rooftop terrace jw marriott venice

Venice’s cuisine is a crossroads of unforgettable flavors. (Photo: Marriott International)

Eat + Drink

11 Restaurants to Experience the Riches of Venetian Cuisine

The cuisine of Venice, Italy, is a crossroads of flavors, a melting pot of culinary traditions that reflect the city’s thousand-year history as a major maritime center. Galleons would arrive laden with exotic ingredients — spices, almonds and raisins, to name a few — that became part of the local cuisine, giving life to a truly distinct gastronomy.  

As you explore the city, make sure you pop into a bacaro (ancient tavern) to refuel with the city’s much-loved savory delicacies known as cicchetti. Here are 11 restaurants in Venice to give you an authentic taste of the local gastronomy. 

As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip.

Agli Amici Dopolavoro 

view of agli amici dopolavoro venezia, jw marriott venice resort & spa
Agli Amici Dopolavoro Venezia graces JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa with its flavorful lagoon dishes. (Photo: Marriott International)

Housed in the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa on the lush private island of Isola delle Rose is the airy and elegant Agli Amici Dopolavoro Venezia. Set in a 1920s building with beautifully preserved original features, the restaurant’s menu focuses on fish and vegetables.  

Fresh greens come from the restaurant’s kitchen garden, while the olive oil used is produced on the island. Sit back in the stylish dining area and tuck into flavorful lagoon dishes such as crab tortelli with saffron and seaweed, or spaghetti with anchovy butter, egg toffee and shoal herbs.  

This is food to soothe the soul, as befits a resort focused on well-being. The restaurant has a private dock, making it easy to zip across by boat from Venice proper.  

Sagra Rooftop Restaurant 

pasta dish from sagra rooftop, jw marriott venice
Located in the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, Sagra Rooftop Restaurant takes diners on a culinary tour of Italy. (Photo: Marriott International)

Celebrating Italian cuisine from north to south, Sagra Rooftop Restaurant is also located in the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa. Upon arrival, sit back on stylish cushioned seating with sapphire-blue and coral accents, and soak up sublime views of the lagoon and Venice skyline.  

Savor the likes of seafood risotto, cacio e pepe pasta or Milanese-style breaded veal cutlet. Come evening, patrons flock here to nibble on cicchetti and sip on expertly prepared cocktails as they watch the sun set over Italy’s fabled maritime city. 

Osteria Al Mercà 

Osteria Al Mercà is a traditional fish restaurant housed in the Lido di Venezia, a long and narrow strip of land that separates the lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. Film buffs will know this barrier island hosts the annual Venice’s Film Festival, known to attract red carpet attendees from the world over.  

Head here to savor cicchetti and flavorsome fish-based specialties including fish risotto, seppie in umido (stewed cuttlefish), and frittura mista, a dish of freshly caught and deep-fried fish and seafood in a light, perfectly crisp batter. 

Sapori Cooking Academy 

cooking class at the venice at sapori cooking academy, jw marriott venice resort & spa
Learn how to prepare some of the dishes you’ve enjoyed in Venice at Sapori Cooking Academy in the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa. (Photo: Marriott International)

You can hone your culinary skills at Sapori Cooking Academy in the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, where experienced chefs reveal the secrets of Venetian cuisine. The experience kicks off at the buzzing Rialto fish market, where you’ll learn how to pick out the freshest catch on display.  

Back at the Academy, you’ll stroll the kitchen garden and orchard to gather fresh greens and fruits before you head to the kitchen to rustle up Venetian specialties. You can also learn to make the city’s much-loved cicchetti, prepared using lagoon ingredients, then enjoy them with a glass of wine. 

Osteria Al Portego 

This rustic, lively spot tucked away on a little calle a short walk east of the Rialto Bridge offers an authentic Venetian experience. The counter of Osteria al Portego is packed with all manner of traditional cicchetti — make your choice and join the locals with a glass of spritz. 

Alternatively, take a seat at one of the tables and tuck into classic Venetian dishes such as baccalà mantecato, a deliciously creamy dish of dried cod whipped with olive oil and served with polenta or bread, and sarde in saor, deep-fried sardines marinated in vinegar, onions, raisins and pine nuts.  

There’s a good selection of Venetian wines, too. 

