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Soup at La Zucca, Venice



Venice restaurants


La Zucca

It's easy to go wrong with restaurants in Venice, spending a fortune on poor food. Some frustrated visitors resort to eating at McDonalds every night (no, we're not even going to tell you where the branches are). On this page is our guide to some good restaurants in Venice. It's advisable to check the restaurant is open (most close one day a week, and for short spells in August and the winter). It's often a good idea to book ahead, especially for evening meals, at busy times like summer weekends, and if you want a special table (for example La Zucca has just three or four outside tables); we've mentioned in our listings where booking is particularly advisable. We've gathered all our restaurant descriptions together on one page for visitors who might want to print it out and take with them. Note that when calling an Italian number from a foreign phone, after dialling the international code 00 39, you should include the first zero of the local phone number.

Typical opening times are 12:30-2:30pm and 7-10pm (although more touristy restaurants may open earlier). As we explain on our 'Eating out' page (link below), you can expect to eat a good 2-3 course meal with wine for around €30 per person. Where a restaurant is much cheaper or more expensive, this is noted in the description.

More restaurants and cheap eateries, along with food vocabulary and advice on eating, drinking and avoiding being ripped off, can be found in the Italy Heaven Guide to Venice:
> Venice: Italy Heaven Guide (Kindle, Amazon.co.uk)

> General advice and tips for eating out in Venice
> Cheap places to eat

Restaurant recommendations

You may have all kinds of priorities when choosing a restaurant in Venice: here are some recommendations to help your choice. Restaurants are listed by sestiere (district).

Our current top choices:
For food quality: La Zucca
For smartness: Riva Rosa
For local colour: Bar dei Tedeschi, Sant'Erasmo
For cheapness: Brek (see also Cheap eats in Venice)
For pizza: Birraria La Corte


No-fuss pizza or pasta

Cheap and family friendly:
Ae Oche
Brek
Birraria La Corte

For vegetarians

La Zucca
Algiubagiò
Birraria La Corte

For pizza

Birraria La Corte
Al Nono Risorto

Outdoors

By a canal, outdoors tables:
I Figli delle Stelle
La Zucca
Ostaria da Rioba
Algiubagiò
Riva Rosa - Burano

Santa Croce

La Zucca

My favourite restaurant in Venice, this little place is cosy, friendly and serves excellent and original dishes. The wood-walled interior is decorated with pumpkin-related artworks (zucca means pumpkin), and looks out over a small canal and a pretty bridge. In summer there are three or four tables outside on a lane. A good choice for vegetarians, La Zucca has a much more interesting menu than other Venetian restaurants. The menu changes, but usually includes delicious dishes like tagliatelle with gorgonzola and pine nuts and squishy vegetable flans. Leave room for a dessert as these are very special. Take a dictionary to help with the menus, or ask the staff to translate.

Closed Sundays. Address: Santa Croce 1762. Between Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio and the San Stae vaporetto stop. Telephone: 041 5241570. Website: www.lazucca.it. It's always best to book as this is a small but popular place.

Al Nono Risorto

I hunted down many small alleys for this restaurant, before discovering it in a much more obvious spot than expected. The entrance is under a covered alley; the interior is lofty and basic, and there are tables outside in a little courtyard/garden (covered over in winter months). It's a trattoria-pizzeria serving unpretentious meals (pasta, seafood, meat) and pizzas. The photocopied menu is handwritten and ornamented with little protests: "More rights to gays", "Don't abandon animals!" "No Mose!" (against the new flood gates). The lunchtime atmosphere on a winter day was very 'local' - I found service just a tiny bit off-hand and wondered if it was because I was a foreigner. The food was good though - I ate a fat pizza alla Parmigiana, topped with aubergine, parmesan, mozzarella and tomato. Pizza, mineral water and wine came to €13.60. A subsequent evening visit during Carnival found a hectic, lively atmosphere where staff were overworked but pasta was good, and filling.

Address: Santa Croce 2338. Over a bridge from Campo San Cassiano. Telephone: 041 524 1169. No credit cards.


San Marco

Osteria San Marco

It's a bit pricey, but the location of this bar/restaurant is very convenient for St. Mark's Square, and it is a haven from the tourist crowds. Food is smartly-presented and there is a good range of (expensive) wines by the glass or bottle. We particularly enjoyed a shared cheese-and-jam-selection antipasto. I wouldn't recommend it if you are looking for a really filling good-value meal, but it's an elegant choice for sampling quality cuisine in an area over-run with dubious 'tourist-menu' type eateries.

Address: San Marco 1610 (Frezzeria).


