Guidebook Restaurants with loads of character

Best eating in town

Restaurants with loads of character

On foggy days when the cold seeps into your bones, you’ll want to seek out some of Venice’s more characterful restaurants. Although it’s “almost impossible to find a restaurant in Venice patronised exclusively by Venetians,” says Michela Scibilia of the Huffington Post, there are places that remain the favourites of the city’s residents, that haven’t changed in decades and remind guests of cherished times. They include:  

Osteria di Santa Marina: “if I had to nominate a venue for a really special meal in Venice, where they get it right pretty much every time, the would be up there in my top five,” comments Anne Hanley at the The Telegraph.

La Caravella: looks like the berth of seafaring ship complete with wood-panelling, rope lashed posts and serves “typical, very high quality Venetian fare,” according to the Louis Vuitton Guide.  

Trattoria Vini da Arturo, is a “narrow, funny little place with just seven table, like a railway carriage -- which, indeed, is what it’s known as,” writes Nigel Richardson in the The Telegraph. Despite the fact that the owner, Ernesto Ballarin, is from a family of fishermen, you’ll eat only meat and vegetables here.  

Alla Madonna is a step back in time, says Michela Scibilia at the Huffington Post. “Dapper middle-aged waiters fuss over patrons in melodious refrain … you will encounter entire Venetian families, plus a smattering of tourists.”

Ristorante da Ivo is George Clooney’s favourite cosy bolthole, where he dined on his honeymoon. Previous celebrity diners at this establishment, reveals Hello magazine, “include Elton John, Sting, Colin Firth and Ewan McGregor.”

Bistrot de Venise pushes “the boundaries of fine dining,” according to Teophile Lamoitte at The Culture Trip. Both an acclaimed restaurant and an artistic cultural centre, it promotes “the arts and research into historical Venetian cuisines and rare wines.”  

Paradiso Perduto is a boisterous osteria nearby the Jewish Ghetto, with long tables that encourage socialising. “Students are well represented in a venue that is really a bacaro, but dining is definitely an option … in summer there are tables set up right to the edge of the canal,” explains Michela Scibilia at the Huffington Post.  

Vini da Gigio is a “long-established canalside trattoria” that few can beat for “tried-and-tested quality, appealing ambience and – as the name suggests – a stellar wine list,” says Anne Hanley at the The Telegraph.  

Boccadoro: nestled in a quiet location, away from the Rialto and St Mark’s Square, the Boccadoro attracts many locals and “is a favourite among artists,” writes Michela Scibilia at the Huffington Post. “Host Luciano specialises in fresh dishes served with vegetables he has grown on the island of Sant’Erasmo.”

Best eating in town
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