It’s pretty much a given that you’ll get some seriously good seafood by the ocean when visiting any Italian city, and the city of Venice in the northeastern region of Veneto is no different. 

With prime access to the Venetian Lagoon and fierce competition among fishermen to get their hands on the next catch, it has resulted in an abundance of seafood restaurants popping up.

In preparing to offer my Venice food tour, I’ve wined and dined in the best seafood restaurants in Venice and had my fair share of good and bad dining experiences. With that in mind, I’ve put together this list of my favorite eateries to get your hands on some delicious marine cuisine in the City of Canals.

Rio Novo


Located across from the Ponte Tre Ponti, there’s no question that Rio Novo deserves to be at the top of this list. It’s a casual seafood osteria looking out over a gorgeous canal. I initially heard about it from the person working at the reception in my hotel on a one-day to Venice.

It’s hard to find somewhere in Venice that still holds an authentic charm these days, but Rio Novo still has. When I was there, more than half of the tables were filled with locals, and the tables along the Rio Novo Canal were decorated in true Venetian style with colored umbrellas.

The menu at Rio Novo left me spoiled for choice, but the server recommended the lobster tagliatelle as a must-try. I trusted her and wasn’t disappointed. I loved the delicious blend of sweetness from the lobster and the subtle kick of garlic from the sauce.

As for the al dente tagliatelle, it was firm and chewy, exactly how every great seafood restaurant makes it.

I wasn’t expecting the lobster pasta to be served with so many lovely extras; it came out with a pile of clams, mussels, and scallops. They were tangled up in the large strings of tagliatelle and added an extra salted depth to the garlic sauce.

Rio Novo (€€) – Santa Croce, 278, 30135 Venezia VE, Italy – Every day 11:00 am to 10:00 pm

Poste Vecie


Oh, Poste Vecie, it’s one of a kind. This Italian restaurant lies next to the Rialto Market; it used to be a post office but has since been taken over and transformed into a fine-dining seafood restaurant.

I’ve never seen any restaurant like Poste Vecie in terms of ambiance, between the 1500s fireplaces and the frescoes of Cherubs illustrating the seven deadly sins; it’s a pure feast for the eyes.

What I loved about Poste Vecie is that most of their fresh fish dishes come from Venetian cuisine, making it a bit more authentic. Whether you want spider crab or creamed cod, they have it all.

It was hard for me to say no to the grilled octopus with seasonal vegetables and mashed potatoes. There was a lovely smokiness to the octopus with satisfying tenderness on the inside, which paired well with the mashed potato’s creaminess and the light green pepper’s earthy undertones.

The dish’s presentation alone was as appetizing as the aromas; the octopus curled into a circle shape, and under it was the mashed potato, and the veggies were placed on top. 

Poste Vecie (€€€) – Mercato del pesce di Rialto, San Polo, 1608, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy – Every day except Tuesday, 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 10:30 pm

Trattoria Antiche Carampane

Hidden away near Campo San Polo is the gorgeous Trattoria Antiche Carampane. I’ve been eating here for years, ever since trying my first black cuttlefish here many years ago. 

The owners, Francesco and Adriano, are true gentlemen; every time I’ve been to the restaurant, they’ve gone out of their way to make sure I enjoyed my meal. Each morning, they go to the fish market section in the Rialto and purchase the stock for the day ahead, which I find impressive.

Trattoria Antiche Carampane’s interiors resemble a traditional Italian home, with a selection of mirrors and pictures hung across the wall, and cute tables dressed in white cloths and little lampshades.

The menu at Trattoria Antiche Carampane is quite small, but everything is divine, especially the fried scampi and calamari. It was served with wasabi mayonnaise, which gives the brininess of the scampi and calamari a spicy kick and makes each crunch more satisfying than the next.

If you opt for the scampi and calamari, it should come with a lemon slice on the side. A few drops of lemon juice will balance the richness of the two types of shellfish and give it a refreshing edge.

Trattoria Antiche Carampane (€€€)Rio Terà de le Carampane, 1911, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy – Tuesday to Saturday, 12:30 to 2:30 pm, and 7:30 to 10:00 pm, closed on Sundays and Monday

Ristorante San Trovaso

Sample some of the tastiest fish from the Venetian waters at Ristorante San Trovaso, a family-owned seafood eatery close to the well-known Gallerie dell’Accademia.