San Polo

Birraria la Corte, Venice

Birraria La Corte

This large pizzeria is popular with local families and young groups of friends, as well as tourists. In the summer it has lots of tables outside on Campo San Polo. The pizzas, which are named after Venetian bridges, are excellent and there are plenty to choose from, including a rich pizza with smoked cheese. Salads are good too, and there is also a selection of pasta dishes. Cheap house wine includes sparkling Prosecco. Desserts are also rich and filling.

Closed Sundays. Address: San Polo 2168. At the northern end of Campo San Polo. Telephone: 041 275 0570. Website: www.birrarialacorte.it. The restaurant is large, but gets busy, so either book ahead or be prepared to wait for a while.

Pane Vino e San Daniele

This is a small modern chain specialising in ham from San Daniele in the Friuli region of Italy. There's a branch near the Rialto, on the same street as Al Garanghelo, and another in a remote corner of Dorsoduro. The San Polo/Rialto branch has a rather spuriously 'aged' feel to it, but its small square dining room is a comfortable place to sit, in a convenient central location. Although the restaurant specialises in wine and ham, it also serves a good range of first and second courses. If you fancy a less formal meal out, many of the dishes here - such as the ham platters - make good snacks along with a glass of wine.

Closed Mondays. Address: San Polo 1544, Calle dei Botteri. Telephone: 380 410 8446(mob). Another branch in Dorsoduro in Campo Angelo Raffaele. Website: www.panevinoe.it.


Cannaregio

Algiubagiò

This is a stylish modern restaurant overlooking the northern lagoon, by the Fondamente Nove vaporetto stop. In the summer there are pleasant tables outside on a wooden terrace over the water. If you are sitting outside, the nearby boat stop means it's not too peaceful but it's still a pleasant spot. The food here is very good: pasta and meat dishes are interesting and costly, but there is also a reasonably-priced pizza menu. Vegetarians can do quite well here; as well as a couple of vegetarian pasta dishes there are also salads, cheese selections and one or two vegetarian secondi piatti. The handsomely-presented house wine is good too. Waiters are friendly, efficient and handsome.

Address: Cannaregio 5039, on the Fondamente Nove. Telephone: 041 523 6084. Booking is a good idea, especially for a waterside table. Website: www.algiubagio.net.

Ostaria Da Rioba

A nice little restaurant in Cannaregio, on the same picturesque canal as the Ristorante Diana (above). There are some pleasant bars along here too, so it's a nice place to spend the evening. Da Rioba offers good quality and interesting food, although the menu didn't offer much for vegetarians when I visited. Still, I enjoyed a lovely Greek salad from their 'specials' blackboard. Lots of seafood and a great location with a few tables outside by the canal's edge.

Cannaregio 2553, Fondamenta della Misericordia. Telephone: 041 524 4379.

Brek

This is an Italian chain of self-service restaurants. They're useful pit-stops for travellers, especially travellers on a budget. In Venice there is a branch very near the railway station; a reliable alternative to all the overpriced snack bars in the area. You can fill yourself up with a plate of pasta and a glass of wine (on tap) for €5. The Venice branch has a bar at the front and a full self-service canteen-style restaurant at the back, with seating and a few tables outdoors in a small yard. There are meat dishes, a salad counter, fruit, desserts and three pasta dishes of the day (at least one is usually vegetarian). Frequently there are meal deals which are good value. There's no waiting for service and no extras to pay, so if you want a quick meal on the go, it's a good place to eat.

Address: Cannaregio 124, on the Lista di Spagna (leaving the railway station, head left and it's a few yards away). Website: www.brek.com.


Castello

Trattoria dai Tosi

Good value local eatery in the residential Castello district, near Via Garibaldi. Pizzas in the evening.

Address: Castello 738 (Secco Marina).

Ostaria da Simson

Between Santa Maria Formosa and San Zanipolo, this little inn offers light or heavier meals, platters and soups.

Address: Castello 6316 (Fondamenta dei Felzi).


Dorsoduro

Ristoteca Oniga

An attractive little restaurant in Campo San Barnaba, in Dorsoduro, Oniga has a cosy interior (complete with ageing pet dog) and some outdoors tables. With medium prices, it's a good place for a comfortable lunch in-between tourist sights or for a larger evening meal. There are generally good mixed antipasti platters on the menu, which changes from day to day. The local gondoliers pop in at lunchtime.

Closed Tuesdays. Address: Dorsoduro 2852 (in Campo San Barnaba). Telephone: 041 5224410. Website: www.oniga.it/.

Taverna di San Trovaso

On a busy corner in Dorsoduro, the Taverna di San Trovaso is handy for the Accademia and main thoroughfares, and is generally crowded with tourists. It serves cheap, filling traditional food with some seasonal specialities.

