Here’s my list of recommended restaurants and bars in Venice. There are soooo many great places that I have yet to visit so don’t feel it necessary to stick only to these. Updated in 2022: I have dropped places that have either closed OR that I no longer recommend. For a bar crawl, check out this post.
A must visit restaurant EVERY trip! Delicious and we love the owner Isabella. Best lasagna and tiramisu in Venice. Reservations usually necessary.
San Marco (right off Campo Santa Maria Formosa between San Marco and the Rialto); old-school Venetian restaurant. Very busy. Great lasagna.
Excellent restaurant near San Marco where both the bellini and carpaccio were invented. Reservation needed and shorts are a no-no. Trip Advisor reviewers will say it is overpriced and touristy. Expensive, yes. Touristy, I disagree.
Harry’s Bar is a historic Venetian institution with excellent food and tuxedo-clad waiters. Originally opened by Giuseppe Cipriani, Cipriani was working as a bartender at the Europa hotel and became friendly with a frequent wealthy American guest, Harry Pickering. Pickering’s family cut him off financially, and Cipriani offered him money to get home. A couple years later, Pickering returned, repaid Cipriani five-fold, telling him to open his own bar and call it Harry’s Bar. It closed down briefly during WW2 when the Cipriani family fled Venice — Harry’s had become a Jewish hangout, and the fascist government said they needed to post a sign that Jews were not welcome there which Cipriani would not do.
There is no view despite the proximity to the Grand Canal. Go for the history, old-school vibe, and food. We never came here until a Venetian friend insisted we go with him, and now it is must-do each visit, either for dinner or late night drinks. Here’s my blog post on Harrys: http://littletravelersnotebook.com/harrys-bar/
The oldest continually operating cafe in Europe. Located in Piazza San Marco. I like to enjoy my first morning of each trip here, sipping a cappuccino, listening to the orchestra, watching life in the square unfold, and planning the day’s activities. Expensive but worth every penny. Lunch a good option, too.
The other historical cafe on Piazza San Marco. My go-to for a cocktail at least once every visit. The square quiets down in the evening. Good restaurant as well. Expensive.
Upscale small wine bar operated by our friend Giovanni D’Este. The interior is charming, and in warmer months, there is a lovely private candle-lit courtyard. It is located very close to the Rialto Bridge. Giovanni is extremely knowledgeable about Italian wines, and also has non-Italian reputable bottles. He also provides delicious small plates of food.
small busy bar close to Piazza San Marco; Great cichetti.
We often stop in to the lobby bar of this beautiful and historic luxury hotel for a drink in the early evening before dinner. The drinks are always accompanied by some little snacks as well. There is also a fabulous rooftop terrace here with a view of the city and lagoon.
Modern fine dining with delicious and interesting food. We loved the tasting menu lunch here in July 2018.
A popular and lovely upscale traditional restaurant in a great area of Castello; reservation is necessary. The chef is Venetian, and his wife who runs the front of house is from Texas.
Not a destination restaurant BUT if you are in the area, it is a nice spot for a casual lunch, set in a large campo. It was next door to our apartment July 2021. We didn’t expect much as it seems a tourist restaurant but we were pleasantly surprised by the quality; we enjoyed the caprese, spaghetti vongole, and gnocchi.
Excellent restaurant, worth the trek, with beautifully prepared food and a lovely space in a favorite area of mine. Not too far from Piazza San Marco, and you’ll find mostly locals on this vibrant expansive thoroughfare. Mid-range. Reservations recommended.
Restaurant and pizza place near the hospital; I have not been yet, but have added to my list after reading many glowing reviews.
We LOVE Cannaregio, but it took us several years to realize this as we mainly associated the sestiere with the train station and the very touristy main thoroughfare which cuts through it, leading to San Marco. If you venture deeper, you will find wonderful restaurants and bars filled with locals. The Jewish Ghetto is also a vibrant area, rich in both history and unique Venetian cuisine.
BACARO (bars with cicchetti):
REALLY fun place; great cicchetti and steakhouse; they have a boat on canal where you can sit as well. LOTS of great restaurants/bars on this street
Baccaro, late night, live music
Great cichetti; very casual, nice owner, and good music too!
Casual friendly bar at the far right end of Cannaregio, right on the border of Castello. Small interior with a case full of interesting cichetti and cheeses across a bridge from the hospital in Castello; mostly locals; GREAT location and you can take your drinks out on the bridge.
Fantastic food and lovely restaurant, plus we love this non-touristy area of Venice. Modern takes on traditional recipes. Popular restaurant so make a reservation. Mid-range.
Excellent and popular restaurant with canal-side tables. I LOVE the location as it there is a lot of energy here in the late afternoon evening with so many restaurants and bars lining the busy canal. Traditional but with creative presentation. Great quality and mainly local produce, meats, and seafood. Mid-range.
Fabulous restaurant known for it’s steaks and Venetian food. Great vibe, lovely interior, friendly service. Reservations necessary unless you are only coming for cichetti. Sometimes they have live music on the boat in front; when they don’t, you can take your drink and nibblies and sit there.
