Everything You Need To Know About Authentic Venetian Food (2023)

https://veneziaautentica.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/_sam8980-custom.jpg 599 600 Venezia Autentica | Discover and Support the Authentic Venice Venezia Autentica | Discover and Support the Authentic Venice https://veneziaautentica.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/_sam8980-custom.jpg

There is an urban legend which tells that food in Venice is not good. Well, we’re sorry to say that not all legends are based on truth. Venice developed its own cuisine using its long and particular history. A cuisine, unique, often simple and very tasty.

This article is dedicated to the local food that a Venetian would eat seating alone or in a company. Venice is also the home of another popular culinary tradition, the Venetian cicheti, which is definitely also worth a try.

Want more tips, tools and stories from Venice, Italy?

We're on a mission to make it easy and fun to discover and support the authentic Venice. Try our email and see for yourself!

Thanks for signing up! If there is no e-mail in your inbox in the next hour, remember to check your spam folder and to add us to your contact list. Thank you! Get access to our live videos and even more content: like us on Facebook to add daily goodness to your feed. A presto!

Oops! We're sorry, something went wrong. We'll fix it soon. In the mean time, you can like us on Facebook to stay in touch!

By signing up you agree with Venezia Autentica's privacy policy

Origins and Influences of the Venetian Cuisine

Because of its geographical position (in other words, because Venice has always beenan island surrounded by water), the traditional Venetian cuisine has always been based on fish, wild game, and any kind of seafoodavailable in the lagoon, in the Adriatic sea… and in the North Sea! We’ll tell you about it later…

Along the abundant amount of seafood available, the Venetian cuisine is based also on vegetables that can grow in the surrounding area, such as peas, beans, asparaguses, artichokes and radicchio (a leaf chicory). However, there is more to the story…

Everything You Need To Know About Authentic Venetian Food (1)


Venetians have been the first to, literally, cultivate salt. For centuries, Venetians detained an absolute monopoly on salt production and could sell at a very high price this precious good for food preservation to other countries, cities, and Empires.

The monopoly on salt trades made the Venetians extremely wealthy and allowed them to buy any good from elsewhere. In regards tofood, Venetians could purchase meat from surrounding lands, corn and tomatoes from the Americas, aubergines, and turkey from the southern routes of the Mediterranean, rice and a great variety of spices from Arab countries.

Related: How to create and run the longest-lived form of Government ever: the case of the Venetian Republic

Traditionally the Venetian cuisine, therefore, has always beena combination of dishes with accessible(yet exceptional) local ingredients as well as rare and exotic ones. There has always beena wide range of ingredientsto pick from, with imported goods being mainly a luxury for the wealthier people.

Everything You Need To Know About Authentic Venetian Food (2)

Unlock a discount at the best local businesses in Venice

Learn more about Venezia Autentica Friends' Pass

The Venetian Cuisine Today

Nowadays the Venetian cuisine is a combination of traditional local dishes which show influencesfrom the Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, and great importance is given to seafood, risottos, and soups.

A fullItalian meal structure unwinds this way: Aperitivo (aperitif), Antipasto (light appetizer commonly consisting of fine hams/small seafood), Primo (dish based on pasta/rice/gnocchi), Secondo (dish consisting of meat/fish), Contorno (side dish served with the “Secondo”, consisting of vegetables), Insalata (Salad), Formaggi e Frutta (local cheeses and seasonal fruits), Dolce (national or traditional local dessert/gelato), Caffè (we let you guess the translation :D), Digestivo (alcoholic drink served to ease the digestion of the meal).

Enough words, we know you want to read a list of the most known, tasty and appreciated dishes… So here we go!

Related: Understand where to eat in Venice

Everything You Need To Know About Authentic Venetian Food (3)

Book an authentic experience in Venice

See all experiences

Traditional Dishes of the Venetian Cuisine

Baccalà: Baccalà is nothing else but… creamed dried salted cod. Doesn’t sound that delicious, does it? It is! It is incredibly delicate yet tasty, so creamy and is definitelya MUST TRY when inVenice. It can be served with “polenta”, or with bread. The ties between Norwegian codand Venice date back to almost 600 years ago, precisely to 1432 C.E., when the Venetian merchant Pietro Querini got stranded during a storm on the Norwegian island of Roest, and discovered the vast use of this fish made by the local population, thanks toits versatility and durability.

