Finding good, reasonably-priced restaurants in the Serenissima is never easy at any time of the year, and prices tend to soar during carnival (13-24 February). But believe it or not, there are still locales where you can have a wonderful meal – as long as you follow a few golden rules. Have your main meal at lunchtime when prices are much lower, then bar hop at night eating snacks. Arrive for lunch at midday sharp, as this is when the day’s pasta is served and portions never last long. Ask if “coperto” (cover), and “servizio”, service charge are included, and be sure to know how much everything costs if you decide to order extras like bottled water, coffee and a carafe of wine.
Style / Ambiance: A typical Venetian restaurant, located away from the tourist trail in a quiet Venetian square, the Osteria offers traditional Venetian dishes using only fresh fish, homemade pasta, vegetables and local ingredients, giving diners the chance to savor the authentic and natural flavors.
It is also equipped with an excellent wine cellar and the resident sommelier will happily advise you. The atmosphere of the restaurant is simple and elegant, and there is a small private dining room for business lunches or more intimate gatherings. The restaurant has played host to many famous people, including former Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi and the Secretary of the Treasury, Tommaso Padoa Schioppa.
Style / Ambiance: Located on historic Torcello island, Locanda Cirpriani is just 30 minutes from the center of Venice.
Since it opened in 1938, the restaurant has attracted an elite clientele including Ernest Hemingway, Paul Newman and Queen Elizabeth II. It is still owned and run by the Cipriani family and specializes in rustic, traditional cuisine, such as the John Dory fillet which is cooked according to Carla Cipriani’s recipe. The three indoor dining rooms, outdoor terrace and garden can all be booked for special events and customized according to guests’ requirements.
Style / Ambiance: One of the city’s oldest trattorias, located near the Rialto Bridge, Antiche Carampane serves an authentic menu with traditional cooking, fresh wild fish, handmade sweets and biscuits.
In the last few years VIP guests have included: Yoko Ono, Bill Murray, Monica Bellucci, Natalie Portman, Salma Hayek, Audrey Tatou, Timothy Dalton, Brian Ferry and many Italian actors and international politicians.
Style / Ambiance: With its splendid panoramic terrace next to the Grand Canal, L’Alcova Restaurant (at the Casagredo Hotel) is the perfect setting to watch all the action on the Venetian waterway.
Open all year round, L’Alcova is an exclusive and intimate restaurant with Chef Klostermaier preparing refined natural dishes characterized by rich tastes and great personality. He has a strong ‘Natural Flavors’ philosophy, providing a fresh twist on traditional Venetian cuisine.
RISTORANTE FIASCHETTERIA TOSCANA
Style / Ambiance: The Busatto family has run this delightful restaurant serving exclusively Venetian food, for the last 40 years.
Local produce is used and an extensive wine list of more than 600 Italian wines provides the perfect accompaniment.