Our good friend Giovanni brought us here in ’21 for dinner, located not far from the Rialto Bridge. Fantastic traditional Venetian food, the exterior includes a pretty covered patio with flower boxes along a canal. We passed this place for years assuming it was a tourist restaurant; in actuality it is quite popular with locals. Mid-range
Yummy restaurant AND bacaro close to the Rialto Bridge
Campo San Polo; fun place with beer and great pizza on a large campo;
High-end traditional Venetian near Santa Croce; there is a coveted table on a small balcony.
We have not yet been but it is on my list to try next visit! Gets great reviews. Sophisticated tasting menu paired with wine. If you visit, please let me know what you think.
Lovely casual place near the Rialto Bridge and adjacent to the Grand Canal. Both a restaurant AND bacaro with cichetti for a casual stop-in. Unique and well-executed menu. During winter or rain, there is an upstairs dining room. Summertime, reserve a table on large patio next the Grand Canal.
More of an Italian/Asian tapas place than a formal restaurant so I will put this under Bacaro’s as well. Known as the BEST place for a spritz in Venice. If you are craving sushi, this is perfect for you. Next door to Bancogiro, and also has a large fabulous patio on the Grand Canal.
The area surrounding the Rialto Market is filled with wonderful historic bars, where the fisherman and market laborers would go dine on cichetti (Venetian tapas) and ombre (small glasses of wine) when their work day was finished. Their days started in the wee hours of the morning, so peak hour at the bacaro would be late morning or early afternoon. We like to do at least one “bar crawl” in this area each visit, either for a fun lunch or in the late afternoon before they close. You can read more about this here: Bar Crawl in Venice
One of several old bars near the Rialto Market. This one is a favorite of ours, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Best to make it a lunch or late afternoon bar crawl here because they close early.
Another great old baccaro near the Rialto. Opened in 1462
Another great bar near the Rialto market
Bancogiro and Naranzaria — 2 great bar/restaurants right on the Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge; see info/links for them above under restaurants
We always stop here. “Twins” bar, decorated by photographs of twins; owned by twins; great cichetti and wine
2 star Michelin restaurant in Palazzo Venart; Fantastic food and gorgeous palace hotel right on the Grand Canal. Giovanni is good friends with the chef so we had an amazing and unforgettable private dining experience here upstairs in the music room. Opened in 2017. The hotel is gorgeous with lovely gardens right on the GC.
Great pizza place on a small canal off of one of our favorite campos — San Giacomo del’Orio. Pasta also excellent. Large outdoor seating in a charming setting.
Another great restaurant off San Giacomo del’Orio. Small and well known to tourists so reserve ahead. Not traditional Venetian food… more like modern European/Mediterranean. No seafood. Reservations usually necessary.
Another good pizza choice just off Campo San Giacomo del’Orio though it does not have the lovely summer setting by the canal of Il Refolo.
A great little bar right on San Giacomo del’Orio. Excellent people watching. Lots of great local restaurants on this square so if you can’t get into Il Refolo or La Zucca, try one of the others. We have enjoyed them all. It is SO fun to watch local life in the square during the summer.
Popular bar just off Campo San Giacomo del’Orio
Excellent wine bar; not too far from Campo Santa Margherita in Dorsoduro.
If you are walking Dorsoduro to Santa Croce, this is a good stop. Great wines and cicchetti, and they serve meals too. Friendly service.
Restaurant which feels like it is in the middle of nowhere but a perfect spot for a lunch on a quiet campo, especially if you are on a walkabout through Dorsoduro, Santa Croce, and San Polo neighborhoods.
Waterfront classic Venetian restaurant on the Zattere. Very popular with tourists and locals alike so reservations necessary.
Large outdoor bar on the Zattere alongside the Giudecca canal.
Very busy bar with good cichetti; across the canal from a gondola making workshop.
Pizza and bar right next to the Academia bridge; Very good pizza with a view; we only stay if we can get a table on the canal.
A fun place for a drink, lunch, or cichetti near Peggy Guggenheim museum.
Beautiful hotel restaurant set in a garden on Torcello island. Perfect spot for lunch & outing. This is not the grand Cipriani hotel, but the same family’s smaller, less frills inn on Tortello. Combine with a visit to the church here — oldest in Venice, plus a visit to Burano and/or Murano. Here’s my post on this restaurant: http://littletravelersnotebook.com/locanda-cipriani/
Fantastic popular restaurant with the island’s famous seafood risotto; reservation necessary; lives up to it’s reputation.
This old school restaurant with delicious pastas is actually on Mazzorba but you can walk here from Burano. We have been many times and always enjoy it. It is quaint and quiet.
I have not been here but I will add this to my list as I love to visit Murano almost every visit. Looks like a lovely space, not too fancy, with sophisticated local food and wine. We’ve been to a couple of other restaurants here but one was just ok, and the other has since closed.