italy, many of which are organic. If you don’t like any of the specials on the wall, a glass from any bottle on the wine list also can be ordered.

If the variety is too much, ask Lorenzon or one of his friendly staff for their suggestion. The food is also very good, and the entire atmosphere is relaxed with a local feel to it. For a true Venetian neighborhood-style drinking experience, this is the place to go.
Campiello, Campo Santi Filippo e Giacomo, 4509, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
This Michelin-starred imaginative seafood restaurant, inspired by a small Venetian theater of yesteryear, is an intimate dining spot with just nine tables. The brainchild of Gianni Bonaccorsi, who had a vision to create a fine-dining place in this spot more than a decade ago, it serves a seasonal menu that’s at once creative and well researched. Expect modern interpretations on classic Venetian favorites, with a focus on locally sourced fish that can change daily. The decor is as inviting as the food, with white cloth–covered tables set in a wood-beam-and-brick dining space. Reservations are essential. Il Ridotto is open for lunch and dinner and offers both prix-fixe and à la carte menus.
Calle del Scaleter, 2202, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
One of the most famous restaurants in Venice, the Michelin-starred Da Fiore occupies an understated-yet-elegant space in what was once an old Venetian tavern. The food is a modern take on traditional Venetian, with lots of fish and seafood, but the menu changes constantly based on what is fresh and locally available. Everything is wonderfully prepared with a lovely fusion of flavors and textures and comes out perfectly plated. There’s also an excellent wine list. You can order à la carte or choose a six- or seven-course tasting menu at dinner.
Calle Larga Widmann, 5405/a, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
This unpretentious and welcoming old-fashioned restaurant is a favorite with locals and tourists alike, and many guests are regulars. The elegant interior design features traditional linens on tables and modern art on brick walls, and the dining space is split into multiple small rooms as well as an outdoor patio. The food is local, with a selection of Venetian classics such as Canastrelli scallops and grilled orata fish (bream) with zucchini sauce. The pasta is homemade, and beyond fish and seafood, there are plenty of meat choices. The wine list is carefully curated by one of the owners. Service is friendly and efficient.
Ramo Ca' d'Oro, 3912, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
This tiny Venetian bacaro (bar) is so popular that many of its patrons don’t even make it inside. Instead, they cluster around the entrance drinking wine. Sample cicchetti (bar snacks) that the locals come for, especially the meatballs.

Given how popular it is, your best bet at getting in is to go at lunch or just before closing. It’s an excellent option for a full meal or just a few snacks, depending on how hungry you are.
Via Baldassarre Galuppi, 221, 30142 Venezia VE, Italy
Let the wind blow through your hair as you take a 30-minute vaporetto ride to Burano, an island in the lagoons of Venice. Known for its brightly-colored fishermen’s homes, the island is largely free of the tourist crush of the rest of Venice. Spend the afternoon shopping for exquisite handmade lace and sampling gelato, then do as the locals do - gather in the town square at sunset to enjoy drinks and people-watching in one of the many cafes.

We settled in at Trattoria Da Primo, where the bartender recommended a typical Venetian drink, the “Spritz” (Prosecco, Aperol or Campari liqueur, and soda). Then get ready to feast at Trattoria da Romano, regular host to locals, tourists, and visiting artists. The restaurant is famous for Venetian specialities such as creamy Goh fish risotto and fresh seafood. Burano is definitely the place to go for a quiet, small-town feeling night out in Italy.
Fondamenta Nani, 992, 30123 Venice, Italy
If you are in Venice, you will surely get familiar with local spritz (a fizzy, refreshing aperitif) and cicchetti, or small snacks. If you want to have a local experience, be sure to stop by Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi while walking around La Salute area.

It’s more of a wine bar or shop than a true restaurant, with floor-to-ceiling bottles along the walls and most patrons standing as they nibble cicchetti like bruschetta with a cod spread or brie and anchovies. Buon appetito!
S. Marco, 1809, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
“Ristorante da Ivo is where George Clooney famously likes to dine, but it’s still completely charming. It’s a tiny trattoria and very expensive, but the food is stunning. The kitchen is still family-run and it feels very local, not at all pretentious. You can get dressed up or go in jeans and a jumper. Do try the baccala, which is salted dried cod that’s been soaked in milk and whipped up with olive oil. It’s creamy and delicious.”

Read about more of McAlpine’s Venice favorites.
Vianelli, 625B, 30126 Venezia VE, Italy
“This family-run restaurant on the fishing island of Pellestrina is quite far out—probably 45 minutes by boat. But in the summer months, it’s a lovely ride, breezy and fresh. Once you’re at the restaurant, you sit on a pontoon and see nothing but the spread of la laguna and the occasional boat speeding past. They do wonderful fish here. It’s incredibly fresh and they’ll bring you an array of mixed antipasti to start. The oven-baked turbot on potatoes with baby artichokes and baby tomatoes is fantastic. So, so good.”

