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Venice -- She Finds Fabulous Food Stops


Shannon Essa is a food loving, wine drinking, solo travelling, guidebook writing, 30 something Journeywoman. Since 1998 she has traveled through Europe and lived in Venice as well as Budapest. Now residing in San Diego, USA Shannon lives on a diet of wine, music, and thoughts of travel. We asked her about women-friendly restaurants in Venice. Shannon writes...

Many people travel to Venice and come away disappointed by the food. Many parts of Venice are very touristy, and it is easy for a restaurant to get away with mediocrity. However, it is also easy to find great places to eat and drink all over Venice. Just keep some of these guidelines in mind:

Get out of San Marco...
Never eat at a restaurant with a guy outside asking you to eat there. Avoid restaurants with menus printed in 5 languages. Of course there are probably exceptions to this rule, but only go to one of these places if it is recommended to you by a good guidebook or fellow traveller. I suggest you choose places that seem to be full of happy locals.
Venetians love their bars...
Most Venetians stop in one or several every night on their way home from work. In the bar, they will have an ombra (small glass of wine) or a Spritz (white wine with a small shot of Campari or Aperol (a sweeter version of Campari, and a splash of soda). Their drinks are accompanied by cichetti, small snacks which can range from a bite of ham to a fried, stuffed ball of rice to a whole plate of roasted vegetables tossed in good olive oil. You can eat, and drink very well and cheaply this way. It's easy -- find a bar with a display of food and a good crowd, order your wine and point to the food you want. The staff will keep track of what you owe and you pay at the end.

Cichetti bars...
Alla Botte (Calle della Bissa 5484, San Marco). This place is hard to find but let me help you find your way. To get there, go to Campo San Bartolomeo at the foot of the Rialto Bridge, find the public bathrooms, and go around the corner. If Alla Botte is open, it will be right there. They have a large selection of really great cichetti plus all kinds of wines by the glass. It can get a bit crowded here, but don't be shy, just walk up to the bar. The two guys behind it speak some English. (Vaporetto - Rialto)

Ai Promessi Sposi (Calle dellí Oca 4367, Cannaregio). This is a great stop for cichetti right off the Strada Nova. They have a huge spread of cichetti to choose from, good wine by the glass, and a collection of grizzled guys from the hood who will flirt innocently with you. (Vaporetto - Ca D'Oro)

Cantina Do Mori (Calle dei Do Mori 429, San Polo). This is one of the oldest bars in Venice, and one of the most touristy, right in the heart of the Rialto Market. But lots of Venetians still come here, and the wine and cichetti are excellent.(Vaporetto - San Silvestro or Rialto and cross the bridge)

Vivaldi (Calle de la Madoneta 1457, San Polo). One of the best things about Vivaldi is their big window right on the busy calle, where you can eat your cichetti and drink your wine while looking out at a never-ending stream of locals and tourists streaming by. (Vaporetto - San Toma)

Recommended restaurants, bars and more...





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