Contrary to reputation, there are plenty of good places to eat out in Venice, but certainly also some indifferent options. The existence of the latter is frequently attributed to the large number of tourists and the brevity of their average length of stay in Venice. Most restaurants offer the same traditional range of typically Venetian dishes, with the emphasis on fish and seafood, but these can be averagely, well, or exceptionally well-prepared, and prices often, but not always, reflect this.
You can also eat Japanese, Chinese, French, Jewish, North African and McDonald's cuisine in Venice, but most visitors are probably looking for some more authentic local flavours and dishes. We have tried and enjoyed all of the following restaurants, but certainly don't present them as a definitive list.
When to eat
It is common practice to eat around 8.00 to 8.30pm, with most restaurants open evenings between 7pm and 10.30pm. The relatively early closing is largely due to the fact that nowadays most of the staff live on the mainland. This means that many restaurants close to new customers by around 9pm. One or two later-opening restaurants have been indicated.
Many of the restaurants, including those on Giudecca, shut down for a few weeks break each year, mainly in August and January, so it is especially advisable in these months to check that your intended dining destination is open. However, with such a large number of places to eat out you should never be short of a suitable alternative.
PRICES - per head
|Inexpensive - under 20 euros|
|Reasonable - under 35 euros|
|Medium - under 45 euros|
|Fairly Expensive - under 60 euros|
|Expensive - over 60 euros|
The restaurants are classified on the basis of ordering a three course meal comprising a starter or pasta, a main course, a dessert and a quarter litre of house wine. However it is quite possible to eat inexpensively in a medium priced venue, or reasonably in a fairly expensive establishment, etc. Some of the restaurants listed may also offer a less expensive three course tourist menu.
Nearly all restaurants have a few euros cover charge, and some add service.The restaurants in Venice are listed by Sestiere (district). You will find our choice of Giudecca restaurants in the Giudecca section of the website.
Since Dorsoduro is the closest area to Giudecca, on its doorstep just across the Giudecca Canal, we have included more of its restaurants. Located in this more tourist-inhabited part of Venice, it is worth bearing in mind that some of these restaurants may be open on days, or times of the year, when those on Giudecca are not.
Taverna San Trovaso & Ristorante San Trovaso
tel: 041 520 3703
Dorsoduro 967 tel: 041 520 835 Closed Thursdays
The taverna is a typical lively, informal, good-value and popular restaurant with a large menu, frequented by locals and tourists alike. Located on two floors, with an army of helpful waiters, you may have to wait a few minutes for a table but its worth it. Downstairs has more ambience with its traditional decor.
The Ristorante, a stone's throw away, has only been open a few months but, with its large outside dining area, is proving equally popular. The tourist menus in both establishments are excellent value.
Sotoportego dei Casin del NobiliDorsoduro 2765
tel: 041 2411841
Open until 11.30pm
On your way to Campo Santa Margherita you will pass this relaxed and friendly restaurant just past the Toletta bookshops. A wide-ranging menu ranging from inexpensive pizzas to some excellent fish and meat dishes options
The large outside terrace becomes a heated conservatory in winter.
Ai GondolieriDorsoduro 366
tel: 041 528 6396
A stylish little family-run restaurant in a beautiful setting between the Accademia and Guggenheim museums. They also run the cafe at the Guggenheim Museum.
Untypically the focus is mainly on meat dishes from the Veneto and fresh seasonal vegetables.
The chef's tasting menu, a little bit of everything, is highly recommended for a lunchtime or evening feast. Service is excellent. Booking recommended at weekends and peak seasons.
Large Italian wine list.
La RivistaCalle Larga Pisani Dorsoduro 979a
tel: 041 240 1425
A stylish new restaurant with a modern Deco-influenced layout where the young enthusiastic owners are making their mark with fresh interpretations of some traditional venetian and other dishes. Some lighter dishes including several salads are also available.
An extensive and interesting wine list. A few outside tables in summer.
Agli AlborettiDorsoduro 882
tel: 041 523 0058
Closed Wednesday and Thursday lunchtime. www.aglialboretti.com
Alongside the Accademia and once the haunt of artists and art dealers, including Peggy Guggenheim and her friends, another stylish, slightly formal but above-average restaurant where traditional venetian cooking is being given an imaginative and contemporary twist, with an emphasis on fresh seasonal ingredients. Outside dining in a pretty courtyard in summer.
Extensive Italian wine list.
Rialto Self Service
Riva del Carbon
San Marco 4175
tel: 041 5237909Probably the best value in town. A bustling self-service restaurant seating up to 250 people near the Rialto Bridge which is much frequented by local office workers. There is a good selection of main courses and vegetables but the dessert options are quite limited.
Not to be confused with a self-service pizza joint nearby, you can find it beyond the No 1 vaporetto stop, walking away from the famous bridge. The 13.50 euro tourist menu includes a salad or a bowl of pasta, a main course with vegetables, a desert and a soft drink or quarter litre bottle of wine.
Who said Venice was expensive!
Chat Qui RitFrezzeria
San Marco 1131
tel: 041 5229086
This large and lively self-service restaurant, entered from Calle Tron just off the gondola-filled Bacino Orseolo behind St Mark's Square, is also a good place for a quick and inexpensive meal.
There is a good choice of fish, meat and pasta dishes but some survive being reheated in a microwave better than others.
A good place to eat if you're on your own.
Osteria San MarcoFrezzeria
San Marco 1610
tel: 041 5285242
In the narrow street running immediately behind the back of St Mark's Square is this informal wine bar and restaurant run by four young and enthusiastic partners.
Some interesting combinations of fresh local ingredients are served in the long dining room with its simple wooden tables.
