Venice is a city with a rich culinary tradition, and there are many delicious dishes to try during your visit. However, with so many restaurants catering to tourists, it can be difficult to know where to go to find authentic local cuisine.
In this guide,
we will share some local tips on where to eat in Venice like a local, so that you can enjoy the city's food culture without falling into tourist traps.
How to Enjoy Authentic Food Experiences in Venice Despite the Touristy Nature of the City
Despite its touristy nature, Venice is home to many authentic food experiences that are popular among locals. Here are some tips to help you find the best places to eat in Venice.
1. Avoid Eating in St. Mark's Square or Close to It
So, where to taste the venetian cuisine like a local?
Restaurants in Piazza San Marco and the surrounding area tend to be overpriced and cater to tourists. If you want to save money and enjoy more authentic cuisine, venture out to other areas of the city.
2. Choose Less Touristy Areas
Areas like Cannaregio, Dorsoduro, and Castello tend to be less touristy and offer a wider variety of authentic local restaurants.
Take a walk through these areas and look for restaurants that are full of locals.
3. Choose Small and Typical Restaurants
Small and typical restaurants, known as "osterie" or "bacari" (wine bars) are great places to experience local cuisine.
These cozy restaurant s often have a limited menu, but the dishes they do serve are made with fresh, local ingredients and are full of flavor.
For example, give squid ink pasta (or squid ink spaghetti) a try!
4. Try the Local Specialties Like Cicchetti
Among Venetian food we cannot mention the typical cicchetti, often translated as "Venetian tapas". They are small, bite-sized snacks that are typically served in "bacari" and are a popular local specialty.
They can be enjoyed as a pre-dinner snack, or as a light meal with a glass of wine or a spritz. You will find many typical places around the Rialto bridge area at an affordable price.
5. Ask for Recommendations
Don't be afraid to ask locals for recommendations on where to eat. We will likely be happy to share their favorite restaurants and favorite dishes with you.
Venice is a city that offers a wide variety of delicious local cuisine, but finding the best restaurants can be a challenge.
6. Look for Restaurants with Venetian Specialties on the Menu
Many restaurants in Venice cater to tourists and offer generic Italian dishes that can be found anywhere.
Look for restaurants that specialize in Venetian cuisine and have local specialties like seafood risotto, spaghetti alle vongole, or sarde in saor on the menu.
7. Visit Local Markets and Food Shops
Venice has many local markets and food shops where you can find fresh, locally sourced ingredients and traditional Venetian specialties.
Visit the Rialto Market or the Mercato di San Polo and pick up some fresh produce, cheese, or cured meats to enjoy on a picnic.
8. Try the Local Wines and Spirits
Venice and the surrounding region are known for their wines and spirits, including Prosecco, Soave, and Amarone.
Be sure to try some local wines with your meals and sample some of the local spirits like grappa or limoncello.
9. Eat Like a Local at a local tavern (Osteria, in Italian)
Osterias are casual, family-run restaurants that serve traditional Italian cuisine.
Look for taverns in more residential areas of the city, and don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with the staff or other diners to get their recommendations on what to order.
By following these tips, you can enjoy authentic food experiences and avoid the tourist traps.
Remember to venture out from the main tourist areas, dine at small and typical restaurants, and try the local specialties. With a little bit of exploration and a willingness to try new things, you can discover the best food that the city has to offer.