(and not only)
in Venice Italy
If you are looking for a romantic restaurant in Venice, away from the tourist routes, with a special atmosphere and a mood lighting, the choice is wide.
You can play it safe with a restaurant of one of the luxury hotels, on a panoramic terrace with sight on the Canal Grande, or choose a more local (hidden) one in those typical alleys of the lagoon city.
A creative cuisine with fresh ingredients, I suggest you some addresses for a special evening.
Romantic restaurants in Venice, Italy
Luna Sentada, Castello district
Close to Saint Mark square, Luna Sentada is a little seafood restaurant inspired by Mark Polo, one of the most interesting adventurers born in Venice.
It brings us to exotic trips between East and West and histories from Arabian Nights. The interior is a perfect marriage between the '700 culture and indo-chinese objects.
The menù proposes fresh fish Venetian recipes with a light ethnic taste. In summer you can have a candlelit dinner in the small Campo Severo next to the homonym channel.
La Zucca, Santa Croce district
La Zucca (the pumpkin) has been since 1980 one of the preferred romantic shelters by the Venetians, it offers fish and meat, vegetarian proposal and its legendary Flan (casserole).
Located close to Campo Giacomo dell'Orio, the restaurant fascinates for its interior design, from the original woodwork dominated by the colors orange and green.
In summer you can eat outside on little tables along Calle dello Spezier. One of the most popular restaurants in Venice, thanks to its good price performance, better booking with wide advance.
CoVino, Castello district
The CoVino (with wine) is a bistro of only six tables hidden in the small alley Calle Pestrin, close to the Arsenale that offers a fast service, prepared in the curious on sight kitchen, based on local products.
The atmosphere is intimate and informal at the same time, the young innkeeper Andrea Lorenzon and his inevitable papillon, will recommend you original wines to combinine with the dishes. The booking is recommended!
Orto dei Mori, Cannaregio district
The Orto dei Mori is a small restaurant next to the Ghetto, the building was, in the 16th, the Tintoretto's father dry cleaning.
The warm gold of the walls opposes with the black of the chairs, on the ceiling you can admire the beautiful lamps created by the artists Maddalena Venier and Alexander Salvadori.
The kitchen, mainly based on fish, offers Venetian tradition dishes with Sicilian influences. In summer you can dine in the suggestive Campo dei Mori.
Ai Mercanti, Saint Mark square
Ai Mercanti, a stone's throw from Saint Mark square in Calle Frezzeria, is a small "gastrosteria" (from the union of gastronomy, understood as high cuisine and a typical Venetian inn).
It offers a good menù based on the "poor" ingredients of the lagoon tradition revisited in recipes of aesthetical construction.
The romantic atmosphere remembers that of a jazz club with mood lights, leather booths, and blues. In summer you can dine in the little Corte Coppo.
Best local restaurants (Bacari) in Venice, Italy
It is not so difficult to eat spending less than 15 € in Venice, see where!
Trattoria alla Rampa
At the end of Street Garibaldi, in the Castello district, docked on a side of the channel, there is one of the last boats selling fruit and vegetable of Venice, and just in front, with its old painted sign, is the restaurant Trattoria alla Rampa.
The day begins soon for the inhabitants of the district and La Rampa opens at 4:30 am in the morning. The cafe is managed by Fabio Fontebasso, while his sister, Fabie, cooks following a menu (in continuous evolution) of Venetian dishes using fresh products.
The lunch is served in a rustic room, and from 12:00 am to 12:45 there is the 'workers' menù at13 €, with pasta, main course, wine, and a coffee.
"If there is space", says Fabie, "then the tourists can sit and order, but usually is always full". Specialties include a delicious soup of fish, spaghetti with clams, Risi and Bisi (rice and peas) and Seppie nella Tecia (cuttlefish cooked in her black ink and served on a bed of polenta).
Pasta 10 €, principal dishes around 14 €.
