Venice December 25, 2022 by ALL GUIDES Venice Venice is a tough city for food–and an expensive one, too, especially if you’re accustomed to cities like Rome where you can eat very well on a budget. If you plan ahead and make bookings at restaurants well in advance, you will enjoy Venetian dining, particularly if you are OK budgeting €75 and up per person for a meal including wine. I love institutions like Alle Testiere where everything is very good. Da Ignazio and Antiche Carampane are great for fish and Vini da Gigio is a solid choice for Venetian classics. And as a bonus they can typically accommodate day-of reservations and have a fabulous wine list. The antipasti and tagliolini al granseola (pasta with spider crab) at Bepi Antico are delicious. Covino, Anice Stellato, and Osteria Giorgione da Masa, which are more contemporary, are lovely, too, and book out well in advance. You could certainly get away with never eating pizza in Venice. That said, Birreria La Corte is a solid choice for pizza and beer. For really good bites standing up at a bar counter, the super famous Cantine del Vino già Schiavi is reliably delicious and serves little shots of wine (ombre) for €1.00. Sepa near Rialto is fun and on the other side of the bridge, Al Mercà near the Rialto Market does some sought-after natural wines by the glass alongside everyday drinking options and the sandwiches are great. Pop in next door at Casa del Parmigiano for cheeses and cured meats, then hit Rialto Market (mornings only, Monday to Saturday) for a crash course in Veneto’s produce–look for vegetables from the nearby island of S. Erasmo–and lagoon fish. Also near Rialto is All’Arco, one of my grab a bite and a drink on the fly. Btw, I do food tours of Rialto on Monday mornings, so reach out via the contact page if you're interested! For natural wines and snacks, I love La Sete (and their adjacent restaurant, Rioba) and Adriatico Mar. Vino Vero has a great wine list but the service tends to be super condescending and the markup is on their wines makes my eyes water. Estro is nice for contemporary cuisine with a great wine list, though frankly the food could be better. Tonolo just down the street is legendary for pastries. Dal Nono Colussi and Bar Toletta are fantastic, as well, especially around Carnevale when they serve warm frittole (sweet dough fritters). Torrefazione Canareggio does excellent coffee. My spot for craft beer is Il Santo Bevitore in Cannaregio. For more drinking tips, read my lates for Prior here. If you’re on the move in the lagoon, visit Locanda Cipriani in Torcello, Trattoria alla Maddalena in Mazzorbo, Gatto Nero in Burano, and Da Celeste in Pellestrina. In Murano, Acquastanca is the only really outstanding restaurant, while Valmarana on Fondamenta Navagero is pretty solid. Also in Murano, the gelateria in Calle Dal Mistro is good for a couple scoops. The terrace of the NH Hotel is a nice place for aperitivo with a view and Bar al Faro aka Da Robertino does pretty great tramezzini, even though it looks like a trap. And while you’re in Murano visit Wave Murano Glass for tours, glass making experiences, and glass shopping--the even have the Food of the Italian Islands glass collection AND signed copies of the book! (Full disclosure: Wave founder is my boyfriend). If you want your own private transport around the lagoon, I recommend hiring a boat from Classic Boats Venice.