A guide to the best restaurants in Venice

With thousands of restaurants to choose from, holidays to Venice will give your tastebuds a run for their money. If you love quality Italian food you’re in for a treat, as that’s what makes up the majority of menus here. But looks can be deceiving as what might seem like a hole in the wall can sometimes serve up the most delectable ‘cicchetti’ – that’s the Italian version of tapas.

Canal-side dining at Osteria Al Squero

Osteria Al Squero isn’t your typical restaurant, but that’s exactly what we like when on holiday. It cosies up right alongside a canal, but instead of your traditional alfresco set-up, you’re invited to choose a selection of nibbles from the counter and then dine on a paper plate outdoors or at the rustic tables inside.

River views at Riviera

This romantic restaurant gets its name from its waterside surroundings. On the menu are delectable seafood and meat dishes served with stylish presentation. The food is inventive here, so expect the unexpected with meals like lavender lamb and salmon with vanilla. The tasting menu will ensure you try all the highlights.

Gourmet takeaway at Bacareto Da Lele

Bacareto Da Lele is another of Venice’s unique dining spots, as you order from the counter and then eat on barrels outdoors or along the fringes of the canals. But the food isn’t your average takeaway, as you’ve still got wine and cocktails on the menu, along with gourmet sandwiches and meat and cheese plates.

Fresh fruit smoothies at Frulala

Instead of ‘Oo la la!’ this juicery says ‘Fru la la!’ with an extensive bar made rainbow by a huge selection of fresh fruit. You’ll get to decide what goes in your handmade fruit smoothie, cocktail or yoghurt parfait. They even serve up a warm plate of fruit-topped crepes.

The romance factor at Ristorante Alle Corone

Ristorante Alle Corone is where you head when you’re after some seriously romantic vibes. With white tablecloths, a candlelit atmosphere and dollops of sauce on slate plates, it’s just that kind of place. The food is Italian at its finest, with sea bass, lobster ravioli and scallops, plus a long list of delectable wines.

Pasta on the fly at Dal Moro's Fresh Pasta to Go

Only in Italy can you find gourmet pasta in a takeaway environment. At Dal Moro’s, there’s a mouth-watering selection of handmade pasta dished up in just about every way you can imagine – with classic pesto, topped with goat’s cheese or hot chillis. You’ll even get to see the pasta as it’s being made.

Cheap and cheerful pies at Pizza 2000

Simple, yes. Delicious, also yes. Here, you’ll find pizza of an amazing quality all for less than €5 each. The dough is crisp and the pizzas are baked right in front of you. They also come in a range of styles, from a classic Margherita to ones topped with prosciutto and other favourites.

Italian tapas at Osteria Alla Ciurma

A wine bar meets Italian-style tapas at this cosy spot. Make no mistake, vino comes first here, but the selection of skewered bites will get your tastebuds going. You can look forward to plates of fried courgette flowers, calamari, meatballs and smoked swordfish with ricotta.

Only the freshest ingredients at Osteria Antico Giardinetto

Lead by a husband-wife duo, Osteria Antico Giardinetto is a teeny-tiny spot hidden away in a network of alleys. You might get lost on your way here, but don’t give up, because seasonal seafood served on wildly colourful plates and gorgeous house wines are waiting on the other end. The chef cooks up whatever fish and meat he finds at the market that day, so expect only the freshest flavours.

Crepes for days at Cocaeta

This little hole in the wall might as well be called Crepe Town, as that’s its primary speciality. Your sweet and savoury bases are all covered here, featuring crepes topped with everything from poached eggs to icing and sweets, strawberries and Nutella to pesto, ham and cheese. And the chef is always devising new concoctions.