Best Restaurants in Venice Italy: The Local Guide

While it may be one of the most touristic destinations in the world, it’s for a well-deserved reason – this city possesses a magical feeling once you enter its whimsical waterways. While there are plenty of historical sites to see in Venice, the best ways to see the city is to get lost along its romantic roads and let Venice tantalize your taste buds at the best restaurants in Venice Italy. This was our fourth trip to the city of Venice so we had already seen St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, and the island of Burano. This time, we were all about enjoying a long weekend in Venice with all of the best food and beverages that this great city on the water has to offer – local style.

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While there are so many restaurants to choose from, these are by far the best restaurants in Venice Italy.

  • Osteria San Marco: This low-key restaurant is just steps from Piazza San Marco, yet you’ll feel like you’re a world away from the throngs of tourists. Intimate and air conditioned (of utmost importance in the summer months), this casual yet elegant restaurant and wine bar is the perfect dinner spot for romantics in Venice.
  • Pizzeria Da Mamo: Mama mia! This local favorite is also a highly rated TripAdvisor restaurant, which means that you’ll still see a fair amount of tourists here, but it is well worth it. The pizza is absolutely incredible – a thin crust, fresh tomato sauce, and heavenly cheese. Try your hand at one of their “zodiac” pizzas, designed for the various zodiac signs. We highly recommend the “virgo.”
  • Venchi: If you love rich chocolates and heavenly hazelnut delights, head to Venchi for your gelato fix. We highly recommend ordering the Cremino – a flavor that they’ve had since they opened their doors in 1948. They have various locations all around Italy, but this gelateria really knows their chocolate.
  • Grom: yes, it’s a chain now, but it still possesses the best gelato in the city, if not the world. I can’t speak for its outposts in other cities, but the Venice location delivers the richest, most decadent ice cream we’ve ever indulged in. As the self-proclaimed Ice Cream Queen, I do dub thee, the best gelato in the world!
  • La Caravella: This stylish Venetian spot has been a favorite Aperitivo bar and dinner restaurant since 1963. We highly recommend tucking into this intimate bar for fresh Parma ham and Aperol Spritz’s. For dinner, head outdoors to its Venetian courtyard for creative cuisine.
  • Bistrot de Venise: This delectable restaurant is easy to walk past, but if you’re in Venice, you have to walk your way here for some of the best Italian food you’ll ever eat in your life. You can choose from a traditional Italian menu, local Veneto menu, or mix and match. Don’t forget to wash it down with a delicious wine from Venice’s Veneto region.
  • Chat Qui Rit: Chat Qui Rit is an elegant and modern restaurant known for their selection of Italian meats. In addition to having the best Parma ham and other meats, they also have one of the best collections of wines in Venice.
  • Grand Canal at Hotel Monaco: The Grand Canal at the Hotel Monaco is a slightly touristic terrace, but if you want an amazing meal with an unbeatable view, you can’t miss it!
  • Gritti Palace: Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to visit the Gritti Palace during our visit to Venice, but if you can score a table, grab dinner here on their outdoor terrace.

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Happy face. Happy place. Indulging in pizza at Pizzeria Da Mamo.

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Crushing the Aperitivo game at Caravella.

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The best prosciutto in Venice at Chat Qui Rit.

Venice may be one of the most famous cities in the world, but it’s not known for its nightlife. Most cafes and bars shut down by midnight in Venice. If you’re looking for cocktails and vino in Venice, they’re best indulged during the day, at aperitivo time, or at dinner. While you’re in Venice, order a Select Spritz – similar to the Aperol Spritz, Select is a liqueur found only in Venice!

  • Caffè Centrale: Located on Palazzo Cocco Molin, Caffè Centrale is one of the only establishments in Venice that stays open late. This chic bar has a hip, intimate atmosphere and high-end cocktails. We highly recommend ordering their unique take on the Aperol Spritz, served with whipped lemon foam on top.
  • Caffè Del Doge: Italians know their coffee, but if you want a real cappuccino, head to Caffè Doge. This artisan coffee roasting company serves coffee for coffee lovers.
  • Harry’s Bar Venice: Part of the Hotel Cipriani and a national landmark in Italy, Harry’s Bar is one of the most famous bars in the world. Intimate and unassuming, Harry’s Bar is the inventor of the Bellini. If you’re in Venice, you have to pop in for a bellini, even if they do cost 20 euro each.
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Bellini lovers at Harry’s Bar.

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