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The best restaurants and cafés in Venice

02 June 2015

Whether you’re on a holiday with a partner, a family getaway or exploring with friends, we’ve listed our favourite places for food and drink in Venice.

The Piazza San Marco, Italy at sunset
The Piazza San Marco, Italy at sunset

Italy and the Italians are known world over for their culinary abilities, and if you’re going on a river cruise to Italy, and especially its most romantic stalwart, Venice, then it is worth knowing where to find the best restaurants and bars that serve the best food.

Cheap eats

At Da Luca e Fred you can snap up a local dish for €6, and throw back a glass of house wine for under a euro. This is a busy, fun lunch time place, where the crowd comes and goes like shoals of fish. For a great lunch time Venezia experience, this is the place to be.

With so many cafes and restaurants capitalising on travellers to Venice wanting to try a traditional pizza in one of Italy’s iconic cities, it’s easy to try a few duds; after all, not all pizzas are made equal. Arte della Pizza is tucked away in the heart of Venice and is a restaurant where you can find a traditional and delicious whole pizza or just a slice for a reasonable price (€1.5-€6).

Eat by the Grand Canal at Al Muro, where for €10 you can expect a Venetian dish and a good sized glass of wine after you are done exploring the Rialto Fish Market on Saturdays. Don’t forget to walk through the markets of San Polo. The markets of Venice are stuffed full of cured meats, organic olive oils, pickles, vinegars and Italian treats like biscotti and chocolates, perfect for gifts for the foodies back home.

Pre-dinner treats

Tour the Piazza San Marco in Venice and then stop for a drink at the Caffe Florian, a stylish bar where Bellinis are served with fresh peach juice. Here you can enjoy the wonderful square without being holed in a bar overrun with tourists spilling over from the most famous square in Venice.

In the San Polo area, right off the Grand Canal, you can find Al Merca and enjoy their healthy list of wines from their bar, or quench your thirst with a sweet Prosecco. The bar is small, but atmospheric, crammed full of antipasti eats you can choose from to settle your stomach before you move on to a restaurant for your meal.

Dining cheats

In Santa Croce, you can find La Zucca, an intimate restaurant with a changing menu and plenty of vegetarian options. This is the place to be if you have a sweet tooth, as La Zucca is said to specialise in Italian desserts.

A traditional eatery, tucked away in a quiet square, littered with plants and flowers, is the wonderful seafood restaurant Osteria Boccadoro. This is an upmarket restaurant and considered to be a favourite of the Italian glitterati visiting Venice, so pop on something smart and indulge yourself.

If you’re after Venetian specialities then it is a must to go dine at the Ristorante Diaschetteria Toscana, serving only food local to Venice, and from produce sourced around the region. Since this is a Venetian restaurant, expect lots of seafood hauled from its bays, and a wine list that has a staggering 600 options.

Eating in Italy is an experience, one that adds depth to your stay and an insight into each region of the country. Venice is no exception. Leave the hotels and travel down to the piazzas of Venice and test and try the bars and restaurants for their wine, seafood and other delicacies of Italian cuisine – you won’t be sorry!

If you’re looking for help booking your Italian holiday, whether it be a river cruise around Venice and the Adriatic or an escorted tour around the famous floating city, then contact us and we can help you organise your dream holiday to Venice today.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.