If you go to Ristorante San Trovaso when the weather is nice, you’re in for a treat. They have this beautiful outdoor seating area with a a Mediterranean flare, which lines both sides of an alleyway with adorable table settings, and the windows are decorated with flourishing plants.

I always visit Ristorante San Trovaso when I need a break of cicchetti, they serve massive American-sized portions with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. During my last visit, I had the grilled eel with polenta, and I couldn’t finish it; about a quarter of the eel was still left on the plate.

The grilled eel with polenta is one dish I recommend you try at this Venice restaurant. There was a strong, savory umami flavor from the eel with some sweet notes, and the polenta was quite corny with a mild saltiness. Just make sure you arrive on an empty stomach because you won’t be able to finish it otherwise.

Ristorante San Trovaso (€€€)Calle Larga Nani, 967, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy – Every day, 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Al Conte Pescasor


A short walk from Piazza San Marco, you’ll find Al Conte Pescasor, a classic restaurant and wine bar serving all the classic fresh seafood dishes to hail from Venice, from turbot fillet to schie with fresh polenta.

The wood-beamed dining room at Al Conte Pescasor gets me every time; I adore how small and quaint it is; it reminds me of one of my old homes back in the States. The last time I was here, I spent most of my time gazing at the wine collection stored on top of the ceiling; it’s mind-boggling.

I found the Venetian seafood ​​specialties at Al Conte Pescasor to be plentiful; you can get everything, including bass, gilthead seabream, turbot, scampi, monkfish, and lobster. Name your craving, and I bet this place is serving it.

If you’re a fan of sole, you need to try Al Conte Pescasor’s charcoal grilled version of it; amazing is the only word I can use to describe it. I ordered it with baked potatoes cooked to a fine crisp and covered in chives, adding an oniony kick.

I couldn’t get over how juicy and buttery it was. Since it was charred, there was a smoky aftertaste, but the citrusy notes from the herbs balanced it out.

One of the most interesting parts about dining at Al Conte Pescasor was that my server pulled the bones out of the sole right in front of me. She gently separated the fish into halves and carefully placed them on the plate.

Al Conte Pescasor (€€) – Piscina S. Zulian, 544, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy – Every day, 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Trattoria Il Vagone

Need a bite before your train ride? Trattoria Il Vagone is another excellent spot next to Venice’s main train station, a short walk from Cannaregio. I can’t fault this place at all; the service is brilliant, the staff team is super friendly, the location is perfect, and the great food is beyond compare.

If you weren’t looking for Trattoria Il Vagone, you’d probably miss it; it’s in an unassuming location wedged down a side alleyway. Every time I’ve visited, I sat outside at one of the couple of tables they have and just watched the world go by.

There’s a delicious seafood section on offer for every course here, including appetizers, firsts, and seconds. I opted for three seafood courses on my last visit, with the tuna tartare to start, spaghetti with cuttlefish ink for firsts, and baked seabass for seconds.

The tuna tartare was served on a large black rock-made plate; the tuna was neatly chopped like Japanese sushi and had strong umami and citrusy flavors. The baked seabass was cooked in foil, had firm and flaky appearance, and only tasted mildly fishy.

It would be an understatement to say I was stuffed, but I got through it. I was particularly impressed with the high-quality spaghetti with cuttlefish ink. It wasn’t overly saline, which I enjoyed; there were some earthy undertones that came with the cuttlefish ink and a slight oily creaminess that was tasty.

Trattoria Il Vagone (€€)Calle Priuli dei Cavaletti, 106/A, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy – Every day, 12:00 pm to 11 pm


With so many great seafood restaurants in Venice, it can be overwhelming when choosing where to dine, especially when you’re looking for somewhere more authentic than the typical tourist traps.

Let me assure you that all of these foodie picks are far from overpriced, commercialized eateries. You’ll get top-notch seafood straight from the Venetian Lagoon cooked by 5-star chefs.

Want to dive deeper into the food scene in the city? Book one of our Venice food tours now.

We have a really, really good newsletter

Join over 100,000 food travel experts. Subscription is free.