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Food in Venice can be glorious as long as you steer clear of places offering a menù turistico. Venetian cooking is based around fish, game and vegetables, with the accent of the fish and seafood. As with everywhere in Italy, food is local and seasonal and the year brings a delicious procession of specialities. Venice, like much of Italy, has a confusing array of differently named dining outlets. A ristorante tends to be more expensive, with polished service and immaculate tables. A trattoria is less formal, less expensive and often family run. Osterie establishments were originally quite basic, and some still are, but the appellation has been adopted by some very trendy establishments with excellent food and rustic elegance. At many restaurants and bars, the barman or waiter will keep tab of your orders and you pay before you leave.
Smoking - All restaurants in Italy are non-smoking indoor, although you can smoke if you are eating at outdoor tables in warm weather. Some smaller establishments do, however, permit smoking at any time.
Tipping advice - In most places a service charge is not included, but check your receipt for servizo com-preso. As a general rule, 5 - 10% is acceptable for a tip, depending on the level of service and the establishment. Please note: Many restaurants will have cover charges and may automatically bring bottled water with your order.
Read more on this destination in The AA Key Guide to Venice.
Recommended restaurants in Venice
Ae Oche (pizzeria) - In a city where wood-burning ovens are forbidden by law, it's hard to find a really good pizza, but you won't be disappointed here! Great tasting food, amusing staff and a huge range of European beer to help wash it down. Open daily from 12:00 - 14:30 Invalid token: <& 19:00 - 22:00. Average price for a 3 course meal is €40 and wine from €7. Nearest vaporetto stop: San Stae.
Alla Zuccha (vegetarian) - A very popular vegetarian restaurant with a wide range of dishes to choose from encorporating foods such as pumpkin, zucchini flowers and a huge array of cheeses. It is advisable to book in advance. Open Mon - Sat 12:00 - 14:30 & 19:00 - 22:30. Average price for a 3 course meal is €85. Wine from €8. Nearest vaporetto stop: San Stae.
Caffé Florian (light lunches) - Opened in 1720, the sumptuous surroundings of this café in San Marco Piazza make it a popular choice for locals and visitors. A range of coffee, ight lunches, sandwiches and afternoon tea are beautifully served by impeccably trained staff. Average price for a coffee (sitting in) is €9. Nearest vaporetti stop: San Marco.
Cipriani Restaurant (Italian) - An exclusive restaurant, accessible via the Cipriani's own private launch. Excellent Italian cuisine, an extensive wine list and its elegant interior make it one of the best restaurants in Venice. Average price for a 3 course meal is €140. Wine from €16. Nearest vaporetti stop: San Marco or 41, 42.
Fiaschetteria Toscana (meat and seafood) - Tasty classic dishes of seafood, meat and game, all well prepared and beautifully presented. An extensive wine list of robust Tuscan wines from the Veneto and Fruili. Average price for a 3 course meal is €105. Wine from €9. Nearest vaporetto stop: Rialto.