Food To Try In Venice, Italy

food to try in venice

Venice may be famed around the world as the city of love - with its majestic lagoon, canals and stunning historic architecture all weaving their magic on countless visitors every year. But, while it is rightly lauded for such stunning landmarks as the Rialto Bridge, the Doge’s Palace, and Piazza San Marco, it is also home to plenty of equally charming culinary delights to tantalise your taste buds. From classic seafood dishes like spaghetti in nero di seppia, and sarde in saur, to signature Italian pasta and the likes of castraure from the so-called ‘Garden of Venice’ - the island of Sant’Erasmo - the city boasts plenty of foodie delights for you to get your teeth into. Read on for tips about just some of the foods you should try during your visit to Venice, Italy.

1. Spaghetti in nero di seppia

Seafood fans looking to be a little daring will surely be enticed by this dish, which mixes the Italian love of pasta with cuttlefish ink to create a strong taste sensation. The imaginative spaghetti in nero di seppia is regarded as a refined dish that will make a great starter to any seafood meal. And its black colour - courtesy of the inky ingredients - mean it will make for a strikingly eye-catching dish to tuck into among good company.

Antica Osteria ai Tre Leoni

Address: Calle de la Sacrestia 4442 | San Filippo E GIacomo 4442, 30124 Venice

Website: Antica Osteria ai Tre Leoni

Opening hours: 11.00 am to 11.00 pm, every day

Average price for two people: 17 USD

2. Fritto misto

Fritto misto
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user SimonePascuzzi used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Sticking with the seafood theme - hey, this is Venice after all - Fritto Misto is another popular option for food fans and one which can easily be modified to cater to your individual tastes. Indeed Fritto Misto roughly translates as ‘mixed fried’ things, which naturally leaves a kaleidoscope of options open for creative chefs and adventurous restaurant-goers. Typically consisting of deep-fried seafood such as shrimp and squid, there are also plenty of other varieties out there that have been tweaked to appeal to vegetarians or fans of meats that are a little more 'turf’ than 'surf’.

Al Vecio Fritolin

Address: Calle della Regina, 2262, 30135 Venice

Website: Al Vecio Fritolin

Opening hours: 12.30 to 2.30 pm and 7.00 pm to 10.30 pm daily (except closed all day Tuesday and also Wednesday lunchtimes).

Average price for two people: 35 USD

3. Frittelle

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Carnival Frittelle</div>
Source: Photo by user Simone Coletta used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A true culinary classic of Venice’s food scene, the frittelle - or fritters - are among the city’s most famous sweet treats. Indeed, these pastries are indelibly linked to the Venice Carnival. Their popularity peaks around the time of this popular event, when you’ll find a dizzying variety with which to tempt that sweet tooth of yours. And I’m not kidding about the variety - filled or unfilled, vanilla flavouring or a chocolate pastry cream? And then there’s the Frittelle veneziane, a variety featuring pine nuts and raisins which gets its name from this very city. Which will you plump for?

Pasticceria Rizzardini

Address: Sestiere San Polo 1415, Campiello dei Meloni, 30125 Venice

Opening hours: 7.30 am to 8.00 pm (Mondays and Wednesday to Saturday); 8.00 am to 8.00 pm (Sunday). Closed Tuesdays.

4. Sarde in saor

Sarde in saòr
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ezioman used under CC BY 2.0

Sarde in saor, or sweet and sour sardines, are another fishy treat indelibly linked with this most romantic of Italian coastal cities. This Venetian classic sees chefs deep-fry the fish before marinating them in sweetened vinegar and onions - so it’s not hard to see how the sweet and sour got into the name. Naturally, this dish being a Venetian signature means you’ll likely not have much difficulty sourcing a restaurant in which to give the recipe a whirl.

Paradiso Perduto

Address: Fondamenta Misericordia 2340, 30121 Venice

Website: Paradiso Perduto

Average price for two people: 17 USD

5. Fegato alla veneziana

Another signature delicacy that is so inextricably linked with the city that its moniker is part of the dish’s name - Fegato alla veneziana. Liver and onions may not sound quite as appealing in English, but this traditional dish - which uses calf liver for the meat component - has won plenty of fans among gourmands and casual food lovers alike. And, as you’d expect from a dish with Venetian in the name, there are plenty of eateries in which to discover it. So forget those memories of bad school meals and indulge yourself in liver and onions as they were meant to be served.

