Venetian cuisine is based on seafood, often served with risotto as a first course. Polenta, made of corn meal, is also popular. Tiramisu (mascarpone cheese, coffee, chocolate, and lady fingers) has been imported from the mainland and has become Venice’s most popular dessert.

Al Covo, Campiello della Pescaria, 3968, (039 041) 5223812. This recommendation comes from Peggy & Martin Baer, who said, ‘fantastic food,” and “fresh anchovies, blackened gnocchi followed by a grilled combination of crayfish and stingray.” The atmosphere is cheerful and the menu is mostly local seafood, with a frequent non-fish option as well. No credit cards. From San Marco, walk along the Grand Canal toward the Castello, turn left at the Gabriella Sandwirth Hotel. The restaurant will be on your left.

Al Vagon, Cannaregio 5619, (039 041) 5285626. At vaporetto stop Ca d’Oro, line 1.

Alle Oche, Santa Croce, 1552, (039 041) 5241161. Popular with college students and families and is well known for the fifty-some varieties of pizza, possibly the world’s best.

Antica Besseta, Santa Croce, 1395, (039 041) 721687. On the Salizada da Ca’ Zusto (at the end of Calle Savio), is found at vaporetto stop Riva Biasio. This recommendation came to us by Christine & Tof Schlitz of Wilmington, DE, who said, “This came recommended to us by two lawyers from Padua. It is a dining adventure. Best grilled fish in Italy. Prices are moderate. Make reservations.”

Antica Locanda Montin, Dorsoduro, 1147, (039 041) 5227151. Near S. Trovaso, this restaurant has also been recommended to us by the Baers, who enjoyed a wonderful lunch here. Note the paintings by famous modern painters. This used to be a favorite spot of Peggy Guggenheim, who took many leading artists of the time to dine here.

Antica Mola, Fondamenta degli Ormesini, 2800, (039 041) 710168. In Cannaregio, serves classic Venetian cuisine.

Antica Trattoria Furatola, Calle Lunga San Barnaba, 2870, (039 041) 5208594. A low profile little fish place with an open kitchen.

Antica Trattoria Da Nino, Campo S. Provolo, 4858, (039 041) 5285266. Serves typical Venetian specialties.

Antiche Carampane, San Polo, 1911, (039 041) 716269. Suggested dishes: Caparozoi (Lagoon clams) alla Savonarola, St. Peter’s fish prepared with red lettuce, and Mullet cooked with red wine.

Bentigodi/Osteria da Andrea, Sestiere Cannaregio, 1423, (039 041) 716269.

Cantinone Storico, Dorsoduro, 660, (039 041) 5239577. Near the American Hotel. This recommendation came to us from Richard & Colette Martin of Worthington, OH, who said, “lovely food, service, and dining room.”

Cip’s Club, Isola della Giudecca, 10, (039 041) 520774. Located in the Belmond Hotel, this is the more informal dining room at the luxurious complex located on an island across from San Marco which can be reached by private launch. The dining room is cozy, and the view of San Marco from the outdoor deck is worth at least half of the rather steep price of lunch.

Corte Sconta, Calle del Pestrin, Castello, 3886, (039 041) 5227024. Although somewhat difficult to find, this is a fine seafood restaurant.

Da Mario Alla Fava, Calle Stagneri, 5242, (039 041) 5285147. This recommendation came to us from Tom Tully and Diane Meyer, who said it to have lovely atmosphere and excellent service.

Trattoria alla Madonna, Calle della Madonna, 594, (039 041) 5223824.

Harry’s Bar, Calle Vallaresso, 1323, (039 041) 5285777. A Venetian institution once frequented by Ernest Hemmingway and other luminaries. Although the crowd is mostly tourists, stop in for one of their famous cocktails and to watch the scene.

Osteria Ai Canottieri, Cannaregio, 690, (039 04) 717999. Near the Tre Archi bridge, vaporetto line 52, this is a friendly and inexpensive neighborhood restaurant with a great fish menu.

Osteria da Fiore, Sestiere San Polo, 2202, (039 041) 721308. A small, upscale restaurant. Its menu features seafood from the Venetian lagoon, and the traditional Venetian cooking style is refined and artistic. Although extensive wine lists are rare in Venice, there is a good list here, featuring regional labels. The desserts are equally impressive. Don’t be fooled by the fact that there is another restaurant with the same name in Venice. This is the one you want.

La Perla, Sestiere Cannaregio, 4614, (039 041) 5285175. In front of the Cinema Giorgione. A pizzeria/trattoria.

Fiaschetteria Toscana, San Giovanni, Cannaregio, 5719, (039 041) 5285281. An easy 5 minute walk from the Rialto, near the Campo Santa Marina. The food is delicious and the ambience elegant. Be sure to sample the Venetian specialty, seppia con polenta, squid in its own ink.

Vini da Gigio, Cannaregio 3628/a, (039 041) 5285140. A friendly, rustic restaurant, unusual for Venice in that the wines are a bigger attraction than the food.