Are you in Rialto area and want to have lunch?

16 05 2013

If you are in the Rialto area, on the opposite side of Rialto market, and want to have luch, it’s not easy to avoid a rip-off (please keep away from the restaurants with pictures of dishes outside!).

Here’ s a small guide with our suggestions for lunch in places where you can sit down and have cicchetti (typical venetian tapas) or a quick lunch without spending a fortune.

Let’s start with my favourite: Osteria Al Portego. Out of the tourist mass flow, it’s not easy to find but it’s worth the effort.

To get here from Rialto, go to Campo San Bartolomio (at the feet of the bridge) and take “calle della Bissa”. Go straight, cross the bridge and then take the first left. Cross the bridge and go straight for a few meters and there you are!

It’s a very small place and courtesy is not their forte, but the variety and quality of cicchetti is high as well as the taste and freshness of food in the menu.

Osteria Al Portego: their wide selection of cicchetti

Osteria Al Portego: their wide selection of cicchetti

If you do not want to wait or fight for a place to sit, you’d rather go to “Osteria Alla Botte“. This a historical restaurant in Venice which moved to a new location some time ago. From Campo San Bortolomio, take the street at the corner of the Disney store (calle dei Stagneri) and then turn the first right. Walk a few steps on and you’ll find it on your left.

As said, the new location offers a lot of place to sit, considering the Venetian standards. The selection of cicchetti is good and so are the dishes of their menu, which includes typical Venetian specialities.

If you want to walk a little bit more, go along the shore on the Grand Canal (Riva del Fero e del Carbon). When you will be no more able to walk along the Canal, take the street on your left (Calle Cavalli). Soon, on your right, you’ll see the awning of the “Enoteca Al Volto“.


Enoteca Al Volto

Here you can enjoy a lot of tasty cicchetti (try the delicious stuffed squids) or an authentic Venetian meal. Ask the the Venetian owner to tell you some curiosities about Venice: you’ll taste a real bite of the city!

If you feel like walking still a little bit further, you can reach the “Osteria da Alberto“. This is near the hospital of Venice and here you can find a lot of locals eating or having a glass of wine.

Osteria Da Alberto

Osteria Da Alberto

The recipe is always the same: cicchetti, good wine, Venetian dishes, some funny words in Venetian dialect and a smile!


Bacaro Tour nr.1

30 04 2013

Sooner or later, in Venice it’s almost inevitable making a “bacaro tour”, that means walking around the city and stopping at the typical “bacari” (sort of wine-bars) to have a glass of wine and some “cicchetti”. The “cicchetti” are the typical Venetian tapas and finger-food, such as “polpette” (fried balls of meat/vegetable/tuna fish), crostini (small pieces of bread topped with stockfish cream or salami/cheese), “sarde in saor” (sardines marinated in oil, vinegar, onion and raisins).

A few days ago, some friends of mine came to visit me in Venice and we decided to make a “bacaro tour” in my favourite places to celebrate our birthdays, which all happen in April.

We weren’t able to reach all the places I like, so I’m going to write another post on the delicious “bacari” I will not mention in this review (by the way, I already wrote some posts exclusively dedicated to the bacari I love, like “Express cicchetti at MaiTardi Enobar” or “Not only cicchetti at Mondo DiVino“: read them!).

We started the tour from Campo Santa Margherita, which is the square where all university students gather to have an aperitif before dinner. The square is full of bars and “bacari”, but the best place for “cicchetti” is Bocon DiVino (a play on words which means both “a bite of wine” and “divine bite”). This place offers a wide variety of “cicchetti” in a very warm location with bricks on the wall and wooden barrels  used as tables.

We then moved to “Osteria Ai Pugni”, a real “institution” in Venice (if you come here at around 7.30 pm, you’ll hardly be able to walk among the mass of people crowded outside). Do not dare to ask for a glass of water or a non-alchoolic drink here! The Venetian staff will lanswer you back with the most “colorful” Venetian language!

Osteria Ai Pugni

Osteria Ai Pugni

Walking along the “Zattere” (the sunny walk along the Giudecca Canal, on the southern part of Venice, facing the Giudecca island), we then arrived at “Al Squero“, a small cosy “bacaro” sited just in front of the “Squero di San Trovaso”, the most famous “squero” inVenice (so it’s called the place where they build and repair the gondolas). Here the owner is a real expert of food and wine (ask him to explain in details what he’s serving to you) and offers an unusual selection of “cicchetti”  and wine labels. The speciality are the “crostini” (see above), which have very particular tastes (try the one with salty cheese and figs jam, you’ll fall in love with it!).

Osteria Al Squero

Osteria Al Squero

After a long walk, we reached the Rialto area, where the most famous “bacari” are sited. We chose one place which is quite isolated from the most frequented paths: Enoteca Al Volto. A large variety of “cicchetti” + an authentic Venetian owner entertaining the customers is the recipe of the success of this place. We were impressed by the delicious stuffed squids and by the curiosities about Venice the owner told us. Here you can also have a typical Venetian meal.

Enoteca Al Volto

Enoteca Al Volto

“Express cicchetti” at MaiTardi Enobar

6 08 2012

Almost all “cicchetterie” (bars offering tapas and finger food) in Venice show their variety of “cicchetti” (tapas and finger food) on the counter, trying to tempt the customers.

Even if this is a good way to attract people, the cicchetti are displayed there for a while and, as time passes by, they lose their original freshness and taste.

At MaiTardi, a cicchetteria and wine bar sited quite near to Rialto Bridge, on the counter, instead of cicchetti, a special sign is displayed: “cicchetti espressi” (expresss cicchetti). It means that the food is expressly made upon your request.

Campiello Corner: on the bottom, the green awning of Enobar MaiTardi

Sandwiches, tramezzini, dishes of fresh sliced salami: at MaiTardi the owner, Gigi, prepares everything on real time and the result is remarkable. The food tastes fresh and savoury and the price is really fair. Like in all Venetian cicchetterie you can choose a glass of wine among a wide selection too.

The place is little and difficult to be noticed (be careful: the sign on the awning just says “Enobar”), but you can enjoy Gigi’s cicchetti sitting at one of the outside tables.

Cannaregio 5600 – Campiello Corner
30121 Venezia
Tel +39 041 5285157

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Not only “cicchetti” at Mondo DiVino

25 01 2012

Venice is famous for its “bacari” (sort of wine bars) which offer the “cicchetti” (typical tapas and finger food).
The most popular cicchetti are the “polpette” (fried meat balls), the “sarde in saor” (sardines cooked with onion and raisins), the “baccalà mantecato” (stockfish cooked with milk): almost all Venetian bars offer such specialities.

There are a lot of good bacari in town, but my favourites are Mondo DiVino, Do Mori and Ponte dei Pugni.

In particular, at Mondo DiVino, you can enjoy lots of typical cicchetti but also many other appetizers. My favourites are the stuffed vegetables (aubergines, zucchini or peppers), the spicy goat cheese rolled with speck, the croquettes with potatoes and ham.

Like in many other bacari, you can accompany the good food with a glass of wine selected among a wide variety of labels.

But, differently from many other bacari, here you can also enjoy the smile and kindness of the owners: Andrea and Sabina (brother and sister).

The bacaro "Un Mondo DiVino"- Inside

The music played there is also very agreeable.

The best place to have an aperitif or a quick lunch!

Osteria Un Mondo DiVino
Cannaregio 5984 A, Salizada San Canciano
30121 Venezia
Tel. +39 041 5211093
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