Romance, Good Food, and History at Ristorante da Raffaele

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Eat Like a Local in Venice

Travelers find history, romance, fine food, and great service at Ristorante da Raffaele in Venice.

Travelers find history, romance, fine food, and great service at Ristorante da Raffaele in Venice. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

In a town full of tourists, service at a restaurant can sometimes be a bit aloof, a tad uncaring. After all, everyone knows that you are unlikely to be back after this current meal anytime soon, if ever. Why put a lot into it? Year in, year out, dealing with tourists can be tiresome, and, in some restaurants, that tiredness shows. The tourists themselves, of course, sometimes bring bad service onto themselves, insisting that things be just like they are back where they are from.

Tempted by the dining room at Ristorante da Raffaele. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Tempted by the dining room at Ristorante da Raffaele. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The Brawny Sherpa and I find Ristorante da Raffaele accidentally as we are walking in the vicinity of the palazzo where we are staying. Following our general rule of travel—choose the second viable choice you come across, as the first is likely to be the first stop of many fellow travelers, but the second is more likely to have to work harder for your business—we peer in the restaurant one dark night and like what we see: couples eating with gusto, warm lighting, intriguing old weapons on the wall. We like what we experience, too—there are no hard-sell entreaties from a hawker, there’s no dismissiveness because we do not have a reservation.

Fireside dining at Ristorante da Raffaele in Venice. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Fireside dining at Ristorante da Raffaele in Venice. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

This family-run restaurant accommodates, and we marvel at our time here, eating before a fireplace in an old building in a dining room that transports us to times long past. We sip wine, eat pasta, savor all of it. The service is good. We are tourists, but we are not rushed.

Ristorante da Raffaele is a short walk from Piazza San Marco, past San Moise if you are coming from the piazza. It is also near the Giglio vaporetto stop.

Ristorante da Raffaele, Sestiere San Marco 2347, Venice

—Lori Tripoli

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