Food at Acquastanca, Venice, Italy


On an island that has been overrun with tourists looking for a piece of Murano’s famous glass, Acquastanca is an authentic neighborhood hideaway that’s both stylish and unpretentious. Opened by an island resident who used to work at Harry’s Bar and her sister-in-law, an enviable chef, the food is delicious—with a great spaghetti alle vongole among the seafood choices—and the wine list a treasure trove of regional vintages close to Venice. Save room for the homemade desserts like the lemon meringue cake.

Al Bocon Divino

Overlooking Piazza Santa Margarita, Al Bocon DiVino is an espresso bar with a nice selection of sandwiches.

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Al Covo

Diners receive a warm welcome here thanks to owner Diane Rankin’s Texas hospitality, which in turn may be why Covo is a perennial favorite with American food writers. But in the end, its popularity is due to its great food, which focuses on fish. The restaurant is central, about a twenty-minute walk from Piazza San Marco, but located in the quiet neighborhood of Campiello della Pescaria. The garden in the back is the place to sit for a lazy lunch. Please note that Al Covo is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Dinning Area at Alla Madonna, Venice, Italy

Alla Madonna

Located in the heart of old Venice beyond the Rialto Bridge is the charming Alla Madonna, renowned for its seafood and menu of Venetian classics. Over 50 years old, this eatery boasts nine dining rooms adorned with the artwork of prominent contemporary Italian artists, along with a competent staff and a down-to-earth ambience.

wooden restaurant exterior

Antiche Carampane

One of the special neighborhood places that locals only share with trusted visiting friends, this tiny trattoria is the kind of place that you will want to return to whenever you visit Venice. The owner, who has piercing blue eyes, greets most everyone by name, and if no one seems to pay, it’s because most have house accounts.

In warm weather, the best seats are at the few tables set out in the lane off of Campielllo Albrizzi, and in winter, there’s a cozy dining room. There’s no menu because what’s prepared depends on what looked best at the market that morning, but the emphasis is on fresh seafood, so expect carpaccio of tuna or asparagus soup with scallops and shrimp to start and wonderful polenta with baby shrimps or spaghetti vongole for a second. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

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This much-buzzed-about restaurant is helmed by Silvia Rozas and Marco Zambon, two young chefs who met while studying in San Sebastián and after stints in some of the world’s top kitchens, including Noma. They’re now creating inspired Latin American cuisine in a groovy spot in San Polo. Marco’s family restaurant Birraria La Corte is a short walk away and has also been reconceived. While Birraria remains committed to an Italian menu, with organic wines and, arguably, the city’s best pizza, Bacàn is a showcase for the duo’s culinary creativity. The menu is inspired by dishes from across Latin America, from Peru to Ecuador, even though as many ingredients as possible are sourced locally - the ethics of food purveying, especially in a fragile city like Venice, are top of mind of these chefs. Cocktails are just as creative; some of the best feature Mezcals (of course). For foodies and anyone interested in the next generation of Venetian cooking, Bacàn is not to be missed.

Bar at Bancogiro (Osteria da Andrea), Venice, Italy - Courtesy of Bancogiro

Bancogiro (Osteria da Andrea)

In the restored arcades off the Rialto market, you’ll find this lively wine bar, which was opened by one of the city’s legendary foodies, Andrea Varisco. It’s a traditional wine bar with Venice’s version of tapas and out back are tables on a quiet terrace facing the Grand Canal. The kitchen offers daily specials based upon what is fresh at the market. It’s popular with local businessmen.

The entrance is on one of the city’s prettiest squares, Campo San Giacomo, which is dominated by a fabulous church clock. Beside the front door, you will see a large pane of glass that allows you to look directly into the kitchen, where you can view the chefs preparing the food. If it’s a sunny day, pass through the restaurant and out on to the stone terrace that faces the Grand Canal. In winter, request a table in the rafters upstairs. Its sister outpost near San Marco is Osteria Enoteca San Marco, which also has a wonderful wine list. Closed Mondays.

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Cantina do Mori

Just a short walk from the Rialto Bridge and fish market, this old school institution is one of our favorite spots for a glass of Soave and some cichetti (Venice’s answer to tapas). Locals spend lunch gossiping under the vaulted arches or reading the paper at one of the wood tables, all making you feel like you have entered the world of an old social club. Please note that Cantina do Mori is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Cantina Do Spade

Cantina Do Spade is a local favorite for cichetti (tapas) and aperetivo drinks in San Polo.

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Cantinone Gia' Schiavi

This is an ultra-traditional, tiny bacari, where locals gather for a good ombra, glass of white wine, and hearty ciccetti (tapas).”

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A rare authentic find in overrun San Marco, Cavatappi is a good spot for lunch when touring in the area. The menu has a short selection of seasonal dishes and delicious tramezzini (the triangular sandwiches sold at many Venice enotecas).

Bar at CoVino, Venice, Italy


This tiny gem of a restaurant in Venice’s Castello neighborhood near the Arsenale (the little sibling to gourmet Al Covo) has become the must-stop for foodies looking for a spectacular baccaro (small plates) experience. The three-course tasting menu changes according to what’s available locally and in season, and the charming open kitchen means one can watch the chef-masters at work (although the outdoor terrace is the spot to snag in summer). All the good reviews mean that reservations are absolutely essential though.

