IT’S EASY TO miss Venice’s authentic food scene. Crowds of selfie stick-wielding tourists vying for space in the narrow streets have taken a toll on the city’s reputation. I’ve traveled to Venice several times a year for more than a quarter century, and when I’m there, I head to the city’s hidden corners, frequented by an increasingly dwindling population of locals, where Venice can still be savored, even in the height of summer.
Of course, I wouldn’t miss walking through St. Mark’s Square any time of the year, and there is no shame in enjoying the staples, such as a Bellini at Harry’s Bar, dining at Cipriani’s Michelin-starred Oro restaurant, or starting the day with breakfast at the Caffè Florian. But Venice is much more than its postcard images. In many ways, the real Venice is one of Italy’s best-kept secrets.
Pasticceria RizzardiniA Venetian mainstay
Pasticceria TonoloIntricate pastries and famous sweet cakes
Torrefazione CannaregioA stellar selection of specialty coffees
Cicchetti (Small Bites)
Cantina Do MoriVenice's oldest tavern
Osteria al SqueroDine with the gondoliers
Al TimonSteaks meant for sharing
Aperitivo (Late-Afternoon Drinks)
Arts BarCocktails for creatives
Bar LonghiA haunt of Hemingway's
Taverna La FeniceBespoke cocktails steps from the opera house
Vino VeroQuiet, canalside drinks
GlamA tasting menu with Grand Canal views
AlgiubagiòA treasured secret among locals
Hostaria in CertosaPrivate island dining
Barbie Latza Nadeau Writer
Barbie Latza Nadeau is an American journalist and author based in Rome since 1996. Her books include “The Godmother” about women in the mafia and “Angel Face” about the trials of Amanda Knox. Her work regularly appears in The Daily Beast, CNN, and Scientific American.