Ten favourite Bacari in Venice for chewing the lardo

Cichètti, or Chewing the Lardo


There’s something democratic about this city without cars. No-one can hide behind the anonymity of a windscreen, so the chances are you will know your fellow passengers on the vaporetto by sight, at the very least. Lawyers and professors share the same transport system as plumbers and market traders. The same is true if you visit bàcari, the archetypal Venetian bars (and no, neither Harry’s Bar nor the cocktail bar at the Gritti Palace is a bàcaro).



Vaporetto No 1: walking the dog, and checking for messages.



On a recent four night stay we were revisiting four restaurants for dinner, so during the day we made a habit of visiting a bàcaro (or two) for a light lunch, between ‘feasting’ on a banquet of Tintoretto.


Bàcari usually have a glass cabinet of snacks on the counter; cichèti (in Veneziano) or chicchètti (Italiano) are usually slices of crunchy baguette, sometimes warm, which brings the flavours of the toppings to life, especially the silky Lardo (cured pork fat).

They’re much the same as Pinchos from Spain; sometimes you see them described as “a Venetian take on Tapas”, but I would be careful where you say that….



On the bar at Al Timon, Cannaregio


These are ten of my favourites, listed by Sestiera:


Around Rialto



The bar takes its name from the first public merchant bank, founded here in 1600.

There’s a restaurant upstairs, and tables outside overlooking the Grand Canal.

Playlist: The Kinks greatest hits.

Campo San Giacometto, Ponte di Rialto, 122, 30125

Vaporetto: Rialto Mercato.






Inside Bancogiro, (out of season)



AL MERCÀ – is a tiny hole-in-the-wall place at the side of the food market; there’s barely room for the staff to work behind the bar.

Campo Bella Vienna, San Polo 213.     Vaporetto: Rialto Mercato



Al Merca’




Locals stand at the bar chatting to the owner, who seemed to be doing a quality control check on a magnum of something interesting when we visited. Venice is a small city, so you start to recognise characters you’ve seen before.

Tourists treat All’ Arco like a buffet, choosing a full plate which they take to the little tables and chairs in the alley outside.



All’ Arco: Piovra (octopus) and Baccala alla Vicentina



Playlist: animated conversation, with a little showing off.

Campo dell’Ochialer, San Polo 436.       Vaporetto: Rialto Mercato



All’ Arco




This tiny bar tucked away on the San Marco side of the Rialto Bridge, serves top quality cichèti, see my separate post here: https://wp.me/p7AW4i-xy

Playlist: Dylan, early and late periods.

Corte del Tentor, San Marco 5513     Vaporetto: Rialto.



San Polo


ADAGIO Caffè & Wine bar

Well placed if you’re visiting the Frari, or on your way to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, it’s in a corner of the Campo dei Frari behind the church. It wouldn’t look out of place as a Patisserie and Salon du Thé in Paris, but actually serves well-priced cicchèti (€1 – 1.50), glasses of wine for around €4, and a well-made macchiato.

Playlist: Otis Redding, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen. And Dylan.

Calle del Scaleter, 3028, 30125      Vaporetto: San Tomà



Adagio Caffe & Wine Bar




where a cool young crowd mingles with older ne’er-do-wells over Spritz and good snacks.

Calle del Scaleter, 2863, 3012      Vaporetto: San Tomà

Playlist: Electro. ‘Dance’. That sort of thing.



Bacaro Basego





EL RÉFOLO – a small, hip bar on via Garibaldi, knocking out Aperol, Cynar and Campari spritz in serious quantities…. Tue – Sat 11am – 11.30pm

Via Garibaldi, Castello 1580.     Vaporetto: Arsenale.

Website: http://www.elrefolo.it/

My post “to spritz or not to spritz?” https://wp.me/p7AW4i-4I



Campari spritz at El Refolo






A glass and a snack at Vini al Bottegon, a wine shop on Fondamenta Nani. Stand outside with a glass and cicchetti, prepared by the redoubtable Sandra.

There’s no playlist; just the three brothers selling bottles of wine.

Ponte San Trovaso, Dorsoduro 992.     Vaporetto: Accademia.




Campo Santa Margharita is a rambling square of bars and cafes which stay open late, especially in the summer. The happening place is The Red Caffe, popular with students.

Dorsoduro 2963.     Vaporetto: Cà Rezzonico.





On winter nights, instead of Santa Margharita, head for the Fondamenta della Misericorderia and Fondamenta dei Ormesini for an aperitivo or a late drink.


Fondamenta della Misericordia



This small bar, popular with the local crowd, serves natural wines with cicchetti. “No Spritz! (we love wine)”.


Vino Vero, Cannaregio


Fondamenta della Misericordia, Cannaregio 2497. Closed Monday.

Vaporetto: S. Alvise; Orto; San Marcuola Casino.





This trattoria has a lively bar in its main dining room, and even livelier cutomers by the canal outside!


Cicheti at Al Timon


Playlist: lively conversation into the small hours.

Fondamenta degli Ormesini, Cannaregio 2754.

Vaporetto: S. Alvise; Orto; San Marcuola Casino.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *