I have always been seduced by its architecture, art and the beauty from every angle. No doubt that there is something magical about this city. However, when I’ve visited it for the first time, my food experience wasn’t the best. Why? Because I wasn’t well informed, and I didn’t had an idea where to eat and drink.
Each time I’ve visited Venice, I had more Venetian culinary experience and learned more about best places to eat and drink. Venice is more than the Grand Canal, St. Mark’s Square, and stunning architecture. What fascinates me about the city, though, is its endless number of good restaurants. Though eating in the restaurants can be a bit pricey, still it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Locals don’t really have breakfast in the way you‘d do. Usually they start the day with a coffee and something sweet. As Italians do, normally drink a macchiato standing at the bar. Venetians love to eat a frìtole for breakfast, which is a typical Venetian fried doughnuts, stuffed with all sorts of creamy filling and covered with sugar.
Service in restaurants and bars is charmingly slow, but it just gives you more time to drink and enjoy the view until the food finally makes an appearance. Dinner dates can’t be much more romantic then in Venice!
Here are my favorite places where to eat and drink in the City of Canals:
THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN VENICE FOR BREAKFAST
One of my favorite old cafés I have ever visited is no doubt the Café Florian. This famous café on Saint Mark’s Square has been seen in many films and old pictures. Also famous for its pricing, as well as its beautiful interiors. A coffee will cost something like €16,-, but you can’t get the same experience anywhere else. It’s worth to have breakfast and a coffee with a view over Saint Mark’s Square.
A tiny little old Venetian bistro café is another favorite coffee spot. With “cucina casalinga” (home-style cooking) and traditional Venetian dishes on the menu is their restaurant philosophy. Caffè macchiato is the normal form, but if you ask for a latte you’ll get a glass of milk. So better not ask for a milky coffee, but a macchiato.
This legendary pasticceria is a must for pastry lovers! It’s a traditional local bakery, highly recommended by many visitors and a place worth to have a quick breakfast in Venetian style.
For easy, great coffee, and not touristy – Caffe Del Doge is the place! They serve real Venetian coffee, and it’s very good. It’s standing room only, so order a macchiato and a small sandwich for a quick breakfast.
THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN VENICE FOR LUNCH
Owned by Francesco Pinto, his wife Anna and son Matteo, they serve great food. Try the Venetian cicheti, the fresh local Venetian fried fish and tramezzini with seasonal fillings. There are only three tables there, so you can take away something for lunch and sit somewhere by canal.
A gastronomical jewel of Venice, Dalla Marisa is one of the most authentic restaurants in the city. Order the classic risotto secoe, if you eat beef, or a Venetian fish dish. Best fresh, home cooked from the heart of a family who’ve been offering up delicious meals for locals for so many years.
For fancier lunch spot, I love the Canal Garden Restaurant of Aman Venice. The palazzo’s private canal-side garden, open during Spring and Summer, is a beautiful spot for lunch and watching the boats drift by on the water.
Lunch with panoramic view over the Grand Canale, the Bar Canale of Bauer Palazzo is a visual pleasure to go along with its lunch menu of salads, pastas and sandwiches. Venetian bartenders mix seasonal cocktails, including the famous Bellini, while you stare upon the Chiesa della Salute, one of the most spectacular landmark of the city.
THE BEST ICE CREAM IN VENICE
Located on waterside setting, Galetaria Nico has a wonderful view overlooking the Giudecca Canal. A gelateria with lot of space to sit outside, where you can also dine-in, and order coffee as well as ice-cream. The classic gianduiotto, a best-seller, is served with ample whipped cream. Try the original pistachio and il doge ice-cream. If you’re in the mood, go for an Aperol spritz afterwards.
Venchi, a historic 19th-century gourmet chocolate manufacturer shop, serves also its own gelato. First and foremost a chocolate company, only recently did Venchi venture into gelato-making. If you are gelato enthusiast, you must go for best gelato with the most authentic and fresh ingredients.
THE BEST BARS IN VENICE
Settimo Cielo is the tallest bar terrace in Venice, located on the seventh floor of Bauer Palazzo. I adore this lounge for sunset drinks, with a stunning view overlooking the Grand Canale, as well as the iconic monuments, such as the Basilica di San Marco, Palazzo Ducale and Chiesa della Salute. Perfect location for a romantic date!
Since 1929, this has been a popular bar and elegant eatery for writers, artists, celebrities and aristocrats. Harry’s Bar is very small, however it possesses an old world charm. It’s the birthplace of the Bellini, so be sure to sit at the bar, as Hemingway did. A popular historic bar has its price as well, so be prepared to pay over €20,- for a drink.
This iconic bar in the Gritti Palace, is another stunning and classic spot for drinks. The regal ambience of the iconic Gritti Palace is implacable. The Gritti Palace Hotel, was one of Hemingway’s favorite hotels. Decorated with murano glass chandeliers, Fortuny fabrics, and priceless Piero Longhi paintings fill the opulent room. A very pleasant ambiance for drinks before or after dinner.
THE BEST RESTAURANTS FOR DINNER IN VENICE
Probably the most beautiful restaurant, restaurant Arva features cucina semplice culinary tradition, transforming fresh, seasonal ingredients into dishes that celebrate simplicity and flavor. Very luxe and romantic setting, a perfect restaurant for dinner dates.
For a romantic sunset dinner, you must visit Harry’s Dolci, sit outdoor and enjoy the peaceful view facing the Giudecca Canal. A quiet island is a perfect spot to enjoy the sunset for a romantic dinner, and watch seagoing vessels, from yachts to lagoon barges.
Located at the lagoon island of Torcello, with old-fashioned service and old-fashioned food, Locanda Cipriani is the best Cipriani restaurant in the world. With a stunning ambience with a shady old-fashioned garden. Ernest Hemingway, British royals, A-list Hollywood actors and presidents, many big names love Locanda Cipriani.
Vegetarians love La Zucca, but also a restaurant for everyone to escape Venice’s fish overload, but the restaurant does more than that. They serve simple but delicious food, with a daily-changing menu and fresh seasonal food. The tagliatelle with artichokes and pecorino are excellent, and mouthwatering dessert menu.
All photos (c) DisiCouture
*Disclosure: This post is 100% not sponsored. For all reviews, I payed and nothing was provided on a complimentary basis.