Rain or shine, evening or morning, lunch or drinks... A bacaro crawl always works for us.
5 Nov 2020
There’s no better way to experience Venice’s food and wine traditions than to slip into a bacaro, a traditional Venetian bar. The locals and habitués know this well. Once inside, order an ombra (a glass of wine) and a snack to go with it. The time of day is immaterial: they’re all good! In fact, the city’s bacari are never empty, from the first light of dawn until late at night, hosting Venetians of all ages.
So, what exactly is a bacaro? Think old-fashioned, intimate, pared-back tavern with a wooden counter, a blackboard scrawled with the names of the wines served that day, and a display case with cicchetti snacks on display: meatballs, sandwiches, slices of bread with salt cod, sardines in saor, in short, everything you might ever want. Of course, with a smattering of tables and a few seats. Venice really does have a lot of bacari, but we’ve come up with a selection, chosen from among the city’s most famous and characteristic. The ones beloved by Venetians. Come see for yourself!
Bacareto Da Lele - Ramo Quinto Gallion O del Pezzetto 183.
A veritable institution for cicchetti and ombre, this place is without doubt among Venice’s finest bacari. Bacareto da Lele is just a stone’s throw from Venice’s Santa Lucia train station, which goes some way towards explaining why it’s such a favourite with university students, inbound and outbound workers, and tourists. This bacaro is famous for its delicious and unmistakable sandwiches made using freshly-sliced cold cuts, as well as its spritzs and glasses of regional wines filled right to the brim. Knock them back either standing, or sitting on the steps of the bridge opposite. The sandwiches with salami, cheese, pork (with and without mustard), mortadella and artichokes, coppa, prosciutto crudo and mushrooms are all well worth ordering.
Al Timon - Fondamenta dei Ormesini 2754.
A place that exudes the magic of different generations and different worlds, all at the same counter, sharing a glass of wine and a desire to be together. Welcome to a cornerstone of the dolce vita, Cannaregio-style… Al Timon is a bacaro and restaurant in the best Venetian tradition. It’s a simple winning combo here: a few tables on the quayside, a small but elegant interior, and last but not least, the boat parked just opposite. If you feel like staying on for dinner, Al Timon happens to be one of the finest steak houses anywhere on the lagoon.
Paradiso Perduto - Cannaregio 2540.
A historic Venetian restaurant and a trusty point of reference for visitors to the Fondamenta della Misericordia, Paradiso Perduto has everything you could want from a Venetian bacaro. A fixture since the ’80s, the building was previously home to the “Remo d’Oro” historical rowing school in the Sestrier of Cannaregio. Rustic, homemade and bohemian, besides being an old-style tavern, the Paradiso Perduto also puts on weekly readings, shows and live music. The menu changes daily depending on the catch on sale at the Venice fish market; its speciality is the “gran fritoin”, delicious fried fish served with white polenta.
Ostaria Al Ponte - Cannaregio, 6378.
Ostaria Al Ponte is another surefire address for the Venetian rite of a glass of wine and small bites. A historic restaurant that has been serving since 1890, it is characterized by its unmistakable red exterior, the bridge that leads to the Campo di Basilica Santi Giovanni e Paolo, and a classic glass display case packed with small rolls and genuine Venetian products, local wines included.
Cantine del Vino già Schiavi - Fondamenta Nani, 992.
A little off the busiest tourist routes, in one of Venice’s most characterful areas, Cantine del Vino già Schiavi is both a tavern and a wine shop. Come here to drink a nice glass of wine, eat something and even buy a bottle to take home from the shelves on the walls. No seats, mind you; it’s strictly drinking and eating standing up. Enjoy sandwiches with fresh ingredients and cicchetti prepared daily – great with an aperitif – while sipping a prosecco, spritz or a glass of wine as the sun goes down.
After you’ve eaten and drunk your fill, get a good night’s sleep…
You will no doubt have had fun, you will have walked, you will have enjoyed a nice aperitif in a bacaro – maybe more than one – and perhaps you’ll even have had a great dinner in an excellent Venetian tavern. At the end of the day, you’ll need a comfortable place to relax and retire for the night. Well, we have the perfect accommodation in the heart of the city, strategically-located between Venice Santa Lucia and the Rialto Bridge. Residenza Venezia is in a recently-restored old building which remains faithful to traditionally-refined Venetian style. Cozy and elegant, sleep in one of the residence’s six rooms for a unique stay with all mod cons. If you’d rather spend the night in the historic Cannaregio district, try Maison Venezia | UNA Esperienze, in a prestigious building restored to its former glory, where each room is furnished so our guests experience an unforgettable atmosphere in the most romantic of Italy’s cities.