What are bacari, exactly? These are traditional Venetian taverns where locals stop on their way home for a glass of wine and a snack. Our article focuses on where to find the best bacari in Cannaregio Venice.
Pro Tip: Bookmark this article in your browser, this way you will know where to stop for a drink or eat something authentically Venetian for your next trip to Venice. Also, if you are looking for a traditional Venetian food experience check out our Venice Food Tour tasting some of the best food in Italy!
Discovering Cannaregio (and the most authentic food in Venice)
Cannaregio is the northernmost of the six historic sestieri (district) of Venice where a myriad of wonderful bacari await. Upon entering the first thing you may notice is how many of the patron's refuse to take a chair, and instead stay stood at the counter, wine in toe, wishing to remain as close to the action as possible. For the action is fantastic and merits retaining tight proximity.
Not only are the small wine glass in need of frequent refilling, but there is also the constant arrival of small Venetian dishes known as cichetti. These snacks are often compared to tapas, but if we are to be specific we would say they are in fact more like pinchos, often comprising bits of fish elegantly paired with a little of something else layered on a thin slice of crusty bread or crispy polenta.
When in Venice Eat & Drink like a Venetian!
Most Venetians eat cichetti, before lunch or before dinner, or in place of lunch or dinner. Eating cichetti in Venice is a great way to hang out with the locals and to eat some great food at reasonable prices. Wine has always been more popular than water in La Serenissima. The Veneto produces more wine than any other region in Italy and the city's wine bars, or bacari, serve an average of 50,000 glasses of wine each day!
Our top recommendations for the Best Bacari in Cannaregio Venice
Creamed cod meatballs and croutons with herring. But also sardines in saor, marinated anchovies, suppressed with polenta, squid and baby octopus. Halfway between the tavern and the bar, the bacaro is one of the institutions of the city where you can order mouthwatering cicchetti all strictly accompanied, in the most Venetian of traditions, by a glass of wine. Exploring Venice's best cicchetti is high on many Italy wish lists so we put together our tried and tested list of the 5 best bacari in Cannaregio Venice that locals consider for fantastic cicchetti and regional wines by the glass (ombra).
Al Timon - Cannaregio 2754, Fondamenta degli Ormesini
Our tasty walk through the 5 best bacari in Cannaregio Venice starts from Fondamenta degli Ormesini near the Jewish Ghetto. Here we find Al Timon, boasting canal-side tables and always stocking the crowd favorite of baccalà on fried polenta cubes. Formally, this place likes to call itself steakhouse, but for all Venetians it is a real bacaro. Divided between the bacaro offer and the trattoria one, it has an incredible variety of cichetti with an extensive wine list.
Alla Vedova - 3912, Ramo Cà d’Oro Cannaregio
This cozy bacaro features very typical and tasty Venetian cuisine. The meatballs and house wine are worth a visit. Here each ombra costs two euro, and you can jostle for a place at the marble counter to watch their famous meatballs (six euro) appear fresh every five minutes and disappear within five seconds (hopefully managing in the process to land a couple on your plate). You have to be careful as you can easily miss it since it is not on the main road.
Vino Vero - 2497, Fondamenta della Misericordia Cannaregio
One of the best-known bacari in the Cannaregio district, also for its peculiarity: it sells natural wines instead of spritz. A few steps from the Timon, Vino Vero holds a large selection of “Triple A” wines and a blackboard full of proposals by the glass divided into bubbles, whites, rosés and reds. The counter is always crowded and overflows with hi quality cicheti, such as mortadella with truffles, nduja, soppressata or fish such as seared tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies with creative sauces such as hummus, babaganoush, eggplant and zucchini.
Cantina Aziende Agricole - Rio Terà Farsetti, 1847/A, Cannaregio
Essential stop on any bacaro tour. Things here are done right starting with bread cut to the right thickness, soft and crunchy. Then, the combinations: grilled courgettes, mozzarella, anchovies and cream of dried tomatoes, mortadella with gorgonzola and pistachio, eggplant, provolone and tomato, tuna, walnuts and black olives. The list could go on. Save yourself a place for fried food and meatballs. Cod and courgette flowers are remarkable (the fried cod, done as it should, is a rarity) and the meatballs (cooked in the oven with meat or fish), are exceptional. Crunchy outside and soft and tasty inside.
Osteria al Ponte - Cannaregio, 6378
Established at the end of the nineteenth century, initially as a "broth shop", the Osteria al Ponte was transformed, around the middle of the 20th century, into a typical Venetian tavern establishing itself over time as one of the best cicchetterie in Cannaregio. No-one speaks good English so you'll have to do a lot of pointing and grunting - trust me it's worth it! Among its specialties, Al Ponte offers a huge choice of cheeses and cured meats, meatballs, croutons with stewed cod, creamed cod, tuna meatballs to accompany a glass of good wine or a Spritz. Tiny inside but you can take your Spritz and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere on the bridge.
Thinking of Planning a Foodie Trip to Venice?
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