Italian food is world-famous for a good reason, so you can expect to eat well whilst you’re in Venice. Dining out can be expensive in the city’s most exclusive restaurants or tourist areas like St. Mark’s Square. But you don’t need to spend a lot to enjoy a delicious meal if you know where to look.
Our guide to the best restaurants in Venice includes everything from budget-friendly trattorias to the locals’ favourite cicchetti spots and romantic restaurants with canalside views.
What’s in this guide?
- Venetian cuisine
- Where to eat in Venice
- Santa Croce
- Piazza San Marco
- San Polo
- Getting around
Venetian cuisine is unique as it combines ingredients from both land and sea. Whilst the Venetian Lagoon is known for its seafood dishes, you’ll also find staple ingredients from the Veneto region on the mainland.
Locally grown produce like radicchio, fagioli (beans), polenta and white asparagus are popular. Try the region’s famous sopressa (salami) and asiago cheese.
If you like fish, be sure to try Venice’s most famous pasta dish, bigoli in salsa, a spaghetti-like pasta cooked in a tomato and anchovy sauce. For seafood lovers, risotto al nero di seppia (squid ink risotto) and moleche (fried soft-shell crab) are two local delicacies you won’t want to miss.
Sarde in saor (marinated sardines), risi e bisi (rice and peas) and fegato alla Veneziana (Venetian-style calf’s liver) are some other traditional Venetian dishes to look out for.
Want a change from local fare? There are plenty of restaurants in Venice serving international cuisine, too.
Where to eat in Venice
Discover the best restaurants in each area of the city to help you plan the perfect evening. Whether you want to grab a quick bite to eat after a busy day sightseeing in San Marco or are heading over to Giudecca to enjoy the stunning views of Venice across the water, we’ve got you covered.
Bear in mind that most restaurants in Venice serve lunch between 12:00 and 14:00, then re-open around 18:00 or 19:00 for dinner. If you have a specific location in mind, check their opening hours online or book in advance.
Some of the best areas to head for breakfast, lunch or dinner in Venice are:
- Santa Croce
- Piazza San Marco
- San Polo
Fancy heading for a few drinks after dinner? Check out our nightlife guide. With plenty of bars, pubs and clubs across Venice and its neighbouring islands, you can spend hours soaking up the atmosphere in this stunning city at night.
Castello may be the largest sestiere (district) in Venice, but it’s one of the most peaceful. Head here for lunch or dinner after sightseeing in neighbouring San Marco.
For a romantic dinner or special occasion, head to:
- Al Covo
- Corte Sconta
- Hostaria Castello
- Osteria alle Testiere
- L’Osteria di Santa Marina
Sample traditional Venetian cuisine in a relaxed environment at:
- Osteria alla Staffa
- Taverna Scalinetta
- 6342 alla Corte
- Trattoria da Jonny
- Ristorante da Carletto
- Osteria da Pampo
Dining out in Castello? Depending on where you’re staying in Venice, the best way to reach this area is on foot or by vaporetto (ferry). From St. Mark’s Square, you can walk to the heart of Castello in just 20 minutes.
Arriving in Venice by train for the evening? Take the number 4.1 ferry from Piazzale Roma E outside Venezia Santa Lucia station to Arsenale stop, a 20-minute journey.
One of the best-known islands in the Venetian Lagoon, Burano is a beautiful dinner location. With its colourful streets and laid-back atmosphere, this is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for an evening.
Head to one of these restaurants in Burano to enjoy traditional Venetian cuisine with the locals:
- Trattoria al Gatto Nero
- Trattoria alla Maddalena
- Osteria al Museo
- Riva Rosa
- Trattoria da Romano
- Osteria al Fureghin
Get to Burano from Venice by vaporetto in under 45 minutes. If you’re staying in the city centre, walk to Fondamente Nove A stop in Cannaregio, where you can catch the number 12 ferry.
Alternatively, take the number 3 ferry at Piazzale Roma D, near Venezia Santa Lucia train station, to Murano Faro. Then change for the number 12 ferry to Burano.
This is the only part of Venice where cars can travel. If you arrive by bus from Marco Polo airport, Treviso airport or elsewhere in Italy, Santa Croce is the first area you’ll come to. So, what better place to stop for lunch or dinner as soon as you arrive in Venice?
Some of the best restaurants in Santa Croce serving traditional Venetian food alongside classic Italian favourites include:
- Osteria La Zucca
- Osteria Nono Risorto
- Ai Garzoti
- Ristorante Ribot
- Trattoria al Ponte del Megio
- Muro San Stae
- Osteria Trefanti
These restaurants are around 10 to 15 minutes from the Piazzale Roma bus terminal and Venezia Santa Lucia train station.
