La Zucca is one of Venice’s best restaurants

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Without proper counsel, finding a decent restaurant in Venice is tricky.

In a city with a higher number of tourists than residents, entrepreneurial Venetians know how to make a buck off the hungry and gullible: there are enough over-priced “authentic” Italian restaurants to shake a breadstick at. That’s why it’s worth booking a restaurant you’ve been advised to: Osteria La Zucca,for example. Based on past experience, phone two days in advance if you can.

As soon as you enter La Zucca, you can tell from the wooden panelling and light flooding in from the canal-side windows that it’s a different vibe to most of Venice’s restaurants. Rarified, perhaps, but not pretentious. The waiters, who are happy to speak English, recommend mixing up the menu any way you want — no need to stick to the Italian antipasto, primo, secondo etc. 

We went for a rabbit taglatelle and aubergine lasagne — everything was fresh, light and bursting with flavour. La Zucca, which means pumpkin, is also one of the few places in quite a carnivorous town that has excellent vegetarian dishes. The pumpkin flan had us praising the squash Gods; as did a simple courgette side. €10-14 for a pasta course and just less than €20 for a main means it’s a similar price to the average tourist haunt but, unlike them, the experience won’t leave leave a bitter taste in your mouth.  

Phone + 39 041 52 41 570 to book. To get there from Generator Venice, take the 4.2 boat to Ferrovia and walk. As always in Venice's labryinthine streets, best to carry a map!