Yes, it’s true that Venice has many tourist trap restaurants. Tourist traps don’t care about the quality of their food (and love to over charge people) as it’s a volume business, especially from the mega cruise ships. They will never see those tourists again and locals would never eat there.
Do not let the bad press discourage you. There are fantastic places to eat in Venice! The restaurant Local is one of them. I’m not going to write about the food though (which was delicious) but about the interior design and overall vibe.
The restaurant was opened in 2016 by brother and sister, Benedetta and Luca Fullin. The space used to be an electrical shop. It’s located in the Castello neighborhood between Piazza San Marco and The Arsenale.
The design like, the cuisine, is inspired by local traditional Venice but with a touch of modern international flavors.
I spoke with Benedetta during our trip last month and she told they used local artisans to make, by hand, everything from the floors, to the dishes, to the lighting, etc.
I absolutely love the Venetian Terrazzo floors.
The open planned kitchen is inviting. It’s not a cheap restaurant (our meals were included so checked prices online) but it’s not stuffy either.
The restaurant sits on a side canal, light pours in.
Local frequently showcases art, with a focus on emerging talent, from the Contini Art Gallery.
It’s not easy to find the right balance in a historic, popular tourist destination like Venice. Do you completely erase the past in order to stay current, or go in the opposite extreme? Local feels very much of its time and its location. I’m not a fan of eating in a restaurant that looks and feels generic. We eat with our eyes as well and the interior design and ambience of a restaurant shouldn’t be overlooked. Living in Los Angeles, sometimes we had the reverse situation, gorgeous spaces that were very “in” but the food was indifferent to inedible.
Twelve years had passed between my two trips to Venice. That’s ridiculous. I’d like to return sooner rather than later. I look forward to returning to Local, grabbing a seat at the bar, and trying their cicchetti.
First photo and the last two photos: Me and my iPhone.
Other photos: Ristorante Local