Cocaeta: the king of Crêpes in Venice
Here is my post – you can read the original in Italian here.
Giulio Fecchio, owner of Cocaeta in Venice, with his incredible crêpes without eggs and without milk, could be considered as closest to an artist as possible on today’s Venetian gastronomic scene.
No visit to Venice can be considered finished without a trip to Cocaeta to taste its delicious crêpes, a perfect destination also for vegans and vegetarians.
Slow food in Venice
This man is a food artisan who takes all the time necessary to prepare each pancake. The most appropriate definition of Slow Food: those who come to eat at Cocaeta must not be in a hurry! Simple as that!
The wide choice is meticulously displayed on a large notice board, with precise indications of the ingredients used, in both Italian and English: there are traditional savoury ones with classic fillings, variants with fish and meat, like the unusual Venetian interpretations, such as stuffed crêpes of creamed dried cod ( Baccalà mantecato) or sweet and sour sardines ( Sarde in Saor ), but also many vegetarian and vegan ones. Literally: there is everything for everyone!
Giulio’s creations, sweet and savoury, are a simple and delicious harmony, demonstrating, though, a clear awareness in the use of quality ingredients and great skill in the execution, while, at the same time, they leave room for exploration and imagination.
In these delicious original pancakes stuffed and garnished with light sauces, Giulio seems to have found the perfect balance between art and discipline.
In fact, once you have tried one, you immediately want to try another one!
What is so special about Cocaeta’s crêpes?
A colourful pistachio pesto, homemade chickpea humus, rosemary cream with zucchini, red beans, wheat germ and hemp, vegetable cashew cream cheese, arugula sauce, yellow cherry tomatoes: these are just some of the incredible stuffing ingredients. And all strictly Italian and, where possible, from small organic producers.
But Giulio does not mix things at random: the final result always makes sense, enhancing, and never hiding, the ingredients.
Giulio opened the crêperie six years ago, taking a leap into the unknown: he had prepared his first crêpe only four months earlier, without culinary or restaurant experiences.
A small shop in a space of only 24 square meters, eleven months of various renovations, in an area of Cannaregio outside the usual passage of tourists, in a position where the same neighbours told him that he would close after a few months, him being a “stranger “, since Giulio is from Padua! Leaving his engineering studies behind, he wanted to be free and loved Venice, perhaps more than the Venetians themselves.
And today, after six years, Cocaeta, although only a takeaway and decidedly in a very limited space, is one of the most popular and well-known gastronomic destinations in Venice.
By the way, what does Cocaeta mean?
Cocai in Venetian dialect means seagull, Giulio adapted the word and that is why his trademark is a cute cheeky masked seagull! And trust me, the seagulls of Venice adore him (or better his crêpes) – so be careful when you go there, that a giant bird does not steal your food!
The best Crêpes in Venice
Let’s talk about crêpes now: during my visit I entrusted myself to the creative spirit of Giulio, who suggested I start with a Crêpes stuffed with Burrata d’Andria, walnuts, homemade porcini cream, turnip greens and onions of Tropea!
A riot of flavours. The batter of the crêpe, having no eggs and milk, is very light, but at the same time incredibly tasty: a mix of five flours, a recipe created by Giulio himself. It’s almost impossible to notice the difference from the original recipe.
I then tasted one of his vegan specialties: a Curcuma crêpe stuffed with an incredible homemade vegetable cheese with turmeric and pepper, homemade pesto of green tomatoes, zucchini and basil, toasted cashews, yellow cherry tomatoes from the Piana del Sele, all decorated with a turmeric balsamic vinegar glaze. One word: sublime! So good that for a moment I seriously thought about becoming vegan!
All the crêpes are customizable. As with all Giulio’s creations, everything is in the details and many of the sweet selections can be enriched with additional components such as organic spreads, caramel, walnuts or fresh fruit.
There is a sweet crêpe, the novelty of the month, which stands out among all: the Crêpe with Spirulina.
A spirulina pancake filled with Vegetable Pastry Cream, Hazelnut and Cocoa Cream and then decorated with fresh Blueberries and Currants! A must try!
Note that Giulio pays great attention to the environment and all packaging, from dishes to cutlery, is recyclable.
When to visit Cocaeta
Giulio works all alone and is not Superman (he has to shop for the ingredients and go around doing various errands for the shop), so the opening hours of the restaurant can vary – before going to try his delights, better check his Facebook page that is always up to date, to avoid the disappointment of finding the door closed!
Be careful though: at Cocaeta the saying “one leads to another” is at home here – a crêpe will not be enough!
Cocaeta – Non Solo Crêpes
Fondamenta San Giobbe 549
Venice (near the Tre Archi Bridge)
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+++Disclaimer: I was sent to this restaurant for the purposes of reviewing it by 2night Venezia. The fact I got the meal for free has not influenced the review in anyway.0