Venice has a multitude of options for eating. Each sestiere has its own meeting points and places to eat. In Venice, Italian cuisine, and more specifically Venetian cuisine, is a favourite. You can opt for a refined restaurant with a dress code, and spend an appropriate amount of money. You can choose a simple osteria, often family-run, serving traditional rustic dishes made from fresh, seasonal ingredients. A trattoria is similar to an osteria. As Venice is surrounded by water, seafood restaurants are popular and offer fresh seafood and fish dishes. Some restaurants, trattorias and osterias offer take-away food.
If you don't have time because you're busy visiting the city, we recommend going into any Venetian bacaro for a cichetto. The word cicheto comes from ciccus, which means 'small quantity' in Latin. The word bacaro, on the other hand, is probably derived from bacara, which means noise, hubbub or revelry. The bacari were an ancient figure of merchants who sold alcohol and cheap food and stopped under the shadow of St Mark's Campanile. That is why in Venice the spirits are called ombre. The bacaro is the popular heart of Venice, where you can eat and drink on the cheap. Some shops put their delicacies on display to attract tourists. For centuries the local fishing industry has fed the Venetian tables, so fish remains the basis of Venetian dishes. Many of the dishes in the bacari are fish-based. Try to accompany these dishes with local cocktails such as Bellini or Spritz. Maybe try the famous prosecco or some local wines. Get help from the staff at the various bacari.
If you're short on time, there are plenty of pizzerias dotted around the city. In these small pizzerias you can buy slices of pizza and various drinks. If you prefer to enjoy a whole pizza with a beer, then visit one of the many pizzerias or trattorias in Venice.
In case you don't want to eat Italian, you can always opt for ethnic restaurants, where you'll find many choices based on continents. If, on the other hand, you are a fast food chain type, Venice has little to offer.
Apart from these, there are numerous cafes around Venice where one can grab a coffee, pastries or light snacks. If you are looking for desserts, you can visit any Gelateria, a shop that specializes in gelato, Italy's famous frozen dessert.
If you're staying in a flat, try buying your produce at a local market, such as the Rialto, and cook according to one of our recipes.
Go for lunch after 12 noon and dinner after 1900. Venice being a tourist city often has shopkeepers open every day. Always try to contact the restaurant in advance.
A trip to Italy without sampling some of the local dishes is an incomplete journey of heavenly sensory experiences.