With 3 new entries in the Michelin guide in 2022, Venice became Italy’s most dynamic restaurant destination. A garden restaurant, Wisteria, with a superb canal view, opened in San Polo during the lockdown and got its first macaroon in less than 2 years. Just a couple of years before Benedetta Fullin, young and dynamic owner of Wildner, a fave old school trattoria on Riva degli Schiavoni, opened Local in Castello Sestiere, yet, with the same result. Finally, Zanze XVI opened 4 years ago in Santa Croce inside the walls of the historic Trattoria Dalla Zanze.
A small and charming Osteria where the young and peppy head chef, Stefano Vio, 34, brings up the memories of the spice trades in ancient Venice.
Stefano Vio, Head Chef Zanze
Leerfish in Ceviche of Bergamot & Celery, Zanze
Monkfish Char Siu, Calamari, Broccoli & Mortadella, Zanze
Next to these new entries and the most solid Quadri – under the Alajmo family – Cipriani – with Riccardo Canella former sous-chef at Noma – and Venissa – with the sparkling duo Brutto-Pavan – chances for a memorable elevated meal after a day between calle and canals have never been brighter.
Yet good food in Venice doesn’t always need linen gloves.
When hunger strikes we often opt for a giro d’ombra a socializing Venetian crawl of local bars, bacari, where to enjoy classic Cicchetti – eat-standing-in-one-bite morsels of (sea)food, polpette, crostini, pickles – while sipping an ombra – slang for a glass of wine.
One of our favorite areas for bacari is Dorsoduro, the sestiere of Accademia, Guggenheim, and the stunning renaissance Palazzo Contarini.
Just opposite the gondola boatyard Squero San Trovaso, there’s Enoteca Schiavi. Very popular among locals, Schiavi owes its success to the creativity of chef and owner Sandra De Respinis inventor of hundreds of delicious Cicchetti: tuna with leek or radish, primo sale with radicchio and sesame seeds, codfish and pumpkin, gamberi in saor, and many more.