If we think of Venice we imagine an elegant and mysterious city due to the magnificence of the Ducal buildings, the tangle of canals in which the locals move every day, the breathtaking sunsets over the wind rippled lagoon. Everything, in Venice seems to be wrapped in a fairy light so it is not always easy to associate this image with that of a fishing town where fresh fishes’ smell spreads strongly in the air.
As a matter of fact Venice is a water city from every point of view. Water is the element around which the past, the present and the future of the city evolve. Even the Venetian cuisine is a proof of it due to the dozens of dishes made with fresh fish catched from the surrounding Adriatic sea.
If you are a tourist it could be not so easy to understand where to eat the original local seafood in Venice. So, here we are with some alternative ideas that could help you to find the right place where to eat some good seafoods dishes in Venice.
Rialto fish market in Venice
The Rialto fish market is the historic Venice market in which locals have been going to buy fresh fish caught in the lagoon since the Middle Ages. Unlike many historical markets it has not become a tourist attraction and it continues to preserve its original charm.
The market is located in the heart of the city next to the famous Ponte di Rialto and several other tourist attractions. It is very simple to find it. You just need to cross the bridge in the opposite direction to the Canal Grande and then following the maze of narrow streets that will lead you first of all to the fruit and vegetable market stalls, than to those of the fish market.
If you are afraid of getting lost you could always rely on an expert local guide, for example by taking part in a Venice food tour with other travellers. This kind of experience is an alternative way to discover the city through its food, going through the less famous roads and testing the original dishes and flavors.
Once you will be next to the market you will discover that this is a quieter area than Piazza San Marco or the other tourist places, and also that the fish sold on the market is anything but expensive! So, here you can taste the original local products without the fear of eating fish caught outside the Italian seas or spending a fortune. Be careful: the market takes place every morning but only on weekdays.
Venice cuisine, fish restaurants and “bacari”
The fish market is surely the most suitable place to have an authentic culinary experience in Venice. However, don’t forget to have a stop in a fish restaurants in Venice. You will find several places where to eat, suitable for all tastes and all budgets.
Venice is a very expensive city, especially for tourists so don’t be surprised by a more salty bill, especially if you are going to visit the most tourist zones than the more peripheral ones. However, the quality of the dishes will justify the sum.
Venice cuisine is well known for very simple fish-based dishes such as creamed cod and sardines in saor but it is also famous for other selected dishes such as stuffed green crabs or polenta stuffed with “schie”, the typical prawns of the lagoon.
The starred cuisine has in part reinterpreted the traditional dishes both in the combinations of flavors and in the presentation. However, if you prefer tradition to experimentation the right places where you can taste Venetian fish-based cuisine are the so-called “bacari“. They are the typical Venetian taverns where you can taste the local wine accompanied by the so-called “cicheti“. This Italian word means something like “small snacks” but don’t forget where you are going to have your lunch or dinner. When in Italy what Italians call a snack food is a complete meal. So, are you ready to eat?