Restaurants in Venice serve predominantly Italian food from the Veneto region, with the emphasis very much on fish. Wherever you go, the dishes will make full use of traditional local ingredients. Dining in Venice varies in terms of quality and price. A bill of two hundred euros per person is not unusual in a mid-range restaurant. . Price can often depend on whether you are known to the owner or are a frequent patron.
Many small restaurants, mostly in the popular areas of the town, offer a home-cooked meal at lunch, for ten euros or so with prices rising for Dinner..
Most Venetians eat lunch (pranzo) around 12:30 pm and dinner (cena) 8:00 pm, although restaurants start serving dinner earlier to accommodate the many foreign visitors.
Italian eating places have a variety of names, and the differences between them can be considerable. A ristorante is smarter than a trattoria or an osteria, and is likely to be more expensive.
Nowadays, there are a growing number of fast food joints and tavola calda establishments, which have no cover or service charge. A few pizzeria will use wood-fired ovens for the pizza. If this is the case, it will normally be open only in the evenings.
If you do not want to eat a full meal at lunchtime you can always stop at a bar or café for a snack.
Opening and Closing Times and Days
Opening times are virtually the same throughout Venice, from 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm for lunch, and from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm for dinner. Under Italian law, all restaurants close one day a week and some close for an additional evening as well. However, closing days are staggered, so there is always one that is open somewhere in the area.
Restaurants may be closed for several weeks during the winter and also for two to three weeks during the summer holidays. Make sure to ask your hotel to telephone first to confirm that the restaurant is open.
The sumptuous surroundings of Café Florian have attracted well-heeled big names since 1720, and it still draws numerous visitors who are willing to pay €7 for a cappuccino and a table in the Piazza San Marco.
The Florian, as a café, is supposed to serve beverages and patisserie only, but you can also have light lunches sandwiches, and an elegant afternoon tea, beautifully served by impeccably trained staff.…a quintessentially Venetian experience.
If you are going to push the boat out in Venice, do so at the world-famous Harry’s Bar. This stylish and restrained restaurant has long been popular with visiting celebrities (including many Americans) and is always a good barometer of quality and service.
Harry’s Bar is famous for its Bellinis (prosecco and white peach juice) and its Carpaccio of beef (razor thin slices of raw sirloin). Both are well worth the hype.
For some really authentic Venetian Jewish cuisine try Gam Gam (meaning ‘More! More!’), the famous kosher restaurant in the Ghetto. After washing your hands in the fountain, you sit in pleasant, pastel surroundings to enjoy excellent cholent, cous cous and bourekas. The wine list is kosher too, and includes Carmel and Golan.
Centuries ago, this was where bread was baked for monasteries, but today it’s the busiest restaurant in Venice, even when the rest of the city sleeps in wintertime. It’s divided into two sections, separated by a narrow alley. The locals prefer the front part, which is decorated in Orient Express style.
The larger section at the back is like a country tavern, with ceiling beams and original paintings. The menu, in English, with at least 80 dishes, is entitled “Food for the Gods”, and lists specialities such as spider crab in its own shell, risotto primavera, giant grilled shrimp, and sea bass in parchment.