Food Guide: The Best Places To Eat And Drink In Venice

Venice can be a tricky place to navigate with its narrow streets and network of canals.

Venice can also be tricky to navigate when it comes to deciding where to eat. It’s difficult to discern a tourist trap from a quality restaurant. Luckily you have our trusty food and drink guide to Venice to make sure every bite is worth that Italian vacation!

EAT

Venissa

Fondamenta di Santa Caterina, 3, 30142 Venezia VE, Italy

Venissa is one of the hottest tables in Venice, with one Michelin-star and a female executive chef, Chiara Pavan, leading the way. Located in Mazzorbo island, diners must take the ferry to Burano Island and cross a small bridge to get to the restaurant located on an idyllic estate which also operates as a boutique wine resort.

Chef Chiara Pavan serves her own cucina ambientale which is highly committed to the surrounding environment and sustainable practices. Venissa puts the spotlight on the terroir of Venice. The produce and herbs are from the Venissa estate and harvested by the island’s local inhabitants. Of course, the seafood is sourced directly from the Venetian Lagoon and the local fisherman who work in its waters. Venissa has even reintroduced the production of Dorona wine, made from a rare grape that’s native to Venice.

The tasting menu at Venissa demonstrates the creativity and research-based innovation of Chefs Chiara Pavan and Francesco Brutto. The colorful dishes reflect the unique biodiversity of Venice with a clear focus on the quality of locally-sourced raw ingredients. Venissa is an unmatched experienced for those looking for a true taste of Venice with a powerful sense of place.

Venissa
FACEBOOK Venissa

Antiche Carampane

Rio Terà de le Carampane, 1911, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

Antiche Carampane is a classic Venice institution that’s popular with both travelers and locals. The restaurant, with its old-school décor of framed photos and antique mirrors covering the walls, is unpretentious and inviting.

The restaurant serves traditional Venetian dishes with a yummy focus on seafood. One of the main reasons to go to the restaurant is to chow on the Tagliatelle with Spider-Crab sauce. The pasta is perfectly chewy and the sauce magically brings out all the flavors of the sweet, succulent crab. The best part about Antiche Carampane is that it doesn’t dress up the dishes and ingredients too much. You can expect wide-grilled fish or the fish of the day from the market that’s simply prepared so that the prime ingredients do all the talking.

If you’re looking for an inviting old-school Italian restaurant that you can count on for delicious seafood, you can’t go wrong with the Venetian classic, Antiche Carampane.

Antiche Carampane Spidercrab Tagliatelle
Antiche Carampane Spidercrab Tagliatelle. PHOTO NADIA CHO

Antico Forno

Ruga Rialto, 973, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

You’ll find Antico Forno in possibly the most touristy location right off Rialto Bridge. But do not let the location fool you because the pizza is divine. Specifically, the thin crust pizza which gets made to order is what you really want. I order an entire Palermitana thin crust pizza for myself and it’s all I could think about for days. The crust is divinely crispy and doughy at the same time with the perfect amount of dough bubbles that we all love. When you walk by this cozy hole-in-the-wall pizza joint with stools to sit on outside by the display case, you’ll know you’re there. Do not sleep on this small but mighty pizza joint in the middle of tourist central and make sure you order your own thin crust pizza just for you!

Antinoo’s Restaurant and Lounge at Sina Centurion Palace

Dorsoduro, 173, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy

Antinoo’s Restaurant and Lounge at Sina Centurion Palace is the ideal restaurant when you’re looking for that over-the-top romantic dinner spot on the water. The bar terrace at Antinoo’s floats at the most scenic spot on the Grand Canal, where boats and gondolas cruise next to you while you’re having your meal. Meanwhile, the interior feels sleek and modern with an all-white mod dining room and a decadent red velvet lounge which feels like a swanky supperclub.

The menu puts forth contemporary Venetian-Italian cuisine with special focus on the Veneto region. Expect to find high-quality fish, fresh pasta and excellent cocktails and service. Order the five-course tasting menu and let the chefs do all the work, so that all you have to do is enjoy the gorgeous views of the Grand Canal.

PHOTO NADIA CHO

Aromi Restaurant

Sestiere Giudecca, 810, 30133 Venezia VE, Italy

venice restaurants
INSTAGRAM @aromivenice

Aromi is where you go when you want that high end sophisticated gourmand experience. This seasonal restaurant celebrates the excellent ingredients originating from the Mediterranean. The menu will take you on a journey from the Venetian Lagoon to Lake Garda to Sicily through the exceptional ingredients that make their way to your plate. You’ll find creative culinary creations like seared scallop with cuttlefish egg chips, gnocchi with slipper lobster and tortellini with creamed cod.

