Food and Drink

Spizzico and Burger King abandon Campo San Luca

Spizzico and Burger King in the Campo San Luca

ABOVE: The windows of Spizzico and Burger King are papered over, and their signs are gone from this building in the Campo San Luca.

Campo San Luca street sign in Venice For years, the large building with arched windows on the Campo San Luca has been shared by Spizzico (an Italian pizza chain owned by Autogrill) and Burger King. Before that, its tenants included McDonald's and another hamburger chain.

Spizzico and Burger King signOn Thursday, we were suprised to see that the Burger King and Spizzico signs were gone, and the windows were papered over. Two small signs on the doors that advertised "400 seats available upstairs" were the only reminders that the premises housed Venice's largest fast-food restaurant until recently.

Venetophiles tend to be snobbish about fast food, but we think it's unfortunate that Spizzico and Burger King are gone. In the handful of times that we stopped in (usually after arriving on a transatlantic flight when we were too tired to go anywhere else), we saw a clientele that ranged from teenagers to hotel workers to military cadets on tight budgets.

With 400 seats upstairs and free restrooms for customers, Spizzico and Burger King offered a place where locals and tourists could eat cheaply, rest their feet for a few minutes, and use a toilet without paying the outrageous €1,50 charged by Venice's municipally-operated facilities.

We hope the restaurant's premises haven't been leased by a clothing retailer (Venice already has more than enough of those), but we're not optimistic. After all, Benetton is taking over the city's main post office, so it wouldn't be surprising to see a Banana Republic or a Jack Wolfskin occupying the former Spizzico and Burger King.


Bellini cocktail in a can

Cipriani Bellini Cocktail Mix

This year, we celebrated New Year's Eve with Bellini cocktails: Not the made-to-order version at Harry's Bar (which runs 15 euros for a glass of peach juice and prosecco), but the non-alcoholic canned variety shown in the photo above. The "Cipriani Bellini Mix" is produced under license from the Ciprianis, who own Harry's Bar, and the text on the can recommends serving the "peach juice softdrink" with "gin, vodka, white rum, or sparkling wine."

Cipriani Bellini Mix contains 25 percent peach juice, carbonated water, sugar, and the usual dash of preservatives and antioxidants. It's bottled by San Benedetto, a leading producer of mineral water in the Veneto region.

Look for Cipriani Bellini Mix in supermarkets and gourmet shops in Italy or abroad. You can even order it from Amazon.com, although an Amazon reviewer suggests that it's cheaper--and tastier--to simply buy peach puree and add Champagne. (If you prefer that do-it-yourself approach, we'd recommend using Spanish cava, Italian prosecco, or another less expensive fizzy wine instead of diluting good Champagne with peach puree.)

In the Ghetto: A new kosher hotel and restaurant



ABOVE: A top-floor triple room at the Giardino del Ghetto, and outdoor tables at the Restaurant Le Balthazar.

The Venetian Ghetto has a new hotel and restaurant for visitors who keep kosher:

  • The kosher boutique hotel Giardino del Ghetto has 14 double rooms, 2 singles, and 2 triples with free Wi-Fi in the rooms, a Shabbat elevator, and a Mikveh on the premises. A kosher breakfast is served daily, and half- or full-board rates are available.
  • Kosherinvenice-restaurant-interior-175The glatt kosher Restaurant Le Balthazar offers Venetian, Italian, and Jewish specialties. A garden is open in the warmer months, and Shabbat meals are served year-round.

The hotel and restaurant are located on the Campo di Ghetto Nuovo, which is in the heart of the Ghetto. (See our "Venetian Ghetto" article for more information on this historic area of Venice's Cannaregio district.)

Photos: Kosherinvenice.com