The most popular district in Venice is the area whose main axis is from the Rialto to Piazza San Marco, and thus small area of Venice has many places to eat, a majority of them touristy. Yet local places can be found! Here are some tips from our Prontopia locals on where to eat in San Marco.
Although it includes the most known attractions for a visitor, not amazingly it is the least inhabited of the six sestieri that make up the city. The soaring of the rentals and the closure of the neighbourhood shops have been being pushed away the residents to more affordable areas and the mainland for decades. Recently, many places where to eat or drink have sprouted and there is no scarcity in the choice. Many traditional eateries are worthy of a recommendation as well as many of the newer ones.
For quite inexpensive meals, go to Rosso Pomodoro, very close to the Piazza. It’s part of a Neapolitan chain that has restaurants as far as Reykjavik and Los Angeles. The pizza is excellent as well as the pasta or the dishes with fresh buffalo mozzarella.
The chefs’ imagination also unveils in their good desserts.
For a more typical Venetian meal and in the same price range, visit Enoteca Al Volto, just behind the two beautiful palaces on the Grand Canal that make up the town hall. It offers both cicchetti, for a quick mid-morning snack, and complete tasty meals. In the area near the Rialto bridge, a hearty quick meal can be consumed at Rosticceria Gislon, in the busy Calle della Bissa: try the mozzarella in carrozza, deep-fried mozzarella with anchovies, or their fish risotto. It can be quite congested at lunchtime when you’ll be lucky to find a seat but you can still eat standing. In the proximity of the large Campo San Stefano, is Osteria al Bacareto whose deep-fried vegetables and seafood are divine. For a set price of €15 excluding beverages, Rosa Salva (one of the best patisseries in town) offers buffet lunches in the magnificent Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti, next to the Accademia Bridge. Once inside the building, turn left and behind an unmarked door is the place.
If you’re looking something fancier, a few costly first-class restaurants are in the sestiere and all very close to or in the Piazza. La Caravella is the restaurant of the Hotel Saturnia in a cosy atmospheric setting. Inside the historical Caffè Quadri, under the portico of the Procuratie Vecchie, there are two grand restaurants, the Quadrino on the ground floor, and the Quadri on the first floor. Both of them are top quality with the Quadrino offering a relatively down-to-earth setting compared to its big brother upstairs which also boasts a Michelin star.
Opposite, under the Procuratie Nuove, is the Florian, the oldest café still existing. Opened in 1720, it is a fascinating traditional location where you can have from a coffee to a complete meal. Naturally, the service is perfect, and watching the ability of the waiters to carry the large trays filled with dishes and glasses is mesmerizing.
If you need help to navigate in the sestiere of San Marco, book a connection with a Prontopia local and get an in-person help!