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Seven Restaurants You Will Love in Venice...

 

 

Italian Journeywoman, Monica Cesarato comes from the Riviera del Brenta, just outside Venice. She runs her B&b Faronhof in Oriago and also cooking classes for CookInVenice.com, as well as writing her own blog all about Venice and Italy. We thought that Monica would be the perfect person to share her secrets about good, well-priced restaurants in Venice with other members of the Journeywoman Network. This was her response...

When JourneyWoman asked me to recommend some nice but not too expensive restaurants our Network could enjoy in Venice, I got a bit uneasy: Venice is not exactly what you call a budget city and it is pretty famous for its over-priced hotels and restaurants. But then I thought the best thing to do was to use my own experience and that of my Venetian friends. So after a few phone calls and emails I came up with a list of restaurants which, we all agreed, are a good compromise between price and quality of food, between ambience and quality of service. Our list includes some already known places (there is obviously a good reason why there are famous) and some less known ones that we, locals have been going to for ages.

Recommendations are always very personal and come from everyone's own experience, so I am not implying that my choices are the best, but being a Venetian and being a cook myself, you will find most of them to your taste! I'm going to start with the cheapest and more homey of the list.

 

Trattoria Alla Rosa Dei Venti...

The place is very plain, not fancy, but the food is really really good. For a start it is always full of Venetians (the local Vaporetto and bus drivers always go there to eat) and this is always a good indication when looking for nice food. You can choose from their fixed menu (which usually offers a choice of two starters, two main meals with side dishes, two desserts) at around Euro 18.00 or from their normal menu around 25 Euros a head, which is quite good for Venice). Whenever I am in town for an informal meal, I always make sure to go there and have their Frittura Mista (mixed fried fish). In my opinion, it's one of the best in Venice: light, not greasy, not over-salted (unfortunately I found many restaurants do that so you order more drinks!). I repeat, it is not a fancy place, but the waiters and the owner are really friendly and you will enjoy real Venetian food here. Address: Fondamenta Minotto, Santa Croce

 

Cantina Vecia Carbonera...

This used to be a long long time ago an old coal store. Today is an inn, built with dark wood beams, dark wood tables and a tall wood counter. This place is actually very famous for its remarkable assortment of Cichetti and croutons, topped with an original and imaginative combination of ingredients (for example last Sunday we tried some leeks-Gorgonzola cheese- walnut topping which was just amazing), prepared fresh right in front of you by a bunch of friendly young Venetians. It is in the area of Cannaregio, but as well as the famous cicchetti, it also offers lunches and dinners at quite reasonable prices. The food served is typical small Venetian cuisine ( fish starters and pastas, meat dishes, etc.). The combination of the cosy, old wood furniture atmosphere together with the really nice food, will definitely make you appreciate this little gem of Venice (if you sit in the inside room by the little window, you get a closed up view to the canal). An average meal is about 30 Euros per person. But if you opt for the cicchetti (which you can have sitting down as well at no extra cost) you can have a small glass of local house wine (ombra) for 1 Euro and you pay 1 Euro for each cicchetto you buy. Great place to go also if you travel alone! Address: Strada Nuova, campo della Maddalena, in front of Santa Maddalena Church, by the little bridge. Tel: 39 041 710 376

 

Osteria Ae Cravate...

This is a very small but particular restaurant: the owner and the setting just make it stand out from many other restaurants in Venice. The name of the restaurant is Ae Cravate which means The Ties and to live up to its name the place is literally covered with ties, hanging on the walls. To make it even more particular the place does not have either a fixed menu or a paper menu. The recipes on offer vary every day and they are displayed on a blackboard outside the place. Then, if you manage to get a table, 'cause the place is always pretty full, the owner comes and tells you what is on offer that day. This assures you will definitely have fresh ingredients in your food, since the recipes are prepared according to what's on offer in the market that day. They mainly cook fish, so don't go there if you don't eat fish. Ae Cravate is very small, around 20-30 seats, so make sure to book or be prepared to wait. I recommend a mixed fish platter and their home made cakes. Delicious! Please remember it is closed on Sundays. Address: 35/37 Santa Croce, at the end of Fondamenta Minotto, literally 200 metres from Trattoria Alla Rosa Dei Venti. Tel: 041 528 79 12

 

La Zucca...

Now, if you are looking for a vegetarian restaurant, this is the place for you. La Zucca is quite famous with Venetians and tourists alike for the high quality of the food which they serve, that believe me, in Venice can be a rarity. Their main ingredient, as the name of the restaurant suggests, is Pumpkin, which the chefs have managed to cook in all sort of ways. The place is always packed, so you MUST book well in advance, but believe me it is worth it. The most famous dish is their Pumpkin flan, which is cooked with all sort of spices. The main dishes always include pumpkins, mixed with the most unthinkable ingredients. They do not cook just vegetables though, meat is also one of the ingredients on offer, always cooked in some sort of spices. The prices are not too high, you can have a meal there for around 40 Euros per person, again not so bad for Venice. And they also play some lovely jazz music in the background. Address: Calle del Tintor, Sestiere Santa Croce, 1762 Tel: 041 52 41 570

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