Although the food is sophisticated, the restaurant remains comfortable and lacking of stiff pomp and formality. The space is minimalist and stripped down to a few tables clustered in an intimate dining room. The magic of Aromi is that you can also eat outside overlooking the water on the wide terrace of the former flour-mill which is now Hilton Molino Stucky Venice hotel.

Ristorante Quadri

P.za San Marco, 123, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

Alajmo
FACEBOOK Alajmo

It’s not hard to see why Ristorante Quadri is the IT restaurant in town. The views overlooking St. Mark’s Square. The dramatically opulent interior designed by Philippe Starck. And high-end Michelin-starred cuisine. It truly doesn’t get any more deluxe than that!

The menu at Quadri is all about “contemporary interpretations of traditional Venetian and Italian dishes made with ingredients sourced directly from the Venetian lagoon.” The tasting menu is the chefs’ “modern take on the opulent meals served during the Venetian Renaissance.” Expect rich masterpieces like potato gnocchi with soft shell crab and pasta with rabbit ragu. The extensive wine list includes international wines and national wines from almost every region of Italy.

Without a doubt, Ristorante Quadri is that IT spot when you’re looking to treat yourself to a most luxurious dining experience with the most iconic views in Venice.

Da Fiore

S. Polo, 2202, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

Da Fiore is a beloved center of home cooked regional dishes which has been elevated to a Michelin star restaurant over the years. The overall look of Da Fiore is old-school boathouse dining room. The ambience is classic and unpretentious, with a couple of very special tables on the small balcony overlooking the canal.

The food at Da Fiore is reflective of the space: classic, not fussy or pretentious, with lots of oldies but goodies. The kitchen is headed by Mara Martin, who’s been at this for 35 years, and also runs a cooking school which visitors can sign up for. Mara whips up an impressive gamut of homecooked Venetian hits. The fried oysters are a classic and of course there are raw oysters and even a seafood tower salad to harken back to the classy dining rooms of decades past. Mains include knockout dishes like roasted wild eel with honey, crispy octopus and Venetian-style veal liver.

Estro

Dorsoduro 3778 Crosera, Calle S. Pantalon, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy

Estro - Vino e Cucina
FACEBOOK Estro – Vino e Cucina

Estro is a fabulous choice as a chic, contemporary restaurant in a laidback and understated setting. Estro is essentially like eating in a wine shop: unassuming wooden tables and chairs are placed in between floor-to-ceiling shelves of wine. The vibe is cozy and even hipster; clearly a hidden gem for those in the know.

Estro serves a short and sweet menu of contemporary Venetian cuisine based on the pillars of “product seasonality, terroir, respect for traditions and the quality of our offer.” The menu is highly intriguing, with compelling offers that you aren’t likely to find else. Example menu items include risotto with black cuttlefish and bergamot orange, locally-sourced pork neck and paccheri with goose ragout. Estro might just be Venice’s best kept secret with a setting and menu that’s both whimsical and intimate.

DRINK

Skyline Rooftop Bar

Giudecca, 810, 30133 Venezia VE, Italy

Skyline Rooftop Bar is famous in Venice for as the rooftop bar with the best views in the city. Situated at the top of Hilton Molino Stucky Venice Hotel on Giudecca Island, you can catch views of the grand Lagoon and Venice skyline.

Skyline Rooftop Bar is also where you can find some of the best mixology in Venice, as artisan cocktail bars are still somewhat rare in the city. The bartenders have whipped up an eclectic menu of original signature cocktails. Whether you like your cocktails smoky, herbal, sweet, fruity or spicy, you’ll find an original concoction that’s intriguing and new on the menu. And of course, you can still order your essential classic Italian aperitivos plus a gourmet cheese and salami plate to go with your drinks.

Everybody knows Skyline Rooftop Bar is the place to go when you fancy some fabulous cocktails with panoramic views you won’t get anywhere else!

Harry’s Bar

Calle Vallaresso, 1323, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

Harry’s Bar is a historic institution in Venice. Due to being so famous, it may be a touch touristy, but you can’t be mad at the classic elegance which has withstood the test of time. Harry’s Bar opened in 1931 and was a popular watering hole among artists, painters, writers, royal and celebrities. The bar has welcomed the likes of Katherine Hepburn, Ernest Hemingway, Frank Lloyd Wright and Truman Capote.

Harry’s Bar is a snapshot straight out of the 1930’s. The space with its stately mahogany bar, vintage leather stools and simple wooden tables exudes an understated elegance which modern venues strive to emulate. But venues these days will never recreate the same oldie-but-goodie spirit of an original like Harry’s.

