The 10 Best Italian Restaurants in Venice for 2023

Venice is a city like no other. Built on a lagoon and crossed by countless canals instead of streets, La Serenissima (The Most Serene) is famous for its beauty, history and unique architecture. But there’s so much more to Venice than stunning buildings and romantic gondola rides.

The restaurants of Venice offer some of the best Italian cuisine you can find, made from fresh local ingredients. Whether you’re looking for a casual osteria, a cozy trattoria or an elegant fine dining experience, our guide covers the top 10 Italian restaurants in Venice for 2023.

I’ve spent many vacations enjoying the magic of Venice. On my last few visits, I made it my culinary mission to discover the city’s amazing food scene.

From seafood fresh from the Adriatic Sea to pasta made the traditional way, Venice has it all. I ate my way through countless plates of cicchetti (Venetian tapas), risotto, extravagant seafood platters and of course, tiramisu.

After much feasting I’ve compiled this list of my favorite Italian restaurants in Venice. No matter your budget or dining style, you’ll find somewhere fabulous to eat in this guide.

Venice draws visitors from around the world, but it still feels like a small town in many ways. Tucked down side streets and canals are restaurants dishing up specialties passed down for generations.

The 10 Best Italian Restaurants in Venice Italy

The Magic of Italian Cuisine in Venice

It’s impossible to think of Venice without envisioning all the incredible Italian food the city has to offer. Sure, you can find restaurants dishing up all types of international cuisine these days. But for the authentic taste of Venice, nothing beats the local osterias, bacari, trattorias and ristorantes serving up fresh pasta, seafood, antipasti and more.

Italian cuisine makes the most of simple, quality ingredients. Dishes rely on staples like olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and herbs. The food doesn’t need heavy sauces or complex cooking methods when you start with excellent produce, pasta, seafood and meat.

In Venice, restaurants source from the bounty of the surrounding Veneto region. From light pinot grigio wines to plump radicchio leaves, the ingredients shine.

Beyond the food itself, dining out in Venice is an experience. The pace of service tends to be leisurely. Locals and visitors alike linger for hours over multicourse meals paired with carafes of wine. The ambiance is relaxed and convivial.

Venice draws inspiration from its unique history as a centuries-old Republic. For a taste of true Venetian life, pull up a chair at one of these top Italian restaurants in Venice recommended in our 2023 guide.

Types of Dining Establishments for Italian Cuisine in Venice

Venice has a range of dining establishment types that each offer a distinct experience and regional specialties. Here are some of the main ones to know:


Osterias are small, often family-run eateries that serve local homestyle cuisine. The food is hearty and unpretentious. You’ll find lots of polenta, baccala (salt cod), and squid ink dishes at osterias in Venice. Popular dishes include sarde in saor (fried sardines in onion), polpette (meatballs) and fegato alla veneziana (Venetian-style calves’ liver). Osterias have a casual, neighborhood vibe.


Trattorias are a step up from osterias in terms of ambiance and service but still serve regional comfort foods. The menu changes daily based on what’s fresh. You’ll find delicious handmade pastas, grilled meats, seafood and risottos. Trattorias in Venice often specialize in seafood since the city is so close to the Adriatic. Expect a relaxed but lively environment with an open kitchen.


Fine dining restaurants in Venice are known as ristorantes. These elegant eateries tend to have formal service, decadent interiors and extensive wine lists. Ristorantes emphasize seasonal ingredients presented creatively. They offer multicourse tasting menus that truly showcase the chef’s skills. Be prepared to spend more for the top-notch cuisine and service.


Tiny bacari function like wine bars with counters serving bite-sized cicchetti snacks and glasses of wine. Hop between a few different bacari to sample regional wines and small dishes like fried seafood, polenta and cheese. Bacari are a budget-friendly way to experience Venetian food and drink.

Now that you know what to expect from the various dining establishment types, let’s get to my picks for the top 10 Italian restaurants in Venice for 2023!

