Typical canal-side restaurant in Venice

Venice Food Tours

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The best private Venice food tours & experiences

The pure visual splendor of Venice, Italy’s fairytale floating city, can only be matched by one thing: its food. Surrounded by fertile islands and a rich lagoon, Venice’s local produce and abundant seafood elevate the dishes at Venetian restaurants to another level of freshness and flavor. Whether you snack on street food while watching the gondolas glide by, scope out the best traditional Venetian restaurants for a dining experience dreams are made of, or do like the locals do and fill up on cichetti – tapas-like snacks – and Veneto wines by the glass at a centuries-old bar, the Venetian food experience is always a discovery of mind-blowing flavors and textures.

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Tourists and locals dining at a restaurant along a canal in Venice
A cross-cultural flavor fusion

Venice’s history can be mapped through its food. Even at the city’s best restaurants, where tradition reigns supreme, you can expect a few surprising spices and unfamiliar flavors. The fusion food served at many Venetian restaurants today has its roots in the 13th century, when Venetian recipes required exotic ingredients like galangal and saffron. On food tours in Venice, don’t be surprised if local specialties at Venetian restaurants taste vaguely Turkish or Greek – ingredients from Venice’s preferred Spice Route trading partners have markedly influenced the city’s culinary identity.

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A plate of delicious cicchetti from a local Venetian restaurant
Tasting away from the tourist traps

Choosing the right place to eat in one of the world’s most popular cities can be tough. Many Venetian restaurants cater almost solely to travelers – stick strictly to tourist menus, and you’re bound to be disappointed. With a local insider to guide your food tours in Venice, you’ll avoid the tourist traps and instead seek out the spots where serious chefs use only hyper-local ingredients. Forget Venetian restaurants – a local will likely lead you to a hole-in-the-wall bar with no menu at all, where the dishes don’t change seasonally, but hourly, depending on the produce that’s freshest.

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Tourists and locals enjoying al fresco dining in Venice
Tapas with a twist

If you’re looking for the most authentic experience of Venetian restaurants, you’ll find it at a bacaro. Like Spain’s tapas bars, the bacaro serves varied small plates paired with Veneto wines. These flavor-packed servings, cichetti, range from basic bar snacks to Michelin-worthy morsels like pancetta-wrapped shrimp and wild boar salami – and these menus can change hour by hour. Scoping out bacari in favor of traditional Venetian restaurants is the perfect way to rub elbows with the locals, try something uniquely Venice, and taste some truly spectacular food – and lots of it!

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