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What to Eat in Venice: 5 Best Foods & Dishes to Try

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Clam pasta at a restaurant in Venice, Italy

Clam pasta at a restaurant in Venice, Italy

The food of Venice reflects the city’s heritage, history of exploration, and local ingredients, and our top five dishes to try there demonstrate the variety of flavor, cultural history, and charm.

Whether harvested along the floodplains, cultivated from the sea, or imported from distant lands known for their spices, sunlight, or buttery flavors, Venice’s position in the eponymous lagoon has separated it from invaders and allowed the city to expand across Veneto and the Adriatic Sea.

Venice follows the traditions of the cucina povera by focusing on the profusion and quality of seasonal elements that elevate the tastes you can experience during your trip.

  1. 1. Bigoli
  2. 2. Clams
  3. 3. Risotto with Goby
  4. 4. Grana Padano DOP
  5. 5. Squid Ink
  6. Discover the Best Dishes to Try on Your Trip to Venice

1. Bigoli

Bigoli in Salsa

Bigoli in Salsa

Bigoli noodles are made from buckwheat flour and resemble a wider spaghetti noodle. They have a rich history dating back to the 17th century, but the genesis of the name remains shrouded in mystery.

Whether sampling the traditional Venetian dish of bigoli in salsa or learning how to make the noodles during a private cooking class, you can indulge in the variety of flavors and textures bigoli provides in every dish. Discover more culinary possibilities during your Italy trip by exploring the most popular types of pasta to try on vacation in Italy.

2. Clams

Steamed clams

Steamed clams

Seafood plays a vital role in Venetian cuisine and clams are essential to its greater culinary heritage. Pencil-thin razor clams are easy to gather, have a luscious texture and rich flavor, and remain a joy when treated with butter or olive oil.

Clams are abundant in the waters surrounding the city and provide a variety of flavors, from surprisingly sweet to salty, representing a delectable taste of historical and contemporary Venice. Clams are generally available year-round, but can be difficult to find in the peak of summer, making an Italy tour in September a great time to visit.

3. Risotto with Goby

Risotto with Goby

Risotto with Goby

Risotto with goby captures the customary heritage of Venice’s cucina povera, a dish once enjoyed by the poor, who created unique flavors out of necessity. The dish typically includes risotto, vegetables, and wine, with the goby fish being easy to find in the lagoon.

With local flavors that combine seasonal ingredients, the dish offers an excellent introduction to the rich and historic flavors of the city. With so many excellent flavors to pair with it, you can find new opportunities to discover the Veneto region during a personalized Venice tour.

4. Grana Padano DOP

Grana Padano Cheese

Grana Padano Cheese

Grana Padano is a hard cheese with a high fat content. The crumbly, flaky, and grainy texture stems from the length of maturation, in addition to the strength of the robust nutty and semi-sweet flavor, and fruity aroma.

The characteristics and aromas of the cheese emerge from the herbaceous grasses on which cows forage. When aged up to 20 months, you can find a more savory and complex taste, supporting Grana Padano’s nickname as the King of Cheeses. You can sample it in Venice and find more information thereon with our ideas on the best Italian cheeses and where to try them in Italy.

5. Squid Ink

Risotto al Nero di Sepia, squid ink risotto

Risotto al Nero di Sepia

Squid ink in Venetian cuisine is popular as a base for risotto, resulting in the typical dish of risotto al nero di seppia.

The addition of squid ink provides the rice with a luscious texture, while infusing it with an umami flavor.

The visual aesthetic allows the vegetables inside the dish to burst with color in front of a backdrop of flavorful black rice during your Venice trip or when on a northern Italy tour.

Discover the Best Dishes to Try on Your Trip to Venice

Gondola on quiet canal next to restaurant in Venice, Italy

Gondola on quiet canal next to restaurant in Venice, Italy

Venice is renowned for its serene canals and glamorous marble palaces, but the entire culinary experience captures the regional spirit, from the mountains to the lagoon. The unique location reflects the best of the region’s cuisine.

Whether on a luxury Italy tour or looking for the best experiences on an Italy tour for couples, find inspiration for your trip with Zicasso’s Italy travel guide or our Italy food and wine travel guide.

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