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Chicchetti at the oldest restaurant in Venice, Cantina Do Mori. Photo: Emma Brink
Chicchetti at the oldest restaurant in Venice, Cantina Do Mori. Photo: Emma Brink

Food & Drink

​Cicchetti and wine in Venice

The most traditional way for Venetians to eat and hang out is at wine bars known as bacari. Where you stand around together in the bar and talk over an ombra (small glass of wine) and cicchetti (Venetian tapas).

Then you go from bar to bar and drink different wines and eat different cicchetti. The wine can be anything from prosecco to local red or white wine, and the small appetizers come in endless variations, hot or cold, with dishes such as fried fish, squid with polenta, marinated anchovies, fried meatballs, and small sandwiches with cheese or cold meats. One of the most famous and traditional is baccalà mantecato, which is boiled cod whipped into a mousse, which you eat on a piece of bread.

Cantina Do Mori has their own brand of wine. Photo: Emma Brink

Bar-hopping and eating cicchetti is a great way to socialize and also a good way to eat on a budget in Venice, with cicchetti costing around €1–3 each. There are no menus. You simply point to the cicchetti you want at the bar.

The small bacari bars are hidden away all over the city, but they are most closely concentrated in San Polo, a little way from the Rialto Bridge.

It's impossible to just pick one. Photo: Emma Brink

Here are five bacari worth a visit:

Ca d’Oro Alla Vedova

Far from the madding crowds of the tourist quarter and one of the most affordable of the bacari. Try their polpette, fried spicy meatballs, which are the best in Venice.

Cannareggio, 3912, 30121

Cantina Do Mori dates back to 1462. Photo: Emma Brink

Cantina Do Mori

Cantina Do Mori is close to the Rialto Bridge and is said to be the oldest restaurant in Venice – they opened their doors in 1462. Dark wooden interior with copper pots hanging from the ceiling. A classic in its element.

Sestiere San Polo, 429, 30125

Cantina Do Spade

Close to the fish market at Rialto is Cantina Do Spade which is particularly renowned for its fried cicchetti.

San Polo, 859, 30125

Al Timon

Located along a canal in Cannaregio and popular with the city’s young people. Here you will find good, affordable cicchetti in a cozy atmosphere, well away from the tourist track.

Fondamenta Ormesini, 2754

It doesn't look like much from the outside but inside you will find some of the best chicchettis in Venice. Photo: Emma Brink

Osteria Alla Ciurma

An old warehouse near the fish market, which has been turned into a bar that resembles a boat. Good, cheap cicchetti, and their house wine, a young sparkling red, is worth a visit in itself.

Calle Galeazza, 406, 30125

You can enjoy a wine and cicchetti tour with Urban Adventures among others.

Find your places for wine and chicchetti in Venice on this interactive map:

Open map in full screen »

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Last edited: October 9, 2015

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