Veneto is one of Italy’s most diverse locations, with the Dolomites Mountains in the North, the iconic & romantic city of Venice on the Adriatic coastline, and the stunning valleys of the Prosecco Hills in the heart of the region. Being the region in Italy with the largest production of wine, Veneto has something for every food and wine lover, especially if you’re into outdoor activities like hiking, biking, boating, or sunbathing on the beach. 

With all of the diversity in its landscape, Veneto also boasts some of Italy’s best food and wines, which are certainly worth trying during your visit. Veneto is the leading Prosecco producer in Italy, and the Prosecco vineyards are recognized as a UNESCO Heritage site. Veneto is also one of Italy’s major rice-producing regions, with varieties such as arborio and vialone nano. 

The agriculture and wine production make Veneto a top location for agritourism, with many local farms and vineyards offering accommodations, tours, and experiences that allow visitors to learn about and engage with agricultural heritage firsthand.

Veneto is much more than Venice, and its cuisine alone represents its diversity and cultural heritage. In this guide, we’ll recommend the best food and wines to try on your visit to Veneto! 

Or, leave the logistics of your trip to Italian travel experts! Join us in the Heart of Northern Italy to escape the crowds and eat your way through the hidden gems of Veneto. We’ll take you to the top locally recommended culinary hidden gems, including a farm-to-table dining experience in the Prosecco Hills. Join us on tour!

famous food veneto italy

Risotto alla Zucca & Risotto Agli Asparagi Bianchi 

One dish that perfectly captures the essence of Veneto’s culinary tradition is risotto alla zucca or Pumpkin Risotto and risotto agli asparagi bianchi (risotto with white asparagus). 

Risotto alla Zucca is a creamy and comforting staple in Venetian households, particularly during the fall when pumpkins are in season, while white asparagus risotto is popular in the spring time.

The dish is made with simple ingredients, including Arborio rice, pumpkin (often a variety called “Trombetta d’Albenga” or “Delica“), onions, white wine, broth (usually vegetable or chicken), butter, Parmesan cheese, and sometimes a touch of nutmeg or sage for added flavor.

Risotto agli asparagi bianchi is made with white asparagus, which is a DOP in the region. We recently took a trip to the area in Spring 2024 and it was on every menu! The asparagus has a more delicate taste than green asparagus, and it is often served with half on top and half blended into a cream. 

Both dishes are beloved by locals for their comforting and homey taste, which evokes memories of family gatherings and festive occasions. 

Want to know where to get the best food & wine in Venice, Italy? Here are our recommendations. 

bigoli pasta veneto famous food

Bigoli con l’Anatra

When it comes to hearty and flavorful pasta dishes in Veneto, Bigoli con l’Anatra (Bigoli with Duck) is a beloved favorite among locals. 

Bigoli con l’Anatra is made with a handful of simple ingredients that come together to create a comforting and sophisticated dish. The main components include Bigoli, a thick, long pasta noodle similar to spaghetti but with a coarser texture, Duck Ragù, made by slowly cooking duck meat with onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and herbs, and Grana Padano

Bigoli con l’Anatra is served hot, garnished with a generous grating of Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan cheese) and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper. 

Bigoli pasta is the traditional pasta of the region, and it is often served with a delicious anchovy or sardine sauce. 

Depending on the season, you might even get to try your hand at making it when you grab your seat on the Northern Italian Delights tour!

baccala vicentina famous veneto italy food

Baccalà alla Vicentina

A dish that holds a special place in the heart of Veneto’s culinary tradition is Baccalà alla Vicentina or Venetian-style salt Cod. This unique dish showcases the region’s seafood, particularly salt cod, which has been a staple in Venetian cuisine for centuries as at the height of the Venetian Republic (during the Renaissance) the Cod was brought in from the Northern European countries. 

The foundation of Baccalà alla Vicentina is the salt cod, but not just any salt cod. The cod is meticulously soaked to remove excess saltiness while preserving its firm texture. 