By day, Cannaregio is one of the quieter residential areas in Venice. It’s one of the oldest sestiere and the city’s Jewish quarter, so there’s plenty of history and culture to explore.
By night, Cannaregio becomes one of the liveliest nightlife areas in Venice, with many bars and pubs to enjoy. So, why not head for dinner here before grabbing a few drinks alongside the canals?
For a special occasion or romantic dinner, sample traditional Venetian cooking with a contemporary twist at these exclusive restaurants:
- Ostaria da Rioba
- L’Anice Stellato
Looking for something more laid-back? Try one of these restaurants serving typical Venetian dishes:
- Osteria alla Frasca
- Vini da Gigio
- La Bottega ai Promessi Sposi
- Osteria al Cicheto
- Trattoria Storica
- El Magazen
- Ostaria Boccadoro
Cannaregio is home to Venice’s only train station, Venezia Santa Lucia, making it a convenient dinner location if you’re planning an evening in the city. Walk from the station to the heart of this neighbourhood in just 10 minutes.
Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco is the tourist hub of Venice, with many of the city’s main attractions located here, like the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica. So, be prepared to spend more on eating and drinking here than in any other part of the city!
Alternatively, the sprawling neighbourhood of San Marco is home to some fantastic restaurants, so there’s something to suit every budget in this area.
In the piazza itself, head for a coffee, aperitivo or grab a bite to eat at one of these popular cafés or restaurants:
- Caffè Florian
- Ristorante Quadri
- Ristorante Canova
- Trattoria ai Leoncini
Elsewhere in San Marco, you’ll find these traditional Venetian restaurants, perfect for lunch or dinner after sightseeing:
- La Caravella
- Ai Mercanti
- Al Chianti
- Osteria Enoteca San Marco
- Vini da Arturo
- Il Salotto di San Marco
Planning an evening in Venice? Piazza San Marco is a 28-minute walk from Venezia Santa Lucia station via Rialto Bridge.
Dorsoduro is home to Venice’s most popular attractions, including Gallerie dell’Accademia, Santa Maria della Salute and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. This neighbourhood also encompasses the island of Giudecca, a short vaporetto ride from Zattere stop.
When you need a break from sightseeing in Dorsoduro, stop for lunch or dinner at one of these restaurants serving local fare:
- Osteria Enoteca ai Artisti
- Cantina dal Vino Già Schiavi
- Osteria da Codroma
- Ristorante Pizzeria al Profeta
- Ai Cugnai dal 1911
- Bacaro 22 Vintido
Planning a romantic dinner or celebrating a special occasion? Whether you want cosy, candlelit tables or outdoor, canalside dining, these high-end restaurants serve Venetian cuisine with a contemporary twist:
- Ai Gondolieri
- Hostaria Osottoosopra
- Agli Alboretti
If you’re visiting Venice from the mainland, walk to Dorsoduro from Venezia Santa Lucia station in 18 minutes.
Located in the heart of Venice, the smallest sestiere of San Polo is one of the busiest. Here you’ll find the bustling Rialto Market, supplying many restaurants with fresh produce every day, and of course, the famous Rialto Bridge.
The best restaurants in San Polo serving authentic, local cuisine include:
- Osteria da Fiore
- Antiche Carampane
- Birraria La Corte
- Al Paradiso
- Osteria Antico Giardinetto
- Ristorante San Silvestro
- Taverna Da Baffo
- Al Gobbo di Rialto
- Hostaria Sant’Aponal
San Polo is the most central sestiere, so it’s easy to get here on foot from other neighbourhoods in Venice. Arriving by train? Santa Lucia station is a 14-minute walk.
Getting around Venice
The best way to get around Venice is on foot or by vaporetto, depending on where you’re heading. If you’re arriving by train, you can walk to most of the best restaurant areas from Venezia Santa Lucia in under 30 minutes.
You'll need to take a ferry to the Venetian Islands, including Giudecca, Murano, Burano and Torcello. Regular services depart from various locations across the city, usually stopping around midnight. Check specific timetables for your destination beforehand to make sure you don’t get stranded.
Whether you’re spending an evening in Venice, visiting for the day or planning a weekend getaway, discover more things to do in this beautiful city. Check out our guide to the best nightlife, shopping, markets and attractions for more detailed information, helping you plan the perfect trip.
Travelling by train to Venice?
If you're planning to visit Venice, why not travel by train? Travelling to Venice by train is easy due to the high-speed rail connections operated by Trenitalia and Italo. You can travel to Venice from some of the most popular locations in Italy, including Peschiera del Garda to Venice (1h 16m), Verona Porta Nuova to Venice (1h) and Trieste Centrale to Venice (1h 37m).
Need more information about travelling to Venice by train? Check out our dedicated page to trains to Venice.