A big challenge in Venice is finding good (or even mediocre) food in Venice. You can pretty much forget about authentic (unless you take the Venice Bites Food Tour!). On my trip to Venice last November, I was determined to find a decent meal, and I think I did fine with Ai Garzoti!
Ai Garzoti is a small pizza restaurant located near Venice’s train station in Santa Croce, on a small canal. Since there were six of us, I made a reservation via telephone before we left the US and we still had to wait a few minutes! The menu consists of many different types of thin crust pizza, pastas, salads, and a handful of other offerings. The wine list is on a blackboard in the restaurants, and is very reasonable!
We started with a plate of mixed appetizers, which turned out to be a delicious sampling of cicchetti. I particularly enjoyed the mozzarella en carrozza, which I love but had never actually had in Italy!
For main courses, everyone went with the pizza. We were at a pizza place, and may reviews rate Ai Garzoti as some of the best pizza in Venice! I think most of us would agree except Aunt Di. She said her pizza did not have nearly enough anchovies (and you’ll have to take her word because I did not get a photograph of her pizza) ! As you can see, the pizzas are done in a wood oven with thin crust and a wide variety of toppings!
I will definitely recommend Ai Garzoti to friends visiting Venice, and will 100% return myself. Ai Garzoti was a lovely break from the tourist-heavy restaurants of San Marco’s Square and Rialto and the food was high quality. While there is better pizza in Italy, Ai Garzoti is a very, very solid option.
Since the restaurant is so small and very popular, I recommend making reservations in advance, especially for dinner during high season. There is also a local grocery store right next door, which is a great place for picking up Italian candy and food products to take home at a much lower cost than you will find in more touristy places!
STEAL OUR TRIP
Ai Garzoti: Santa Croce, 890, 30100 Venezia, Italy. T: +39 041 716636. Open daily 10:30 – 15:00 and 18:00 – 20:30. Reservations recommended.
ON A BUDGET
In touristy Venice, Ai Garzoti is a budget find. The pizzas are almost all under €10,00 and are very big. You could easily split one with a friend. Plus, the wine selection is very affordable, with glasses of house wine starting at €1,50.