The sauce for the salt cod is where the magic truly happens. It begins with slowly caramelized onions in a pan, adding a sweet base. Anchovy filets melt into the onions for a rich umami boost. A splash of dry white wine deglazes the pan, creating a flavorful sauce base. The fish then simmers gently in this aromatic mixture until tender and flaky.

When it comes to serving, Baccalà alla Vicentina is often accompanied by soft polenta, a traditional Venetian side dish that often pairs with a flavorful sauce. In the mountains, polenta is often served as a first dish with local cheeses. If you’ve ever wanted to visit a family farm that makes their own polenta, you’ll visit one when you join us on the Northern Italian Delights tour.

famous food veneto italy

Baccala Mantecato

Baccalà Mantecato is another beloved Venetian dish made from salted cod that has been whipped into a creamy and flavorful spread. The salt cod is soaked to remove its saltiness, then poached and whipped with olive oil, garlic, and sometimes milk or cream until it reaches a smooth and airy consistency. 

Often served on slices of crusty bread or polenta, Baccalà Mantecato offers a delightful balance of savory flavors and creamy texture. It is a popular choice for cicchetti or as an appetizer, showcasing the Venetian love for simple yet elegant seafood preparations.

Moeche

Among Veneto’s culinary treasures, Moeche stands out as a seasonal delicacy that captures the region’s connection to the sea. These soft-shell crabs, harvested during a specific phase of their molting process, are a prized ingredient.

Moeche is harvested during a brief window in the spring and autumn when the crabs molt and shed their hard outer shells, revealing a soft and tender interior. This delicate phase is when Moeche is at its most flavorful and sought-after.

The preparation of Moeche is relatively simple, allowing the crab’s natural flavors to shine. The crabs are lightly dusted with flour or breadcrumbs and quickly fried in hot oil until they are golden and crispy. 

Moeche holds a special place in Veneto’s culinary traditions, particularly in the coastal areas where the crabs are harvested. Locals eagerly await the arrival of Moeche season, celebrating this seasonal delicacy with family gatherings, festive meals, and special occasions.

Sarde in Saor

Typically served as part of Cicchetti, Sarde in Saor is a traditional Venetian dish featuring fried sardines marinated in a sweet and sour sauce. The sardines are layered with onions, vinegar, pine nuts, and raisins, creating a harmonious balance of flavors. 

This dish offers a complex blend of richness from the sardines, subtle sweetness from the onions, refreshing acidity from the vinegar, and added texture from the pine nuts and raisins. Often served as an appetizer or antipasto, Sarde in Saor pairs beautifully with crusty bread and a glass of crisp white wine. 

tiramisu famous food veneto italy

Tiramisu

No guide to Veneto’s culinary landscape would be complete without the iconic dessert of Tiramisu. This creamy, coffee-infused treat has captured the hearts of dessert lovers around the world, but its roots are deeply embedded in Veneto’s culinary heritage.

Tiramisu translates to “pick me up,” and this dessert certainly lives up to its name with layers of flavor and texture. The classic recipe calls for delicate ladyfinger biscuits dipped in espresso coffee, providing a rich coffee kick that contrasts beautifully with the creamy layers.

The cream mixture is a luscious blend of mascarpone cheese, egg yolks, and sugar, whipped to perfection until smooth and airy. Some versions include a hint of liquor, often rum or Marsala wine, adding depth to the dessert’s flavor profile.

Locals take pride in their Tiramisu recipes, often passed down through generations and every year it is celebrated in the town of Treviso with a competition attracting chefs from the around the world.

Not only the Birthplace of Tiramisu, but a beautiful town just 30 minutes from Venice, you’ll visit this city with a local when you grab your seat on the Northern Italian Delights.

Frittelle

Frittelle is a sweet Venetian delicacy, a sweet treat especially popular in Venice’s Carnival season. 

