1. Hotel Cipriani

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Guests are ferried from Piazza San Marco to this hotel restaurant in a private launch for a memorable gastronomic experience at two venues, Oro and Cip’s Club. The former affords stunning views of the lagoon; the latter fantastic vistas of St Mark’s Square. Tagliolini gratinati al prosciutto (ribbon pasta with ham, browned in the oven) is a speciality.


Quiet, canal-side dining at Hotel Cipriani

2. Da Fiore

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Reservations are essential at this sophisticated restaurant (see Da Fiore), where the owners base the day’s menu on what is fresh at the market. They might have pappardelle con ostriche e zafferano (flat ribbon pasta with oysters and saffron) or moleche fritte con polenta (fried soft-shelled crab with polenta). Excellent use of seasonal produce has made this hidden gem a gourmet heaven.

3. Grand Canal, Hotel Monaco

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This restaurant (see Grand Canal) serves traditional Venetian and Italian cuisine of a very high standard, including freshly made pasta with shrimp or delicious seafood risotto, accompanied by the best of European wines. The setting, a terrace looking on to the Grand Canal, is stunning.

4. Osteria Boccadoro

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Romantically situated beneath a vine-clad pergola, the charming Osteria Boccadoro offers creative dishes with delicate flavours and fresh ingredients, such as ribbon pasta with scallops and courgette (zucchini) flowers. Beware the superb mousse al cioccolato – it’s made with five different kinds of chocolate!

5. Corte Sconta

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This former osteria is now a trendy restaurant (see Corte Sconta) that serves memorable seafood in a pretty “hidden courtyard” (corte sconta). Don’t miss the pincia, the local bread pudding, for dessert. The house wine is also wonderful. Booking several days in advance is essential for most of the year.

6. Do Forni

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Customers enter an imitation Orient Express dining car to be greeted by displays of glistening seafood at this award-winning restaurant (see Do Forni) popular with business people, located right by Piazza San Marco. Book ahead.

7. Vini da Gigio

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The owner prides himself on his Italian and foreign wines to accompany dishes such as tagliata di tonno (fresh tuna fillet with herbs) and agnello (lamb) at this tiny well-established restaurant (see Vini da Gigio) with a great reputation. Booking is recommended.

8. La Bitta

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The cosy, rustic La Bitta specializes in succulent meat dishes served with seasonal vegetables and superb wines. The innovative menu changes almost every day according to market availability and never includes fish.

9. Osteria di Santa Marina

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Seafood is the star of the menu at this elegant restaurant (see Osteria di Santa Marina); the baby octopus with red onion and orange is highly recommended. There is a wondeful six-course tasting menu of Venetian specialities. The wine list is impressive too.

10. Trattoria alla Madonna

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This popular restaurant (see Trattoria alla Madonna) is the perfect place for traditional dishes such as delicate granseola (spider crab). An inspiring display of fresh seafood, such as spaghetti con nero (with cuttlefish ink sauce) and anguilla fritta (fried eel), is available here as well. It is not possible to make a reservation, so expect to queue.


Trattoria alla Madonna


1. Tiramisù

Dessert with a creamy sauce of eggs and mascarpone between layers of sponge drenched in coffee or liqueur.


Tiramisù, a classic Italian dessert

2. Carpaccio

Raw beef sliced thin and sprinkled with rocket (rucola) or flakes of Parmesan cheese.

3. Sarde in Saor

Fried sardines marinated in a sweet-and-sour mixture of onions, currants and pine nuts, invented for sailors at sea for lengthy periods.

4. Antipasto di Frutti di Mare

Seafood platter of baby octopus, anchovies, shrimp or whatever else is in season.

5. Prosciutto e Melone

The sweetness of wedges of fresh rock melon is contrasted with the slightly salty cured Parma ham.

6. Risotto di Pesce

Clams, mussels, shrimp and assorted fish in a heavenly creamy rice dish.

7. Pasta con il Nero di Seppia

Usually spaghetti, combined with a rich sauce of tomato and cuttlefish, thoroughly blackened with the ink.

8. Fegato alla Veneziana

Venetian-style calves’ liver cooked slowly with onions and vinegar.

9. Grilled Fish

Such as coda di rospo (monkfish) or pesce spada (swordfish) from the south.

10. Grilled Vegetables

Radicchio (red chicory) in winter, zucchine (courgettes) and melanzane (aubergine/eggplant) in summer, and roasted peperoni (peppers).

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