The Ultimate Venice Food & Drink Guide

Taste With Jase Venice Guide

Venice is, unbelievably for this kid who grew up in Blackpool in the North West of England, only a 90 minute drive from where I live in Goriška Brda, Slovenia. I waited far to long in my life to visit Venice for the first time, in 2019, because I heard it was overcrowded, because I heard it was smelly in summer. What a fool I was. Venice is without a doubt one of my favourite places to visit that I've ever been. It's utterly unique. Magical. Yes it can be busy, although at time of writing in this post Covid era with a ban on cruise liners it's a lot better than it used to be. But it feels to me a city where mainstream tourists do what they do, follow a well worn tourist path - like zombies - without a thought that the best place they've never been is one turn down a deserted alleyway. 

I recently visited again in June 2022 for three all to brief days, the first time I've visited since moving to Brda. One thing is whilst these tips are on the more affordable end of the spectrum in most cases you should be aware it helps to have some disposable income when visiting Venice. Bargains are to be had but if you want to experience the full range of the cities offering a few Euro's will help!

I put a call out on social media for some tips and the volume I received in return meant I had to share the list to a wider audience with thanks to the people who contributed.

In particular, Kaja Sajovic, Slovenian author and food writer and my main goto for all recommendations when I go exploring.

Russell Norman, leading London restaurateur and founder of Polpo (inspired by All'Arco below) and Brutto, the Italian inspired trattoria currently taking the UK's capital by storm.

Maja Reja, who together with father Marko runs REIA Vino, a wonderful natural, fully organically and biodynamically certified vineyard in Neblo, Goriška Brda.

Phil Rosenthal and Stanley Tucci have also visited Venice on their wonderful Somebody Feed Phil and Searching For Italy programmes and I've included theur visits as well.

I've used everyone's initials below if they recommended a place, and if I've been I write the comment.

Scroll to the left to read the whole comments.

Did I miss anywhere? Put it in the comments and I'll check it out and add it.

IF YOU WANT A LIVE LIST! So if you want to keep a list that will evolve as I discover more FOLLOW MY GOOGLE MAPS VENICE LIST


RESTAURANTS CHOSEN BY COMMENT

Alle Testiere

RN, KS
Al Covo RN, KS
Antiche Carampane RN, KS An institution
Alla Madonna  KS More old school Italian, has some vintage charm
Alajmo's Hostaria Certosa KS Take a vaparetto for good, simpler plates, summer & sea chill vibes
Venissa KS, ST Travel to Burano then walk to Mazzorbo. Venetian produce, own wine. Their own simple Osteria next door as well.
Paradiso Perduto KS Go for the vibe not the food. Young, crazy place. Monday evenings best
Da Giorgione KS, ST Pretty new and quite exciting restaurant, run by Masa, Japanese ex chef from Quadri. Japanese-Venitian fusion, plus natural wines and sakes.
Locanda Montin RN RN : Trattoria with stunning garden JH : This was on my list of must visits but ran out of time.
Il Palazzo Eexperimental MR MR : If you want to eat (&drink) somewhere more fancy with a nice ambience & interior design, then this would be perfect:
La Perla Ai Bisatei Fiede  Osteria over on Murano
La Zucca Urban

Modern vegetarian restaurant

Locale JH

JH : I had a great one person dinner here in 2019 at the recommendation of a local friend. Modern, at the time aspiring for a Michelin star (now in its possession). The staff were superb, and the food modern reinventions of Venetian classics. Last year the entire kitchen team was replaced which saddened me greatly so not sure now but worth a try.

