Venice – Cicchetti and the pub crawl experience
Venice and enjoying its local food through pub crawls is definitely a must do in the later afternoon or happy hour time frame. Right when your ready to take a break from a full day of sightseeing, it’s nice to have glass of local wine and snack on some small bites or Cicchetti as they are called. Like typical Venetians, it’s a fun experience visiting a favorite bacari or bar and enjoying conversation with friends and visitors alike. It’s a convivial atmosphere and fun tasting the various Cicchetti being offered at each bar along with a nice local glass of “ombra” (wine). Ombra by Venetian standards are local inexpensive wines by the glass. You can have an affordable and filling dining experience in Venice by just visiting a few bacari on your pub crawl and sampling some local Cicchetti specialties.
Each bar has its specialty, but the most common dishes served around Venice includes:
Polpette, spicy fried meatballs, marinated seafood served with polenta
Marinated seafood or raw sashimi style fish
Sauteed vegetables or stuffed vegetables
Fried potato and ham combinations
Small crostini topped with proscuitto, sauteed vegetables or seafood. Try the Venetian specialty called bacala mantecato – dried salt cod mixed with virgin olive oil into a creamy spread
Fried seafood mixes are very popular bar food that you can eat at the bar or take with you from street vendors selling from the bar, take-out style.
The types of Cicchetti can almost outnumber the many bridges through Venice so do pace yourself with all the offerings. Typical prices of Cicchetti range from 1-3 euro per piece to 10 euro for a mixed fried seafood platter. So for under 15 Euro including wine, you can almost have a complete meal sampling a variety of local Venetian specialties.
There are even popular bacari and Cicchetti tours available with a guide taking you to some of the off the beaten path locations. The guides love to share some great stories and local folklore while offering Cicchetti tastings and wine to a variety of bacari that you walk to in a tour. There are many tours available which you can easily review on sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor. Take your time reading about the tours and book them ahead of time, because they are smaller and limit the number of guests per tour. If you are even more adventurous, you can create your own itinerary and sampling by checking out these traditional and popular bars like the ones listed in this food guide.
I’m taking my mixed sea food plate to go!
When you do visit Venice and your exhausted from a day of looking at art, architecture and attractions, take some time early in the afternoon to enjoy a pub crawl experience Venetian style with Cicchetti!
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