Venice

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As expected, Venice serves up excellent Italian dishes that are heavy on the seafood. Steer clear of touristy options on the main thoroughfares and opt for trusted recommendations (like those below) instead to avoid disappointment.

Top Restaurants in Venice

Al Covo Seafood Restaurant

This seafood restaurant’s bossy wait staff will bring the perfect plates to you if you describe what ingredients you prefer; the pasta dishes with scallops or shrimp are among the best in town.

Castello 3968, +39 041 522 3812, www.ristorantealcovo.com
Tags: moderate | seafood | reservations | pasta

Cantina Do Mori

As one of the oldest watering holes in the city, this tavern has hosted legendary romantics like Casanova; the wines are fantastic, but the tasty Tramezzini (triangle shaped sandwiches) are the reason people come back.

Calle Do Mori, 011-39- 041-522-5401
Tags: nightlife | editor pick | lounge | notable wine list

Cip's Club

The fantastic view, the sound of the water lapping up against the shore, the delicious prawns with capers – not the most affordable meal in town, but probably one of the most memorable.

Hotel Cipriani, 011-39-041-520-7744, www.hotelcipriani.com
Tags: seafood | expensive | views | reservations

Corte Sconta

Call well ahead to get into this gem, especially if you want a table in the sought-after courtyard; savor fresh seafood dishes like risotti with scampi and frittura mista all'Adriatico (mixed Adriatic seafood fry).

Calle del Pestrin, Veneto, 011-39-041-522-7024
Tags: seafood | expensive | patio

Gam-Gam

Known for falafels and fresh salads with cucumber and tomato, this Israeli restaurant run by Hasids is good for those hot days when you’re looking for lighter fare from the Middle Eastern side of the Mediterranean.

Sotoportego del Ghetto, 011-39-041-715-284
Tags: budget | middle eastern

Iguana

When the endless seafood and pasta gets to be too much, stop in at this popular Mexican restaurant for guacamole and chips, burritos and margaritas.

Fondamenta de la Misericordia, 011-39-041-713-561
Tags: budget | mexican

Osteria da Fiore

This Michelin-starred restaurant serves some of the city’s best Venetian seafood; try the shrimp crostini and the striped bass.

Calle delle Scaleter 2202A, 011-39-041-721-308, www.dafiore.net
Tags: seafood | expensive | notable chef

Pronto Pesce

This sleek little storefront facing the Rialto fish market has secured a loyal following in under a year. Owners include the team behind the acclaimed Osteria alle Testiere, and the place shares the same serious approach to local seafood, serving up exquisite cicheti (small plates). Try a single fried softshell crab, served over shredded leeks; a grilled giant scallop sprinkled with fennel seeds; or sautéed baby razor clams with ginger and mint. Or get take-out portions of seafood couscous, swordfish ragù, or marinated sea bream. Two or three little tidbits, washed down with a glass of the house soave, and you’ve lunched fabulously for about $16. There’s also a choice selection of epicurean items, including chocolates, local grappas, balsamic vinegars, and oils. Closed Sunday and Monday.

San Polo 319, 011-39-041-822-0298
Tags: budget | seafood | editor pick | great value | small plates

Ristorante Florida

Ristorante Florida's affordable Italian cuisine and great Rialto Bridge views make it a favorite among the lunch crowd. The street-level eatery is located in a charming, four-story burnt-orange-hued building along the Grand Canal. Grab a seat outside where you can enjoy the waterfront, complete with motorboats and flowers, and dig into simple, yet delicious, dishes like pizza or spaghetti Bolognese. Almost everything on the pasta-heavy menu pairs well with their affordable glasses of red wine.

S. Polo 733, 011-39-041-528-5166
Tags: moderate | views | italian | jim's pick

Trattoria Do Forni

If you ask anyone in the area for a dinner recommendation, you’re bound to be directed to Trattoria Do Forni. The restaurant’s convenient location just off the Piazza San Marco means that you’ll be bumping shoulders with crowds of visitors, but don’t let that scare you away. The extensive menu features over 100 Italian dishes, including traditional Venetian favorites like Fegato di vitellino da latte alla Veneziana (soft veal liver stewed in red wine and sautéed onions) and newer creations like the Capesante Casanova (scallops with porcini mushrooms). Each of the restaurant’s two dining rooms has a unique feel; the first is rustic and tavern-like, while the second is classically opulent, with dark woods and low lighting. Reservations and semi-formal attire recommended.

Calle Specchieri 468/457 (near Piazza San Marco), 011-39-041-523-2148, www.doforni.it
Tags: expensive | italian | jim's pick

Vino Vino

Right near the Teatro Fenice, this popular wine bar serves delicious reasonably priced food like octopus salad and rabbit baked with thyme from a menu that changes daily. And the wine list – with over 350 choices – is fantastic.

Ponte delle Veste, 011-39-041-522-4121, www.vinovino.co.it
Tags: moderate

Zenzerò Wine Bar

The owners of Osteria Santa Marina, one of the city’s best and most creative eateries, recently opened Zenzerò in a tiny, sunbathed space just a few doors down from the restaurant. Tasty snacks, sandwiches, and desserts come straight from the Santa Marina kitchen; it’s open from breakfast through the evening rush. In the morning, have a cappuccino and fresh brioche filled with fruit, custard, or pastry cream; at lunch, try small plates of seafood salad, cold pasta, or eggplant parmigiana so light and complex it redefines the dish. There are also mini portions of dessert, from chocolate mousse with red currants to Zenzerò’s version of gianduiotto, made with homemade chocolate-hazelnut ice cream and fresh whipped cream. Sample it all with a glass of local raboso or tocai—none of the carefully chosen wines are more than $4 a glass. Closed Sunday.

Castello 5902a, 011-39-041-241-2828
Tags: moderate | wine bar

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