Venice Italy food has a tradition of its own, being significantly different to the neighboring regions in Italy, as well as to the nearby Austrian and Slavic cuisines.
The Venetian cuisine is divided into three main categories:
- cuisine of the coastal areas (famous for seafood dishes),
- food from the Venetian the plains (many grilled meat dishes), and
- specialties served at the mountains region (especially pork and game meat).
There are several common elements to all of these cuisines, with the most common dish being ‘polenta’, prepared in several ways within the local traditions.
Among the typical elements are seasonings used in the dishes, including butter, olive oil, sunflower oil, vinegar, kren, senape, mostarda, and salsa verde.
When dining in Venice, you’ll often stumble upon ingredients such as…
- bigoli (Venetian fresh pasta),
- fettuccine (artesan noodles),
- tortelli (typically meat filled),
- gnocchi (fresh potato pasta), and
- ragù (meat sauce, often made with duck meat).
Food has played a central role in Venetian culture for centuries, and there are several famous dishes that originated from the region.
Individual dishes you’ll be able to order at the Venetian restaurants include:
- Rixoto de gò: gò (a common fish in the Venetian lagoon) with rice,
- Pasta e faxioi: bean soup and pasta noodles,
- Polenta e schie: Venetian shrimp with white polenta,
- Sepe al nero: cuttlefish (cooked in its own ink),
- Vermicelli al nero di seppia: a famous Venetian specialty, long noodles with squid ink,
- Sardee in saor: sardines with onions, pine nuts. and raisins,
- Pasta e fasioi: Venetian version of Italian pasta & beans, and
- Bigoli in salsa: bigoli pasta, anchovy, and onion sauce.
Carpaccio, invented by Harry’s Bar in Venice, deserves its own mention. Its made out of thin-sliced meat, with mayo, mustard, cream, and tomatoes.
There are many dishes that historically had special uses. For example, “risi e bisi” (rice and peas), a very popular (and basic) Venetian food, was served to the Doge on St. Mark’s Feast Day.
Venice Italy food is also well-known for the variety of desserts.
The best known of these desserts, which you’ll be able to order from many Venetian restaurants are…
- Tiramisu: eggs, mascarpone, Marsala, and coffee-dipped savoiardi biscuits,
- Fritole venessiane: a carnevale snack, often made of cornflour,
- Pincia: delicious pastry (eggs, sugar, and raisins), and
- Mandorlato: Venetian hard torrone (there is also a soft version available of this candy-like dessert).