Murano and Burano islands (check the articles) are very well known by visitors coming to Venice: they commonly considered to be a “must-do” day trip, and you definitely can’t argue with that.
However, Torcello island’s charm deserves much more recognition, despite its small dimensions and fame, it is often underrated. Just a five-minute vaporetto trip from Burano, this is one of the most ancient settlements of the lagoon, and the beautiful Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, as well as the Santa Fosca church and other archaeological remains are there to testify for it.
When I have spare time, or better, when friends come visit me, I usually take the chance to get them to visit this place, not only for the “countryside” atmosphere of the sparsely inhabited island, but also because of the magnificent big byzantine mosaic representing the Last Judgement, inside the Basilica, which is just beautiful.
There are a couple of restaurants on the way to the Basilica square which are quite affordable and have friendly staff, but don’t miss the “Devil’s bridge” on the right (Ponte del Diavolo), as there only two of this kind still existing in the whole Venice lagoon. You might have fun looking for the other one while wandering in Venice.