Wine and Spirits
A selection of alcohol-free mixers and aperitifs for a healthy, holistic cocktail...
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Venice is wholly unlike any other Italian city travelers have previously fallen head-over-heels for. From sipping cocktails on the waterfront to immersing yourself in the historic architecture found within Piazza San Marco, this city is a fleeting confluence of culture and history. Each summer, crowds flock to Venice to explore the canals, but visiting over shoulder season lets travelers find serenity while strolling along luxury shopping street Calle Vallaresso. When you’re not shopping or learning about the prominent Venetian families that built this city, your time is best spent enjoying leisurely meals at our favorite high-end Venice restaurants. Here, eight restaurants in Venice the luxury traveler can’t miss:
Estro Vino e Cucina
Come to Estro Vino e Cucina for the natural wine selection—featuring more than 700 bottles sourced from all over Europe—stay for the modern take on Venetian-Mediterranean food that earned this restaurant a Michelin star. One of the many reasons to love Estro is the classic Italian wine bar atmosphere it offers. It’s an intimate, unpretentious, welcoming place to enjoy their exceptional cuisine and sample a host of natural wines by the glass or bottle. Estro was started by two brothers—Alberto and Dario—in 2014; Alberto runs the kitchen, while Dario manages the wine list and front-of-house operations.
The latest it-restaurant in Venice is the two Michelin-starred GLAM in Palazzo Venart Hotel Venezia, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner. The upscale hotel sets the tone for the chic, intimate restaurant within. GLAM’s magnolia tree-lined patio hosts no more than 40 guests at a time to ensure five-star-level personalized service. The menu—designed in the classic Italian style with starters, primi, and secondi—is a la carte, though diners can also opt for the €145 tasting menu. The eight-course menu, called the Art, Gardens, and Lagoon menu, allows guests to discover Venetian culture with every bite.
An Alajmo brothers venture, Ristorante Quadri is the only restaurant in Venice’s Piazza San Marco. The building—restored by Philippe Starck in 2018—is just as exceptional as the meal you’ll enjoy inside. The best way to experience Quadri’s innovative cuisine is by choosing one of their two tasting menus: the Classico or the Quadri. The summer tasting menus, designed by Max Alajmo, incorporate Mediterranean flavors and use the freshest ingredients—like fish from Rialto market—to produce an overwhelming culinary and sensory experience.
With a terrace overlooking the Venice waterfront, Riviera Ristorante challenges the notions of classic Italian cuisine—deconstructing beloved dishes to offer a modernized expression of Venetian fare. Riviera is the perfect romantic date night spot; choose between their “Small Market” tasting menu—eight courses for €98—offering a “small but substantial interpretation of the daily market,” or their 12-course, €125 “Big Market” spread. The restaurant’s aim is to showcase the best of Venetian produce and seafood, and achieve “balance” in flavor profiles, nutrition, and seasonal ingredients.
Corte Sconta has the feel of a classic trattoria but with highly memorable culinary offerings—it’s widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in Venice. With an idyllic patio and a seafood-forward menu, this spot regularly earns Michelin acclaim, but if you dine during the day, it still feels like an accessible restaurant you can take the kids to. Their creativity comes through not only in the set menu but in their daily specials, which tend to bill at a higher price point, often featuring hard-to-find ingredients.
Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia
Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia is found inside the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner on the private Isola delle Rose. Michelin-starred restaurant Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia, by Fabio Trabocchi, features an ever-rotating menu focused on the day’s best produce and locally sourced ingredients. Diners can take a private boat ride to the restaurant and will be completely enamored with the tasteful and deliberate restaurant design.
Ristorante Osteria da Fiore
This restaurant is “an osteria in name only,” says the ViaMichelin, which touts Osteria da Fiore’s “elegant ambiance” and highly recommends snagging one of the “two romantic tables overlooking the canal.” Helmed by Mara Martin, who also runs a cooking school out of Osteria da Fiore, there is a surprising and delightful emphasis on aromatic cuisine here, showcasing “aromas and scents typical of a Venice that remains unchanged over time.” Chef Martin’s elegant gastronomy is what continues to put this osteria on the fine dining map year after year.
Locanda Cipriani can be anything you want it to be—a luxury inn, a quaint coffee shop, a wedding venue, or a Michelin-starred restaurant. This Cipriani family-backed establishment really does check all the boxes. The restaurant itself has a charming garden-adjacent terrace for diners in the summer, and an inviting fire that guests can sip wine beside in the winter. The dinner menu, of course, features Cipriani family favorites, which perfectly complement Locanda Cipriani’s wide selection of Friulian and Venetian wine.