List Of 10 Best Italian Restaurants in Venice

Here is a table of the top 10 Italian restaurants in Venice with opening hours and sample menu items:

RestaurantOpening HoursSample Menu Items
Osteria Al CichetoOpen daily 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10:30pmGrilled squid, fried soft shell crab, seafood risotto
Trattoria Al Gatto NeroOpen daily 12pm – 3pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pmSquid ink pasta, linguine with clams, fried fish platter
Ristorante Al CovoOpen Wed-Mon 12:30pm – 2:15pm, 7:30pm – 9:45pmSpaghetti with scallops, roasted seabass, tiramisu
Osteria Al SqueroOpen Wed-Sun 12pm – 3pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pmMixed seafood grill, squid ink risotto, lemon sorbet
Trattoria Ca’ D’Oro Alla VedovaOpen Wed-Mon 9:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 9:30pmMeatballs, fried sardines, bigoli pasta with duck ragu
Ristorante Terrazza DanieliOpen daily 7pm – 10:30pmDanieli seafood salad, squid ink linguine, tiramisu
Bacaro Da FioreOpen Wed-Mon 9am – 2pm, 6pm – 9pmFried mozzarella, octopus salad, crostini with cod pate
Osteria Al Ponte StortoOpen Thurs-Tues 12pm – 2:30pm, 7pm – 10:30pmBaked lasagna, frittura, panna cotta
Trattoria Da IgnazioOpen daily 7pm – 10pmSeafood risotto, tagliolini with scallops, tiramisu
Ristorante Alle CoroneOpen daily 12:30pm – 2:30pm, 7pm – 10:30pmDuck ravioli, grilled branzino, prawn risotto, tiramisu

1. Osteria Al Cicheto

If you’re looking for an authentic osteria in Venice away from the main tourist crowds, Al Cicheto is a perfect choice. Tucked away on a smaller canal near the Jewish Ghetto, this cozy spot serves up delicious seafood-focused cuisine. Highlights include their grilled squid, fried soft-shell crab, and seafood risotto. With only a handful of tables, make sure to book in advance, especially if you want one of the romantic canalside seats. While service can be brusque, the food more than makes up for it. This is my go-to place to send visitors for a real neighborhood Venetian dining experience.

Signature Dishes: Grilled squid, fried soft-shell crab, seafood risotto

2. Trattoria Al Gatto Nero

No guide to Venice restaurants is complete without Al Gatto Nero. This lively trattoria has been serving guests since the 1930s. While there’s indoor seating, the choice tables are on the canalside terrace, which offers stunning views of the Rialto Bridge nearby. Al Gatto Nero excels at fresh pasta and seafood. Their squid ink pasta and linguine with clams are standouts. Don’t miss the famed antipasto spread or misto di pesce fritti (assorted fried fish) either. Just note it’s cash only and quite popular, so reservations are a must.

Signature Dishes: Squid ink pasta, linguine with clams, fried fish platter

3. Ristorante Al Covo

For a fine dining experience in Venice, look no further than Al Covo. This elegant yet welcoming ristorante owned by husband-and-wife team Cesare and Diane is located in the Castello neighborhood near St. Mark’s Square. Their passion for showcasing the seafood and produce of the Veneto region shines through. You can’t go wrong with their fresh spaghetti tossed with sweet local scallops or the seasonal roasted fish. Follow it up with their creamy tiramisu that diners rave about. With crisp white tablecloths and knowledgeable waiters, the service matches the sophistication of the cuisine. Al Covo does have a smart but relaxed dress code – leave the shorts and flip flops behind.

Signature Dishes: Fresh spaghetti with scallops, roasted seabass, tiramisu

4. Osteria Al Squero

Sitting across from one of Venice’s oldest gondola workshops, Al Squero epitomizes the small, welcoming osteria. The owners Antonio and Chiara make you feel like their personal guests. Start off with aNegroni cocktail at the bar before sitting down to enjoy fresh catch of the day dishes and their signature squid ink risotto. I also love their refreshing lemon sorbet with vodka for palate cleansing between courses. With just a handful of indoor tables, be sure to book ahead. You can’t beat eating at Al Squero for a dose of authentic Venetian hospitality and cuisine.

