Venice – Cannaregio – eating and drinking along Fondamenta Misericordia

A good reason to stay in Cannaregio is to be near the entertainment district along Fondamenta Misericordia, and its continuations Fondamenta dei Ormesini and Fondamenta Capuzine. By day there are lots of nice spots for a pleasant lunch by the canal…

… and at night it becomes an atmospheric bar strip. I found myself going back several times, either for lunch or dinner, or for a drink.

Despite all my revisits, there are still a few places marked on my Google map that I didn’t have time to try, so please don’t think of this as an exhaustive guide, it’s just about the my experiences. They were generally all very positive…

Osteria Al Bacco (Intermediate A), 3054 Fondamenta Capuzine, no website

Al Bacco is one of Venice’s oldest and most beautiful osterie. There are two wood-panelled dining rooms inside, or you can choose to sit outside next to the canal, or under an ancient vine in the shady yard at the back.

I came for dinner and had the Antipasto di Pesce which included beautifully presented preparations of mantis shrimp, king prawn, scallop, smoked salmon, octopus, squid, sardines and polenta, all of which were sublime (A).

If I’d had time, I would have come back for their lunch deal which is one of the most generous in town. It would make a good stop after walking around the Ghetto on the other side of the canal, but it’s probably best to reserve.

Il Paradiso Perduto (Intermediate),2540 Fondamenta Misericordia,

Even though I was in Venice during the Covid period, this jazzy bar was always busy whenever I walked past. It’s a popular spot with local students so it gets pretty noisy and hectic. The staff take it all in their stride though and are welcoming and professional.

I came with my friends Kelly and Matt quite late in the evening for drinks and had a couple of dishes to share so that we could get the table. We weren’t expecting it, but the food was great! While not much to look at the grilled veg was some of the most flavoursome I’ve ever had!

And the even uglier Bigoli Torchiati in Casa al Nero di Seppia (fat spaghetti made in-house with squid in its own ink) was also excellent.

Wish I’d had time to go back and do this place justice.

Bacaro del Gelato (Elementary B), 2499 Fondamenta Misericordia,

This tiny gelataria is a good spot for dessert or an affogato. The selection is small but they have all the classics.

Vino Vero (Elementary B), 2497 Fondamenta Misericordia,

If you’re into natural wines, this little bar has a great selection of small-production, ‘biodynamic’ labels. It’s not cheap, I think this bottle of local red and a few cichetti came to around €40, but it’s a change from the norm.

We enjoyed it, but as my friend Kelly pointed out (she has the level two sommelier qualification), it can take several hours for a bottle of natural wine to fully open up, in which case it may be better to order by the glass.

Mezzopieno (Elementary A), 2831 Fondamenta dei Ormesini

I’m not one for loud and busy bars anymore (getting old) so I really liked this quiet friendly spot up at the far end of the strip. It’s run by a really nice older chap who speaks good English and knows his Negronis (my favourite cocktail). He had a good selection of gins and other Negroni ingredients to choose from on the back bar. These two excellent vermouths (made by the same people) were completely new to me.

I was also introduced to this alternative to Campari which I’d never heard of before.

While we’re on the subject the Venetian alternative to Campari is called Select, which is fine, but not available here for some reason.

I went back to Mezzopieno a couple of times to try all the possible variations. Definitely a favourite spot!

There are many other places along the canal that I didn’t get round to trying (Al Timon for food for example), but I think I found some of the best ones. You’ll find everywhere mentioned and more on my Google map. Please the previous post for other restaurants in Cannaregio and future posts for restaurants in other neighbourhoods. Off to the market next!

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