Giving friends our list of top Venice food recommendations is one of our favorite things to do because Venice, Italy absolutely, positively has amazing food. The best part? The Venetian food Venice is famous for is relatively cheap. Some of the best Cicchetti in Venice cost around 2€ a piece! We’re talking Tuna Polpette, Sarde in Saor, and my personal favorite Mozzarella in Carrozza. We’re serving up our favorite Venice food recommendations in a map, video, and personal photos.
Don’t know who we are or why you should trust our recommendations? We’re Paolo (Italian-born and raised) and Brandy (dual American Italian citizen) and we’ve been traveling Italy together for over a decade. We live in the Italian Alps just a few hours from Venice, making it one of our absolute favorite foodie destinations. As a result, all of the recommendations on this list come from our own personal experiences.
Venice Food Recommendations
We travel frequently and consequently frugally. So our Venice food recommendations are perfect when you want to eat well on a budget in Venice. We skip fine dining in favor of smaller, more intimate Bacaro for Cicchetti.
More importantly, Cicchetti are among the most delicious and traditional food in Venice. Consequently, our list of Venice food recommendations includes Bacaro, Osteria, Enoteca, and Cicchetteria in addition to a few authentic Venetian restaurants. Without further ado, here are our favorite Cicchetti, Bacaro, and restaurants in Venice.
20 Top Venice Food Recommendations
Wondering what Cicchetti are or a Bacaro in Venice is? Cicchetti are small bites of Venetian food at an affordable price. Venetians typically enjoy Cicchetti between meals or as an aperitif with friends. The best place to find Cicchetti in Venice is a Bacaro.
A Bacaro is a wine bar where Venetians go to chat, eat Cicchetti, and sip an ombra (a small glass of wine). Cicchetti can also be found in Osteria, Enoteca, and of course Cicchetteria.
Naturally, if you’re doing your own research on where to eat in Venice, search for these terms as well! Pro-tip, be sure you know how to pronounce Cicchetti correctly before you get to Venice.
La Sete Our Newest Venice Food Recommendation
La Sete meaning “the thirst” is the latest Enoteca project launched by Osteria da Rioba. Their first Instagram post in 2021 said, “We are ready to give drink to the thirsty, offer comfort to the inconsolable, and a refreshing meal to the hungry.” La Sete indeed gave drink to our thirst with an unfiltered prosecco curated for their wine shop. Finding this little gem was a complete surprise. Walking through the Cannaregio district, their smartly designed Cicchetti bar stopped us in our tracks. Unafraid to add seasonal fruit into the mix the Cicchetti at La Sete are fresh and delicious. A poached pear and gorgonzola crostino is a must! Calle Larga, 2555, 30121 Venezia VE
Vino Vero a Venetian Favorite Food Recommendation
Vino Vero does not take reservations. So it took two trips before we could snag a table outside by the canal. Totally worth it to spend the night of my birthday eating gourmet Cicchetti under the stars canal side. When Vino Vero opened in 2014, it was the first and only wine bar in Venice to focus on globally sourced natural wines. They’ve worked hard to disassociate from the stigmatized ombra. So despite what the host of the video below says, don’t order an ombra or a Spritz at Vino Vero. See if you can catch the funny glance she gets for the suggestion! Fondamenta Misericordia, 2497, 30100 Venezia VE
Osteria Al Squero, Venice Food Recommendation With Cool View
Want a spritz? Try Osteria Al Squero. Get lucky enough to snag a seat in the window and you can relax with a pretty unique view of a 17th-century boatyard, aka the Gondola hospital. The owners of Osteria Al Squaro source ingredients from Friuli and Carnia including Prosciutto di San Daniele, Speck, and Salami. Though it might look simple, try the half egg with caperberry and anchovy. I’ve made these little Cicchetti at home ever since our visit. The following video is a great look at not only Osteria Al Squero, but a few other spots that are now on our list to try in Venice on our next trip. Thanks, Giano & Franci! Dorsoduro, 943, 30123 Venezia VE
Osteria alla Ciurma, Best Cicchetti Deals in Venice
