Regional cuisine in Venice is all about seafood - you'll see fish on the menu in even the simplest restaurants. Dishes also rely on fresh seasonal produce, but you won't see as much meat and cheese here as you do elsewhere in Italy.
Eating in Venice can be a little frustrating - it's so easy for restaurants in the major squares to offer poor food and cater just to tourists - not delivering the quality or service that a repeat customer (or you) would desire. Luckily you have this guide to help you find the hidden places where you can taste the special flavors of Venice.
Ristorante Vini Al Covo -
Campiello della Pescaria Castello, 3968 - 30122. Tel 041/5223812
This quiet restaurant, welcoming restaurant serves modernized Venetian food that is both delicious and environmentally (and health) sensitive. No butter or animal fats are used and the restaurant serves only wild fish, not farmed. The crabmeat salad has a delicious delicate flavor, and feels like a decadent treat. If you've been hoping to try balsamico traditionale without shelling out over $100 for a bottle, order the steak with balsamico traditionale - you will not be disappointed. Desserts are decadent -- the dark chocolate cake with spicy dark chocolate sauce is nicely compimented with candied walnuts. Torta di pere e prugne has a nice light flavor, but you still feel that you've had a "real" dessert. One of our favorite restaurants in Venice. Cash only. Reserve ahead.
Le Bistrot de Venise
- Calle dei Fabbri, San Marco 4685. Tel. 041/5236651
The chef at Bistrot de Venise is almost like an archaeologist researching and cooking "antique" dishes from Venice's past. There is also a large menu of typical modern dishes. Everything is expertly prepared, and ordering a whole fish is a special treat. Taglitelli pasta with Saffron was also delicious. The restaurant operates a non-smoking room in the back. Close to San Marco area and shopping
Enoteca San Marco - Frezzeria - San Marco, 1610 - 30124. Tel.
This modern looking enoteca (wine bar) is run by four men who used to own a catering business. Everyone is welcoming, the room is modern feeling without being cold. Food has its roots in Venice, but draws from Asian and other international influences as well. Salads are light and fresh and presented beautifully. Goose liver with black truffles and pistachio was rich and delicious. Venison with blueberries was mouthwatering (but not particularly Italian) If you're ready for a break from typical Italian food, make a reservation here, then ask the waiter to recommend some wine, sit back and relax.
Enoteca Due Colonne - 1814C Rio
Tera Del Cristo at Calle del Cristo
This quiet little bistro is a good place to stop if you're headed to the old Jewish Ghetto. Typical Venetian food is served, prices are clearly posted, and it's easy to order a meal of "tapas" by pointing out what you like in the fresh case. Sardines in Soar are a special treat if available.
Trattoria alla Madonna - Calle
della Madonna, San Polo 594. Tel 041/5223824
At first glance, this crowded, un-atmospheric restaurant may seem like it doesn't have much to recommend it - but take a second look. The restaurant is crowded with both locals and tourists, prices are reasonable (for Venice), you can get in without a reservation, and most of all - the food is fresh, hot, and good. Check out the cafeteria-like display on the way in see what your waiter will dish up for you. All the fish dishes are nicely done, and the Tiramisu, while not pretty, was the best we've ever eaten.
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