Venice Food Walking Tours – 3 Wonderful Ways To Taste Venezia

We love to walk and we love to eat, especially in a delicious place like Venice — a treat for the eyes and for the stomach. If you're similar, we know you're going to love the Venice food walking tours we've discovered. Like in Spain, Venice has a lovely tapas tradition called cicchetti, where locals head to neighborhood bars called bacari for a glass of local wine and house appetizers.

These culinary tours of Venice take you down tiny streets, palazzos, and along canals to discover the best bites in the city. Sure you'll eat some great food, but you'll also learn about Venetian daily life, and Venetian food & wine traditions. You won't go hungry, there are enough tastes for a substantial lunch or evening meal. Get introduced to local Venetian cheese, delicious pasta, cured meats, freshly caught fish & marinated seafood as you delve into the City of Islands.

1. Venetian Bacari – Cicchetti & Wine Tour

Venetian Cicchetti & Wine Walking Tour

To discover Venetians' favourite cicchetti bars you need to team up with a local guide who knows the food scene. This tour takes you to the best places for those tapas-style dishes, paired with a glass of prosecco or wine. You stroll through Venice, stopping at a hefty handful (five in total) of traditional wine bars, plus a visit to the lively Rialto Market.

You meet up at Campo della Maddalena, a tiny square that's remained unchanged since medieval times, surrounded by 16th-century houses with picturesque Venetian chimneys. Your walking tour starts at a historical bar — formerly a charcoal store — that specializes in cicchetti. Sample small plates of juicy plump olives and marinated seafood served on wedges of creamy polenta.

Continue to Strada Nuova, a busy neighborhood of Cannaregio, to an 18th-century bar famous for plates of polpette, spicy fried meatballs. Then hop aboard a traghetti, a gondola ferry, for a ride along the canals. Cruise the Grand Canal to the Rialto Market for a glimpse of local life and the market's bustling stalls filled with fresh seafood, local vegetables and fruit. This small group is limited to 14 to ensure you get enough cicchetti !

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So much fun! The food was unbelievable, wine was flowing and the ambiance was beautiful. Definitely a highlight of my trip to Italy with my girlfriends."
– 5-Star Review

2. Food Walk in the Jewish Ghetto

Food Walk in the Jewish Ghetto

Take an evening stroll to the best bacari in Venice's Jewish Ghetto. Explore the historical quarter, visit three bars for local wine and cicchetti. Many Venetians consider the Jewish Ghetto to be authentic Venice, tucked away from the tourist areas.

From your guide you'll hear how the Jewish Ghetto was the first of its kind in the world, and how it was the inspiration for William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. The quarter still thrives as a spiritual and cultural centre for Venice's Jewish community and is dotted with synagogues and kosher restaurants & delis.

Sip on a glass of ombra (Venetian slang for local wine) at each bar, paired with plates of cicchetti. Your tour finishes near Campo della Maddalena, an ideal placed to continue exploring Venice.

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"Excellent tour! Would never of toured the Jewish Ghetto otherwise. The cicchetti and wine were fabulous as well. Highly recommend this tour.""
– 5-Star Review

3. Rialto Market – Food & Wine Tour

Rialto Market – Food & Wine Tour

This food walk is another wonderful way to discover Venetians' bountiful & most famous fresh food market, off-the-beaten path restaurants, hidden monuments, and the best bacari for a taste of local wines and delicious cicchetti.

You start from Campo San Giacometto, an ancient square preserved since medieval times. Wander through the Rialto Market's dazzling array of colourful seafood, and fresh produce. This market goes way back, since 1097, Venetians have shopped here for their daily food supplies.

Next make your way to some Venetian bacari for delicious cicchetti dishes. Along the way see Campo San Giovanni e Paolo (pictured), Marco Polo's house, the Grand Canal; and the Rialto Bridge.

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"This tour was amazing. So much delicious food and wine. Our tour guide was very thorough with the history of the area. I have been on many food tours and this was by far one of the best. I would recommend this tour to anyone visiting Venice."
– 5-Star Review

What are Cicchetti?

Instead of dining at an overpriced tourist trap, graze on delicious Venetian bar snacks, known as cicchetti (pronounced chi-KET-tee). The bacari wine bars serve these Venetian tapas and are definitely the places to sample local specialties like marinated seafood served with grilled polenta.

On a cicchetti menus you'll find things like bite-sized tastes of cod puree called baccala smeared on toast, deep-fried olives, baby pickled onions, anchovies, salamis, and cheeses — all washed down with local wine, Prosecco, or a spritz. Along with your nibbles try wines like Fragolino rosso or bianco, local sweet wine redolent of strawberries; or a popular Venetian cocktail called a spritz (Prosecco, a dash of bitter liqueur such as Apero or Campari, with a wedge of fresh orange). Other popular chiccetti include —

  • Polpette – delicious deep-fried balls of salty, finely minced pork
  • Freshly shucked oysters on ice
  • Langoustines, calamari, liver, speck and prawns
  • Sliced cured meats, radicchio, gorgonzola, roasted vegetables
  • Marinated anchovies, fried fish, grilled cuttlefish
  • Sarde in saor – sweet and sour sardines

The Bacari of Venice

Eat, drink and be merry Venetian style! Dating back to the 1700s, the tradition of bacari developed to restore workers as they headed home after a busy day driving a gondola or catching fish. Don't expect posh surroundings, these hole-in-the-wall establishments are ultra casual, many don't even have a place to sit. People come and go, grabbing a small plate of grilled panini, fried calamari, zucchini blossoms, meatballs and a glass of simple wine.