Eat In Venice
Venice, the romantic city par excellence, offers breathtaking views and the enchanting atmosphere of a Hollywood film.
But unfortunately sometimes the cost of such beauty is quite high, above all when it comes to dine in one of the many restaurants dotted all over the city.
What to eat in Venice
Traditional Venetian cuisine is very simple. Local products are mainly seafood and fish from the lagoon, fresh vegetables from the nearby islands and mainland, risotto, polenta and local game. Most of the dishes are made with fresh ingredients and flavours inherited from the Venetian link with the eastern areas, sometimes using many herbs and spices.
Freshly harvested vegetables abound. Every day at the Rialto Market you can find a wide assortment of fruits and veg, particularly artichokes, pumpkin, radish, and mushrooms in season. and mushrooms.
Traditional Venetian Dishes
1- Creamed dried cod – a mousse of previously marinated cod, worked to obtain the consistency of a mousse, served on a bed polenta.
2- Bigoli in Salsa – bigoli are a type of durum wheat pasta, typical of the Veneto region, some sort of wider and thicker spaghetti. The dish is served with a special sauce of dried sardines and onions.
3- Sarde in Saor – fried sardines placed on more layers, marinated with onions, pine nuts and raisins that gives the dish a sweet and sour taste.
4- Fegato Alla Veneziana – tender veal liver, cut into small pieces and fried with onions, olive oil and butter, served on polenta.
5- Cicchetti – small bite size snacks, with different toppings, which vary from osteria to osteria.
6- Tiramisu’ – the favorite dessert of the Venetians. Many layers of sponge fingers, soaked in coffee and separated by mascarpone cream.
7- Recioto coi biscoti – a fortified dessert wine served with typical Venetian cookies
Where to Eat in Venice
But the main question when visiting Venice is: where can you taste those local delicacies without ending up with an empty wallet?
Here are some of the most delicious and yet affordable restaurants, trattorias, taverns and bacari in Venice where you can eat without breaking the bank.
Enoteca Da Roberto Aziende Agricole
Rio Farsetti, off Strada Nova, near San Marcuola Water bus stop.
This is what in Venetian is called a Bacaro: a small typical inn which serves good quality house wine as well as bottled wine. Here you can sample the typical Cicchetti (similar to tapas) together with an ombra, a small glass of local well-made house wine.
Their speciality are some delicious pumpkin, bacon, cheese and potato fried balls, the large range of cured meats and cheeses, as well as a large selection of cicchetti. Anytime of day, when you stop here, you’ll be standing side by side with the old local Venetian men who have been coming for a drink, day in day out, for the last 40 years.
Calle Dei Sbianchesini, off Campo San Silvestro
The brainchild of Alfredo Depietri, one of the most established restauranteurs in Venice, Vineria All’Amarone is located in a quiet alleyway near Campo San Silvestro. Vineria All’Amarone is famous first of all for the large range of Veneto and Italian wines and also for its selection of fine cheeses served with truffle oil and honey, aromatic cold cuts, large selection of Italian wines, the tiramisù (the best in town!) and the Sgroppino, a local concoction of Prosecco, vodka and lemon sorbet.
Cantina Vecia Carbonera,
Strada Nuova, campo della Maddalena, in front of Santa Maddalena Church, by the little bridge.
A long time ago this used to be an old coal warehouse.
Today it is a local bacaro, built with dark wood beams, dark wood tables and a tall wood counter. This place is actually very famous for its remarkable assortment of Cichetti, topped with an original and imaginative combination of ingredients prepared fresh right in front of you by a bunch of young people.
Calle del Tintor, Sestiere Santa Croce
Even though it is not strictly a vegetarian restaurant, La Zucca is quite famous with Venetians and tourists alike for the high quality of the vegetarian variety of dishes which they serve, which in Venice can be a rarity. The place is always packed, so you MUST book well in advance! The most famous dish is their Pumpkin flan, which is cooked with all sorts of spices.
Fondamenta de la Sensa, Cannaregio
This nice and cosy place is well away from the tourist trails, on the backstreet of Cannaregio, at the back of the Jewish Ghetto.
The restaurant specialises in Venetian typical dishes, above all fish ones, using all sorts of spices. You must try the spaghetti with the squid ink or the oven baked sea-bass, typical fish of the Venetian lagoon and the mixed fried fish and vegetable plate.
Sestiere San Polo, 1911
Getting lost among the labyrinth of alleyways is part of the beauty of visiting Venice, even more so if you go and have a meal here. Their clientele of mainly made up of locals and those tourists who truly appreciate authentic Venetian food (hence the sign at the entrance warning: “No Lasagne, No Pizza, No Tourist Menu”).
Here you can find some of the freshest fish in Venice. You can choose among a typical range of Venetian dishes like sweet and sour sardines, crab salad with small artichokes from Sant’ Erasmo island, or their famous desserts like Pavlova with berries and yogurt.
2262, Calle Regina,
Vecio Fritolin, looks at first like an inn, but in fact it is a high quality restaurant. It takes its name from the ancient fritolini: the old places where Venetian people bought freshly fried fish served in paper cones during the Renaissance. Here, local Venetian cuisine is revisited and enriched with creativity and lightness. At Vecio Fritolin you will find the best cod, fresh scallops and squid served with squares of roasted white polenta.
Vini da Gigio
Calle Della Stua, Cannaregio
Established since the 80s, not far from Ca’ D’oro, this is one of the most well known restaurants in Venice. The atmosphere is warm and pleasant, with exposed beams and a beautiful stained glass window overlooking the nearby canal. Paolo, the owner, boasts one of the largest wine cellars in the city! It is a small family-run restaurant, so make sure to book well in advance. Book a table by the window, sip on amazing wine and taste some truly good local food while watching the gondolas passing by.
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