Venice – The City of Cicchetti
When visiting Venice it can be a little overwhelming when trying to decide on where you want to eat. There are so many amazing options to choose from. It can also really hurt your pocket if you are staying for longer than a week!
That is why Darren and I were so lucky to happen upon the unique Cicchetti tradition in Venice where you can have a nice meal with drinks for less than 20 Euros each. Score!
Check out our blog post here on our Venice in Winter trip where you can find two of the best restaurants in Venezia – two that we fell in love with.
Pronounced “chee-KET-eeh”, Cicchetti can be likened to that of Milan’s Aperitivo or Spain’s Tapas – smalls plates that are served with a drink. These Cicchetti are served during happy hour which is between 6-9 pm (some even start at 4pm) whereby ordering a glass of wine or a drink of choice you are allowed one plate of their delicious foods on offer.
One night Darren chanced a second helping and we didn’t get any side glances or stares but we suggest to rather keep it to one otherwise order another drink and keep the night going!
The dishes offered may differ from bàcari to bàcari. But you will mainly find dishes such as fried scampi, raw fish dishes, polpettes and platters of cheeses, cold meats and freshly baked loaves of bread.
The bars that serve Cicchetti are known as bàcari and are usually extremely lively and make for such an entertaining night out. Filled with the flurry of Italian conversations and delicious meals to boot.
Make sure to start your bàcari nightout early in order to get a good seat otherwise be prepared to stand – either makes for some awesome people watching. Something that Darren and I shamelessly do wherever we go.
We thought we would let you in on some of our best bàcari that served us cicchetti while we were in Venice and also some that we would like to try next time we go!
- Speck and Caprino
- Pork Crostini
Osteria Al Portego
- Cod done three ways
- Antipasti Sampler
- Fried Zucchini
- Baccalà Mantecato
- Smoked Salmon
- Chicken Livers
- Mixed Fish Platter
If wine is not really your thing then a quick bite and an ice-cold beer is definitely suggested at La Cantina. The Morgana Beer is usually a hit with locals and tourists alike. Great selection of wines, cold beer, and stunning cicchetti dishes – La Cantina has it all.
- Fresh Oysters
- Mortadella and their freshly baked bread
Ca’ d’Oro – Alla Vedova
The most friendliest staff that will help you try to pronounce some of the Italian dishes – unlike some other authentic Venetian establishments. When visiting Italy we always try and converse in the little Italian we know, after all a little effort goes a long way. A cozy little establishment that is perfect for fresh bites and an enjoyable night out.
- Polpette (the best meatballs in Venice)
- Sarde in Saor
- Polenta with Cuttlefish
So that’s it! We hope you will find your own bàcaro in Venice when you visit and love them as much as we did! If you have any of your favourites, let us know in the comments.