Antico Calice

Address: Calle dei Stagneri, 30124 Venice, Italy

Website: Antico Calice

Opening hours: Midday to 3.00 pm and 7.00 pm to 11.00 pm (daily)

Average price for two people: 35 USD

6. Bigoli in salsa

Another popular dish that marries pasta with seafood, ‘bigoli in salsa’ features whole-wheat pasta that has been prepared in an anchovy or sardine sauce. Throw in some onions and you’ve got yourself another culinary favourite that is a quintessential Venice creation. The anchovy variety is the more common of the two to be found in the restaurants of the city these days, although the sardine’s popularity back in the day means you may be able to source the latter if you’d prefer.

Cantina Do Spade

Address: Calle Spade San Polo 860, 30125 Venice

Website: Cantina Do Spade

Opening hours: 10.00 am to 3.00 pm and 6.00 pm to 10.00 pm (daily, except closed on Tuesday lunch times)

Average price for two people: 18 USD

7. Baccala mantecato

If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. And if it’s worth doing well, then it’s worth spending time over it. And, metaphorically speaking, time is one of the key things that go into a Baccala mantecato. This creamy seafood dish is made using dry salted cod fish that has been left to soak in fresh water - and I do mean left to soak. Typically the meat needs to spend up to two days in the water, which needs changing out every eight hours or so if you’re to prepare it properly. Once prepared it is whipped up into something akin to a mousse, which can then be spread on other foods - usually a polenta or baguette. This classic of Venetian food is also something of an Italian Christmas tradition, so time your visit right and you’ll find plenty of places in which to pick some up.

Osteria da Alberto

Address: Calle Giacinto Gallina - Cannaregio, 5401, 30121 Venice

Website: Osteria da Alberto

Opening hours: 10.30 am to 3.00 pm and 6.30 pm to 11.00 pm (daily)

8. Tramezzino

Tramezzino (5268587628)
Source: Photo by user °linda°!° used under CC BY 2.0

You might not be familiar with the name, but you’re likely familiar with this snack food. Essentially triangular-shaped white-bread sandwiches with the crusts removed, tramezzino is a popular snack food in Italy and can often be found in many an Italian bar. Naturally, being small sandwiches, they come in infinite variety - as the sky is the limit when it comes to choosing your preferred filling. However, particularly popular varieties you’ll likely find in Italy include the likes of olive, prosciutto and tuna.

Cafe Florian

Address: Piazza San Marco San Marco 57, 30124 Venice

Website: Cafe Florian

Average price for two people: 35 USD

9. Moeche fritte

This crab-based dish is a true delicacy of Venice - and a seasonal treat if you’re a seafood fan who times their visit right. Moeche fritte is made using a soft-shelled crab that calls the lagoon its home and typically grows to about two to three inches in size (5 to 7.6 centimetres). There are two seasons every year when you’ll be able to tuck into this dish - and it is such a delicacy that a dedicated fishing ‘industry’ has grown up around them, with the traditional fishermen carefully collecting the crabs just as they prepare to moult. Timing is everything, as the crabs have to have soft new shells if they are to make it into the dish. It’s quite the skill. And it’s a knowledge that has been passed down the generations.

Trattoria Corte Sconta

Address: Calle del Pestrin, Castello, 3886, 30122, Venice

Website: Trattoria Corte Sconta

Opening hours: 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm and 7.00 pm to 9.30 pm (Tuesdays to Saturdays)

Average price for two people: 35 USD

10. Castraure

Another food choice where timing is very definitely key. The castraure, or purple artichoke, grows on the island of Sant’ Erasmo - the garden of Venice - but only for about two weeks every year. What’s more, the exact time these baby artichokes are in season isn’t fixed in stone, making it even more of a treat when it is ready to harvest. And it is this hard-won nature which has made it such a highlight for food fans. Indeed, there is even a festival centred around it, when residents and visitors flock to local eateries to tuck into themed dishes.

Adriatico Mar

Address: Calle Crosera Dorsoduro 3771, Venice

Website: Adriatico Mar

Opening hours: 10.00 am to 10.00 pm (Tuesdays to Sundays); 5.00 pm to 10.00 pm (Mondays)

Average price for two people: 18 USD

Taste sensations await

Be it delectable seafood dishes sourced from the waters immediately around the city, to classic pasta creations and even some tasty vegetable treas from the Garden of Venice, you are truly spoilt for choice when looking to tuck into the local cuisine in Venice, Italy.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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I'm a writer and photographer based in the heart of the beautiful Scottish Highlands. A professional journalist by trade, I have written for and edited several newspapers, magazines and websites....Read more

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