Seafood purchased at the local markets, fried foods, but also lots of cicheti (small portions comparable to Spanish tapas) enjoyed at local bacari: Venice reserves pleasant surprises for street food lovers, who can find typical local products prepared in a simple and authentic way, as tradition dictates.

Bacari in Venice

What are bacari, exactly? These are ancient Venetian taverns, according to legend called this way after Bacchus, god of wine. Although there are those who claim that the name actually derives from “far bàcara”, a dialectal expression that means to celebrate. In any case, the bacari are to this day among the most popular places in Venice, thanks to their genuine food offer combined with local wines.

The best bacari in Venice

Enjoying cicheti and “ombre” (small glasses of wine), here are the best bacari for your next trip to Venice, singled out by the Street Food Gambero Rosso guide.

All’Aciugheta

This bacaro just off piazza San Marco is a mix of flavours, the atmosphere is elegant and refined and service is friendly and cordial. Egg and anchovy, creamed cod and then fancy sardine, pecorino and mint meatballs make up the menu of the restaurant, along with exotic croutons such as salmon and avocado, or with Thai beef. There are also gluten-free pizzas and focaccias and a few other cooked dishes, to pair with the excellent wine list.

All’Aciugheta – campo Santi Filippo e Giacomo – www.aciugheta.com

Cantine del Vino già Schiavi

Historic Venetian bacaro, affectionately called “il bottegon” by trusted customers, has been a meeting place for over a century. There are many cicheti to choose from, baked by talented Alessandra De Respini, and as many bottles for tasting, or for purchase. Try the tuna tartare with bitter cacao.

Cantine del Vino già Schiavi – Dorsoduro, 992 Fondamenta Nani – www.cantinaschiavi.com

Osteria La Vedova

Simple osteria where diners can find the most sincere flavours of the Venetian tradition. In addition to the classic fish-based menu, here foodlovers come to snack standing at the bar, tasting small plates such as meatballs, creamed codfish croutons, marinated sardines “in saor” and the calamari. In combination, the wine comes served in typical ceramic carafes.

Osteria La Vedova – via Ramo del Cà d’oro

Al Timon

Near the Jewish quarter called “ghetto”, this lively osteria boasts one of the best cicchetti offerings in town: crostini topped with porchetta, raw sausage, tongue with salsa verde, cheeses and meatballs, plus meat tartare. As far as beverages, wine by the glass and excellent spritz, to be enjoyed indoors or in the outdoor area overlooking the canal. You can also stay for dinner, with Florentine steak and beef fillets served with abundant side dishes.

Al Timon – Fondamenta Ormesini, 2754 – facebook.com/timonbragozzo/

by Michela Becchi