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Cheap eats in Venice

Meals on a budget

Buffet at Al Remer

Throughout our other pages about eating out in Venice you'll find information on restaurants, types of places where you can buy food and the typical extras you might expect to pay for. In this article I'll suggest some good places where you can eat meals at particularly cheap prices.

> Food & drink basics
> Our restaurant recommendations
> General advice on eating out in Venice (without getting ripped off)

Taverna del Campiello Remer

This is a picturesque restaurant-bar in a little hidden campiello (courtyard) near the Rialto Bridge. Recently it has set up a generous free buffet which can get hugely popular and is a great way to fill up in pleasant surroundings. Between 5:30pm and 7:30pm every day, bar prices are raised to 4 per drink - but once you've bought a glass of wine you can help yourself to the free buffet. Arranged on a little table over a carved stone well-head, the food consists of varied nibbles as well as big bowls of pasta and risotto. You take a plastic plate and help yourself; the food is excellent and frequently replenished. You can sit at the restaurant tables while you consume the buffet offerings. The only drawback is that food isn't labelled, and vegetarians will find meat in many items, although I've managed to fill up on some great meat-free pasta dishes. The restaurant is small, mostly peopled by smart professionals and is dependent on the good manners of its visitors to keep it from becoming a free-for-all.

To find the restaurant, first find the church of San Giovanni Crisostomo near the Rialto. Campiello del Remer is down a little alley almost opposite the church, just past the news-stand and souvenir stall.

Another 'happy hour' buffet with a more studenty atmosphere is held at a bar called Orange in Campo Santa Margherita on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Brek self-service restaurant

This is a very useful self-service restaurant close to the railway station in Cannaregio. Brek is a reliable Italian chain which makes a handy way for tourists to fill up on cheap hot lunchtime meals, and is very practical for families and budget travellers. Prices start at just under 4 for a bowl of pasta or a salad. For a fuller description and the location, see our restaurants page. opening hours are conveniently long -from 11:30am - 10pm.

Alla Basilica

Alla Basilica is a fairly new initiative set up by the Curia at the behest of the Patriarch of Venice. This low-cost eatery behind St. Mark's and the Ducal Palace serves decent budget food, at 13 for a complete meal (first course, second course, vegetable dish, bread and water). The limited set menu is not great for vegetarians, but there are also good-value a la carte options. Opened in January 2009, the restaurant is aimed at workers, tourists and pilgrims. In the lanes around St. Mark's this is a rare opportunity to sit down and eat without spending a fortune. Opening times are 11am to 4pm; in the evenings you'll need to book. In Calle degli Albanesi.

Spizzico

Spizzico is an Italian fast-food chain (sample slogan: molto fast, very good). You can buy cheap slices of pizza, salad and desserts as well as chips and soft drinks. They offer various meal deals, and this is a quick and efficient way to refuel while sightseeing. The Venice branch is in Campo San Luca, handy for St. Mark's and the Rialto. You can buy food to take away but given the Venetian authorities' hostile attitude to those eating in public places, it's a better idea to use the upstairs seating area. There is a Burger King counter in the same building.

More options

There are more recommendations for good-value places to eat on our main restaurants page, which covers a range of establishments including pizzerias, which are usually the cheapest places to buy a filling meal.
> Our restaurant recommendations
> General advice on eating out in Venice


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