In a perfect position on the channel of St. Trovaso, in the elegant Dorsoduro district, there is Al Bottegon, a legendary Bacari appreciated by the students of the near universities and by a colored crowd of foreigners.
It's always full of people, there are no tables, but there is an excellent selection of wines of the region.
For 50 years, Alessandra de Respinsi, the queen of the shots, has created her recipes as an alchemist: tender of pumpkin with ricotta and parmesan cheese, tartara of swordfish littered with dust of coconut, smoked tuna with parmesan cheese, Pesto Genovese mixed with mascarpone, ricotta surmounted by smoked tomato.
Every day prepares 60 different shots, each at 1.20 €.
Nearby the Biennale garden, Le Spighe is an oasis of the healthy food, considering that offers only bio, vegetarian and vegan food. Their thoughts are that what is cooked should be eaten within the end of the day, that's why they choose eight unique dishes to cook every morning.
But you'll always find a rich soup of pumpkin with leek, cauliflower and sage, laughed basmati with bitter "puntarelle", zucchini and marinated tofu, Saracen wheat boiled with spicy hummus, risotto to the algae, red cabbage casserole.
Tables are always full from the morning to the afternoon but it is possible to bring away the order for a picnic. The formula is simple: you choose your dishes, everything is weighed and a full dish comes 10-12 €.
There is also a selection of bio wines without sulfites.
Trattoria da Marisa
An old style place, a Venetian institution that serves traditional dishes at affordable prices since 1965.
It is always full of people every day, workers, students from the near faculty of Architecture and curious tourists. It is possible to sit in the pleasant room from lunch or take a table on the channel and look at the ships passing by on the crowded Channel of Cannaregio.
Today, Wanda manages the kitchen, still preparing classical as the stewed tripe, but also a good roast rabbit. The menù of the lunch is dominated by the meat, and for 15 € you can banquet on a smoking dish of pasta, one of the dishes of the day, vegetables, wine, and a coffee.
In the evening the specialties are seafood dishes, but in this case consider to pay about 35 €.
Osteria alla Ciurma
If you don't know what is it an Osteria, just read this article.
The Rialto market is the most active of Venice, and when the Venetian go shopping they sometimes stop for a drink and a snack in one of the cafes in the labyrinth of alleys.
The place to look for is Alla Ciurma, an ancient deposit converted into a small cafe that has the shape of a boat's inside, hence the name, The Crew.
Working in a little kitchen, the owner Marco Paola prepares a creamy dried cod stew, meatballs of tuna, squash blossoms with mozzarella and anchovies.
He is now experimenting new dishes like anglerfish with olives and mint, sea bream with basil and lemon, mackerel with leaves of laurel and onion.
The excellent wine of the house costs 90 cents each glass, the shots cost around 1 - 1.50 € with cheeses and salami at 15 €.
Pasticceria Bar Puppa
Puppa, a very known bakery, thanks to the famous brioches and puddings of Mrs. Puppa. But Puppa doesn't work here since fifty years ago and now the owner is Masud Rahman that started here as dishwasher ten years ago.
With time he has succeeded in converting the Venetian clientele to his Banglo-Italian cuisine, serving samoa, vegetarian bruschetta, and exotic meatballs.
He has also created the Puppa Burger, with beef and blanket, grilled eggplants, zucchini, carrots, tomatoes and garlic, all crowned by a fried egg, everything for 5 €.
The main courses range from spicy spaghetti to the Busara with mussels and shrimps to a vegetarian Biryani, both to 12 €, inclusive a glass of wine and a coffee.
Restaurants on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy
Exist places able to give memorable glimpses, here a list of places for all pockets where you can eat and have a superb sight of the Grand Canal.
Antinoo’s, Hotel Centurion Palace Dorsoduro
It's the restaurant of the hotel Centurion, 5 stars, belonging to the group Sina Fine Italian Hotels.
It is located between Punta della Dogana and the Fondazione Guggenheim: it has 50 rooms, each different from one another.
