Ten top budget eats in Venice

Da Luca e Fred ... just 80 cents for a glass of house wine and tasty food to suit tight budgets. Photograph: John Brunton Finding good, reasonably-priced restaurants in the Serenisssima is never easy at any time of the year, and prices tend to soar during carnival (13-24 February). But believe it or not, there are still locales where you can have a meal for less than €15 (£14) - as long as you follow a few golden rules. Have your main meal at lunchtime when prices are much lower, then bar hop at night eating snacks. Arrive for lunch at midday sharp, as this is when the day's pasta is served and portions never last long. Ask if "coperto" (cover), and "servizio", service charge are included, and be sure to know how much everything costs if you decide to order extras like bottled water, coffee and a carafe of wine.

1. Arte della Pizza

There are a host of takeaway pizza joints around Venice, but at most the food is average, if not lousy. Arte della Pizza is the big exception - an immensely popular hole-in-the-wall address hidden away off the Strada Nova, the main drag that runs from the train station to Rialto. There are half a dozen stools and the place is always packed to bursting, not surprising when a whopping pizza costs around €6 and a big slice only €1.50. Remember though that they close early at 9pm. • Calle dell'Aseo, 1896 Cannaregio, +39 (0)41 524 6520, closed Monday

5701 Cannaregio. salami. closed Wednesday 3. Al Muro Definitely the place to come at Saturday lunchtime. but be prepared for an all-you-can-eat feast . the favourite spot to eat is the trendy Muro. Taverna del Campiello Remer This rustic taverna has a fantastic courtyard looking over the Grand Canal. vegetables. Bacaro Lounge .30pm to 7. and although drinks seem expensive at €4. which could be a delicious fritto misto. The chef sets up a stall in the middle of the Campo and the genial Carlo and Davide serve up heaped plates of the dish of the day. +39 (0)41 522 8789. • Campiello del Remer. The Rialto fish market is where all of Venice comes to do its weekend shopping.30pm. and although there are dozens of bars to choose from for a drink. priced at €7-10 with a glass of wine included.2. all included. salads and either a steaming risotto or pasta. as long as you time your visit to perfection. closed Sunday lunchtime 4. two or three main dishes. The happy hour aperitivo runs from 5. choice of pastas. 222 San Polo.soup. and is absolutely the real deal for cheap eats. desserts and wine. you have to see the mega buffet that is served at the same time huge plates of smoked ham. wild mushroom risotto or tasty goulash. • Campo Bella Vienna. At lunch you have to shell out €20.

where every restaurant is intent on cashing in on tourists as much as possible. Da Luca e Fred This old-fashioned osteria is a fun. but there is a big buffet with tramezzini sandwiches. A big party is planned for the last night of carnival. A surprising secret is the trendy bar/restaurant Bacaro Lounge. 3054 Dorsoduro.The biggest challenge of Venice's carnival has to be finding somewhere reasonably-priced to eat around the Piazza San Marco. . not surprising when the cost is €6. closed Wednesday 6. And their "menu turistico" is even more honest lasagne followed by fritto misto and a salad for €13. polpette meatballs.30pm-9pm. open every day 5. +39 (0)41 716 170. noisy rendezvous for local Venetians. Orange Santa Margherita is the nearest Venice gets to a funky nightlife scene. At the bar. where a glass of house wine sets you back only 80 cents. but also rough and ready gondoliers who come here at noon for the "piatto del giorno" . with a dozen bars serving lethal "spritz al bitter" . 1345 San Marco. +39 (0)41 296 0687.priced at €10. with an in-house DJ.anything from spaghetti with pomodoro or roast pork . +39 (0)41 523 4740. tel. Mardi Gras.Campari cocktails for €2 till the early hours. The price of a Spritz goes up to €3. fruits and desserts. The hippest locale is the the Orange lounge bar. you'll see a chic fashion crowd wearing Prada and Gucci. a hot dish of pasta. • Campo Santa Margherita. and from Monday to Wednesday. set in an old cinema and owned by the Benetton family. 1518 Cannaregio. A crowd gathers at the bar at midday when the chef sends out plates of the dish of the day that are quickly snapped up. • Salizzada San Moise.50 with no hidden extras like cover charge. • Rio Tera San Leonardo. open every day. they have just started a buffet happy hour from 6.

50. For visitors renting an apartment. This is where the city's Youth Hostel is located.7. There is a more formal restaurant upstairs. but it is doubtful if even the most ardent traveller gets to discover the quirky Food & Art. and is also a centre for budget travellers.a "primo" for €6. But anyone is allowed into this friendly self-service locale. dishing up excellent and inexpensive comfort food . This is officially a "mensa". followed by roast chicken. open Monday . or "baccala mantecato".Friday. +39 (0)41 522 3569. Full lunch with wine is priced at €11. open every day 8. the traditional creamy salt cod. 5424/a San Marco. lunchtime only 9.50 • Corte Cordami. prices are exactly the same at night as for lunch. 554 Giudecca. For once. +39 (0)41 241 1413. while a simple pasta costs €5. a canteen. Rosticceria San Bartolomeo Tucked away under ancient arches just by the bustling San Bartolomeo square. this can be a great address for buying ready-cooked meals (10-20% cheaper for take away). • Sottoportego della Bissa. but there you'll end up paying a cover charge. the Rosticceria is basically an old-fashioned self-service cafeteria. catering for workmen at the Giudecca's boatyards. which also doubles as an art gallery. Al Nono Risorto . Food & Art The island of Giudecca has the best views over Venice.

a huge pizza smothered with gorgonzola and speck (smoky Tyrolean ham) and "un quarto di vino della casa" costs less than €15. closed Saturday. Trattoria Alle Due Gondolette You'll need a good map to track down this family trattoria. with an all-in price of €12 for a pasta and hearty second course. Sunday and every evening . which is covered and heated in winter. Even in the evenings.Although Nono Risorto has a long menu filled with traditional trattoria specialities like spaghetti with black squid ink sauce and grilled Adriatic fish. • Fondamenta delle Cappuccine. Only open for lunch. And there is a lovely garden courtyard. All along this canal you'll come upon honest osterie like Bea Vita (No 3082). so what the locals come here for is the pizza. • Sottoportego de Siora Bettina. +39 (0)41 717528. closed Wednesday 10. their brilliant "cucina casalinga" set menu attracts workmen and tourists alike. wine and coffee. 3016 Cannaregio. +39 (0)41 524 1660. hidden away on a pretty canal in the Cannaregio neighbourhood. Antica Mola (2800) and Al Timon (2754). ordering from this can mean an expensive meal. no cover charge. 2337 Santa Croce.

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