• Nicoletta Fornaro

All you need to know about food shopping in Venice


Although I already have a generic Food Shopping in Venice page, I decided to dedicate a more detailed post on the topic that could be useful to locals and visitors alike.

The first consideration is that, differently from most cities, in Venice it is very difficult to find everything you need in just one place and that, anyway, you can buy only the things you can actually carry home by hand. To load more products possible, locals avail themselves of two-wheel trolleys, but still, it is in no way comparable to the amount of food one could put in a car boot. This is why we have to get organised and divide our food shopping in different moments.

For example, I buy all the basics (coffee, pasta, rice, oil, etc.) at the supermarket, load with greens at one of our local markets once a week and get the "little bits" everyday. By the way, as locals know, here supermarkets are small and it often happens that different supermarkets of the same chain keep different products, so we kind of need to know which place has what. Challenging! Anyway, let's start our food shopping tour.

MARKETS

- Rialto: Our central market, the only place where one can find almost everything. Open from 8am to 1pm, greens are sold from Monday to Saturday and fish from Tuesday to Saturday. With regard to greens, compared to the farmers markets, there is a wider choice, especially when it comes to fresh herbs. My favourite stall is Fratelli Moro, the one in front of the Pescheria, between the corner fishery and the Rialto Gel shop. When I buy fish, I usually have a look around and decide on the basis of what I need, while when I buy meat I always go to Rialto Carni (Marino and Tiziano) and ask them what I should get and they always give me something seriously delicious. (Learn more).

- Santa Marta:

Every Monday from 8 am to 2 pm there is a wonderful farmer market in Santa Marta.

Here you can find almost everything except fish. I recommend trying both cheese stalls and the focaccia with greens and cheese at the only place selling bread and baked goods. (Learn more)

- Rio Tera' dei Pensieri:

On Mondays and Thursdays from 8 am to 1 pm in Rio Tera' dei Pensieri, just a few minutes from P.le Roma. Small and cosy, this market offers locally grown organic vegetables, cheese, cured meats, oils, juices, jams, honey, nuts and baked goods. (Learn more)

- Lido

In Lido there are two weekly markets: the Tuesday general market, where in addition to food you will find clothes, shoes, linens, towels and other housewares and more; then there is the Friday Coldiretti farmers market, where there is only food. I love this market, small and with a beautiful view of the lagoon, here I usually shop at the Vignole stall and always buy some cookies from the Dal Bo e Tarcisio truck. (Learn more)

- Giudecca

Every Thursday morning from 9:30 to 12:30 (more or less) in F.ta Sant'Eufemia the girls of the work-in-jail sell the seasonal and organic vegetables they grow in the "Garden of Wonders". Excellent prices. What you spend will be added to the women's salaries. (Learn more).

- Lista Vecchia dei Bari 1165

The only farmers market open in the evening, every Thursday from 6 pm to 8:30.

Located in Lista Vecchia dei Bari, the association About not only grows and sells vegetables, but also cooks and hosts dinners.

- Via Garibaldi

In Via Garibaldi in Castello you can really find everything. There is a boat in front of Trattoria alla Rampa selling vegetables and at least other two stalls, the bigger of which opens also in the afternoon, two fisheries, two supermarkets, bakeries and just down calle delle ancore there is an excellent butcher.

- Delivery services:

Another option is to buy online directly from a farm. The most popular delivery services in Venice are I Sapori di Sant'Erasmo and Donna Gnora.

BAKERIES

There are quite a few bakeries in Venice, so here I will list only my favourites:

- Fratelli Crosera (Castello, Salizada S. Canzian, 5935 AND Cannaregio 5335)

Excellent bread and pastries. I particularly like the whole wheat loaf (filone integrale), the croissants and anything with puff pastry. Try their kranz, it costs 3 euros but it is big and filling and so good I have no words to describe it.

- Colussi Il Fornaio (San Marco, Calle de S. Luca, 30124 Venice VE)

Renown for the traditional focaccia, Colussi offers a wide range of special breads with high quality and whole flours. I also suggest their homemade pasta (especially the ravioli and mezze lune, but also the gnocchi alla romana -Roman style dumplings- perfect topped with butter and parmesan and baked in the oven) and their sweet treats (my favourite is the Pan del Pescatore).

- Baldin (Cannaregio, Guglie 1291)

Small bakery located at the foot of the Guglie bridge in the F.ta that takes you to the Ghetto.

Super friendly staff, delicious bread and baked goods and excellent prices. On Tuesdays they also make lasagna, while on Fridays there is baccalà mantecato.

SUPERMARKETS

In general, Venetians choose their supermarket basis of the number of bridges that separate it from their house. Anyway, the supermarkets we have are Coop (I like the Fior Fiore and ViviVerde products), Conad, Simply, Prix and Despar. By the way, one of the Despar stores is located inside the Ex-Cinema Italia, now beautifully restored, and won a prize as the most beautiful supermarket in Europe, with original frescos.

For a map of supermarkets in Venice click here.

