The Italian version of happy hour and the local version of tapas come together for a uniquely Venetian evening activity: the bacaro-tour. In the evenings, people go from bar to bar, drinking wine or spritz and eating different little bites of food. It’s a way to spend the evening tasting many different things in a lively atmosphere. Not only will it be cheaper than eating out, it might also be more authentic. While there are restaurants that serve as tourist traps, cicchetti bars cater primarily to locals, so you’re sure to eat something delicious.
This tiny bar near Rialto market is packed full with tiny sandwiches, meatballs, tramezzini and other such nibbles. People love to hang out in the campo here, so get something delicious and sit amongst the buzzing crowd.
A super-traditional bacaro run by three generations of one family, this place is a local favourite and a must for cicchetti aficionados. You’ll find all kinds of deliciousness behind the counter, from thinly sliced wisps of lard topped with honey, to tuna with mayonnaise and dark cocoa. They also sell vino sfuso by the liter.
OSTERIA AL SQUERO
It’s just down the street from Al Bottegon, but has a younger, livelier vibe. Beloved by students of the nearby Ca’ Foscari, this bar gets really crowded towards late afternoon. The drinks are well-made and the snacks are heavenly.
It’s a cosy tavern serving good, simple food, but everyone knows you’re here for the polpette, crispy pork meatballs that go down easy with an ombra of wine. Mingle with the neighbourhood clientele and eat your snacks standing up while enjoying the convivial atmosphere.
You’ll find a range of incredible dishes served up cicchetti-style, with an emphasis on local seafood. It’s a favourite of gondoliers working nearby. If you want to have a quick but scrumptious lunch this is the place, but get there early or all the tastiest morsels will be gone.
CANTINA DO MORI
This place dates back to 1462, an incredible feat in itself. The cantina’s traditional mindset is reflected in the decor, with lots of shiny copper pots hanging from the ceiling. Make sure to get the special, which is a tiny sandwich called the francobollo, or ‘postage stamp’.
This tiny bar sits at a busy intersection, and you’ll always find its clientele gathered on the street corner under its awnings. Though the space is limited, the fare is excellent. In the afternoon, you’ll sit with parents drinking spritz while their children play in the calle, and in the evening, you’ll join a lively, local crowd.