Everyone knows Italian cuisine but what do we know about its regional nuances, especially when it comes to Venice which within itself is completely unique? The Veneto region stands out among others in North Italy with its distinctive character. Its close proximity to the water has shaped its features over centuries of trade and strong seafearing. While the rest of Italy thrives on pasta, Venice embraces polenta and rice, accompanied by seafood in every aspect. Nevertheless, in modern day Venetian dining we can see the perfect blend of everything – a strong Venetian character accompanied by Mediterranean and Italian features. While some of the finest restaurants in Venice embrace the historic subtleties, others are reimagining flavors and dishes in a contemporary way. Nevertheless, each of the 5 culinary destinations we explore in this dining guide to Venice offer only the best and we wouldn’t think twice about returing to each and every of these wonderful ristoarantes.
Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia
Led by a Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Fabio Trabocchi, Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia is JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa’s exceptional fine-dining restaurant which is a reimagined version of the resort’s previous restaurant. With a new culinary concept, the restaurant celebrates exquisite flavors and stunning architectural elements dating back to the 20s. Sophistication and elegance both in the ambiance and on the plate are above all in this luxurious environment. The restaurant enjoys one of the most desirable locations on the private island of Isola delle Rose. The menu incorporates culinary creations from the celebrated chef’s Michelin-starred restaurant Fiola DC. Locally sourced seasonal ingredients come together in beautiful dishes – vegetables and olive oil come from the island’s own vegetable garden and olive grove. Venetian spider crab and charcoal grilled foie gras are only some of the amazing antipasti, while the mains are equally impressive with lobster ravioli, hay-smoked potato gnocci, grilled monkfish, and prosciutto-wrapped veal. The soothing colours and clean lines in the interior allow for an undisturbed experience where the senses truly become alive.
Club Del Doge
Club del Doge is perhaps the most celebrated restaurant in Venice. Enjoying spectacular views on the Gritti Terrace and allowing patrons to experience culinary wonders in one of the most stunning dining rooms in the whole city, Club del Doge is here to impress in every possible way. Paying a tribute to the timeless Venetian cuisine and dining in style, chef Daniele Turco’s epicurean creations allow the senses to truly come alive and spark with joy. The restaurant exudes remarkable sophistication, one that can be enjoyed in a luxury private club – just like the name suggests. Moreover, a deeply personal approach is taken with each guest. Patrons are greeted by name and the restaurant offers bespoke service ensuring that everyone’s culinary and service wishes are met with excellence. Timeless blue and white china, finest crystal, and always fresh flowers are set on the beautiful tables on the classical Venetian interior backdrop of gilded mirrors, brocade, and exquisite art pieces. Enjoy fresh seafood platters and beef tartare, fried baby artichokes and baby pigeon. The mains consist of a great balance between the finest seafood and meat dishes – turbot, the wild catch of the day, rockfish, lamb, and pigeon among others. The restaurant offers a variety of menus – a la carte, menu del Doge or the vast tasting menu, while the Gritti Terrace also offers an inspiring lunch menu.
You won’t find a more A-list-approved restaurant in all Venice than the small yet exquisite Antiche Carampane. From Emma Thompson and Woody Allen to Carla Bruni and Sir Ian McKellen, this adorable ristorante is known for hosting world-class guests and serving 5-star dinners in a true Venetian style. That said, locals frequent the establishment every night too and that’s worth taking note of. Antiche Carampane is tucked away between little streets and charming squares between the famous Rialto fish market and Campo San Polo – what a great location! The menu embraces tradition and seafood but offers a contemporary twist while still staying true to the roots. Regional wines with special attention to organic wines and small producers accompany delightful meals that consist of freshly picked ingredients each morning in the Rialto market. The restaurant only serves fresh, regional, and seasonal food that clearly represents the local culinary identity. The restaurant dates back to the 80s and since then has sustained its family-owned identity and approach to excellent cuisine.
Bistrot de Venise
Included in the established Michelin guide, Bistrot de Venise should be on any foodie’s list as this beautifully charming Venetian ristorante offers an exquisite, historically-inspired menu and one of the finest wine lists in the city. The space itself is infused with culture creating a well-rounded atmosphere for enjoying so much more than just food. Both the menu and wine list pain a picture of the Veneto region while the service showcases the best of North Italian hospitality. An overall idyllic experience awaits you as you are greeted often by the owner and the most attentive staff who are not only remarkably well-versed in culinary knowledge but also several languages. Much like elsewhere in the city, Bistrot de Venise also celebrates locally-sourced fresh seafood but paying exceptional attention to detail to historic nuances. The interior offers timeless Venetian elegance that will feel familiar yet so grand in the overall landscape.
The view! Can you believe the view? Terrazza Danieli not only excels in remarkable cuisine but also has one of the best terraces in the whole city, allowing you to savour each and every dazzling detail that Venice exudes. Embracing Venetian cuisine which has been formed over centuries of substantial oversees trade and seafood-rich local waters, Terrazza Danieli hosts up to 120 guests both on its stunning outdoor terrace and in the luxuriously comfortable indoor dining room. The menu is as exciting as a stroll down the streets of Venice, as inspiring as a gondola ride, yet so many exotic surprises also await the diners as the dishes have a truly unique flair. Coconut milk, turmeric, tempura, and wild rice aren’t ingredients that you’d expect to see on a Venetian menu yet these blend so well with the local flavors – scallops, sea urchin, fresh pasta, and turbot. While the restaurant offers several menus to choose from, their Water and Earth tasting menu truly showcases the best of the best.