Osteria alla Ciurma is hands down one of the best Cicchetti deals in Venice. The bonus? It’s delicious. Ciurma meaning “crew” makes sense once inside. Nautical-themed decor frames windows with a view of the canal. The first place we stopped on our last trip to Venice, we went baller ordering one of everything and a bottle of Prosecco. The owner Marco looked a bit taken aback. After all, this is not the typical order in Venice. In our defense, we skipped lunch before getting on the train and were starved! If you’re lucky enough to snag one before they are gone for the day, try the fried Zucchini blossom or the lard-wrapped shrimp. Campiello del Spezier, 2041, 30135 Venezia VE
Cantina Aziende Agricole, Featured on “The Reluctant Traveler” TV Show
Cantina Aziende Agricole is a long-standing favorite of the budget-savvy Routard Backpackers Guide. With hearty Cicchetti averaging 2€ each, we can see why! Vegetarians should be on the lookout for Pumpkin and Emmental or Zucca Polpette! We loved the Polpette di Tonno and Mozzarella in Carrozza with anchovies. Each is perfectly fried with a touch of salt on top. Rio Terà Farsetti, 1847/a, 30121 Venezia VE
Wine Bar 5000
A seven-minute walk from St. Mark’s Square Wine Bar 5000 is the perfect example of what tourists who stick to the main squares miss in Venice. In fact blink and you’ll miss Wine Bar 5000 entirely. Once you see Luna Sentada turn around. There in the corner by Rio di San Severo canal sits the restaurant’s wine bar. The name tells you everything you need to know. The address is 5000 and the focus is specialty Italian wines including organic, vegan, and biodynamic. While the menu is small Wine Bar 5000 offers a chance to relax canalside outside of the typical tourist jumble. During our visit, I was the only non-native Italian speaker in the joint! Yet the service is knowledgeable, friendly, and their charcuterie and cheese boards are on point. Fondamenta S. Severo, 5000, 30122 Venezia VE
Majer Veneziz Cantinetta
Majer Venezia Cantinetta is one of the many Majer offerings throughout Venice. We recommend this location because it’s near one of our favorite piazzas in Venice, the lively and lived in Campo San Giacomo. Meaning, this is where you’ll see Venetian children running around playing soccer after school. It’s also where you’ll find high-quality Cicchetti, charcuterie, and cheese boards at reasonable prices. In the photo of our Cicchetti selection below the Mushroom with melted lardo (gluttons do go to heaven) was my favorite. Also featured are their Baccala Mantecato, Salami, Polpette di Tonno, and Mozzarella in Carrozza with Anchovy. Added perk, right across the street is our next pick.
Major San Giacomo Store
Majer San Giacomo Bakery and Salad is where you’ll find pastries, bakery items, coffee, and wine to go. So if you’re really eating on a budget in Venice grab a sandwich to eat on a bench in Piazza Campo San Giacomo.
All’Arco Most Celebrated Venice Food Recommendation
Recently featured in the Venice episode of Stanley Tucci’s “Searching for Italy” All’Arco is one of the most recommended places in Venice for Cicchetti for a reason. “Not so much a restaurant as a crazy-busy hole-in-the-wall with mouth-watering Cicchetti (bar snacks), All’Arco is the quintessential Venetian bacaro (traditional wine bar). You’ll be extraordinarily lucky to bag one of the three tables; more likely you’ll have to resign yourself to joining the on-foot crowds munching in the street outside.” — Anne Hanley for Conde Nast Traveler All’Arco serves up classic Venetian Cicchetti made with ingredients fresh from the nearby Rialto Market. Take a look at an assortment of Cicchetti from All’Arco in the following Food Tour video clip. You really can’t go wrong here, but definitely try the Baccalà Mantecato (creamed cod). Calle Arco, 436, 30125 Venezia VE
I have a love-hate relationship with Basegò in Venice. Love the food, hate the seagulls outside who tried to steal ours. This is the only bad part about eating outside in Venice. The closer to the water you are, the more you have to watch out for Seagulls. Seagulls aside, what I love about Basegò is not only does the freshness of their Cicchetti impress, but so to does their small plates of things like Insalata di Polpo (Octopus salad). This is a great place to turn Cicchetti in to a full meal. Plus Basegò is a great option while exploring the Castello district. Although it’s only a 16 minute walk from St. Mark’s square, the neighborhood is far more relaxed and inexpensive. Put this one on your list to grab a bite before a visit to the Biennale exhibition of contemporary art. Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1762, 30122 Venezia VE.
