Boats and gondolas on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy on a grey day.
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24 Hour Food Guide For Venice – A Self Guided Tour For Foodies in Venice, Italy

Last updated on March 17th, 2024

Are you a foodie with an upcoming trip to Venice? 

What if I told you it’s easy to take yourself on a food tour in Venice, Italy with a little help and knowledge. I have been living just a short train ride from Venice for over a decade now, giving me ample opportunity to visit the magical floating city of Venice. 

As a food writer myself, it’s my job to try and eat as much food in a city when I visit it, trying to capture the most of the local culinary identity of that city while tasting as much food and drink as I go. 

In this guide, I will share my carefully-planned 24 hour food guide for Venice, taking you to the most important places and hidden gems for coffee, breakfast, gelato, seafood, aperitivo and restaurants in Venice. 

Whether you are a family, a solo traveler or a newlywed couple, one of the best ways to tour Venice is through its food and cicchetti grazing culture. Let’s begin!

Do you have more time in Venice? Consider my 48 hour food guide for a longer tour.

How To Use This 24 Hour Food Guide For Venice

This guide is for people who want to spend a whole day in Venice visiting the city from a culinary perspective. I am not concentrating on the main tourist attractions but rather, where you should be spending your time eating and drinking in Venice. 

If you want to incorporate other non-food related activities, that is fine but you may need to cut some of my food recommendations out. 

In this guide, I will provide a walking map of my top suggestions as a foodie in Venice. Start at the beginning in the morning and make your way through all my top gelaterias, bars, bacari, markets, restaurants and food souvenir shops. 

Most of your time in Venice will be eaten up (no pun intended) with time spent eating or visiting food related places. There isn’t too much free time for other top tourist attractions but if there is, I will note when you have time to do something else and what makes sense to do in this area. 

Good To Know: If at all possible, don’t plan your 24 hour food guide tour for Venice on Monday and Wednesday when some of my suggestions are closed. 

Walking Map Of 24 Hour Food Guide For Venice

Morning Food Guide For Venice

Breakfast

The best way to eat breakfast in Italy is Italian-style with a small sweet bite and a coffee beverage

Pasticceria Tonolo

Woman works behind glass counter display full of Venetian pastries.

Closed: Mondays

Pasticceria Tonolo is one of Venice’s most famous spots for breakfast and for after school snacks among school children. 

The bar and bakery is most famous for their frittelle during the Carnevale celebration in the New Year. If you don’t come at this time, I suggest you order one of their cream puffs, filled with chantilly cream, pastry cream, chocolate cream and many other specialty flavors. 

Pasticceria Tonolo is my top pick for foodies traveling to Venice because it also serves some of the best coffee in Venice alongside their excellent pastries, cakes and other desserts

Visit To The Rialto Market

After breakfast, head to Venice’s famous open air market selling some of the lagoon’s best seafood and local produce. 

This is a great time to slowly walk through the various food stalls, taking pictures, sampling local specialties and perhaps buying some snacks for later (particularly good for vegans, vegetarian and gluten-free snacks.

Start at either end, the fish section or fresh produce section, and work your way through the entire market. For a full guide on what to look for and buy at the Rialto Market, read Shopping at Venice’s Rialto Market

Aliani Casa del Parmigiano

Entrance to Casa del Parmigiano shop in Venice, Italy. Man working behind counter helping two customers.

Right off the produce section of the Rialto market you will come to Campo Bella Vienna where you will see this cheese shop, Aliani Casa del Parmigiano, one of the oldest and most famous cheese shops in Venice selling a wide selection of local cheese, cured meats and olives

Mid Morning Coffee Break

Feeling tired yet? Stop for some of the best coffee in Venice just off the Rialto market. 

Caffe Del Doge

White espresso cup and saucer on glass bar counter in Italy.

At this point you may be looking for a caffeine boost. If so, head to Caffe del Doge, one of the best established places for coffee in Venice.

Caffe del Doge is not well known for their interior or food but rather, their casual tables that line a quiet street hidden just off the main drag with amazing locally roasted coffee blends and 100% Arabica coffee. 

The staff is happy to walk you through their different blends and find the best one for you to try depending on what kind of coffee beverage you like. And if they capture your heart like they did mine, bring their coffee home as a souvenir or gift

Foodie Shopping

Next stop on your foodie tour is to do some food shopping. Take some time to stop at these famous food shops, browsing some of the best food products and local wine Venice has to offer. 

Bring It Home: For a full guide on food shopping in Venice read Food Souvenirs to Purchase in Venice

Drogheria Mascari

Entrance to Mascari and window display of food souvenirs in Venice, Italy.

Drogheria Mascari is a historic institution for locals with one of the best selection of local foods and ingredients. Whatever you are looking for, Mascari has it from spices, honey and jams to chutney, spirits, chocolates and candy

Every corner of this charming, old school, wood-paneled store is full of amazing food items to savor and try. Because they cater to the locals as well as tourists, they have a good selection of basics such as artisan pasta, rice, olive oil and vinegar.

