Typical Venetian food & drinks
What do you really want when you’re here? Good food like the Venetians in nice locations I guess, fresh and affordable. I’ve learned a lot in terms of eating and drinking since I moved to Venice. The Italian food culture is bliss. In Venice I can really enjoy an outdoor lunch in a square or on a terrace or a quay overlooking the canal.
First of all, it is important to know what you can find in Venice. Venetians eat fish, of course, with the lagoon and sea around them. Here you have an impressive assortment of shell fish and fresh fish at the Rialto fish market. It’s closed on Sundays and Mondays, so those days you know you don’t eat fresh fish in most of the restaurants. Venice has a aperitif culture and the aperitif starts early for Italian standards. Between 5.30 and 7.00 pm the bacari are full, and just before lunch between 11.30am-1.00 pm.
A bacaro is a typical Venetian bar where you come for a drink and a tapas. Tapas are called cicchetti in Venice. Venetians love their bacari. Especially the spritz is a popular drink here. A spritz is made of 1/3 white wine or prosecco, 1/3 sparkling water, 1/3 campari, aperol or select, which creates the beautiful orange or red color! At a bacaro you can also drink a local wine. You will find the bacari everywhere in Venice. Even Casanova wrote about the bacari. Go with your intuition and choose something you like at the counter. The cicchetti are in the display case and you can just point them out if you want to order something. You eat them, of course, standing at the bar or outside, just like the Venetians.
Osteria, trattoria or ristorante
An osteria is a place where you can order a glass of wine, as well as food. Normally they have few tables and serve local dishes: seasonal food for a good price. A trattoria is actually our restaurant. Often cozy with dishes of your choice. With a trattoria you pay a little more that at an osteria. And then there’s the ristorante, not to be confused with our restaurant. Often a ristorante is about the high quality of the food. You could compare it to a 4 star restaurant may be. So know in advance that it’ll cost you a lot of money if you enter a ristorante. This counts for the whole of Italy. I am a big fan of good food, so I like to keep you informed of the best bacari, osterie, trattorie and ristoranti. Here too, of course, there’s a difference if you choose a legendary Bellini at Harry’s Bar or a drink on one of the cozy terraces with a nice view or a normal bacaro ‘just’ like a Venetian. I would like to give an important piece of advice when you are here in high season. Always book your restaurant in advance. Especially when you come here at the weekend. This way you avoid disappointments.
Typical Venetian dishes:
spaghetti con le vongole-spaghetti with shellfish
seppie al nero con polenta-polenta with squid including black squid ink
polpette-stuffed (meat) balls
spaghetti alla busara-pasta with Venetian fish and tomato sauce
Typical Venetian aperitifs:
spritz with aperol (orange), with bitter (red), cinar (brown)
baccalà mantecato-creamy stockfish on a toast