El Sbarlefo Most Under the Radar Venice Food Recommendation
Loosely translated El Sbarlefo means mockery or to sneer which is where this Bacaro gets its name. “It comes from the sneer, that is to say, making a face, if it was a bad day, here we change the mood, we sneer at what has passed and we relax with our Cicchetti and aperitifs.” El Sbarlefo has two locations, San Pantalon and Cannaregio. On our visit to El Sbarlefo San Pantalon the place was buzzing with young college students, but the cool Jazz-loving whisky-wise kind. An antique wood bar and small round tables give a warm vibe, perfect for cozying up with Cicchetti. Live Jazz is part of the El Sbarlefo experience on Fridays and Saturdays. So in the high season, try booking a table ahead. Calle S. Pantalon, 3757, 30123 Venezia VE
Skyline Rooftop Bar Venezia
Located in the Giudecca neighborhood, the Skyline Rooftop Bar has the best views of Venice. It’s not cheap with cocktails starting at 12€ and going up to 20€, but the view at Sunset is unparalleled in Venice. Want the see the view, but not pony up for a pricey cocktail? Take the stairs down one flight near the front door of the bar. The window in the hall before the bathrooms makes for a mighty picturesque pit stop when roaming the Giudecca in Venice. Our little secret. Molino Stucky Hilton Hotel Giudecca, 810, 30133 Venezia VE
La Palanca Most Loved by Locals
La Palanca is our favorite restaurant in the Giudecca. Our visit to La Palanca fell on a brisk November Tuesday. It was lunchtime and this small, welcoming place was packed with local workers. After the waiter took our orders he added “le sardine fritte sono obbligatorie.” What’s that? Obligatory fried sardines you say? Trust me like we did him, and order them. Freshly caught, fried and lightly salted sardines quickly hit the table. A squeeze of lemon later and we have never thought of sardines the same again. The image below is one of Paolo’s art prints outside La Palanca. Fondamenta Sant’Eufemia, 448, 30133 Venezia VE Giudecca
Al Prosecco Most Relaxing Venice Food Recommendation
If the weather calls for dining al fresco, join the locals at Al Prosecco. With a focus on gourmet ingredients and bio-dynamic wines, Al Prosecco is hands down our favorite spot in Venice to get an outrageously decadent cheese and charcuterie platter. We’re almost ashamed to admit how many times we’ve finished off this entire meal together in one sitting. Almost. Situated on Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio (one of the largest squares in Venice) Al Prosecco is the perfect respite from the narrow, crowded walkways. Sestiere Santa Croce, 30135 Venezia VE
Estro Vino è Cucina
At Estro Vino è Cucina make sure to make a reservation! We didn’t, but they accommodated us with a seat in the front window before reservations began pouring in for the night. We sampled their house-made salami, mortadella, pickled vegetables, and local cheese platter along with a bottle of naturally fermented Barichel Prosecco from in the Valdobbiadene region. All of which were perfection.