Read about more of McAlpine’s Venice favorites.
Castello 4196, Venice
Housed in a trio of historic buildings spanning the 14th to the 20th centuries, the Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, overlooks Venice’s lively Riva degli Schiavoni waterfront promenade in San Marco—a prime people-watching spot. The noble family who lived in the original Byzantine-style palazzo had four doges in their line. Its second act as a hotel began in 1822, and it has continued to host notable guests, from Charles Dickens to Charlie Chaplin. The gilded lobby, with its Murano glass chandeliers, pink marble columns, and stained-glass windows, sets the opulent tone throughout.

Rooms are styled with Italian antiques, original artwork, and Murano glass mirrors or chandeliers, and many have gorgeous lagoon views. Mingle with guests over martinis at the award-winning bar, or watch the sunset from the terrazza.

Don’t miss dinner at the restaurant, either—a location you may recognize. In the Angelina Jolie/Johnny Depp film The Tourist, the famous twosome dine at this famous restaurant. Part of the historic Hotel Danieli, the stupendous views from the terrace give you a front seat to the great show of the Grand Canal.
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.
Fondamenta di Santa Caterina, 7/b, 30142 Venezia VE, Italy
Feast on fresh-caught fish and seafood and wash it down with Italian wine during a leisurely summer lunch at Alla Maddalena on Mazzorbo Island. A 45-minute ferry ride from Venice and far removed from the crowds, this charming, less touristy and altogether tiny island in the Venice lagoon is wonderful place to escape for an afternoon. And Alla Maddalena serves amazing fried fish as well as top-notch mussels and clams, all of which can be eaten al fresco either in the back garden or by the canal. The trattoria is also known for handmade pastas and seasonal ingredients from fruits to locally hunted game like wild duck. (Mazzorbo is a short walk across footbridge from Burano Island, so if you’re planning a trip to Burano, you can add a stop here for dinner.)
30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
While exploring Burano, break for a fabulous seafood lunch at Al Gato Nero. The “black cat” restaurant is the creation of Ruggero Bovo, who has been cooking up some of the tastiest fresh fish and seafood here since 1965. “I love the fish of the Venetian lagoon and the Adriatic Coast, the raw material which has fed my island for generations and which I still have the fortune of getting fresh every day,” Bovo says. Fish and seafood are the star attractions on both the appetizer and main menu selections, but there are also options for vegetarians and carnivores. The pasta here is homemade, as are the delicious desserts.
Calle de la Malvasia, 6014, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
The front section of this small spot was crowded with locals having a quick drink and a plate of cicchetti. We had reserved one of the six tables in the back. The menu, written on a blackboard, was all almost all unknown to me. Thankfully my Milanese traveling partners were there to translate. We ordered plates of baccala manecato and polenta, a Venetian style fish lasagna, and a seafood pasta. All washed down with jugs of a cold local white.
Via San Mauro, 296, 30142 Burano VE, Italy
Burano is quaint and touristy in the same breath. Some might argue that there is not much to see beyond the multi-colored buildings. But there is definitely something worth eating - sardines! Sit in the sun at Riva Rosa and enjoy along with seafood risotto and spaghetti alle vongole.
Piazza Santa Fosca, 29, 30142 Torcello VE, Italy
Chef Cristian Angiolin heads up the kitchen at this Venetian lagoon institution, which is open year-round except for January and Tuesdays. The restaurant is no longer a part of the Cipriani franchise, which began in Venice and has since expanded to places like New York and Miami.

What you come here for is the restaurant’s garden, which is open from late spring to early autumn and is one of the best places in the lagoon to visit with a large group of friends and celebrate into the evening. The bartenders make the best negronis and have an extensive wine list that includes pours from most regions on the Italian peninsula. If you don’t want to be marooned on Torcello Island, come for lunch. But it’s another one of those amazing dining spots with rooms, so that if you do come for dinner and miss the last boat back to Venice, you can always check into the hotel.
Calle Cavalli, 4081, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Located just a few minutes’ stroll from the Rialto Bridge, Al Volto is Venice’s oldest wine bar and home to an impressive 1,000-bottle collection. The list includes Italian and international wines, but not all are offered at the same time—the wine list rotates daily. If you aren’t sure what to order, the staff is very knowledgable. Beyond the attraction of the wine, the atmosphere is jovial and the vibe is cozy with wood-paneled walls and every bit of the ceiling plastered with wine labels. If you’re hungry, the adjoining restaurant cooks up delicious traditional Venetian lagoon fare. The homemade pastas are excellent—keep it simple and try the spaghetti with clams and olive oil.
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