Venice is one of the most popular cities in Italy, and for good reason as visiting it is like none-other. It’s romantic, mysterious and easy to get lost in. It’s everything you want in a city, except it can be expensive.
Venice has some fantastic restaurants but isn’t known to be a culinary capital. As there are so many tourists it’s easy to get caught paying a lot to dine along other tourists eating mediocre food.
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However, there are many ways to eat in Venice on a budget so that you can either splurge in one of its fantastic restaurants like Quadri which costs 220 Euro, or save your budget for another city. Here are some easy ways to eat on the cheap:
Don’t Order More than You Want
Although many restaurants offer coursed meals you can absolutely order a la carte. Dessert is really unnecessary as there are so many fantastic gelato shops in the city to explore. Also consider the house wine. Italian house wine is cheaper and usually comparable quality to Italian wine we drink at home. If you sneak a peek at Italians you’ll see they are drinking wine from carafes and that’s the house wine.
Learn the Art of Cicchetti
Think of them as Italian tapas. These small bitesized snacks are at local bars for only a few Euro when you buy a cheap drink and they often feature some of the most traditional Venetian food like marinated fish, meatballs, arancini and crostini. You’ll find them late afternoon when locals begin to stop in, a glass of house wine and one or two cicchetti shouldn’t cost more than 5 Euro.
Eat at Home
Apartment rentals in Venice are very affordable, central and usually the same price as a hotel in the city, if not cheaper. If you’re not a foodie or perhaps you don’t love breakfast hit the supermarket for yogurt and some other staples to start the day off right. If you love to cook there’s no better experience than visiting the market for local produce and seafood to cook at home. Just make sure you scout out the kitchen first to see what staples and kitchenware are available. It’s a good idea to even pick up a few things before you get to Venice like pasta or wine at a better price than what you’ll find at local shops.
Even if you can’t cook, there’s nothing better than simply buying local cured meat, cheese, bread and a bottle of wine. But note picnicking in Venice is illegal and police will ask you to move on, instead choose an apartment rental with a view so you can dine al fresco.
Find out Where Locals Eat
While it may seem tempting, you cannot live off pizza and panini in Italy, you will get tired of it. And while Antico Forno offers gigantic slices of pizza for 4 Euro, it’s definitely not the best deal in town. Instead check out where locals eat in Venice.
For example, Venetians love for Rosticceria San Bartolomeo. It’s a bit tricky to find so you won’t find many tourists there but it’s on the San Marco side of Venice and if you get lost just ask a shop owner as everyone knows where it is. Here you’ll find filling sandwiches and classic Roman cod. Once you’re there ask around to see where else locals eat.
Make Lunch Your Main Meal
In many countries around the world lunch is the biggest meal of the day and it should be yours too as you’ll need to fuel up for all the walking. You can save significant money by wandering down narrow alleys and looking for spots that don’t advertise an English menu in the front of their restaurant. And absolutely do not eat anywhere that offers a menu turistico as it may be cheap but it will also be inedible.
Fly to Venice and enjoy a trip that suits your budget along the way