Despite the name, Harry’s Bar is also a restaurant that serves the ideal blend of casual comfort food and classy steakhouse fare. You can grab a simple salad or tomato soup for lunch or treat yourself something more upmarket like a rib eye or scampi thermidor. Harry’s also gives you the opportunity to try classic Venetian dishes like cuttlefish with polenta or calf’s liver.

Il Mercante

Fondamenta Frari, 2564, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

Il Mercante is the most innovative cocktail bar in Venice. Il Mercante takes mixology very seriously and blurs the boundary between mixology and gastronomy. No ingredient is off limits for the cocktail menu. You’ll find drinks that combine fermented strawberries and apples with vermouth, fennel and champagne with tequila, artichokes and elderflower with St. Germaine and other highly original concoctions. The bar takes mixology so seriously that it even pairs each drink with a small dish to bring out the flavor of the main spirit in each cocktail. Having cocktails at Il Mercante is a gastronomic experience that you’ve definitely never had before.

Bussola Cocktail Lab

Calle del Scaleter, 222, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

Bussola Cocktail Lab
FACEBOOK Bussola Cocktail Lab

If you’re looking for the place where locals like to mingle, the plaza where Bussola Cocktail Lab is where it’s at. Conveniently located right off Rialto Bridge, Bussola Cocktail Lab is a sprawling two-story cocktail bar with plenty of outdoor seating in the plaza as well. On the weekends, the plaza is swarming with locals and tourists having drinks and socializing in lively Italian fashion.

The drink menu is fabulous, my personal favorite being the list of Americanos (Campari with vermouth, aka negronis without the gin). You can order Americanos flavored with cinnamon, chocolate, mint or orange, as well as other classic cocktails which are surprisingly affordable. Come for the cocktails and stay for the socializing at Bussola Cocktail Lab where you can always find a lively plaza to mingle at.

Bar Longhi at Gritti Palace

Campiello Traghetto, 2467, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

Bar Longhi at Gritti Palace
PHOTO Marriott.com

Bar Longhi is the obvious choice when you want a perfectly crafted drink in a grand hotel bar fit for Venetian royalty. Imagine marble on marble, Murano glass light fixtures and antique mirrors. Named after the 18th century Venetian artist, Piero Longhi, whose paintings grace the interior, Bar Longhi is the opulent gem located inside The Gritti Palace Hotel.

It would be a sin not to drink a martini at an exquisite hotel bar like this one, of which Bar Longhi has ten different variations. Everyone’s favorite version of a martini is on the menu (from a Vesper to a Gibson), as well as some signatures like the wild fennel and vodka martini and the Chicago 51 with anchovies. Other than martinis, Bar Longhi provides an impressively comprehensive menu of classic and original cocktails. Whether you’re there for aperitivos, daytime drinks or a night cap, Bar Longhi has a plethora of high-end tipples to choose from.

If you think the interior is marvelous, just wait until the see the spectacular bar terrace right on the Grand Canal. A table on the terrace puts you right in front of the iconic dome of Punta della Dogana. For a swish cocktail in the most opulent setting, Bar Longhi is the obvious choice as the grand dame of hotel bars in Venice.

Vino Vero

Fondamenta de la Misericordia, 2497, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy

Vino Vero was the first wine bar in Venice to exclusively serve natural wines.  This unassuming spot next to a canal is now a favorite among many Venetian locals and in-the-know wine-o’s. The minimalist décor, exposed brick and stripped-down tables give Vino Vero an overall hipster vibe. Also, the outdoor tables next to the water will easily become your new favorite place to enjoy a glass of wine.

As mentioned, Vino Vero is all about unique biodynamic and ecological wines. This mighty bar has one of the best selections of natural wines in the world. The staff is a real hip, motley crew as well, that will warmly guide you through their eclectic wine selection.

Vino Vero
PHOTO Vino Vero

Bar All’Arco

S. Polo, 436, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

A bacaro is a typical Venetian tavern, and it doesn’t get more typical than going for drinks and cichetti at All’Arco near Rialto Market. Cichetti is Venice’s yummy version of bar snacks and finger foods to accompany drinks. You can fill a plate with delectable bruschetta and sandwiches piled with prosciutto, salame, anchovies, cheese and seafood spreads. You can drink spritz if you want to, but most Venetians prefer to order wine to go with their bar snacks.

All’Arco happens to be a beloved favorite of both tourists and locals so get ready to wait in crowded lines and assertively order your drinks and cichetti!

All’Arco
INSTAGRAM @allarcovenezia
Nadia Cho

Communications Associate

As the empowered female behind the blog: International Women of Mystery, Nadia reps Team JST traveling the world in search of exclusive features on hidden gems and cool hotspots. You can find her exploring metropolitan cities or lounging on tropical beaches.

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