A guide to food and drink in the Venetian Riviera

Italian cuisine is world-renowned for a reason. From classic pizzas and pastas to creamy risottos and fresh seafood, regional variations across the country never fail to impress. If you’re finding it hard to decide where to go during holidays to Italy, take a look at our pick of the best.

Exploring the Venetian Riviera's delicacies

Dishes in the Venetian Riviera are packed with flavour and you’ll find restaurants covering everything from fresh coastal seafood to rich rural barbecues, as well as an abundance of choice when it comes to the finest in Italian wines.

Venetian Riviera dining has its own distinct offerings, from sweet treats like fruited frittole doughnuts and baicoli biscuits to thick bigoli pasta and stuffed tortelli. The cuisine here often varies on where in the area you are, morphing across coastal, mountain and plain regions. Along the coast you’ll understandably find an assortment of fresh seafood dishes, while the plains boast barbecue dishes with fresh vegetables and mountain areas are known for game meat.

One of the most popular dishes in the Venetian Riviera is polenta. Boiled cornmeal with a sort of mushy texture, it first rose in popularity within the area because it was all people of the poorer classes could afford. Nowadays, it’s still commonly served in loafs or cakes, typically baked, grilled or fried. Also on offer in the Venetian Riviera are your classic string of Italian pastas – you can expect everything from ravioli to gnocchi and fettucine all mixed with delectable sauces and a fair share of meat, cheese and seafood.

Unmissable gastronomy at Osteria Osti in Ombra, Lido di Jesolo

Tucked away down an unassuming side street, here you’ll find the best in homemade pastas and antipasti. Away from the bustle of the main drag, Osteria Osti in Ombra serves up fresh fish and seafood dishes alongside classic Italian wines.

If seafood isn’t your style, tuck into a balsamic-glazed steak or simple bruschetta with tomato and basil, before ending on a high – one of an assortment of homemade tirimasus. This osteria never fails to get rave reviews, so it’s worth booking a spot while you’re in the area.

Sea views at Chiosco Bar Loredana, Lido di Jesolo

If you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful place to grab snacks during a day on the beach in Lido di Jesolo, then look no further. Chiosco Bar Loredana offers Italian coffee so good you’ll find it hard to stop drinking, alongside budget-friendly European classics.

Sit in the sunshine and enjoy freshly baked croissants for breakfast or feast on pizza and ice lollies later in the day – whatever time you choose to visit, you’ll be able to enjoy scenic views of the shoreline while you eat.

Fine dining in style at Riviera, Venice

With stunning views over the canals, Riviera is worth visiting for the setting alone, but the exquisite food on offer certainly seals the deal. You can expect attentive service here from a team of dedicated staff, who’ll recommend something to suit your taste whether it’s delicate fish carpaccio or exciting flavour combinations like the lavender lamb and courgette flan.

Food here is imaginative and interesting, and there are fine Italian wines waiting to be paired with dishes like salt-baked sea bass and homemade pastas. An ideal spot for a romantic couples’ dinner, the staff at this restaurant also make sure that dining with children is stress-free and effortless.

Classic dishes at Ristorante Pizzeria Da Franco, Bibione

You can’t visit Italy without trying authentic Italian pizza, and Pizzeria Da Franco in Bibione is one of the best places to do it. Book ahead, because this is a popular spot – and it’s not hard to see why.

You can pile your plate high at the all-you-can-eat salad bar while you wait for the arrival of a fresh, stone-baked pizza. Whether you’re a fan of a creamy quattro formaggi or a carnivorous offering topped with the finest cured meats, you won’t be disappointed. Accompanied by friendly, attentive service, this pizzeria is not to be missed.

A secret gem at Dal Moro's Pasta to Go, Venice

Venice has a reputation for being a very expensive place to dine out, but that isn’t always true. This pasta takeaway is a hole-in-the-wall style fast food joint, but don’t expect greasy burgers and kebab fare here.

For next to nothing you can buy a heaped portion of fresh pasta to takeaway, with sauce options ranging from zingy pestos to chilli chicken and everything in between. Whether you go for the carbonara or the calamari, you can guarantee a mouthwatering meal garnished in restaurant style, tucked conveniently into a take-away tub.