You may be able to walk around Venice in less than an hour but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a mighty restaurant offering. There is a strong emphasis on seafood in this city, which is no surprise considering its location, right on the lagoon. But the Venetians are famous for more than just fish and their restaurant scene reflects this. From meaty specialties to cichetti – the Venetian form of tapas – there is something for everyone. Below, we list our pick of the best restaurants in Venice. But, before making your choice, we highly recommend checking out our handy guide to the different types of Italian restaurants. From an Osteria to a Ristorante and a Trattoria, we break it all down so you know what you’re getting yourself in for.
Set back on a small, relatively undisturbed canal in the Cannareggio district lies Anice Stellato. When you want unfussy, traditional Venetian fare executed with quality and precision, Anice Stellato is your go-to place. It’s run by a family and has a big emphasis on local, fresh ingredients, prepared as simply as possible. The interior is full of wood and natural tones, the long wine list is excellent and the menu is short but beautiful. Be sure to make a reservation, this is a popular restaurant and you don’t want to miss it. Thanks to its beautiful interior design, Anice Stellato also features in our Venice design and insider guide, be sure to check it out.
Fondamenta de la Sensa, 3272, 30121, Venice
Local is an upmarket restaurant in the heart of Venice. It focuses on sustainable cooking, meaning they have no kitchen waste at all; they use every morsel of food they buy. The head chef is Matteo Tagliapietra, a Venetian native who has worked in some rather impressive kitchens, both in Venice and London. The space itself is spacious and filled with natural light from the large windows overlooking the canals. The menu is modern and inventive but always with a nod to tradition.
Salizzada dei Greci, 3303, 30122, Venice
L’Osteria Campo Santa Marina
On a small road in the San Marco district of Venice lies L’Osteria Campo Santa Marina. The décor may be traditional but the food is anything but. This is an inventive kitchen with Agostino Doria at the helm, a chef for over 30 years. You can choose from the a la carte menu or take one of their tasting menus. One is very traditional, with flavors such as prawns on soft polenta and soft shell crab with artichoke. The other is much more inventive, infusing Asian flavors such as yuzu and lemongrass with local produce. The wine list is excellent too.
Campo Santa Marina, 5911, 30122, Venice
If you are looking for a truly opulent dining experience, look no further than Ristorante Glam. This 2-star Michelin restaurant is an experience like no other. You’ll find the restaurant in an old palazzo. You can eat in the dining room or the hidden garden filled with magnolia trees and other fragrant flowers. The food is classically Venetian but with that Michelin star twist. Go a la carte or choose from one of the restaurant’s magnificent tasting menus. The wine list is extensive and the restaurant has a great sommelier on hand to help you choose the perfect bottle. A ‘best restaurants in Venice’ list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a restaurant like this.
Calle Tron, 1961, 30135, Venice
Zucca means pumpkin, a nod to the restaurant’s focus on vegetarianism (you can’t have a ‘best restaurants in Venice guide’ without mentioning a veggie-friendly place). It’s a small restaurant, with room inside for just 35 guests, and well off the beaten path, despite its central location. 3 chefs work here, so the menu changes daily, depending on which chef is working. The food is creative; menu items like pumpkin flan, zucchini almond lasagna, and asparagus soup regularly crop up. All the food is seasonal and freshly prepared. A perfect change to Venice’s seafood culture.
S. Croce, 1762, 30135, Venice
If you’re looking for an authentic Venetian experience, look no further than Osteria All’Arco. This is a traditional ‘bacaro’ or tavern, specializing in Venice’s favorite snack; cichetti. You can find cichetti in nearly every bar in Venice. Small slices of baguette are topped with various ingredients, from salt cod to ham to vegetables. You can find the best – or so say locals – at All’Arco. The produce here is always fresh, straight from the local markets. Eating here would be a perfect way to complete our Venetian walking tour. You could stop for a quick drink, or stay longer and make a meal out of their gorgeous cichetti and great drinks.
Calle Arco, 436, 30125, Venice
Dining Out in Venice
There’s nothing better than dining in Venice, as our Best Restaurants in Venice guide shows. The canal side locations, the seafood, the buzzing atmosphere, it’s like nowhere else on earth. If you’re planning a trip to Venice, make sure to check out our ultimate Venice travel guide. If that’s not enough, we offer hotels in Venice and recommendations on where to stay. You’ll want to be rested for the days of fun and sightseeing ahead of you. We also have tours both inside and outside Venice (Prosecco tasting, or Lake Garda tour, anyone?) to make sure you get the most out of your stay. 2 days in Venice is a great amount of time to visit the city, check out our 2 days in Venice itinerary for a great planned trip.