Finding a good restaurant in Venice can be a daunting task. The ones in touristy locations serve bland overpriced food that always disappoints. The key to success is to do some research before setting off for a meal and have a map in your hand to make sure that you do not get lost in the maze of narrow calle. Here are few suggestions for the top places to eat in Venice.
Al Vecio Fritolin is located in an elegant 16th century palazzo, away from the usual tourist routes, in the heart of the ‘real Venice’. It opened in the 1700s selling fried fish and still stands by local culinary traditions. Their organic durum wheat spaghetti with cuttlefish ink sauce and lemon zest combine beautifully the old and new.
Antiche Carampane is not easy to find but if you persevere the reward is great. The restaurant is frequented by the city’s rich and powerful and has an excellent reputation for Venetian seafood cuisine and serves mouth-watering dishes like cassopipa (spaghetti with spiced shellfish) or triglie dell’imbriago (red mullet braised in red wine). There are a few outside places that need to be booked well in advance and make sure you arrive on time or your table will be gone.
If you are prepared to splash out on something special and dine in opulent surroundings head to Quadri. The restaurant has two tables with a view over Piazza San Marco that are very popular among romantic couples. The chef is famous for his creative desserts such as ‘uovo sospeso’, a white chocolate and apricot purée arrangement that looks like a poached egg and tastes divine.
Hidden away on a residential street of the Castello district the charming restaurant Corte Sconta is very unusual for a Venetian eatery as it has a vine-covered inner courtyard where you can have an al fresco meal. Their seafood antipasti tasting menu is superb: schie (small grey shrimps) with polenta, canoce (mantis prawns), granseola (spider crab) and a myriad of other tasty nibbles. You might not have any room left for primo or secondo!
For more casual meals add to our list of top places to in eat in Venice the filling snacks called cicheti that are served in bàcari, small back street bars.
Photos by: Al Vecio Fritolin, John Weiss, Dèsirèe Tonus