The Food Scene in Venice
Most people often visit Venice with high anticipation of the foods they expect to find here. Generally, Pasta and Pizza are the most famous foods that are associated with Italy. However, Italy is mostly the home of numerous varieties of cuisines. Thus, the mistake that most visitors make is flocking to touristy restaurants that serve foods that reflect their expectation such as Pizza and Pasta and not what the locals actually eat.
Nevertheless, Venice has quite a wide variety of seafood from vermicelli al nero di sepia to simple dishes such as risi e bisi which is a traditional dish that includes rice and pea soup. These dishes are linked to the Venetian cuisine rather than Italian.
Like most of Italy, Venice offers many culinary delights, and a lot of it is understandably characterized by fresh seafood. The eating scene in Venice is an experience in itself.
- Sarde in Saor - This is otherwise known as sweet and sour sardines. These fried sardines are covered in vinegar, onions, raisins and pine nuts, and it was originally a way of preserving the fish by fishermen and sailors in medieval times. This is a classic Venetian dish that you should try at least once while you are there
- Baccala mantecato - This is another wonderful seafood dish that consists of creamy cod that is mixed in with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then served fresh on bread or polenta
- Gelato and Fritole - If you are looking for something sweet, Venice follows the rest of Italy in offering many gelaterias. If you are lucky enough to visit during Carnival, you will also be able to try fritole- deep fried pastry balls covered in powdered sugar!
- Cicchetti - Cicchetti is the word used for the dining style that is similar to eating tapas- you get an array of different bite-sized samples to try, meaning you get to try lots of foods and flavours. This dining style is a well-known Venetian tradition, and depending on where you go, bàcari will have different meats, cheeses, fish and fried morsels on offer. These are most commonly shared over a glass of wine, and are popular with both locals and tourists
Venetians love to drink, and they do it well. Make sure you check out the drinking scene as well as the eating scene.
- Prosecco - Prosecco is the local wine, and it is wonderfully light and bubbly. This sparkling white wine should come in at about the same price as other glasses, though the cheapest will be if you are standing at the bar.
- Spritz - a spritz is the most authentic kind of Venetian drink. This is made from white wine, the aperitif of your choice, and is topped off with sparkling mineral water. It can be strong or light and easy to drink depending on what type of alcohol you are topping it off with.
- Bacaro - Bàcari are small bars that are frequented by locals, and they are a good way to get a drink and cheap snack while experiencing that wonderful Venetian lifestyle.
- Coffee - Like most places in Italy, you can get cheap espresso if you are willing to stand up at the bar. Get a quick pick me up in true Italian style!