Dinner in Venice: Ristorante Pizzeria Rio Nuovo

The view from our dinner in Venice

After a long flight and an equally long walk throughout Venice, we finally settled on eating and dinner in Venice. Truthfully, I could’ve eaten the second we landed, but around every corner I kept finding more interesting things to look at and photograph. As the sun started to set, I knew it was time to eat and while it was hard to decide on a restaurant, I knew I needed to eat now. The smells of the food cooking in the restaurants commingled and wafted above my head kind of like a cartoon bubble. The smell of pasta, cheese, bread baking, meat and seafood, and the mandatory, but ubiquitous garlic was all around me. Focused on food, we followed our noses and settled on a restaurant. 

Dinner in Venice at Ristorante Pizzeria Rio Nuovo

dinner in Venice
Rio Novo Ristorante

Situated on — you guessed it — Rio Novo, sits Ristorante Pizzeria Rio Nuovo. Like many restaurants in Venice, it sits alongside the canal with the kind of views I have only dreamed about for a quiet dinner in Venice.

dinner in Venice
Dining along the canals of Venice

The restaurants and stores sit to one side and the tables sit up against the canal. Nothing beats dinner in Venice complete with fresh air, wine, and spectacular views. 

The Starter

dinner in Venice
Insalata Caprese

For our starter, I was all about the Insalata Caprese and it didn’t disappoint one bit. This salad is originally from the small island of Capri, over 400km away from Venice. However, I’m sure you’ve seen this salad on menus  around the globe. Some served perfectly and of course, some not so great versions as well. A good Insalata Caprese consists of simple,  fresh, and great quality ingredients. These include tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil with salt, pepper, and good quality olive oil. The salad doesn’t have balsamic vinegar and should never ever sit for any period of time in the olive oil. 


dinner in Venice
Gnocchi with pomodoro sauce

For my entree, I went with one of my favorite dishes, gnocchi. Made correctly, gnocchi are little fluffy pillows of pasta. Made incorrectly, they are pasta bombs that sit idly in your stomach for hours. This will inevitably make you regret your decision to order them in the first place. When I ordered my primo piatto of gnocchi with pomodoro sauce, I held my breath and hoped for the best.  

I was completely ecstatic with my choice for my dinner in Venice and knew right then I wouldn’t get another pasta dish in my trip that could rival this one as it was that good. The sauce was a fresh, aromatic tomato based sauce that caressed and cradled each gnocchi individually. The gnocchi were tinier than I’ve ever had, but so deliciously addictive. I kept bargaining with myself: “I’ll have one more and then I’ll stop.” I had to push that plate far away from me otherwise I would’ve eaten them all.  

I should be able to pick up a slice of pizza and fold it, let some of that greasy goodness fall onto my generic white paper plate, and then devour it. Click To Tweet
dinner in Venice
Pizza with eggplant

Mr. TSG decided to order pizza with eggplant for his meal. As a New Yorker, I’m somewhat jaded when it comes to pizza. In my world, which is where everyone should live, pizza should have a perfectly crisp crust, lots of cheese, and should be greasy. While that sounds disgusting to most, including me, and I do know that this goes against everything I do these days by trying to eating healthier, NY pizza is one of those rare exceptions to the rule. I should be able to pick up a slice of pizza and fold it, let some of that greasy goodness fall onto my generic white paper plate, and then devour it.

Pizza in Venice comes in all different shapes and sizes. As seen here, this was more of a personal pizza designed for one person and light on the toppings. Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not. When the image in my head of what pizza should look like and what it is don’t match, I feel disappointed. Hence the reason why I chose pasta over pizza. He thought it was a great pizza and at first didn’t think it would be enough to satisfy his voracious appetite, but it did.

The View

dinner in Venice
The view

While the food for my dinner in Venice was tasty, my view was spectacular.  While relaxing here dining on a great meal,  I had the chance to look at the bridges, the pink in the sky as the sun began to set, and the traffic was whizzing by on the canals. It was all that I had hoped a meal in Venice would be and more. The slight breeze coming off the water helped to cool me off and by the end of the meal I was feeling a little chilly, believe it or not.  

dinner in Venice
Travel Shop Girl imbibing in Venice

Dinner with wine while sitting on a canal in Venice isn’t only necessary, but mandatory. Seriously, what were you expecting me to drink? Milk? Sipping on my wine between courses, I sat back and enjoyed the view while listening to the chatter around me in Italian, both in the restaurants and on the small boats traversing the canals. It might’ve been the wine, but I felt like I was in a dream and I really didn’t want to wake up from it. 

dinner in Venice
Sunset in Venice along the canals

The sun went down and we finished our dinner in Venice. We then decided to head back out for a short stroll before returning to our hotel for the night.  What to do, what to do?


dinner in Venice
Gelato time

Despite having eaten our body weight during our dinner in Venice, somehow we still had room for gelato. Mr. TSG was sporting his favorite Liverpool football jersey and he ended up chatting with the guy scooping out gelato.  Turns out he’s friends with some famous football player, Mario Ballotelli. While they discussed football (soccer for Americans) further, I buried my face in the best gelato I’ve ever had in my life. Well, I had about a third of the giant gelato filled cone and called it quits. This was mostly because I had it dribbling down my face and onto my camera. I was quite a vision of loveliness that night.

My best advice for anyone visiting Venice is the following: Bring your appetite, prepare to eat a lot and often, and try as many things as possible. Click To Tweet

My best advice for anyone visiting Venice is the following: Bring your appetite, prepare to eat a lot and often, and try as many things as possible. Finally, don’t stop eating until it’s time to get on your return flight home. I hope to one day explore other great cities in Italy and have a great first time visit to Rome, Florence, Milan, and many others in the same way I’ve had a chance to dive into Venice.

Have you visited Venice? Let me know your best tips and tricks in the comments below. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Travel Shop Girl website with other great destinations that include Spain, Iceland, England, and beyond.