ORGANIC STORES

If you are looking for organic food stores, the best options are:

- La Serenissima (Corte Coppo, San Marco 4350)

This small shops offers a good assortment of food with lots of options for vegetarians and vegans and people with other special dietary needs.

- Naturalia (Sestiere Dorsoduro, 3525)

- NaturaSi (Santa Croce, calle della Regina 2264)

Located two minutes from the Rialto market, this organic store offers everything one may need, from fresh fruit and veg to canned goods, from loaves of bread with whole flours to meat and dairy products, products for vegans, oils and dressings, breakfast food and so on. Lovely staff!

SPECIALTY FOOD SHOPS

- Mille Vini (Ramo del Fontego dei Tedeschi, 380)

Located at the foot of the Rialto bridge on the San Bortolo side, Mille Vini offers an excellent selection of wine and liquors at a very good value. It's also possible to buy quality olive oil, anchovies, sauces and other products. Let him help you, you won't be disappointed!

- Mascari (San Polo, Calle dello Spezier 381)

The oldest delicacy store in Venice, a little jewel full of delicious food. Here you will find wine, liquors, candies, spices, herbs, nuts, dried fruit, jams, honey, olive oil, vinegar, teas, specialty rice and pasta and more. With regard to wine and liquors, great value for money!

- Giacomo Rizzo (Cannaregio, Salizada S. Giovanni Grisostomo, 5778 )

Located in Calle San Giovanni Grisostomo 5778, this small shop is known mostly for its homemade pasta, but I actually come here to buy seaweeds and other more exotic foods. Pricey, but very good quality.

- Dai Fioi dea Ruga (Castello, Ruga Giuffa, 4885)

Specialty food store with high quality Italian products at an excellent value for money. Wine, extra virgin olive oil, salami, varieties of pasta and rice, biscuits and more. A real gem only 5 minutes from Piazza San Marco.

- Enogastronomia Pantagruelica (Dorsoduro, Campo San Barnaba 2844)

Excellent quality products selected with care and great attention by a lovely owner. You can buy cured meats, cheese, specialty pasta, olives and dressings and great quality wine and spirits. It is also possible to have a small tasting for 2 (25 euros in total) with a glass of wine and a small assortment of the offer of the day.

FOR ETHNIC FOOD:

- P.le Roma, Rio Tera' Sant'Andrea It took me ages to identify it, simply because it does nothing to be noticed, and still I don't know how it is called! Go to P.le Roma towards the San Marco Parking, take the street on the right and the last shop (with a pitch dark window) is an ethnic store. Here you can buy noodles, rice, Asian sauces, coconut milk, spicy peppers, and so on, obviously at dirt cheap prices!

FOR CELIACS:

- Mea Libera Tutti (Sestiere Cannaregio, Calle Racchetta 3763, 30121)

Gluten-free grocery store with a very wide offer, ideal to satisfy all the needs of celiacs.

MILK & CHEESE

- La Baita (San Polo 47 Venezia)

Corner stall at the end of Ruga deli Oresi with fresh, seasoned and blue cheese, excellent anchovies, olives and a couple of cured meats. Great value for money.

- Aliani (San Polo, 214, 30125 Venezia)

Probably one of the most known cheese shops in Venice (in fact, it is called the house of Parmesan...) with a great selection of cheese, yogurt and cured meats. Pricey, but worth it.

TAKE-AWAY

- Sepa (Castello 3324 - 30122)

Lovely new take-away offering Venetian food like baccalà mantecato, sardines, cuttlefish, but also lots of vegetables and small sandwiches.

- Rosticceria Gislon (Calle de la Bissa, 5424/a, 30124 San Marco, Venezia)

Renown for the mozzarella in carrozza (a local delicacy made with two slices of white bread with no crust filled with mozzarella and either anchovies or ham), it's a great option if you want something ready to bring home. Here you will find anything from octopus salads to fried food, from risottos to pastas and salads.

- Bisiol (Dorsoduro, 4441, 30123 Venezia)

Bisiol is actually a butcher's, but they always have something ready to bring home like a whole or half roasted chicken, polpettone, meat balls, a lasagna and some sort of vegetable.

TEAS AND COFFEES

- Peter's Tea House (Rialto, Calle Bembo, 4645)

If you are a tea lover, this is the place for you. Small and cosy, this tea house offers a wide and very high quality selection of teas. It's also possible to buy certain types of coffees, coloured sugar and beautiful teapots and cups.

- Torrefazione Cannaregio (Cannaregio, Salizzada San Leonardo 1337)

This tiny coffee bar and shop is always crowded with people. The quality is excellent and the value for money very good. I only bought the coffee, but they also offer specialty pastas made with cocoa and coffee and yummy chocolates (these I did try...).

- Caffè del Doge (Rialto, Calle dei Cinque, San Polo, 609)

Probably the most known spot for coffee in Venice. A special quality coffee for your morning moka!

And what are your favourite shops in Venice? Let me know!

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