It’s mid day in Venice, and the Venetians are congregating in bàcaris, where alcohol is often paired with small plates of crostinis, deep fried seafood balls and mini sandwiches. Forget the overpriced restaurants along the Grand Canal. The heart of Venetian cuisine is in this street food – cicchetti. These bite sized pieces of food are the perfect combination of Italian ingredients served on a toothpick, each ranging from one to three euros. We round up the three places you need to know if you have 24 hours in Venice.
Look forward to: Cicchetti
Where: Campo Bella Vienna, 213, 30125 Venezia, Italy
Equipped with just a storefront, Al Merca is a haven for the mid afternoon wine and miniature panino. No seating areas? No problem, just blend in with the locals standing in front of the store, with food and drink in hand. The counter is stuffed with panino, some with gorgonzola cheese and others with parma ham. Amongst these, other cicchetti such as deep fried seafood can be found. Take your pick from any of these, but the Italian cheese and prosciutto panino always wins.
Osteria Alla Ciurma
Where: Calle Galeazza, 406A, 30125 San Polo, Venezia VE, Italy
The orders never stop at Osteria Alla Ciurma, and neither does the drinking. A glass of wine starts at €1.50, and ranges from friulano to prosecco. Seating areas are few, but you wouldn’t need that if you’re going for the drinks and finger food. The top item to try? The different types of crostinis. Owner Marco Paola is a whiz at experimenting with crostini toppings, such as stuffed eggplant, baccalà mantecato (creamed codfish) and anchovies.
Where: Fondamenta Cannaregio, 1268, 30121 Venezia, Italy
What: Seafood pastas
For: A sit down restaurant
Of course, it’s not all cicchetti in Venice. Fresh seafood in the Venetian markets always find their way inside this trattoria along Cannaregio. To avoid the queue at Pontini, dinner at 6 pm is essential. Pastas with any kind of seafood are exceptional, as the pastas are doused in a thick seafood stock, the result of a hearty combination of shellfish and tomatoes. Every bite is filled with the flavours of the sea.