Venice

Osteria alle Testiere

Intimate and informal, Osteria alle Testiere takes a pass on touristy pizzas and pastas in favor of market-fresh fish.

Catch of the day

You won’t find pizza or heavy bolognese sauce here. Chef Bruno Cavagni is wholeheartedly devoted to the freshest fish preparations in the Venetian lagoon. Dishes might be as simple as a John Dory fillet with citrus sauce and fresh herbs or as creative as a black risotto cuttlefish and a bright yellow pepper coulis. The market-driven menu focuses on balance. Potato gnocchi can be indulgent, but the addition of tender newborn squid keeps things fresh, both in flavor and in concept.

Intimate and artsy

Good luck getting a table at this informal osteria. The restaurant holds just nine tables. It’s especially popular with artists and is in high demand during the Venice Biennale, one of the largest art exhibitions in the world. It’s accompanying film festival is also the oldest in the world.

Central location

It’s typically a good rule of thumb to steer clear of major tourist attractions when looking for quality dining. Alle Testiere is an exception. Just off the Campo Santa Maria Formosa, the restaurant lies about halfway between Venice’s most famous bridges, the Ponte Rialto and the Ponte dei Sospiri.