Venice is famous for its quality cuisine and fish-based dishes, but don’t underestimate a very traditional and famous custom: Venetian tapas, called cicchetti in the local dialect.
Venetian cicchetti are small snacks that are quick to make, but you need to know the right ingredients and the right procedure first. Venetians usually have them with their aperitivo before dinner, therefore around 7-8pm. Depending on what kind of drink or wine you are having, you will choose a veggie or meat/fish based cicchetto accordingly. Cicchetti are always freshly made by the bar (or Cicchetteria) that serves them.
There are three main categories of cicchetti that you can choose from: polpette, small panini and standard cicchetto. Polpette are meatballs or fishballs, but you can also have the vegetarian version which usually includes cheese, aubergine, zucchini or pumpkin. Venetian Panini are usually small and include mostly prosciutto, salami and sopressa (a kind of salami), but you can also have them with fish, cheese and vegetables.
“The traditional cicchetti” are the most traditional version of this type of cuisine and they also have the biggest variety of flavours and recipes. The standard cicchetto is made by slicing a piece of baguette-style bread, and covering it with a lot of different ingredients. Among the most traditional versions we can find Baccalà Mantecato and Baccalà alla Vicentina, salami and sopressa, Asiago cheese and sarde in saor (sardines cooked with onions).
If you are in Venice and you want to try the best cicchetti in town, here is a list of our favourite Cicchetterie in Venice:
– Bacareto da Lele
– Osteria alla Bifora
– Osteria ai Pugni
– Cantine del Vino già Schiavi
Otherwise you can contact us on Vidal Venice Tours for arranging a boat tour (with wines and tapas included) around the stunning lagoon of Venice 😉 We hope to see you soon!