Venezia Restaurant

Since 1957, Venezia’s has been serving homestyle Italian food with a New Orleans flair in Mid City.  Tourists occasionally find their way here, but normally you will be surrounded by locals that are on a date night or families just looking to get their fix on a meatball like nonna used to make. • 134 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans

venezia new orleans - nola places photo, may 2020

Go For: pizza, fried eggplant, red checkered tablecloths, veal chop and chianti

The sign on Carrollton may say Venezia Pizza Pie but this is much more than a pizza joint. Walking in you feel a little nostalgic that things have not changed much in its 60+ year history. Ownership changed in the late 80s but the atmosphere and quality of food is the same (if not better) and you would never know there was six feet of water here during Katrina.

This is a casual, family friendly place with only one requirement for their dress code: No baseball caps.

Be prepared to wait for a table on weekends. The bar area is comfortable but can get quite crowded so be patient and enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail. Their wine list is not extensive but they have several good choices including a few Chiantis.

Their menu is pretty extensive and they have daily specials which might include fresh soft shell crab if you are lucky. There is a Zuppa del Giorno on the menu but I am guessing that also translates to Oyster Artichoke soup since that is the only soup they ever seem to have! The cheese bread or eggplant sticks are a great way to start the meal especially if you have been waiting a while for your table. The house special salad (yes, they changed the name years ago) is full of salami, artichoke and Kalamata olives. The pizza here is my go to dish but I can also be swayed to get the lasagna or cannelloni. Portions are good sized here so don’t be shy about asking for an extra plate to split a dish. If you are not sure what you want, just ask the waiter. They are happy to give you suggestions.

I am sure their desserts are yummy but with the call of Brocato’s so close, I end up going next door to cap off the night with an Italian pastry or gelato. – karen decker mccrossen