In light of the Thanksgiving holiday coming up in the United States, I am writing about a fun restaurant that I have been to on two separate US Thanksgivings in Venice – Osteria al Squero! While I love this place, I will disclose that Osteria al Squero is by no means a secret or even “off the beaten path.” In fact, Osteria al Squero is listed in many a guidebook, including Rick Steves (with whom I have a love/hate relationship, LOL), and it definitely falls into the “touristy” category. All of that said, Osteria al Squero is still a fantastic spot for tourists to try cicchetti, or “Venetian tapas” for those not in the know. This article details how to enjoy cicchetti at Osteria al Squero.
Osteria al Squero is located in Venice’s Dorsoduro neighborhood, which is just across the Accademia bridge from San Marco. Osteria al Squero is a short five minute walk from the Dorsoduro side of the Accademia bridge. Pro tip – the Dorsoduro side of the Accademia bridge is also home to a fine place to board a gondola ride.
Osteria al Squero is easiest enough to find, as it is directly across from one of Venice’s last remaining gondola factories, Squero di San Trovaso. Upon arriving at Osteria al Squero, you will likely be blow away by the views of Squero di San Trovaso and take loads of photos.
After your photography is done, feel free to walk into the tiny Osteria al Squero. Hopefully it won’t be too crowded, but as it often is, just make your way in as you can. You will eventually get to order – the staff moves fast. The only thing on offer at Osteria al Squero are drinks and cicchetti (again, a type of Venetian tapas for lack of a better word). To know the cicchetti on offer, simply walk up to the counter and look inside the glass cases. What is available is on display, as simply as that. During the day, things are replaced pretty quickly, and everything I’ve had here is delicious. And, as you will see, most cicchetti consist of a single, albeit large, bite of food served on a piece of bread. You usually order a couple at a time and can come back for more. The price is per “bite” and the cost is somewhere between 1 and 4 euro per bite, depending on size and the product. To order, the staff will ask what you want, but you also just point if you don’t know what it is you are ordering. Also, pro tip, the staff here speak English, although they will appreciate Italian.
In terms of drinks, wine, simple cocktails, and Prosecco are offered at very reasonable prices.
Once you get your food and drink, you can eat indoors if you can find a seat in the tiny establishment or take your food and drink outside to eat overlooking Osteria al Squero. I’ve always eaten inside, but that’s probably because its been winter. I’d love to eat outside in nice weather.
In terms of payment, credit card is accepted and depending on how crowded it is, you pay when you order or when you leave, up to you the staff. Be sure to leave a few extra euros for tip, even though that’s not necessarily an Italian “thing.”
Remaining thoughts, Osteria al Squero is a very fun place for a snack or lunch, or even an early dinner. Visitors can order as much or as little as they want, so don’t shy away even if you have big dinner plans. And, final thought, don’t be afraid to try out Osteria al Squero or any other cicchetti spot in Venice. People are friendly and understand that visitors do not necessarily understand the custom! For more on cicchetti, read about two cicchetti tours I took (here and here)!
STEAL OUR TRIP
Osteria al Squero: Dorsoduro, 943, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy. A 3-min walk from the Gallerie dell’Accademia. Recently open 10:00 – 20:30 Monday – Friday, until 15:00 on Saturday, and closed on Sunday. Super budget friendly. Casual dress.