Frittelle are made from a simple batter that combines flour, eggs, sugar, and milk or water, resulting in a light and airy dough. The batter is often enriched with raisins, pine nuts, or even apples, adding texture and flavor to the frittelle.

Once the batter is prepared, it’s spooned into hot oil and fried until golden and crispy on the outside while remaining soft and fluffy on the inside. While the classic Frittelle are sweet and simple, many variations exist. Some versions are filled with cream, custard, or even chocolate, adding an extra layer of indulgence.

Traditionally, Frittelle are dusted with powdered sugar or coated in granulated sugar while still warm, adding a sweet finish that enhances its flavor. They are often enjoyed freshly fried and warm, making them a popular choice at local bakeries, street food stalls, and Carnival celebrations throughout Veneto.

Read more about Italy’s famous cultural festivals! 

famous wines veneto italy

Soave Wine

Soave wine, originating from the picturesque vineyards surrounding the town of Soave in the Veneto region, is a true testament to Italy’s rich winemaking heritage. Read our guide to Prosecco here! 

The Garganega grape dominates Soave’s blend, thriving in the region’s volcanic soils. Its mineral-rich character is complemented by hints of white flowers, citrus, and almonds. Young Soave wines are vibrant with citrus and floral notes, perfect for light dishes. As they age, they develop richer flavors of honey and toasted nuts.

Produced using a mix of traditional and modern methods, Soave retains its fresh fruitiness. It is often fermented in stainless steel or aged briefly in oak. Styles range from the classic Soave DOC to the richer Soave Classico and Superiore. Soave’s versatility makes it an excellent pairing for seafood, salads, poultry, and light appetizers.

Grappa

Grappa is a traditional Italian spirit originating from the Veneto region, distilled from the pomace, or grape skins, leftover from winemaking. With its clear appearance and potent aroma, grappa is known for its strong and distinctive flavor profile. 

It can range from smooth and mellow to fiery and robust, depending on the grape varieties used and the aging process. Often enjoyed as a digestif, grappa is served neat or used as a base for cocktails, offering a unique taste of Veneto’s winemaking history. 

Amarone della Valpolicella

Amarone della Valpolicella stands out as one of Veneto’s most iconic wines, renowned for its rich and bold character. Crafted from dried Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes, this wine offers a unique depth and complexity.

Amarone’s distinctive flavor comes from the appassimento process, where grapes are dried on racks before fermentation. This concentrates their sugars and flavors, resulting in a wine with intense fruitiness, notes of dried fruits, and hints of spice.

Amarone is full-bodied with dark cherry, plum, and raisin flavors, complemented by hints of chocolate, coffee, and tobacco. Its high alcohol content and robust tannins give it a long and lingering finish. Amarone’s bold flavors pair wonderfully with rich, hearty dishes like red meats, game, and aged cheeses. 

If these culinary delights have your mouth watering, it’s time to plan your next trip to Italy! Experience Veneto’s best culinary delights (and the region’s best-kept secrets) in ten days with our Northern Italian Delights tour. 

We also host tours out of our home region of Le Marche, with the beautiful city of Ascoli Piceno as the base. Explore Italy without the stress, crowds, or logistical mishaps! Discover your Italy itinerary today! 

 

PLANNING A FOOD AND WINE LOVER’S VACATION TO NORTHERN ITALY’S VENETO REGION?

SAVE THIS POST FOR LATER!

"
local's guide to veneto's most famous food and wine italy

EXPERIENCE THE REAL ITALY WITH THESE TRIPS

STRESSED ABOUT GETTING GLUTENATED ON YOUR TRIP TO ITALY?

 

Get your Gluten-Free Italy Survival Guide...

 

The Top 10 Tips To Avoid Vacation Glutenation on Your Trip to Italy

Your Gluten-Free Italy Survival Guide is on its way!

italy guide the italian on tour

Pop the Prosecco! You're now an Italy Insider!

Pin It on Pinterest