Let’s face it, everybody knows that a glass of wine ordered at one of the cafés on San Marco square can be a little bit pricey and on occasion, perhaps dare we say it, a little bit of a rip-off. Venice, much like London, Barcelona and the like, is famed to be an expensive city where tourists need to make peace with the idea of being overcharged even for a simple bottle of water. However, there are plenty of places where you can escape from this stereotype to order a bite to eat for a very reasonable price.
If you are a bit hungry, but not quite in the mood for a full dinner, cicchetti are perfect. This Venetian word indicates the local aperitivo, a mix of snacks served in bars to accompany a drink. Spritz is by far the most popular drink choice to go with cicchetti. It is a simple and tasty cocktail made with prosecco and splash of bitter liquor like Aperol or Campari, though you can also enjoy cicchetti with a glass of local red or white wine.
Every bar serves different cicchetti, which usually include the famous Venetian sarde in saor, marinated sardines with onions and raisins. Expect a plethora of olives, cheese, meat, ham, salami, croquettes and lots of seafood! Here are some of our favourite bars in Venice for a Spritz & cicchetti stopover!
Cantinone Già Schiavi
Fondamenta Nani 992 Dorsoduro 30123
This small family-run bar is always packed with customers, a sign that it’s worth a try for cicchetti. Located on a narrow street overlooking the Rio San Trovaso canal, The Cantinone is just a few steps away from the Squero, a picturesque 17th century gondola boatyard. The choice of cicchetti here is stunning: brie cheese, mortadella, anchovies, salmon.. Choose what you want, ask for a take away plate and a glass for your drink, and head to the gorgeous Zattere promenade.
Campo San Provolo 30122 Castello 4700
In the quieter Castello area, this bar is located on one of the main streets. Here cicchetti include spicy salami, prawns and the famous baccalà, the glorious dried and salted cod prepared in the Veneto region. The Bacaro has a great choice of various croquettes and fritters, filled with seafood, fish, meat or vegetables. Come here if you are looking for a cheap but filling and very satisfying meal!
Fondamenta Ormesini 2754 Cannaregio 30121
The Al Timon is a restaurant that also serves cicchetti, so if you are feeling particularly hungry you can also enjoy a complete meal here. Overlooking a canal, this place is very close to the main square of the old Jewish Ghetto. There is plenty of seating outside which makes it great for al fresco dining on a sunny day. If all seats are taken, join the locals and sit on a boat in front of the restaurant while sipping your Spritz!
Blog by Bibianna Norek