“Venice is notorious for overpriced restaurants, bland tourist menus and poor customer service,” says Anna Lebedeva at Italy Magazine, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are her tips on how to eat well without spending a fortune:
Fill up on cicchetti: “Traditional Venetian style snacks and nibbles, can make up a satisfying meal without breaking the bank … you will have the best choice just before lunch or early evening, during the aperitivo time.”
Follow local workmen: “Head to the beautiful residential areas of Cannaregio or Castello .. last time I ate at the Osteria Bea Vita (Cannaregio, Fondamenta Delle Capuccine, 3082) … the fixed price menu of the day: a pasta dish, meat or fish served with a side dish of vegetables, bread and a bottle of water, for a total of €13. A beautiful view over the canal was included in the price … another atmospheric place for a reasonably priced lunch is the Trattoria Alla Rampa (Castello, 1135) famous for its cheap hearty workmen’s lunch that is offered strictly between 12.00 and 12.45pm, which costs €13-15 (includes two main dishes, wine and coffee).”
Enjoy street food: “Mozzarella in carrozza, fried mozzarella cheese sandwich, is an old time classic … locals love tramezzini, triangular sandwiches made with two slices of soft crustless white bread and different types of fillings … the archetypal street food ‘scartosso de pesse fritto’, deep-fried mixed fish served in paper cones … eating at the bar counter is always cheaper.”
Take a coffee with locals: “Do as Venetians do: take a cup of coffee and one of their mouthwatering desserts, sit at a table and chill out … locals go crazy for the nascero, small cakes with layers of ricotta mixed with raisins soaked in rum.”
The quality of food served has improved in Venice over recent years, writes John Brunton in The Guardian. “Chefs are using more fresh local produce and, with a little effort, it is still possible to find reasonably priced meals costing about €15 a head all over town,” he says, listing his ten best budget restaurants in Venice. And if you want to spend less consider eateries, pizzerias and wine bars, suggests Nicoletta Fornaro at Naturally Epicurean. She also has ideas on where to eat well in Venice on a budget, with separate reviews for each restaurant.
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