Venice is famed for being a city of water- of canals over streets. A place of romantic waterways lined with colorful buildings and gondolas flowing past- helmed by iconic blue and red striped gondoliers. A place serenely without cars. A place with beautiful and unique sights at every turn. Where pigeons flutter through the squares and artists make exquisite masks, glassware, lace and other art that is renowned throughout the world for it’s taste and near perfect craftsmanship.
While I love all these aspects of Venice, there’s one thing that I love even more- the ubiquitous Bacari.
Bacari are the Venetian version of Tapas bars– places where locals and tourists alike take a small afterwork or post sightseeing drink and snack to recharge. Spritz and wine are the drinks of choice and are accompanied by small cicchetti– bite sized nibbles which are usually toasted baguette slices topped with delicious fish, cheese or cured meats.
There’s a range of bacari in Venice, with my favourite being the tiny traditional type that don’t look overly appealing from the outside but are full of delicious cheap eats that you enjoy standing. During my stay in Venice, my favourite thing was to explore as many bacari as possible.
Here are seven that I loved.
Bacareto da Lele & Arcicchetti Bakaro
Bacareto da Lele is the cheapest, most traditional and probably the most popular bacaro in Venice. A small wine is .70€ and a plate of traditional cicchetti of salami, cheese and bread sticks will set you back a whooping 1.6€.
But it’s actually the bar next door that’s my favorite. Arcicchetti Bakaro has a wide range of delicious toastie cicchetti for 1€ and wine for the same price. There’s often a line during the evening so try and get there in the afternoon.
On sunny evenings students take their drinks and snacks from both bars to sit on the steps of the Tolentini church or the banks of the canal.
Cantine del Vino già Schiavi & Osteria al Squero
The location of these bars sets them apart from all the others I tried. Nested by the Rio de S. Trovaso canal in the Dorsoduro sestieri (district), these bacari offer the tempting option of taking your drinks and cicchetti out in the evening sun where you can perch on the walls overlooking the canal. At 1.2€ the cicchetti is slightly cheaper at the Cantine than Osteria and they also have an extensive range of wine on offer.
This was the first bacaro I visited and my initial awe of the place held up. They have a range of yum toasties for 1.8€, fried mozzarella blackened with squid ink (amazing!) and spritz for 3.5€. There’s also a nice courtyard and plenty of room inside to sit.
Touted as the best bacaro in Venice, but lacking in comparison to the above options in my opinion. Cicchetti are 2€ and wine is 3€. It’s not bad and the two or three seats outside provide a nice vantage for people watching.
This place has a few seats inside with picturesque windows opening out to an intersection of lane-ways outside. There are also a few seats outside and lively music playing. Loo. Cicchetti are 1.5€ but spritz is a little expensive at 4€.