Signature Dishes: Mixed seafood grill, squid ink risotto, lemon sorbet

5. Trattoria Ca’ D’Oro Alla Vedova

Tucked behind the storied Ca’ d’Oro palace along a small side canal, this trattoria dates back over a century. The Vedova family has been serving classic Venetian cuisine since 1891. No menus here – you’ll eat what’s fresh and seasonal. For a taste of authentic Venetian meatballs and fried sardines, Ca’ D’Oro Alla Vedova can’t be beat. Their bigoli pasta with duck ragu is also stellar. With simple wood tables and a cash-only policy, it retains an old school charm. Go early to grab one of the few treasured canalside spots.

Signature Dishes: Meatballs, fried sardines, bigoli pasta with duck ragu

6. Ristorante Terrazza Danieli

For the ultimate luxurious dining experience with a view, book a table at Terrazza Danieli. Situated on the rooftop of the Hotel Danieli, you’re treated to jaw-dropping panoramas of Venice while indulging in Michelin-starred cuisine. Begin with their Danieli seafood salad or silky squid ink linguine before moving on to the refined entrees like seared tuna or lamb loin. End on a sweet note with their heavenly velvety tiramisu. With white glove service, an extensive wine list, and luxe decor, Terrazza Danieli provides a memorable special occasion or romantic dinner. Just be sure to adhere to the smart casual dress code.

Signature Dishes: Danieli seafood salad, squid ink linguine, tiramisu

7. Bacaro Da Fiore

For delicious cicchetti and wine in a lively setting, Bacaro Da Fiore can’t be beat. This tiny bacaro has a sliver of a counter serving up bite-sized snacks that pair perfectly with the Veneto wines offered by the glass. Fried mozzarella, octopus salad, and crostini smeared with cod pate are just some of the cicchetti they excel at. Space is tight so you’ll be squeezed in shoulder to shoulder with a mix of locals and tourists. But the affordable prices and friendly buzz make it so worth it. Da Fiore is a quintessential Venetian experience but with limited hours so get here early to start your bacaro crawl.

Signature Dishes: Fried mozzarella, octopus salad, crostini with cod pate

8. Osteria Al Ponte Storto

Our next pick takes you to a neighborhood osteria in the Santa Croce district, perfect for sampling traditional Venetian cuisine. Al Ponte Storto is steps away from the bustling Rialto Bridge but tucked away on a quieter side canal, making you feel miles from the tourist throngs. Grab a table outside and watch the gondolas drift by as you tuck into their baked lasagna, frittura seafood platter or vanilla panna cotta. Don’t forget to ask the friendly waitstaff for recommendations from their extensive list of regional Italian wines and liquors to pair with your meal. With an authentic family-run vibe, Al Ponte Storto is a delightful place to spend a leisurely dinner in Venice.

Signature Dishes: Baked lasagna, frittura seafood platter, panna cotta

9. Trattoria Da Ignazio

For delicious Venetian cuisine at neighborhood prices, add Da Ignazio to your Venice dining itinerary. Tucked away in the San Polo district near the Rialto markets, this family-run trattoria charms with its checked tablecloths, friendly waitstaff, and cozy vibes. Their seafood risotto showcases the incredible local catch, while the tagliolini pasta with scallops makes a delightful first course. Save room for their picture-perfect tiramisu too. Da Ignazio strikes that perfect balance between casual trattoria fare and refined presentations. Reservations are recommended to secure a table.

Signature Dishes: Seafood risotto, tagliolini with scallops, tiramisu

10. Ristorante Alle Corone

Rounding out our list is Alle Corone, an elegant ristorante within the Hotel Ai Reali that encapsulates all the charm of 19th century Venice. Dine beneath Murano glass chandeliers as you enjoy creative Venetian dishes using prime ingredients. Their duck-stuffed ravioli in broth is a sublime starter. Follow with a flawlessly grilled branzino or prawn risotto. Of course, you’ll want to finish with their decadent tiramisu. Combine the delightful cuisine with exceptional service and romantic atmosphere, and it’s easy to see why Alle Corone deserves a spot among Venice’s top fine dining restaurants.