Alberto e Dario Spezzamonte are the two bearded brothers behind Estro and a 700 bottle deep wine list. Their contemporary take on Venetian cuisine is gaining rave reviews from the likes of Gambero Rosso and Michelin. Estro is among the pricier restaurants on our list, but between that charcuterie board (yes we’re addicts) the video below I’m currently making reservations for our next trip to Venice. Dorsoduro 3778 Crosera, Calle S. Pantalon, 30123 Venezia VE
Osteria alla Staffa a Classic Uncrowded Gem in Venice
Nestled in the back half of San Marco eleven minutes from the Rialto bridge sits a Lonely Planet pick and one of our favorite restaurants in Venice Osteria Alla Staffa. Alla Staffa checks all the boxes. Delicious seafood direct from the lagoon, check. Cicchetti locals eat standing at the bar, check. Family restaurant with authentic, fairly priced Venetian food, check, check. Think Venetian classics like Sarde in Saor, Squid Ink Cuttlefish with polenta, and grilled Seabream. Calle Ospedaletto, 6398, 30122 Venezia VE
Muro Venezia, Our Recommendation For When You Need Pizza
During our last trip to Venice, we rented an apartment between two canals in the Santa Croce neighborhood. Our host was one of the few born, raised, and never left Venetian we’ve met. On his recommendation, we stopped for pizza one night at Muro Venezia meaning “Venice Wall.” The informal modern setting and extremely friendly staff won us over. Their Capricciosa pizza with artichokes and fresh mushrooms is the kind of cheesy indulgence vacation dreams are made of. Santa Croce, 2048, 30135 Venezia VE
Trattoria Antiche Carampane
Admittedly Trattoria Antiche Carampane is on the pricier side of recommendations, but this Michelin and Slow Food favorite has perfected many Venetian seafood classics. Try the ‘The Tradition’ Antipasti with sarde e scampi in saor, baccalà mantecato with artichoke cream, baccalà in umido with polenta Bianco Perla. Translation, delicious traditional Venetian classics. The video below provides a glimpse at the Venetian Food Trattoria Antiche Carampane is known for. Rio Terà de le Carampane, 1911, 30125 Venezia VE
And last but certainly not least two recommendations for anyone visiting the colorful island of Burano!
Trattoria alla Maddalena in Burano
Located on Isola Mazzorbo Trattoria alla Maddalena is one of three restaurants often missed by tourists headed to the colorful island of Burano. It’s also one of the best-kept secrets for a calm peaceful lunch this side of the lagoon. Either hop off the Mazzorbo Vaporetti stop or walk back Via San Mauro footbridge from Burano and the lunchtime crowd will fade into a distant memory. During our last trip to Venice, Trattoria alla Maddalena was one of the only places to have late-fall Moeche Paolo’s absolute favorite Venetian Food. Not sure what Moeche are? Check our post on the 10 Venetian Foods to try in Venice. Fondamenta di Santa Caterina, 7/b, 30142 Venezia VE
Trattoria Al Gatto Nero The Most Popular Restaurant in Burano
At Trattoria Al Gatto Nero the beauty is in the simplicity. Chef Ruggero earned his Michelin recommendation and ours with traditional Venetian lagoon cuisine and homemade pasta. A bold blue building houses this homey trattoria in Burano. Try a table outside and you’ll swear the fish jumped from the lagoon to your plate, it’s that fresh. Here take a look at the video below! Via Giudecca, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice
Map of Where to Eat in Venice Italy
Our Venice Food Recommendation Map includes our favorite 20 places to eat in Venice. It will however grow every time we return to Venice! Thus we recommend subscribing to get updates.
Have a favorite spot that’s not on the map? Drop us a note in the comments at the end of the post, we love recommendations too!
All we do during our trips to Venice is eat, drink prosecco, walk around, repeat. We basically go for week-long Cicchetti crawls through some of the best Bacaro in Venice. At the end of the day, these are our picks. Don’t agree? Fight me! Or better yet, drop a comment below with your favorite spot. I’ll gladly eat my words if I’m wrong. Especially if my words taste of anchovies or Baccalà.
Additional Lists of the Best Bars & Restaurants in Venice
- The Authentic Venezia Website Locally run resource
- Lonely Planet: Venice, Italy Restaurants
- The Guardian: 10 Best Budget Restaurants in Venice, Italy
- The New York Times: When in Venice, Eat Like a Venetian
- Michelin Guide to Venice: 32 Best Restaurants in Venice
- CondeNast Traveler: 23 Best Restaurants in Venice
- The Guardian: Venice Moeche Soft Shell Crabs
- The Culture Trip: 10 Best Bars in Venice
- CN Traveler: All’Arco