Gio’s Restaurant & Terrace 

gio's restaurant on the grand canal, st. regis venice.
Settings don’t get more iconic than the Grand Canal scene that accompanies diners at Gio’s Restaurant & Terrace, part of the St. Regis Venice. (Photo: Marriott International)

Head to Gio’s Restaurant & Terrace for Grand Canal-side seating on a magnificent, breeze-cooled veranda and sweeping views of the Basilica di San Giorgio.  

With its stylish white parasols, leafy trees and pastel-hued cushions scattered on cream-colored seating, Gio’s exudes a Mediterranean vibe. Come evening, candles are lit, creating a decidedly romantic ambience.  

The menu includes Venetian and Italian favorites along with a smattering of international dishes. The restaurant is part of The St. Regis Venice, which has one of the most coveted addresses in the city: Piazza San Marco, Venice’s largest square. 

Arts Bar 

art's bar cocktail, venice, italy
The mixologists at the St. Regis Venice’s acclaimed Arts Bar prepare cocktails of the highest order. (Photo: Marriott International)

The St. Regis Venice’s sophisticated Arts Bar offers seating along one of the world’s most iconic waterways: the Grand Canal. Mixologists shake up drinks that take inspiration from Venice’s rich cultural and artistic heritage, with signature cocktails inspired by celebrated artworks connected to the city.  

Settle in with an expertly crafted drink, enjoyed on velvet seating in rich hues of amber and burnt orange. Alternatively, make for the terrace, where you can sip your preferred tipple as gondolas glide past the baroque Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute across the water. Contemporary jazz tunes add to the ambience. 

La Zucca  

La Zucca offers a wide selection of plant-based dishes that are sure to entice, whether or not you’re a vegetarian. Savor the likes of rich, creamy pumpkin flan made with seasoned ricotta and butter; grilled mushrooms stuffed with pecorino cheese; and vegetable lasagna featuring fresh, seasonal greens. La Zucca in the district of San Polo, with oak-paneled walls and green-hued finishes, creating a warm and cozy feel. 

The Gritti Terrace 

gritti terrace, gritti palace, venice
Enjoy panoramic views with your meal at The Gritti Terrace, located in The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice. (Photo: Marriott International)

With seating along the waterfront, The Gritti Terrace in The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice offers some of the best views around. The sweeping panorama stretches from Punta della Dogana to Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, with the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in the near distance.  

This restaurant is perfect for a light meal, whether for lunch or an afternoon bite to refuel between sightseeing stops. On the menu, you’ll find salads, hamburgers and pasta dishes, along with zesty soups (think watermelon, strawberry and cherry tomato gazpacho) as well as fish and meat mains, such as fried calamari, grilled squid and Venetian style calf’s liver with polenta. 

Club del Doge 

pasta dish from gritti palace, a luxury collection hotel
Club del Doge in The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice celebrates Venetian culinary tradition. (Photo: Marriott International)

If you’re seeking to dine in historical surrounds, then look no further than Club del Doge Restaurant in The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice.  

Set in a 15th-century noble palace, Club del Doge offers seating in a sumptuous, gilded dining room that has seen centuries of luxurious enjoyment. If you’d rather dine al fresco, ask for a table on the canal-side terrace, which offers expansive views of the city’s main waterway.  

The cuisine celebrates Venetian culinary tradition, with dishes expertly crafted with a contemporary, international twist. You’ll find the likes of red chicory from Treviso served with puttanesca sauce and crunchy waffle, and fish dishes such as cod with lentils, miso and soy broth. 

The Gritti Epicurean School 

view of ingredients at the gritti epecurean school
For decades, The Gritti Epicurean School has been teaching cooks how to perfect their culinary skills. (Photo: Marriott International)

Part of the The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice, The Gritti Epicurean School has been teaching both budding and experienced cooks how to perfect their culinary skills since 1975. You’ll enjoy a hands-on cooking class and learn about the Venice’s rich culinary heritage.  

In addition to a visit to the Rialto Market, the masterclass includes a typical Venetian aperitivo with cicchetti at one of the city’s traditional bacari, where participants can get a feel for authentic Venetian life. The school also offers wine tastings where you can explore the differences between whites and reds from northeastern Italy.