Eating Out

Alle Testiere

This tiny restaurant is today one of the hottest culinary tickets in Venice. There are so few seats that they do two sittings each evening; booking for the later one (at 9pm) will ensure a more relaxed meal. Bruno, the chef, offers creative variations on Venetian seafood; the caparossoli (local clams) sautéed in ginger, and the John Dory fillet sprinkled with aromatic herbs in citrus sauce, are two mouth-watering examples. Sommelier Luca guides diners around a small but well-chosen wine list. The desserts, too, are spectacular.

Antiche Carampane

Hidden in the once-shady lanes behind Ponte delle Tette, this culinary indulgence is a trick to find. Once you do, say goodbye to soggy lasagne and hello to a market-driven menu of silky crudi (raw fish/seafood), surprisingly light fritto misto (fried seafood) and caramote prawn salad with seasonal vegetables. Never short of a smart, convivial crowd, it’s a good idea to book ahead

Da Fiore

Prestigious and exclusive premises welcome you offering high quality cuisine served in elegant and refined rooms.
Once an old Venetian tavern, da Fiore has become, thanks to Mara and Maurizio Martin, one of the most famous restaurants of the city.
Its high class service and its delicious gastronomic dishes have consolidated its fame up to now.

Il Ridotto

Down a side street just off Piazza San Marco, Il Ridotto (which translates as ‘reduced’) is a delightfully romantic intimate experience. The two-course lunch tasting menu is good value at €28, and the attentive and well-humoured staff will add to your enjoyment. They’ll also help out with the rather intimidating wine list, which has a great selection of choices by the glass. The food is fresh and full of gutsy local flavours, and its popularity with the locals can only be a good thing. Book ahead to avoid disappointment.

Osteria di Santa Marina

This upmarket osteria in pretty campo Santa Marina has the kind of professional service and standards that are too often lacking in Venice, and the ambience and the high level of the seafood-oriented cuisine justify the price tag. Raw fish feature strongly among the antipasti; primi give local tradition a creative twist in dishes such as the turbot- and mussel-filled ravioli in celery sauce. The joy of this place is in the detail: the bread is all home-made, a taster course turns up just when you were about to ask what happened to the branzino. Book ahead.

Skyline Rooftop Bar

Relax and unwind while surrounded by breathtaking views of the Venice skyline. The newly redesigned Skyline Rooftop Bar is located on the top floor of the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice hotel and provides a unique setting for guests to enjoy expertly created cocktails, appetizers or light snacks while taking in incredible panoramic views of Venice, from Canale Giudecca to Piazza San Marco.

El Sbarlefo

All sorts sidle into this attractive little cicheti bar, from local hipsters to candidates for hip replacements, drawn by an excellent wine selection and a tasty array of snacks. The music meanders unpredictably from mellow jazz to early Elvis, but never at volumes to interrupt a decent chat.

Il Santo Bevitore

San Marco has its glittering cathedral, but beer lovers prefer pilgrimages to this shrine of the ‘Holy Drinker’ for 20 brews on tap, including Trappist ales and seasonal stouts – alongside a big range of specialty gin, whisky and vodka. The faithful receive canalside seating, footy matches on TV, free wi-fi and the occasional live band.

Osteria ai Pugni

This bar is located right next to Ponte dei Pugni (“Bridge of Fists”), which was a popular site for Renaissance-era fist-fighting expositions between rival clans. Don’t worry—the atmosphere at the osteria of the same name is much less hostile. Under a wood-beamed ceiling slathered with hot pink paint, local students partake in inexpensive drinks and rousing conversation. On certain nights, jazz musicians and DJs bring the fun-loving crowd to life.

Enoiteca Mascareta

Oenophiles love this traditional enoteca for its stellar wines by the glass, including big Amarones and organic ‘cloudy’ prosecco, one of them made by owner Mauro. If you’re hungry, the excellent taier misto (platters of cured meats and cheeses) could pass for a light meal for two.

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