Choose one of the tables of the terrace that it leans out on the Canal Grande.
Massimo Livan is the executive chef, he prepares light dishes without butter and whipped cream, a love for fruit and vegetable, and attention to the chromatic composition.
Two menùs, one that offers Venetian traditional dishes (tender dried cod, seafood rice, fried), the other is more innovative, octopus in three consistences, rice with dried cod, beer and cafe beet, green ravioli of duck with potatoes cream and saffron, smoked ricotta and purple chips.
A tip: if you choose to dine here ask for the table for two that looks toward the bell tower of Saint Mark.
Average prices. 3 courses without wine: € 90-100
Gritti Palace, Saint Mark district
At the Gritti nothing's missing, café, restaurant and school of kitchen. The names are resonant: Longhi (the cafe), Club of the Doge (the restaurant) and "School of Epicurean kitchen."
In the café there are 6 paintings by Longhi (18th century) and the school of kitchen teaches the traditional Venetian dishes, starting with the shopping ar Rialto market.
From the terrace you can admire the Chiesa della Salute church, and Punta della Dogana, to the left the Lido.
A coming and going of gondolas and the feeling to be on the water.
Two menùs, one (from the 12:00 pm to the 18:00 pm) less demanding that offers salads, sandwich, and hamburger.
In the other, the chef Daniele Turco combines the lagoon historical dishes with great classical as risotto and pasta, fishes (sea bass and turbot) and meats (beef and lamb) with a particular attention for the regional products.
Average prices. 3 courses without wine: € 90-100.
Ristorante Riviera, Dorsoduro
Jumped to the honors of the chronicles in 2015 as the winner of the "TripAdvisor travelers' elegant choice dining restaurants", the prize assigned by the "travelers" of TripAdvisor (you decide if it is worthy of note), it is located in front of the Molino Stucky, at the Zattere.
With an offer that consists of meat, fish, and some great Venetian classical.
Average prices. 3 courses without wine: € 80-90 (but there is also a tasting menu at € 100).
The best Venice bakery
It seems that in Venice there are only restaurants and Bacari but it's not so. Here a list of the best Bakery in Venice.
Alley Saint Pantalon, Dorsoduro district
Generations of university students, Venetian, and political employees have crossed the threshold of, perhaps, the best bakery in the city.
Forget you tables and commodity, here the space is limited and to have a bake you must fight! Opened in December 1953, it has family management.
The counter displays a succession of pillars, short-crust, dry pastries, confectioner's custard and fruit, croissant, bigné, Sacher, napoleons, and the Venetian biscuits (bussolà, buranei), pizza and bread.
At Tonolo win the concreteness and the tradition. If you go there during Carnival it is obligatory a multiple tasting of Venetian pancakes (without cream, with raisin and pine nuts), with cream and with zabaione.
Rosa Salva Bakery
Alley Fiubera e Mercerie, St. Mark district
Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, Castello district
An institution in the city. The origins date back to 1870 and from a generation of bakers that in the years have given to the city banquets, catering, sweets and salty delights.
Three in Venice and one in Mestre. Among all, I prefer the first two, you will have freshness and a kinder service.
The eclairs have smaller dimensions than the average (you also find the mignons) but very refined. You'll find practically everything: eclair, flames, tiramisù, rolls of sponge cake, zaleti and other illustrious exponents of the Venetian tradition.
At midday you'll also find a choice of salty dishes.
Dal Mas Bakery
Lista di Spagna 149 150/a, Cannaregio district
The position is strategic, a few minutes from the railway station, a solace for those that have faced a train trip.
A family-operated business (the Balestra family is the owner for fifty years) that offers traditional delicacy for breakfast (besides the croissants, try the zaleti, the Doges' bread, the sbreghettine).
After the bellyful, get out and enter the next door!
Dal Mas is also a chocolaterie. You can find a single dose mousse, mini-Sacher, cannoli, and a succession of different cakes.