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Restaurant in Venice Italy

Ristorante Antico Dolo a Rialto, Ruga Rialto 778, Venice Italy

Antico Dolo Restaurant

Venice is rather a lousy place to eat seafood. Doesn’t that seem like a contradiction with all the sea around here but it is true.

Perhaps it is because so many of the restaurants in Venice cater to tourists, and many restaurants in Italy, but more particularly in Venice, see tourists as undiscerning. They see the tourists flooding into the McDonald's, Burger King, and KFC restaurants that have become so popular in Venice and think they don't need to make much of an effort either.

These types of restaurants are easy to spot, though; they are normally on the main tourist routes, and their menus often feature dishes like spaghetti bolognese, pasta alfredo, or other things Italians don't actually eat. If you still aren't sure about a restaurant, then check the ratings on Google or Tripadvisor. Some of the reviews are so bad it is frightening.

Good news, though: a few places do maintain the culinary traditions of old and serve great food that is always fresh.

The Antico Dolo is one of those, certainly one of the top restaurants in Venice.

Located close to the Rialto Bridge, this establishment occupies a building with a fascinating history as a bustling 15th-century brothel. Today, its menu proudly showcases a selection of classic Venetian dishes from that era, including the renowned tripe rissa. For tripe enthusiasts, this delightful culinary masterpiece is an absolute must-try.

Back in 1989, Bruno Ruffini and his family took over the restaurant, transforming it into a beacon of hope in Venice. With love, unwavering dedication, and a rare customer service ethic often absent in other Venetian restaurants, they have turned this place into a true success story. Today, it stands as a shining example of what can be achieved with passion and commitment.

Bruno will only serve fresh food in his restaurant, and being near Ruga Rialto (the main fresh produce and fish market), the location of the restaurant could not be better. Most mornings at first light, you will find Bruno or the chefs Matteo and Stefania at the market, buying the ingredients for the day's menu.

The restaurant has won many awards for its innovative dishes, which often add slightly personal touches to traditional Venetian recipes.

Despite being small, or perhaps because of it, the atmosphere is very intimate, and the service is friendly and efficient.

Prices are also very reasonable considering that this is Venice and considering the quality of the food served here. Even with three or four courses and a decent bottle of wine, the price shouldn’t exceed 70 Euros a head.

What to eat Anything seafood, including the mixed seafood antipasto for two, is a good idea; it includes many of the traditional seafood dishes from the Veneto.

Another good option is the tripe, and of course, they also do a great version of Cicchetti. If you don't know what Cicchetti are then you're in for a real treat. Basically, it is a Venetian tradition similar to tapas in Spain and consists of lots of delectable and mostly traditional little treats. You can't really explain it—you need to get to Venice and try it for yourself.

The menu here changes regularly depending on the season, so make sure you ask the staff what they recommend.

So, if you are searching for good restaurants in Venice Italy, search no more. Your search can finally come to an end right here. 

Buon appetito!

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