Calle dei Do Mori, S Polo 429
Rows of copper polenta pots hang overhead in this dark, popular bar, billed as the city’s oldest osteria. The affable owners pour wine directly from huge demijohns and serve delicate postage-stamp-sized ham and salad sandwiches (francobolli).
Salizzada S Canciano, Cannaregio 5984A
Italian wines can be enjoyed at this converted butcher’s shop, along with mouthwatering bar snacks such as insalata di mare (seafood salad) and regional cheeses. This place is well frequented by both locals and visitors, who spill out from the bar and into the alleyway, glass in hand.
Ruga Vecchia S Giovanni, S Polo 692A
Verging on rowdy, this traditional establishment turns out crisp mounds of fried calamari and vegetables at evening aperitivo time, when you’ll have to elbow your way past the locals to reach the bar. Lunch and dinner are somewhat quieter affairs.
Ramo secondo del Parangon, S Polo 502
Well worth hunting out near Rialto, this rustic-looking osteria is the haunt of international artists, who happily mingle with the locals. Wines from the Veneto and Friuli are served with traditional snacks such as uova con acciughe (hard-boiled egg with anchovy).
Calle del Scalater Rocco, Dorsoduro 3961
This stylish wine bar serves a fantastic range of local and national wines, accompanied by elegant bar snacks made from locally produced ingredients, such as artichoke crostini.
Rio Terrà del Cristo, Cannaregio 1814C
All manner of counter food (cicchetti), ranging from baccalà (salted cod) on crusty bread to hearty musetto sausage, is served with great smiles by the affable young owners at this lively neighbourhood bar. There’s a also a good selection of Veneto wines.
Corte della Carità, Cannaregio 5176
Said to be the site where Titian kept his paints and canvases, this is now a tiny picturesque bar serving drinks and snacks on a vine-covered terrace in summer.
Calle dei Stagneri, S Marco 5228
You have to fight your way through the locals here, attracted by the lively atmosphere and counter overflowing with local wines and appetizing snacks such as fried sardines in breadcrumbs.
Calle del Pistor, Cannaregio 3912
A young and enterprising team runs this timber-panelled venue, which has been serving mouthwatering cicchetti, such as crispy battered artichokes and meatballs (polpetti), along with quaffable wine, for longer than any of the regulars can remember. There are also main dishes, served at tables.
Fondamenta Nani, Dorsoduro 992
Join the locals at this family-run specialist wine cellar, located not far from the Accademia Bridge, for excellent Prosecco at the stand-up bar. Simple nibbles to accompany the wine include mortadella sausage and panini filled with sopressa, a local salami.
Venetian favourite of white wine with a splash of Bitter, Aperol or Select (aperitivo brands) and a shot of mineral water.
Excellent, sparkling, dry white wine from the hills around Conegliano and Valdobbiadene.
Smooth fresh peach juice and sparkling Prosecco blend, invented by Cipriani of Harry’s Bar (Calle Vallaresso, S Marco 1323).
An ombra means a small glass of house wine, otherwise try quality Cabernet, Valpolicella or Amarone.
Soave and Pinot Grigio are worthwhile alternatives to house varieties.
Widely consumed in Italy, either sparkling (con gas) or still (senza gas). Tap water is acqua dal rubinetto.
These can be ordered as spremuta (freshly squeezed juice) or succo di frutta (bottled nectars).
Straight espresso, frothy cappuccino or caffè latte in a tall glass with hot milk.
Usually served in the winter months. An espresso milk-free version can be found in good chocolate emporia.
A well-kept local secret concocted with lemon sorbet, vodka and Prosecco.