Italy // Venice and the Veneto //

Eating and drinking

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Venice has fewer good moderately priced restaurants than any other major Italian city, but things have been improving in recent years, due in part to the efforts of the Ristorante della Buona Accoglienza, an association of restaurateurs determined to present the best of genuine Venetian cuisine at sensible prices – which in the Venetian context means in the region of €35–40 per person. A distinctive aspect of the Venetian social scene is the bácaro, which in its purest form is a bar that offers a range of snacks called cicheti (sometimes spelled ciccheti); the array will typically include polpette (small beef and garlic meatballs), carciofini (artichoke hearts), eggs, anchovies, polipi (baby octopus or squid) and tomatoes, peppers and courgettes cooked in oil. Some bácari also produce one or two more substantial dishes each day, such as risotto or seafood pasta. Excellent food is also served at many of Venice’s osterie (or ostarie), the simplest of which are indistinguishable from bácari, while others have sizeable dining areas.

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