Venice is a dazzling city of incredible engineering and architectural feats. The plazas are to die for and each little canal bridge will make you want to melt and then smell roses and who knows what else. Venice is the quintessential romantic getaway with lush accommodation, with history and modernity interweaving seamlessly—at least at first glance. For all its gorgeousness, Venice has also attracted the expensive and bland tourist traps! We can’t list them all, but we can give you a good idea of restaurants and cafes that ought to be blacklisted, and some that are hidden-away gems that you’ll love.
No – Marciana, 751/A Santa Croce 30135
Sure the name’s Italian, but the food will leave you with a bitter taste and lowered opinion of the city in general. Who wants to ruin their experience with ugly meals? First of all, you’re going to know that this place is a tourist trap not only for its décor, but also for its ‘tourist menu’. Italian staple meals are served, like ravioli and pesto pasta, but some have claimed it’s nothing more than heated up frozen food. Given, some restaurants with such menus serve manageable or even good food, but always beware! You’ll find Marciana near the Santa Lucia train station. We recommend you search elsewhere for a meal.
Yes – La Zucca, Sestiere Santa Croce 1762, 30135
One of the more pleasant atmospheric restaurants in town, this small establishment bases its décor on wood and pumpkins. It is tucked away near the San Stae vaporetto waterbus stop, but despite this it is quite popular and you’ll need to book a place in advance. Most restaurants in Venice are going to be expensive, but La Zucca promises mouth-watering dishes you’ll not only enjoy, but appreciate. Meals are mostly vegetarian, with pasta and salad flagships.
No – Harry’s Bar, San Marco 1323, 30124
We know; how could we blacklist an irreplaceable Venice establishment? Hemingway helped to make it famous, we know. Centrally located and packed full of tourists and wait staff, the place is obviously popular. We’re not bashing the food. What makes Harry’s a tourist trap are its prices, which seem to have taken a vacation to Mars and never come back. You can get miniscule Bellinis, but don’t expect even 20 euros to fill you up at all; it might buy you a small drink. If you go here, it’s to have a drink in an old café atmosphere.
Yes – Al Non Risorto, Santa Croce 2337, Calle della Regina
If you want no-nonsense trattoria dishes that hit the spot and don’t destroy your wallet, this place is perfect. It’s tucked away across the canal from Campo San Cassiano, and boasts outdoor and indoor seating areas. It’s a small place but creates great pasta and pizza meals that deliver on quality.
No – St. Mark’s Square Establishments, St. Mark’s Square, 31024
Not all ristorantes are necessarily bad in popular St. Mark’s Square, but they are all quite expensive. What else can you expect? These restaurants boast the best locations in the city, right at the tourist-hounded square and sheltered in beautiful stone arcades. Take it as a lesson that most ristorantes are more expensive, and most touristic areas host ristorantes. These restaurants serve all the classics, from lasagna to fettuccini alfredo, and their wine lists are long.
Yes – Osteria – Enoteca Ai Artiti, Fondamente della Toletta Dorsoduro 1169 A
To conclude with a positive, you should check out this quaint and humble wine bar south of Campo San Barnaba. The meals are superb, and a glass of wine only costs 3 euros. For a local experience away from the tourist mobs, this is your option. It’s a small café setting that creates a humble a homely ambiance.