Risi e Bisi: Halfway between a risotto and a soup, it ismade by combining rice with peasthat have already been cooked separately with plenty of onions, and then seasoned with parsley, salt, and pepper. This dish was typically served to the Doge on the 25th of April, the day of the celebration of the Venice Patron Saint Mark, as a wish of prosperity. In fact, rice is a symbol of fertility (that’s why it is thrown at the newlyweds outside of the churches!), and peas are a typical spring season vegetable growing in the area. The variation with added strawberries, “Risi e Bisi e Fragole”, has been used as a symbol of the resistance againstthe Austrian occupation of Venice during the XIX century: peas are green, rice is white, strawberries are red, just like the colors of the Italian flag!

Sarde in Saor: fried sardines coveredin slightly fried onions (which have been fried in the same oil used for the sardines), raisins and pine nuts (typicallyin winter to increase the calories count), all sprinkled with plenty of vinegar and left to marinate at least one full day.

Pasta e fazioi: dense beans soup withpasta. It is as good as it is simple. And it is very simple 😉

Everything You Need To Know About Authentic Venetian Food (4)

Fegato alla veneziana: calf liver, cooked with white onions, olive oil, and white wine.

Sepe col nero: local squid cleaned and cooked in a pan with oil, parsley and white wineto which, in the end, is addedthe squid’s own black ink. “Sepe col nero” can be used also as a condiment in pasta or for making a “risotto alnero di seppia”.

Risoto de gò: risotto made with “Zosterisessor Ophiocephalus”, commonly known as, a fish that is typical of the Venetian lagoon. In the past it was an inexpensiveraw materialand has always been part of the peasant Venetian cuisine, used in fish soups or eaten in piadine, or used locally for trades; nowadays the gò is part of the Venetian delicacies, especially appreciated when used in a “Risoto de gò”.

Moeche: small green “Carcinus Moenas” crabs that are caught in their molting phase,during which they are soft, and are then fried. The moeche are considered a delicacy and can be expensive because the moulting phase takes place only twice a year (in the beginning of spring and in the beginning of autumn for the crab to “change” its armor and adapt to the coming warmer/colder months) and only last a few hours: after that, the exoskeleton of the crab becomes hard again.

Schie e poenta: schie or “Palaemon serratus”, a type of shrimps of the Venetian lagoon, are fried and placed on a base of polenta. Traditionally, Venetians would use a firm yellow polenta; nowadays the polenta can also be served in its white form and in a much more liquid state.

And this, our dear friends, is just a part of the traditional Venetian cuisine!
We could mention rice with asparaguses, bigoli pasta, grilled eel, cassopipa carpet shells (carpet shells cooked very slowly), razor clams cooked in oil, small breaded artichokes, mullet, monkfish, baby octopuses anddozen of duck/hare/sea bass recipes, fritole,essi and bussolà (Burano cake/cookies made with butter, sugar, flour and eggs), and hundreds of different cicheti…

We bet you now can’t wait to try the Venetian cuisine, right?

Well then, check out the resources below to plan your trip to Venice and discover where to eat and drink, while making a positive impact on the local community:

Save money in Venice and Support our work. Get your Friends' Pass

Shop the best of Made in Venice

Browse our insiders' guide

Hire Venetians Help for your needs!

Book a tour or experience

I'm visiting Venice. Why should I follow your recommendations?

The way you visit Venice has an impact both on the quality of your experience and on Venice itself.Chilling, exploring, shopping, eating and drinking where the locals do, can make a huge impact both on the memories you bring home and on the local economy and community.


  • Best Places where to eat and drink like a local in Venice
  • Why eating and drinking at authentic local businesses matters

Liked this article? Don’t forget to share the love!

Home >> Visiting Venice >> Tips and Inspiration >> You’re Here

Tips and Inspiration to experience Venice

Everything You Need To Know About Authentic Venetian Food (5)

Want to go on a gondola ride in Venice? Here’s everything you need to know!

Everything You Need To Know About Authentic Venetian Food (6)

How’s the weather in Venice, Italy? We’ve got you covered!

Everything You Need To Know About Authentic Venetian Food (7)

The ultimate guide to the top 10 things to do and see in Venice, Italy

More in Visiting Venice

Go to Visiting Venice >>

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Last Updated: 20/09/2023

Views: 6042

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Birthday: 1995-01-14

Address: 55021 Usha Garden, North Larisa, DE 19209

Phone: +6812240846623

Job: Corporate Healthcare Strategist

Hobby: Singing, Listening to music, Rafting, LARPing, Gardening, Quilting, Rappelling

Introduction: My name is Foster Heidenreich CPA, I am a delightful, quaint, glorious, quaint, faithful, enchanting, fine person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.