Closed Mondays. Address: Dorsoduro 1016. On the main route linking the Accademia with San Barnaba. Telephone: 041 520 3703. Website: www.tavernasantrovaso.it

Osteria - Enoteca Ai Artisti

Osteria - Enoteca Ai Artisti, Venice

The Osteria-Enoteca Ai Artisti is not a formal restaurant for a sit-down meal, but a little wine-bar with a few tables where you can order dishes from a short daily menu, accompanied by one of the many wines available by the glass (from €3). As well as the tempting primi piatti on the menu, the bar also serves tempting snacks (Venetian cicheti) which are displayed under the glass counter: asparagus tips, stuffed peppers and more. I wanted a more traditional lunch so I ordered the only vegetarian dish on the interesting menu: ravioli with radicchio and cheese. Despite there being only three of the ravioli, it was substantial enough for lunch, rich, perfectly-cooked and extremely satisfying. The bread served was also better than the norm. Eating here isn't a bargain, but it is good value considering the quality of the food and the friendly atmosphere. I paid €21 for pasta, a glass of wine, water and a chocolate mousse dessert which was so rich and chocolatey that that I couldn't finish it.

If you are lucky enough to squeeze in, this is a super place for a good lunch in between visits to the local galleries. In the bar there are about three tables and some stools along a counter by the window; there's also a tiny, attractive little back room lined with wine bottles which would be a great place to reserve for an intimate dinner. In warmer months there are a few tables outside by the canal. The location is a convenient one, right on an important thoroughfare, and it's satisfying to watch others busying by while you relax with food and wine.

Closed Sundays. Address: Dorsoduro 1169/A, Fondamenta della Toletta. Just south of Campo San Barnaba. Telephone: 041 523 8944. Website: www.enotecaartisti.com. No credit cards.

Ae Oche

This is a small local chain with a few pizza restaurants in Venice. We've been to two, and have found rather slow service and pizzas that were reasonable rather than excellent. However, plenty of locals dive into the massive Dorsoduro pizzeria for their lunch, so presumably they're satisfied. It's certainly a cheap and straightforward place to eat, with a huge range of pizzas including some with chips on, to keep children entertained. The Dorsoduro branch is in a great location with tables outdoors by the Zattere waterfront. There's a cover charge of €1.50 per person and 12% service is added. Pizzas cost from €6-€7.

Addresses: Santa Croce 1552, just south of Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio. Dorsoduro 1414, on the Zattere towards the western end. Cannaregio 158A on the Lista di Spagna. Little maps are available on the pizzeria's website - click on 'pizzerie' from the main menu and the little goose's foot to scroll through the list. Website: www.aeoche.com.


Around the lagoon

I Figli delle Stelle, Giudecca

A newish restaurant specialising in dishes from the Puglia, Lazio and Veneto regions, with some of the most panoramic tables in town. The restaurant has a smart atmosphere, and is located on the waterfront of the Giudecca island, facing over the water to the St. Mark's area.

Address: Giudecca 70/71 (Zitelle vaporetto stop). Telephone: 041 5230004. Website:http://www.ifiglidellestelle.it/.

Bar dei Tedeschi, Sant' Erasmo

This is a fishermen's/farmers' bar-trattoria on the island of Sant'Erasmo, a half-hour's boat ride (followed by a short walk) from Venice. I wouldn't necessarily come all this way for the food, but the island makes an unusual excursion and this restaurant has a thoroughly 'authentic' local feel to it. Service is informal - there is a self-service type counter where you can choose salads and some seafood including generous bowls of calamari. There is also a menu of pasta and seafood dishes and extremely cheap house wine. Tables outside under trees overlook a small beach and the mouth of the lagoon; a wonderfully shady, breezy place to relax on a hot day. Local habitues, almost exclusively male, chat in impenetrable dialect. Catch ferry 13 from Fondamente Nove to Sant'Erasmo Capannone, then head along the little road that follows the shore to the right, walking for around 15 minutes.

Ristorante Riva Rosa, Burano

The most expensive eatery on our list, Riva Rosa is a genuinely smart restaurant, not a tourist trap - although its picture-book location by a colourful canal in Burano means that the clientele are mostly visitors. The decor and food are stylish and modern; this is a new and well-presented place which has obviously invested in quality. The outdoors tables are lovely places to sit and sample the wine list, while admiring the view. The emphasis is on seafood, although on both my visits the staff have been happy to make up an off-menu vegetarian pasta dish (€12). Prices are high here, but the quality matches the cost, so if you fancy an elegant treat, this is a good spot.

Closed Wednesdays, and Monday and Tuesday evenings. Address: Via San Mauro 296, Burano. Telephone: 041 730850.

More restaurant recommendations

Further restaurant recommendations, including authentic local spots, cafes for lighter meals, Grand Canal views and a cheap workers' canteen, can be found in the Italy Heaven Guide to Venice, along with food vocabulary and a complete in-depth guide to the city.

> Venice: Italy Heaven Guide


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