antiche carampane {venice}

When I started planning my newest app, EAT VENICE, I asked friends and colleagues for their ‘top five’ Venice lists. I had my own favorites, but I always like to check in with people whose opinion’s I trust. Almost every single one of them named Antiche Carampane as their number one choice.

Other restaurants like Corte Sconta, Testiere and La Bitta I’d been to many times over. But somehow Antiche Carampane had eluded me.

When I finally made it there, I realized that maybe one of the reasons that I’d never been was that it was hiding. I swear to god, in a city where heading off the beaten track is part of the charm, Carampane turns it into an art form. It is really, really hard to find. But, please, don’t give up.

Why? Easy. Great, great food, in a relaxed and unpretentious setting. Worth getting a bit lost for, right?

Fish is the thing here, just about the freshest you can imagine. In fact, while I was there recently the owner had to interrupt taking my order to chat with a fisherman who had just arrived. They were discussing what he was likely to catch the following day, and if so, how much Carampane would order. That’s right. They were talking about fish so fresh it was still swimming around in the ocean.

Do feel free to look at the menu, but it’s mostly just for show. (except for the large sign out front that declares: no pizza, no lasagna, no menu turistico. That’s for real) The menu changes daily based on – as I’ve explained – the catch of the day.

One of the best ways to enjoy fish this fresh is – at least in my humble opinion – raw. I felt as if my platter of crudi was about to swim away. I didn’t even touch the lemon, but did drizzle a bit of the fruity olive oil over all. A light sprinkling of crunchy sea salt, and it was heaven. 

A quartet of gamberi came next. Plump and moist, they were cooked just enough to turn them pale pink. Served with a salad of micro greens, tossed with fresh figs and blueberries, a tart citrus vinaigrette pulled it all together. After I had finished everything, I didn’t hesitate one second to pick up the little heads and suck out every last bit of goodness.

The pasta of the day was freshly made tagliatelle tossed with barely cooked sea scallops and a bright green, fresh herb pesto. The pesto just light enough to let the scallops be the star.

As I said, Antiche Carampane is really hidden away, deep in the heart of San Polo. This means that it’s beyond hard to find. But it also means it’s not over run with tourists. Make sure you bring a map, and if possible, plan out your route before hand.

And even though there won’t be many tourists here, do reserve ahead. Because it is full of Venetians.

Because maybe they know the way?

Antiche Carampane
Rio Terra delle Carampane

For more information about eating in Venice download my app, EAT VENICE, available at iTunes. 

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  1. Anonymous says

    I’m drooling. Oh my goodness that looks good! I can’t wait to go to Venice and take my husband to this place! Ahhhhh!!! Thanks for the info and the new app. When we go, I’ll be sure to get it. Your Rome app was great this past fall! Grazie mille per l’aiuto!!!

  2. Jason La Padura says

    I first went here in May of ’97. I had read about it in Fred Plotkin’s book “Italy for the Gourmet Traveller” and though I didn’t seek it out, we were wandering around about 8:30 or so and I saw the “no pizza, no lasagna, no menu turistico” sign so we asked for a table, waited around for a short while and were seated outside. My Italian isn’t very good but we told our server just bring us what ever you think best. We had a fish antipasto misto, linguine with crab and an English ex-pat living in Venice at the next table insisted we have the sgroppino for dessert (she was on her third!). That was the first time I’d every had it but made them one of our summertime treats back here Stateside. We were in Venice last June and sought it out and the food was just as good as it had been all those years ago.

  3. Anonymous says

    I go to Venice every Christmas-New Year’s, now 15 years. Went to Carampache and sadly had a bad experience..they lost our reservation, were haughty and the food was not great. Based on your review and other friends, I will give it another try. Though it is always. Wonderful getting lost in Venice, an easy path to Carampache is to approach from the Grand Canal, just past the Pescheria. Fairly straight path, not as picturesque, but a godsend at night. Check the map and then it is easy!
    Bon apetite

  4. Anonymous says

    Hi Elizabeth, My wife and I are returning to Venice this September for, well, Venice! and the 70th Venice Film Festival and to celebrate our 4th anniversary. We are also ‘Foodies’ and wine geeks. We did eat at Alle Testiere on our last trip four years ago and it was quite good. I can’t wait to try Antiche Carampane! Your pics are just great. We are also going to Burano to DA Romano to see if their Goh seafood risotto is as good as Anthony Bourdain says it is! I will check out your app! Ciao! -Mark

  5. Anonymous says

    Hard to believe anyone could have a bad meal here everything is so fresh. Went last Sept and had one of the best meals of our trip. Typical, simple, local, delicious.

    And the service was spectacular. I say that because we had our 15 month old with us. No reservations, packed house, they accommodated us immediately and catered to my baby. Upon leaving they saw us looking for a place to change my daughter and rushed over to take us to their storage room across the street.

    Great site. I’m sure Carampane will be more packed now.


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