Dining at the Best Italian Restaurants in Venice – Key Takeaways

After highlighting 10 incredible Italian restaurants in Venice, here are some key tips to keep in mind as you plan your visit:

  • Make reservations well in advance, especially if you want prime-time seats at upscale ristorantes. In peak season, book a month or more ahead.
  • Be prepared to spend more on higher-end seafood dishes or premium ingredients. Venetian cuisine utilizes fresh seafood and produce that commands a price.
  • Check dress code requirements at rooftop or fine dining restaurants in Venice. Some require jackets for gentlemen or have rules against shorts, flip flops, etc.
  • Carry cash for BYOB trattorias or small osterias – some don’t accept credit cards still.
  • If dining at a high-end restaurant in Venice, splurge on the wine list and sample top Italian vintages. But don’t feel pressured to over-order.
  • Pace yourself and settle in – the Venetian dining experience is leisurely. Don’t rush your meal!
  • Be adventurous and try cicchetti or regional Venetian dishes you won’t find elsewhere in Italy.

Venice offers an amazing diversity of dining options to suit any traveler’s taste and budget. Savoring the destination’s cuisine is just as important as seeing the sights! With a little planning and these tips in mind, you’re guaranteed an incredible Italian restaurant experience in Venice.

Savor the Magic of Venice Through Its Cuisine

A trip to Venice is unlike any other destination. The city’s maze of canals and alleys transports you back in time to an era of Byzantine splendor and maritime power. But no visit is complete without indulging in Venice’s extraordinary culinary traditions that date back centuries as well.

From upscale ristorantes serving Michelin-worthy contemporary Italian fare to tiny bacari dishing up local cicchetti and wine, Venice offers a spectrum of dining experiences. The restaurants profiled in this guide represent the city’s excellence in Italian cuisine. They source from the bounty of the surrounding Veneto region and showcase both traditional recipes and innovative takes on Venetian classics.

Beyond just eating a good meal, dining out in Venice provides an opportunity to soak in the city’s charms. Linger canal-side at an osteria, enjoy the theatre of an open kitchen in a trattoria, or toast a special occasion with exquisite wines at a white-tablecloth ristorante. However you choose to experience Venice’s restaurants, prepare for a feast for the senses.

The next time you’re lost amid the bridges and alleyways of Venice, follow your nose to one of these phenomenal Italian restaurants recommended in our 2023 guide. Let us know if you have any other favorites we should try on our next visit too! From cicchetti to risotto, Venice offers a moveable feast just waiting to be discovered.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dining in Venice

What is the cuisine of Venice like?

Venetian cuisine showcases influences from the city’s history as a maritime republic and ingredients from the surrounding Veneto region. Signature dishes include risotto, seafood, polenta, sarde in saor (fried sardines), calf’s liver, pasta, and tiramisu for dessert.

What are cicchetti?

Cicchetti are small snack-sized portions, similar to Spanish tapas. They are often served at bacari (wine bars) in Venice. Popular cicchetti include fried seafood, crostini, cheese, and meatballs.

What should I wear to restaurants in Venice?

Attire varies. Trattorias and osterias are casual. Ristorantes range from smart casual to formal dress codes requiring jackets for men. Check in advance.

Should I make reservations?

Yes, make reservations whenever possible, especially at upscale ristorantes or for peak dining times. Venice is busy year-round.

What is the tipping etiquette in Venice restaurants?

Tipping is not required but leaving 10-15% is customary if you received good service. Some restaurants may include a service charge. Leave spare change for cicchetti counters.

What meals should I try in Venice?

  • Breakfast – cappuccino and sweet pastry
  • Lunch – seafood pasta or panini
  • Aperitivo – spritz cocktail and cicchetti
  • Dinner – appetizer, main dish, dessert

What is the local cuisine like in Venice?

Traditional Venetian cuisine includes baccalà mantecato (creamed cod), fegato alla veneziana (calf’s liver), bigoli pasta with anchovies, squid ink risotto, and polenta with shrimp or other seafood.

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