Bar at Estro Vino e Cucina, Venice, Italy

Estro Vino e Cucina

A buzzy wine bar and restaurant in Dorsodoro, this enoteca opened in 2014 and quickly became the neighborhood’s hot spot.

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Gelateria Nico

Yes, there are gelato shops on many corners, but this one has been a local favorite for decades, in part, because its location on the quay by the Giudecca Canal is the perfect place to wander or let the kids sit with their feet dangling above the water while working on your cone.

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Food at L'Anice Stellato, Venice, Italy - Courtesy of L'Anice Stellato

L'Anice Stellato

From jewelry designer Daniele Attombri of celebrated Venice boutique Attombri: “One of my favorite restaurants, this is a well-known but typical local spot full of stories and good Venetian food.”

Food at La Cantina, Venice, Italy

La Cantina

The owner prepares his crostini with the seriousness and passion of an artist. This is a traditional Venetian trattoria in the scenic Cannaregio neighborhood. Service can be spotty if you’re not a local (many of who frequent this spot).

La Colonna

Off the beaten path in the Cannaregio neighborhood, this small trattoria has been a longtime favorite of Venice connoisseurs. Writes chef and cookbook author Marcella Hazan in City Secrets: Florence & Venice: “When Bruno Paolato was a partner chef in Ai Mercanti, that establishment was one of our favorite hangouts. Bruno fell out with his partners and ensconced himself in this small, charming trattoria. It has tables for outdoor dining in inclement weather, and it is happily off the tracks that tourists usually beat.” Closed Sunday evenings and Mondays.

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Bar at La Zucca, Venice, Italy

La Zucca

Specializing in creative vegetable dishes (though it’s not all-vegetarian), this small restaurant is a local favorite. The clutch of plain wooden tables seat only thirty-five (plus an additional twelve seats outside in summer), so call ahead.

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Food at Naranzaria, Venice, Italy


Owned by Stefano Monti and Brandino Brandolini, whose family makes award-winning wines in nearby Friuli, this is a popular place to go for aperitivi. It’s located right by the Rialto Market with beautiful canal views. It’s also a good spot for an al fresco lunch.

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Osteria Alla Frasca

This tiny osteria, close to the Fondamente Nove from which the vaporettos to the islands depart, retains a local following, despite the fact that it has been written up and reviewed by many. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that it only has a handful of tables inside and a small patio out front. Reservations are essential. The kitchen is a postage stamp, the menu has just three or four options for each course, and the wines are local and mostly organic. This is the kind of place where you hand yourself over to whatever your waiter recommends, where you might have an extra glass, even though it’s only lunch, and where you feel lucky to be part of the scene so that you linger over coffee long after the last delicious crumbs have been cleared.

Food at Osteria Boccadoro, Venice, Italy

Osteria Boccadoro

A neighborhood restaurant with superb pasta and seafood. This is one of those foodie haunts that remains unpretentious despite being mentioned in international food magazines and having a cult following. Chef Luciano Orlandi may be best known for his frito misto and gnocchi with clams but everything on the menu is delicious.

brownie dessert with cream

Osteria da Carla

This small, historic trattoria is a family-run restaurant with a refined ambience that is led by a mother and son.
Interiors at Osteria Enoteca San Marco, Venice, Italy

Osteria Enoteca San Marco

The sister outpost to Bancogiro near the Rialto, this enoteca sits on a narrow lane just off of Piazza San Marco but feels miles from the tourist crowds. It was opened by a refugee of the kitchen at Harry’s Bar and serves delicious pasta and fish. Locals linger at the bar and in the cozy, yet contemporary dining room, where traditional cantina food is served. Open every day, except Sundays.

Ambience : Osteria Oliva Nera , Venice, Italy

Osteria Oliva Nera

Run by a husband-and-wife team, this cozy restaurant, in the residential Castello neighborhood, serves wonderful traditional Venetian cuisine. Closed Wednesday.

Punta Conterie

This sophisticated restaurant is a great lunch spot on the island of Murano and is home to an exhibition space that changes every six months.

Taverna al Remer

At the end of a narrow unmarked alley in Venice’s Cannaregio sestiere, Taverna al Remer is a breath of fresh air from the city’s often-touristy dining establishments. A no-frills fisherman’s tavern, the bar-cum-restaurant is dimly lit, with hard wood floors and wooden seating; there is live music most evenings. Taverna al Remer serves simple Venetian fare such as seafood crudo and linguine a la vongole as well as Italian classics like beef carpaccio and insalata di caprese. Fifteen minutes from the Rialto Bridge, though nearly impossible to locate, patrons are recommended to travel there via boat.

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Interiors - Trattoria Do Forni, Venice, Italy

Trattoria Do Forni

An Indagare member who traveled to Venice in the summer of 2011 raves: “All Venetians said that this place was where you can still find true old-time Venice. It’s where a lot of locals come to celebrate big events and holidays. We loved the food and service; it was our favorite restaurant find of our Venice trip. Do Forni is very easy to get to from St. Marks Square.


Indagare employees walking up stiars

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