WINE / CICCHETTI
All’Arco  EVERYONE JH : An absolute Venetian institution now made famous by Phil Rosenthal and Stanley Tucci but still worth every second of the queue. Delicious cichetti, delightful fresh wines. A must. Be aware, only open until 14:30 daily, no evening service.
Cantinone già Schiavi PR
Stappo KS, MR, JH JH : Great modern natural wine bar run by a couple, Diego and 
Estro KS, MR JH: I went expecting wines and "tramezzinis", small Venetian sandwiches, but instead it was a full a la carte menu. I found the food really hit and miss and trying to be something more than the chefs skills could manage. Also, like a lot in Venice, not cheap. The waitstaff were great, but the owner a little aloof (I watched him turn walk in foreigners away yet welcome walk in Italians). Also the choice of music was bizarre. Given all the options here for me not one I would rush back to being honest BUT it was recommended by others so don't take my word for it if you're tempted.
Vino Vero KS, MR, JH JH : It's been around a few years but has changed it focus in that time and in recent years, when it's found it niche in natural wines, it's gone bonkers busy. The day I went was just lovely busy. I sat by the canal and spent an entire service there with a friend, meeting new friends, drinking my way through the wine by the glass menu (and then some) and enjoying their superb cichetti. The staff are young, passionate and knowledgeable and the location perfect. I loved it. 
Adriatico Mar  KS, MR, JH JH : More classic in its vibe than some of the others here but full of character. The real treat is the small pontoon out the back of the space where you can sit and dangle your feet over a canal and watch people walk over the bridge and enjoy wines and nibbles.
Bancogiro KS KS : Go for aperol spritz/campari spritz or glass of wine and their amazing baccala. All of their chicettis are great. You can also have lunch/dinner there, order a bottle of wine. Fun fact: The building used to be the first bank in the world (back in 1500), hence the name Bancogiro
Al Botegon (Schiavi) KS KS : Family run wine shop/bar with cheapest wine bottles around and house wine/prosecco by the glass. Their chicettis are legendary, because their mom makes them for like 50 years now.
Al Portego KS KS : Hidden in the dark alley, they have great atmosphere and cheap aperol spritz. Great, hearty food, chicettis with lots of mayo
Cantina Arnaldi KS, MR Natural wine bar and snacks
Al Merca KS KS : no tables, no chairs, mostly locals that stop here in the morning for a first glass of wine and a panini with cooked prosciutto (prosciutto cotto).  
Alla Toletta KS KS : The cozy, very Venetian place where they invented tramezzini. You should definitely try it here. Looks nothing special from the outside, but I'm telling you, this is THE place for tramezzinis. Try the spicy one or the one with horse meat or nduja.  
Da Lele KS KS : A tiny joint, too tiny to stand inside, so all the patrons just stand outside. One of the good places to start your Venice experience because on top of fresh paninis you'll get the cheapest wine (65 cents!) and prosecco (90 cents!) here
Ozio KS New natural wine bar
OTHERS
Caffè Rosso RN, KS, JH JH : One place I discovered myself on a previous trip. Simple place offering aperitivo and coffee. A great inexpensive place to sit and watch life go by.
Harry's Bar KS JH : Where they invented the Bellini. If you have the cash then worth it for the iconicness and to be where Hemingway once was. But stay away if budget is tight.
Torrefazione Cannaregio KS, PR, JH JH : If like me you love 3rd wave coffee, flat whites, pour overs and the like then this is the place, in fact the only place, in Venice to get such things. I'm not a fan of traditional Italian coffee (sorry) too often over roasted and bitter and if you take milk it's often scolded and burned. I love a good flat white, so I walked 45 minutes in 30 degree heat at 9am to enjoy one here. (note it's 400m from wine bar Vino Vero)
Rialto Fish Market KS, JH KS : Amazing fresh seafood, it's worth just to take a look if you're not planning on doing any cooking in Venice. Plus, it's the oldest continuously running fish market in the world, dating back to Middle ages
Pasticceria Rizzardini Fiede  Very beautiful looking bakery
PHIL ROSENTHAL ALSO VISITED
Al Covo Fish restaurant
Vini da Arturo The fried pork chop
Boutique Del Gelato Gelato of course!
Acqua & Mais Calamari and shrimp friend in a cup street food
Cantine del Vino già Schiavi
Cicchetti place
STANLEY TUCCI ALSO VISITED
Osteria Ai 4 Feri Stori Locals cicchetti place
Villa 600 On Torcello for duck
Orient Experience Afghan restaurant run by former refugees from the Taliban regime.

 

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