Welcome to our 48-hour guide to the best restaurants in Venice, Italy. Venice is one of the most magical, beautiful, and picturesque places in the entire world. With charmingly narrow alleys, canals in every direction, and over 400 bridges, it’s no wonder that 20 million people visit the 160 square mile city. You’re surrounded by prime dining options because #Italy, but there are plenty of tourist traps in Venezia.
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Great news- we’re sharing our favorite Venice restaurants from breakfast to lunch spots to sit down dinners to gelato so that next time you’re in the Queen of the Adriatic, you’ll know exactly where to eat. In this guide you’ll find one breakfast suggestion, two casual lunch spots, two noteworthy dinner recommendations, and our favorite gelateria in town.
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Tips For Your First Trip To Venice
Venice is the most touristy city in all of Italy. That’s right, more people visit Venice than Rome, Florence, Verona, and Naples. This shouldn’t deter you from visiting but there are a few tips for your first trip to Venice (some food-related, some not):
- Don’t eat at Venice restaurants right next to the train station or main tourist attractions. One of the biggest tourist traps in all of Venice.
- Never eat at a restaurant where an employee is beckoning you to come inside. The worthwhile restaurants in Venice don’t need anyone touting their greatness.
- Indulge in Venetian cuisine as much as possible. Each region of Italy has iconic and must-try dishes, and in Veneto some of our favorites include risotto, bigoli (think spaghetti but thicker), chicchetti, fresh seafood, and regardless of which region you’re visiting, some gelato.
- If possible, visit during the offseason when cruise ships aren’t visiting (late March to late October ). The less crowds in Venice, the better!
- Spend at least two nights here, preferably three. You don’t need a full week in Venice (although we won’t judge you if you decide to do so), but a day is too short.
- Get a 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour vaporetto pass for unlimited use of water busses (if you’re 6-29 years old you can get a Rolling Venice card at a little bit of a discount). A one-way water bus ticket is 8 Euros alone- you’ll save a ton of money & time.
- Wander around and just get lost. The further you get away from the heavily trafficked, touristy areas the more you can enjoy Venice at its best.
- Tourist attractions worth visiting: St. Mark’s Square & Basilica (one of the most beautiful churches you will ever lay eyes on), the Doges Palace, Rialto Bridge, and for sure take a cruise along the entire Grand Canal at some point- even if it’s with your vaporetto pass.
- Stay at a bed & breakfast or Airbnb for a local, homey feel and to save a few bucks
- Take a full or half-day and visit Burano, Murano, and even Mazzorbo and Torcello if you have time.
- Google Maps outperforms Apple Maps in Venice. But still plan on getting lost at least a few times.
Breakfast: Rosa Salva
When in Italy, eat like the Italians. It’s true that most Italians don’t eat breakfast, but rather a quick cup of coffee and a pastry. Our favorite place to enjoy flaky, homemade fresh pastries in the morning is Rosa Salva. With a few locations spread across Venice, you cannot go wrong with their fabulous almond or chocolate-filled croissants, or any of their freshly made pastries. the perfect spot if you’ve just arrived in town or you’re headed off for a day full of sightseeing.
Rosa Salva – San Marco
$ Chocolatiers & Shops, Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt, Desserts
Sestiere di S. Marco, 950, 30124 Venezia VE
041 521 0544
Lunch: Osteria Al Squero
Chicchetti is very much a production in Venice. But it’s totally laid back and something you 100% want to take part in. Think tapas or small bites but prepared with fresh, Venetian ingredients. You can enjoy Chicchetti as a pre-meal snack before lunch or dinner, or it’s completely acceptable to make an entire meal from these delicious bite-sized items. The chicchetti offerings vary from place to place (usually found in local bars called bacari), but our favorite place to enjoy some down-to-earth and delicious Chicchetti is Osteria Al Squero. Sample to your heart’s content (each piece of chicchetti is €1.50) and be perpared to wait in a quickly-moving line during peak hours. If the restaurant is crowded, cross the nearest bridge and enjoy your chicchetti on the lawn in front of Chiesa di San Trovaso. Beware of seagulls!
Osteria Al Squero
$ Tapas/Small Plates
Dorsoduro, 943-944, 30123 Venezia VE
335 600 7513
Lunch: L’ Bacaro de’ Bischeri
Another lunch recommendation means another quick spot with delicious food at one of the best Venice restaurants. Just steps away from the Rialto Bridge, L’ Bacaro de’ Bischeri makes incredible Florentine sandwiches that remind us of our favorite sandwich shop in Florence, All’antico Vinaio. The fast-casual restaurant is casual and inviting, and it’s the perfect place to grab a quick and delicious bite to eat. Our favorite sandwich is “La Florentina”: finocchiona, fresh pecorino, and cream of artichoke.
L’ Bacaro de’ Bischeri
Ruga dei Oresi, 57, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
041 458 7173
SEE ALSO: 20 BEST RESTAURANTS IN ROME, ITALY
Dinner: Ai Promessi Sposi
If we could only recommend one dinner place on our list of the best Venice restaurants, Ai Promessi Sposi would be at the top of our list. It’s everything you want in a fantastic Italian restaurant- cozy and charming ambiance, a menu flooded with authentic Venetian cuisine, and of course incredible food. Come here with an appetite, because you’ll want to sample as much of the menu as you’re able to. The menu is known to change, but our current favorites are the mixed fish appetizer, spaghetti with clams, squid ink spaghetti, bigoli all’amatriciana, and the chocolate and pear cake.
Osteria Ai Promessi Sposi
Calle dell’Oca, 4367, 30121 Venezia VE
041 241 2747
Dinner: Al Covo
Al Covo is undoubtedly one of the best Venice restaurants. This beautiful, upscale restaurant is a great place to splurge for lunch or dinner in Venice. Al Covo is part of the slow food movement in Italy- you can expect locally sourced ingredients, a thoughtful and never rushed meal, and absolutely delicious food. Menus rotate at Al Covo but we recommend trying the fried squash blossoms appetizer and the fresh fish of the day. Tasting menus are available for lunch and dinner and you’ll want to make reservations in advance.
$$$$ Seafood, Wine Bars, Venetian
Campiello de la Pescaria, 3698, 30122 Venezia VE
041 522 3812
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Gelato: Gelatoteca Suso
There are plenty of tourist traps when it comes to finding gelato in Venice, but our top pick for great gelato in Venice is Gelatoteca Suso. Just a stone’s throw from the Rialto Bridge, this incredibly popular gelateria serves freshly prepared batches of delicious gelato to hundreds of tourists every day. Don’t let the line scare you away- it moves very quickly and you’re going to be head over heels for this artisan gelato. A must follow after you visit one of our favorite Venice restaurants.
$ Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt
Sotoportego de la Bissa, 5453, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
041 241 2275