Ever heard of cicchetti? Now you have!
Did you know Venice has its own version of tapas, called cicchetti? These Venetian small plates are not too dissimilar to the Spanish version and a great meal choice if you’re looking for a place to dine out with friends. The sharing aspect of small plates makes for a more sociable experience and is the perfect excuse to try a number of delicacies if you just can’t choose what to order!
Cicchetti dishes are typically enjoyed with a small glass of wine or a cocktail for a reasonable price (usually a couple of Euros each) with a range of meats, cheese, fresh fish and fried foods on the menu. The plates on offer are suitable from lunch through dinner and are a very popular choice with locals and tourists alike.
It is very common for osterie to create their own unique cicchetti, but a classic dish which is widely associated with these venetian small plates is seppioline alla griglia (grilled baby squid). Polpette is another traditional order, which is a dish of fried veal and potato balls.
It’s not only osterie that serve cicchetti; in Venice there are also small bars called bacari which can be found scattered across the city which specialise in these small plates. Table service is usually available in bacari, but a quick on-the-go bite is a more common option.
Cicchetti crawls are a popular activity among friends, making pit-stops at a number of osterie and bacari to try each venues unique cicchetti dishes. This can also be a great way to find your favourite cicchetti restaurant and their bespoke plates. Be sure to keep this in mind and try the different foods on offer next time you find yourself in Venice!