Giacomo Rizzo

Window display and entrance to Giacomo Rizzo shop in Venice, Italy. In the window are pastas and food souvenirs.

Giacomo Rizzo is where you should be coming if you are shopping for pasta lovers. This small artisan shop sells everything and anything that has to do with pasta with attention to ‘Made in Italy’ brands in all shapes, colors and sizes. 

They also have a wide selection of pre packaged sauces and other condiments, ideal for creating an Italian themed gift basket to bring home. 

I suggest buying Venice’s local pasta shape, bigoli, a type of thick spaghetti made from buckwheat flour or squid ink flavored spaghetti. 

Mille Vini

Entrance and window display at Mille Vini in Venice, Italy. Wines in the window and a few people in the end of the street on left of entrance.

Millevini is Venice’s largest and most curated wine shop just off the Rialto bridge. Even if you don’t know much about wine, don’t worry. The staff is willing to help you sort through the walls of wine until you find the bottle that is just right for you.  

Mid-Day Food Guide For Venice

Depending on how much food shopping you do, you may have some extra time to sit down with an aperitivo on the water. If not, have a glass of wine standing before heading to lunch. 

Aperitivo

Before you eat lunch in Venice, it’s traditional to drink something beforehand. 

Bacarando Corte dell’Orso

Open: Daily

Bacarando Corte dell’Orso is one of the most famous bacari in Venice to visit for a large selection of cicchetti including classics such as sarde in saor or baccalà mantecato on crostini or slices of polenta, savory quiches, small sandwiches, a large selection of cheese, charcuterie, and seafood crostini and various seafood skewers. 

Get in line and order your cicchetti and spritz at the counter. I suggest you eat your cicchetti and wine standing inside or just outside on the benches. You can opt to sit down but if you sit now, you might not make it to lunch! 

Lunch 

Rosticceria Gilson

Open: Daily 9:00 am – 9:30 pm

Rosticceria Gilson is one of my favorite lunch spots that I recommend to visitors in Venice, especially on a food tour or foodie itinerary such as this. This casual takeout spot or tavola calda (cafeteria style eatery) serves a  wide selection of high quality food at a good bargain.

When I am organizing food tours to people, I like to give a ‘light lunch’ option since we are basically eating all day. At Rosticceria Gilson this means traditional street food items such as mozzarella in carrozza or a tramezzino to eat standing at the bar or at the window counters. 

Alternatively, if you are looking for something more substantial, you can find it too. Choose from things like lasagne, fish, grilled seafood skewers, whole grain salads, vegetables of the day, and roasted meats.  

If you choose from the first and second courses, they will warm the food up and you can eat it at one of their tables. It’s very casual, full of locals and always good. I can’t recommend it more! 

Good To Know: They have plenty of vegetarian and vegan options to choose from.

Mid-Afternoon Snack

Hand holds up large cup of gelato in front of Bacaro del Gelato in Venice, Italy.

At this point you have some free time to walk around downtown Venice. You don’t want to go too far but rather, stick to the central area of San Marco and the Zattere boardwalk if you want to be on the water. 

Here are my top suggestions for spending a few hours:

  • In Piazza San Marco, opting for a visit to the Basilicata or a climb up St. Mark’s bell tower.
  • Getting some of the best gelato in Venice
  • Take a ride on the Vaporetto through the Grand Canal
  • Visit the famous Ponte dei Sospiri

Evening Food Guide For Venice

Self Guided Bacaro Tour

One of the best ways to visit Venice and learn about their culinary traditions is through their tradition of eating cicchetti. Taking yourself on a bacaro tour is the best way to sample the creme della creme of cicchetti in Venice

Since you have been eating all day, I suggest you hit up three bacari or cicchetti bars all within a relatively short radius.

More Cicchetti: For travelers with more time in Venice, consider a longer bacaro tour, which  you can follow in What is a Bacaro + A Self-Guided Bacaro Tour.

Stop 1: Osteria Bancogiro

Closed: Monday

Osteria Bancogiro is most famous for their chic and elegant cicchetti plated with a modern touch in a rustic and casual atmosphere. Their most famous cicchetti are the gluten-free raw seafood cicchetti and their curried shrimp salad served on either polenta or on a crispy slice of bread. 

Eat your cicchetti standing indoors or outdoors.

Good To Know: Osteria Bancogiro is also one of my favorite places to drink after dinner and eat with kids in Venice.

Stop 2: Bar All’Arco

Closed: Wednesday

Bar All’Arco is considered by both locals and tourists the most famous bacaro in all of Venice, serving up the best baccalà mantecato in the city.

This hole in the wall has a wide selection of traditional crostini cicchetti alongside small glasses of wine called ombra in Italian. 

You’ll be lucky if you get a table outside (I never have) so eat and drink standing in the traditional way either indoors or outdoors.  

Stop 3: Cantina Do Spade

Fried cicchetti on trays in a display case in Venice, Italy.

Open: Daily

Cantina Do Spade is known for their fried meatballs, my favorite being the spicy meat one. 

Cantina Do Spade is also a restaurant, which doesn’t leave much space to sit down. I suggest you enjoy your fried nibble and €1 bicchierino of wine at the bar standing or outside on one of the benches. 

Dinner In Venice

Coming to Venice and not visiting the Cannaregio neighborhood is sinful so we dine there on this 24 hour food guide for Venice. 

Vini Da Gigio

Entrance to Vini da Gigio on a canal in Venice, Italy. People walk along the canal past the entrance.

Vini Da Gigio is a sophisticated Venetian restaurant serving traditional local dishes, alongside an extensive wine list. 

Located just on a small canal in the Cannaregio neighborhood, Vini Da Gigio is my top pick for foodies looking to try traditional Venetian cuisine such as sarde in saor, fegato alla Veneziana and tiramisù

Vini Da Gigio is dedicated to serving seasonal and local dishes, using only local produce from the small island of Osti. Expect their menu to change and go with the season, a true sign of good quality food in Venice. 

Good To Know: Vini Da Gigio is one of the best restaurants in Venice to try and buy wines.

After Dinner Drinks In Venice

To end your evening in Venice, finish with a nightcap, be it a cocktail, digestivo, spritz or glass of wine!

For the best bars in Venice to check out after dinner, you can choose between the Fondamenta dei Ormesini, relatively closeby or walk the longer distance to the hip neighborhood of Dorsoduro, further away. 

Both locations are great local neighborhoods. I suggest you make your decision based on weighing the potential benefits and consequences of how much you feel you need to walk off all the food you have enjoyed in Venice today! 

Option 1: Fondamenta dei Ormesini

People sitting at tables along canal in Venice, Italy.

A wide canal off the beaten track in the Cannaregio neighborhood, full of students, young crowds and locals. I specifically recommend Al Timon and Vino Vero but any of the other cute bars along the canal are great options including Sullaluna Libreria & Bistro for a quieter evening.

Late Night Gelato: For an evening gelato, check out Il Bacaro del Gelato on the Fondamente dei Ormesini in Venice. 

Option 2: Campo Santa Margherita

Woman with a glass of wine in front of entrance to Al Portego in Venice, Italy in the evening. Stickers and signs fill the windows.
My last drink before I hit the sack in Venice

One of the largest off the beaten path squares to enjoy in the hip Dorsoduro neighborhood in Venice lined with many good restaurants, bacari, bars and gelaterias! 

I suggest you get a drink at Caffe Rosso, an old bar in the square open late and full of locals. Choose to have your drink either sitting down at one of the tables, indoors or in a plastic cup standing and mingling in the square. 

Venice bound? Get prepared with all of our Venice posts:
20+ Must-Try Foods And Drinks In Venice – And My Favorite Places To Eat Them
What Are Cicchetti? + Where To Eat Them In Venice
What Is A Bacaro? + A Local’s Self Guided Bacaro Tour Itinerary
My Favorite Cicchetti In Venice – The 10 Best Bacari To Try
Best Restaurants in Venice + Nearest Cicchetti Stops
Best Gelato In Venice – My Italian Family’s 10 Favorite Gelaterie
7 Food Markets In Venice Worth Your Time
Where To Get Coffee In Venice
Where To Eat Breakfast In Venice – A Local’s Favorite Breakfast Nooks
10 Amazing Bakeries In Venice – Where to Get Your Pastry On
Best Spots In Venice For Aperitivo – My Top Bars & Squares for Pre-Dinner Drinks
Dinner On The Water In Venice – My Top 7 Restaurants
Best Pizza In Venice – My ‘Don’t Miss’ List
My Favorite After Dinner Drink Spots In Venice
Shopping at the Rialto Market in Venice – Tips + Printable
5 Street Foods To Try In Venice & Where Eat Them
Best Places To Get Takeout In Venice – My Top Picks
Where To Eat Before Catching Your Train At The Venice Santa Lucia Train Station
My Favorite Food Chains To Try In Venice
Eating Gluten-Free In Venice – Restaurants, Cicchetti & Gelato
Gluten-Free Cicchetti In Venice – What To Order (& Avoid) and How to Order
Eating Vegetarian In Venice – My Top Five Vegetarian Friendly Restaurants + Tips
Eating Vegan In Venice, Italy – My Top Five Vegan Friendly Restaurants

Eating in Venice While Pregnant
8+ Kid Friendly Restaurants In Venice
Best Squares To Eat And Drink With Kids In Venice
24 Hour Food Guide For Venice – A Self Guided Tour For Foodies in Venice
Eating Around Venice in 48 hours – 2 Day Venice Itinerary For Foodies
10 Best Food Souvenirs From Venice, Italy + Where I Buy Them