The full menu prices reflect its very central location, but a good range of wines by the glass and some tasty snacks mean that you don't have to break the bank.
Bistrot de VeniseCalle dei Fabbri
San Marco 4685
tel: 041 5236651
Between St Marks Square and the Rialto lies this unusual restaurant whose chef has brought a fresh and imaginative touch to tradition by offering two menu, one of classic Venetian dishes, and one of historic Venetian dishes rediscovered from past centuries.
With an extensive wine list, the service is highly professional and the cooking both original and superb.
They also run an interesting programme of late afternoon artistic and literary talks and readings throughout the year.
Stays open past midnight. Prices are definitely more VIP than bistro.
Corte del Pegolotto, Cannaregio 1828
tel: 041 2750622
This informal tuscan-owned restaurant just off the Strada Nuova, with jazz tapes in the background, is the place to go when you have had more than enough of fish and seafood and fancy a large good quality Chianina steak (although they do serve fish as well).
It has a large selection of wines, by the glass and bottle, and offers a good range of cheeses and deserts. It also stays open, and serves food, until 2am..
There is outside seating in the little campiello behind.
Gam Gam Kosher RestaurantFondamenta di Cannaregio,
tel : 041 5231495
Closed Friday evenings & Saturdays.
As one reviewer points out, some of the Jewish food served by the friendly young staff in this modern informal cafe/restaurant near the Ghetto is probably as authentically Venetian as any other available cuisine, there having been a thriving Jewish community in Venice for over five hundred years.
There is ample outdoor seating alongside the Cannaregio Canal in summer, with great views of the nearby Ponte Guglie. The menu reflects both Israeli and Italian influences, with falafel, latkes, spicy fish cous-cous and some delicious salads.
Fresh bread baked on the premises.
Vini Da GigioCannaregio 3628
tel: 041 5285140
Closed Mondays. vinidagigio.com
Near Ca' d'Oro, this very popular family-run restaurant has one of the best wine lists in Venice, including, untypically, some from Australia and South Africa.
It is the classic example of a traditional local restaurant where superb cooking has attracted a much wider audience.
It offers top quality fare at reasonable prices, so booking is essential.
Alla PalazzinaCannaregio 1509
tel: 041 717725
Alongside where the Cannaregio Canal runs into the Grand Canal just in front of the Ponte Guglie is the large garden of this friendly restaurant, a secluded and very atmospheric place to dine on a summer evening.
The charming young proprietor strives successfully to make his guests feel at home.
The menu is fairly traditional and the cooking is excellent.
Poste VecieRialto Pescheria 30125
tel: 041 721822
Closed Tuesdays www.postevecie.com
In a unique location at the far end of the Rialto Fish Market and across its own little footbridge, this small, charming, and atmospheric restaurant, with multilingual waiters, claims to be Venice's oldest, with original fireplaces still in use dating back to its origin in 1500.
With the fish market on its doorstep the ingredients couldn't be fresher. There is a small courtyard for eating outside in summer.
Watch out for the lively mural representing a typical selection of their clientele.
Al Vecchio FritolinCalle della Regina 2262
tel: 041 5222881
Closed Sunday evenings and Mondays. www.veciofritolin.it
As recently recommended on the wine critic Jancis Robinson's website, this welcoming traditional but also distinctively individual wooden-beamed restaurant, in a very old building a few minutes from the Rialto, is worth searching out.
Run with love and flair by its jovial owner, Irina Freguia and her team, the service is friendly.
The chef transforms the freshest daily ingredients from the nearby market with some creative touches.
Da RemigioSalizada dei Greci,
tel: 041 5230089
Closed Monday evening and Tuesday.
Another very popular, and usually crowded, local restaurant, tucked away between St Mark's and the Arsenale, with a big reputation for good value and well-cooked fresh fish dishes. The brisk but efficient service, simple decor, and large white tablecloths add up to unfussy but enjoyable dining at reasonable prices.
Ristorante CarpaccioRiva degli Schiavoni
tel : 041 5289615 ristorantecarpaccio.com
Situated beyond the Vivaldi church, and tucked in beside the Ponte di Dio, this two storey restaurant with great views and secluded outdoor seating is one of the best of the many restaurants which face St Mark's Basin along the Riva degli Schiavoni.
Carpaccio offer an extensive traditional menu with helpful service.
Hotel DanieliRiva degli Schiavoni, Castello 4196
tel : 041 5226480 www.starwood.com/italy
The extraordinary sumptuous marble interior of this famous five star hotel, in the 14th century Palazzo Dandolo, which in former times provided overspill accommodation for the Doge's Palace next door, is well worth a visit, if only for a drink and a snack at the bar.
The hotel restaurant at the top of the building, with a large roof terrace with outstanding views over St Mark's Basin and the lagoon, serves top quality international cuisine.
Other Lagoon Islands
Busa al TorreCampo Santo Stefano 3 tel : 041 739662
Open lunchtimes only
After visiting all those glass showrooms where better to relax for an alfresco lunch than outside this popular and bustling restaurant in the square by the tower. The service is friendly and professional and the emphasis is on straightforward well-prepared fish and seafood dishes.
The giant red-headed proprietor, Lele, a part-time actor, lends a touch of showbiz to the proceedings.
Al Gatto NeroFondamenta della Giudecca 88
tel: 041 730120
Closed Mondays. www.gattonero.com
A charming canalside trattoria in a very picturesque location across the canal from the fish market in the centre of Burano.
Service is attentive and the cooking, mainly fish of course, is excellent
A magical setting at the end of a vaporetto boatride on a warm summer evening, but don't forget to check the last boat back.