The island of Burano, famed for exquisite lace-making and colourful houses, is also home to one of Venice’s finest restaurants – and it’s deliciously laidback to boot. Husband and wife Ruggero and Lucia Bovo set a jovial tone for ‘The Black Cat’, while super-charming son Massimiliano is front and centre as the maitre d’. The family is fanatical about local food, and supporting the ever-dwindling number of fishermen on Burano. Pretty much everything on the menu is netted or caught by hand in the lagoon. Feast on hyper-local specialities like homemade tagliolini with spider crab or traditional Burano risotto with goby fish. This is one of the only upmarket restaurants in Venice where there’s a real mix of clientele, thanks to the Bovo family’s focus on locals. Your neighbour on one side might be Tom Cruise; on the other it might be Andrea Rossi, the fourth-generation fisherman who caught the fish on your plate. This is Venice at its absolute best.
Ready to get lost in Venice? This city has made a name for itself as one of the most romantic destinations around, full of serene people-watching spots, cultural hubs and seriously pretty osterias. There is no place like Venice, and the best part? Drinking and dining the day away with views of the river that are unlike anywhere else on earth.
So naturally, the food offerings in Venice are second to none. Here you’ll find all the symbols of classic Italian food, done expertly. There’s classic pasta, from spaghetti vongole to black tagliolini in cuttlefish ink, as well as fresh seafood and Venetian meat dishes. A ton of different flavours, cooking styles and ingredients have collided here, so no two dishes are the same. And that’s the way it should be. Here are the best restaurants in Venice.
This guide was recently updated by Julia Buckley, a travel writer based between Venice and the UK. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.