To all the foodies out there: Italy is all about eating and drinking! Indulging in Pizza, Pasta, Antipasti, wine & co. should definitely be on top of your to-do list! Come and join me on a food tour through Venice!
La Serenissima is what she is called, “her highness”. Venice is certainly worthy of that name. This unique city is full of cultural heritage, restaurants with delicious italian food, small “calle” (alleys named after branches) with clothes lines hanging over the heads of the people strolling by, and hosts some of the most important art works of the Renaissance.
Not to mention the Biennale that takes place every year and is a magnet for all art lovers and architecture enthusiasts. Due to its magnificence, millions of tourists visit the city every year. Chances are good of ending up in “tourist traps”, being served medium food at ridiculous prices – especially on the beaten tracks between Rialto and San Marco. I lived in Venice some years ago and had lots of chances to discover a totally different place than the cliché you might have heard of.
If you are a food addict like me and want to have a more local, pleasant and quiet experience…
… come and follow me on a food tour through the “real” Venezia!
Eating out in Venice
No 1 Trattoria Alle Vignole, Isola delle Vignole
My number one recommendation is the Trattoria Alle Vignole !
Located on a small island next to Venice, it takes a while to get there. As with most hidden destinations, the journey is worth it. Once you reach, you will find an incredibly romantic, non-touristic (!!), unparalleled open air restaurant with a stunning view on the skyline of the island city. The restaurant offers two choices: one area with table service where you can eat Pizza and one self-service part with typical venetian cuisine. You should definitely go for the self-service version – it’s an experience!! How it works: once you’ve chosen a table, you enter what basically is the kitchen! There you will find a blackboard with the (super fresh and super delicious) catch of the day, a glass case with Antipasti and a lot of friendly kitchen staff, chatting away loudly and enthusiastically in Italian!
You choose your dishes, grab your glasses, cutlery and dishes and bring it back to your table. While enjoying the view and drinking some wine, you can listen to the background music of locals making conversation. When you hear somebody calling out your name over speakers you know that your food is ready! The meals are great and – extraordinary in a city like Venice – affordable.
How to get there: Located on a small island west of Venice, you can reach the Trattoria by Vaporetto, the venetian public transport boat. Take the ACTV line no. 13 from Fondamente Nove (check out the timetable here). Check beforehand, as the boat only runs during summer time! Once you reach the Isola delle Vignole, follow the street and turn to the right to go over the wooden bridge. Follow that path to the end.
No 2 Birreria, San Polo
A very central place for great food is the Birreria in the district San Polo.
Only a 10 minute walk from Rialto, this is another non touristic place to enjoy authentic local atmosphere. I recommend the Pizze, especially the Pizza Sospiri: a mouth-watering orgy of wild boar salami, buffalo mozzarella and truffle oil! Nothing further need be said! Oh, yes: no rip off pricing!
How to get there: Depending on where you stay, you might be able to walk there as it is centrally located. Otherwise, take a Vaporetto to San Tomà or San Silvestro and walk from there.
No 3 Bacaro Risorto, Castello
The Bacaro Risorto near the San Zaccharia church is a nice place to have a small lunch, a snack or an Aperitivo (one of the best italian inventions ever!). La mamma makes fresh food every day and the owners Mattia and Jacopo are good fun. Drinking one or two (or more) Spritz (a forbiddingly good mixture of Aperol and Prosecco or wine with an olive and a slice of orange inside) is a must!
How to get there: 5 minutes walking distance from San Marco. Address: Fondamenta Osmarin, 4700, 30122 Venezia
No 4 Taverna al Remer, Canareggio
Although located right around the corner of the Rialto bridge, this is a true insider tip! The Taverna is a cosy, romantic restaurant built of wood and brick stones. It is hidden from the crowds in a small alley that leads straight to the Canale Grande. From outside of the restaurant you will have a gleeful view on the masses of tourists sitting on the other side of the river. If you are into fish, this is the place to be! After dinner the restaurant turns into a noisy, joyful place, where locals come to have some drinks at the bar.
How to get there: From Rialto, walk down the Salizada S. Giovanni Chrisostomo and turn left at Calle Remer. You will find the Taverna after some meters on the right side.
No 5 Mercato ittico di Rialto, fish market
The fish market in Rialto is a sight no visitor should miss. Every day between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. the venetian fishermen sell their catch of the day. If you go at 1.30 p.m. you might be lucky and get some good deals before they close. Fish lovers will get their money worth!
An ideal budget option is to grab some wine, buy bread and delicious cheese in the supermarket (highly recommended: Scarmorza, Burrata and Stracchino!!) and have a picknick at one of the thousand magnificent places Venice has to offer. Another genius italian invention Da Vinci wasn’t responsible for is Vino sfuso. In the heavenly shops that sell it, you will find in-expensive white wines, red wines (different grapes) and Prosecco that is directly filled from barrels into bottles. Either bring your own bottle or get one there. We discovered a very nice one with a lovely owner at Fondamenta Canareggio.