Ca’ D’Oro (Alla Vedova) Tucked away in a tiny backstreet off one of Venice’s main pedestrian thoroughfares in Cannaregio is our favourite Venetian bacari, Ca Doro (otherwise known as “Alla Vedova” or “The Widow’s Place” by local Venetians). You can either stand at the bar counter and snack upon their inexpensive selection of cicchetti while sampling their delicious Italian wines served in a tiny “piccolo” glass. Don’t miss their signature polpetti meatballs (the best in Venice), along with their soul-satisfying baccalà mantecato (creamed salt cod in olive oil), sarde in saor (sardines marinated in vinegar, pine nuts, onions and raisins), folpeti (baby octopus) and masanelle (tiny green crabs). Just don't expect service with a smile from the rather grumpy service team.
ramo Ca' d'Oro, Cannaregio 3912, Venice +39 (0) 41 528 5324
Al Merca As one of the smallest and most popular wine bars in Venice, this hole-in-the-wall bacaro serves a simple but delicious selection of Venetian ciccheti and great regional Italian wines and proseccos by the glass. Situated on a picturesque square within the bustling Rialto Markets area, feast on their bite-sized selection of fresh seafood antipasti, homemade panini and delicious cured meats while drinking a “spritzer”, i.e. a local aperitif with aperol mixed with either prosecco, white wine or soda. Don’t be surprised to see the city’s workers lining up here throughout the day for a casual snack and a drink, where you can either pull up a seat on one of Al Merca’s wooden barrels out the front of the bar, or sit on the nearby waterfront steps overlooking the Grand Canal.
campo Cesare Battisti, San Polo 213, Venice +39 (0) 347 100 2583
Naranzaria, Bancogiro and Al Pescador Located next door to one another on a shared Rialto markets terrace overlooking the picturesque Grand Canal are three popular Venetian bacari - Naranzaria, Bancogiro and Al Pescador - all serving delicious bite sized tastes such as polpetti (meatballs), frito misti (mixed fried fish) and cicali di mare (mantis shrimps). Naranzaria is trendy bacaro with a high quality menu of classic and globally-inspired ciccheti (with everything from traditional ciccheti to sushi and couscous), along with a superb Italian wine list (helped somewhat by the fact that its owned by famous wine producer Brandino Brandolini from Italy’s Friuli region). Al Pescador is a more upscale bacaro with a focus upon seafood, while Bancogiro is more relaxed.
Osteria in Rialto, San Polo 130, Venezia +39 (0) 417 241 035
Osteria Al Mascaron - Although technically more of a restaurant than a wine bar, this warm and welcoming local gem is a wonderful casual place to indulge in some of the best traditional Venetian cuisine in town. Whether you’re looking for a light snack or a long indulgent meal, settle into this nautical-themed osteria and slowly work your way through their menu of homestyle Venetian cuisine. Having been a local institution for over 30 years, expect the freshest locally-sourced daily seafood, delicious homemade pasta, seppia nero squid in black ink sauce, antipasti-style grilled vegetables and a superb creamy pannacotta. Located in the Castello district only a short walk from Piazza San Marco, you'll be greeted with a warm and hearty welcome from Stefano and his team.
5225 Sestiere Castello, 30122 Venice +39 (0) 412 443 856