Quick guide to Venetian food

Whether you're visiting Venice or cooking Venetian food, learn what Baccalà, Seppie al nero and Zonchiada are, all foods originating from Venice, Italy.


This refers to both dried and salt cod dishes, but in Venice almost always the dried version. Try it in baccalà mantecato (creamed and served on crostini), baccalà alla cappuccina (salad) and baccalà alla vincentina (fried with polenta).


Sarde in saor

Sweet and sour sardines – the ‘saor’ flavour is an onion-based marinade. It is commonly found as a starter in bàcari and restaurants, but locals also make it to eat on boats during the Festival of the Redeemer in July.


The most common apertif in Venice, now popular in the rest of Italy and beyond. Choose a spritz liscio for white wine with sparkling water, or spritz aperol, spritz campari or spritz bitter when the relevant mixers are added.


Small crabs from the lagoon, they lose their shells in autumn and spring, and become soft. They are sold live and eaten whole, dipped in flour and deep-fried, or stuffed.

Seppie al nero

In Venice it is customary to cook cuttlefish with its ink. It adds colour and flavour to dishes such as risotto and gnocchi. In September and October, look out for delicious baby cuttlefish.


A rich ricotta tart. It’s a classic pudding that dates back to the Middle Ages.


Focaccia Veneziana

This Venetian yeast cake is traditionally eaten at Easter, but now found throughout the year in Venice. Eat it for breakfast dipped in caffèlatte or for afternoon tea, plain or spread with jam.