I'm going to be in Venice for the next week and a half! Please give me some recommendations for food and sightseeing. Thanks!
April 25, 2011 5:32 AM   Subscribe

Hi all. I am looking for recommendations for food in Venice (anything from a Paninoteca to a Ristorante). I've read that it is difficult to find good food in Venice, so I'm hoping the Metafilter hive mind can help me out. In addition, any recommendations for sightseeing would be great. Especially non-traditional/off the beaten path stuff. Thanks again.
posted by batou_ to Travel & Transportation around Venice, Italy (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Which neighborhood are you visiting?

Regardless, there are lots of good suggestions here: http://www.chow.com/search?search_board_id=58&query=venice&type=Topic&from_date=1+year+ago&board_name=Italy&page=2
posted by tempest in a teapot at 6:10 AM on April 25, 2011

We ate at La Zucca twice during a week-long stay in Venice last December. I recommend calling ahead or stopping in to make a reservation - it's pretty small and fills up fast. Very very good! (Even my Italian husband was impressed.)
posted by jrichards at 6:21 AM on April 25, 2011

As a vegetarian, the Pensione La Calcina was a lucky find; towards the higher end price-wise, but good food.
We went on a Friday or Saturday night and IIRC (it was two years ago, about this time of year) 'booked' by calling in earlier in the day and asking about availability.
posted by AFII at 6:44 AM on April 25, 2011

We did a pub crawl led by Alexandro, recommended by Rick Steve in his Venice book that was a great way to see how Venicians see Venice.
posted by garlic at 7:02 AM on April 25, 2011

Unless you're opposed to "famous places" (hey, some people don't like them...), I recommend Harry's Bar. Sure, it's well-known and can be a little gawker-y, but the food has always been and remains terrific. For something more out of way - but along the same lines - Harry's Dolci serves a similar menu with less fuss.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 7:02 AM on April 25, 2011

For a great little pizza place, go to Campo Santa Margherita. No idea what the restaurant is actually called, but they cater mostly to a university crowd with cheap pizza (by the slice, take away only, so go sit in the piazza). The atmosphere gets pretty festive later in the evening, with partiers stopping in for a bite. Also right off the same square is one of the best doner kebab shops I've ever been to. Follow the road out of piazza Santa Margherita towards the train station (look for signs that say "ferrovia"), and it's about a half a block down on the right.

When it comes to sightseeing, get up early one day and go to the markets just north of ponte rialto. Hang out, buy some fruit, and watch the salesmen at work. NB: they are closed on Sunday and Monday, which incidentally is why you shouldn't order fish in Venice on Monday - either it's been sitting around for two days or it's been frozen.

Have fun! One of my best memories from my time there is playing soccer in Piazza San Marco until the cops kicked us out. (We had a mission to play in every city we stopped in, which proved challenging in Venice, with it's complete lack of green space Backpacking with a soccer ball is great, because you take that out in a park in Europe and BAM! Instant friends. Took up lots of space, though.)
posted by daniel striped tiger at 8:38 AM on April 25, 2011

My recommendation for both food and experience is to get away from the tourist centers, and go get lost in the maze of streets in Venice (it's safe and it's an island... you can't get too lost). You'll find great little places to eat, the food can be extraordinary, and you will enjoy wonderful quiet spots.
posted by ecorrocio at 9:16 AM on April 25, 2011

I had one amazing meal in Venice and cannot, for the life of me, tell you precisely where it was. The spot was a small restaurant tucked into a little space next to stairs for a bridge - you'd miss it if you weren't looking for it, since the door was almost exactly where the stairs ascended past the top of the doorframe. But! We went because my Fodor's guide said it is where many gondoliers go for lunch if they're in the neighborhood - i.e. follow the locals. So in lieu of a specific recommendation, I'd say just literally follow (maybe casually!) the gondoliers - they're not going to any tourist traps, that's for sure.
posted by AthenaPolias at 9:35 AM on April 25, 2011

If you look at the reviews for Harry' Bar you will find an even division between those who were enraptured by being in such a famous place and those who were enraged by the crowds, the hype and the prices. If you are not sure which camp you will fall into then I would recommend a drink only.

Otherwise I would recommend actively seeking out early mornings, side streets off side streets and less fashionable parts of town.
posted by rongorongo at 1:14 PM on April 25, 2011

There are lots of good places to eat in Venice, but you have to work a bit to find them. Never go to a restaurant that has someone standing at the door urging you to come in (those are always tourist traps). Get off into the neighborhoods, even just a block or two away from the Grand Canal. In Santa Croce the Osteria Trattoria Al Nono Risorto has a wonderful garden and good inexpensive food and Muro Venezia San Stae serves fabulous food at moderate prices. Da Sandro and Antica Birraria La Corte in San Polo are causal and modest in price, with good local food. In Castello, try Trattoria (Ristorante) al Giardinetto and, more expensive, Trattoria da Remigio. For San Marco, they have great cichetti (little plates) at Enotca al Volto; Chat qui rit is an inexpensive cafeteria just off the Piazza San Marco with decent food; and Trattoria da Arturo di Ernesto Ballarin, while expensive, prepares great meat dishes (beef tenderloin, pork cutlett). For most of these you can find directions on their websites.
posted by shiny blue object at 1:57 PM on April 25, 2011

(The above is from my mother - I have not been lucky enough to go to Venice yet.)
posted by shiny blue object at 1:59 PM on April 25, 2011

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