Venice is not known for being an affordable place to travel, but if you know where to look you can find some delicious, affordable places to eat.
5 budget restaurants in Venice
Al MercaAl Merca is a cicchetti bar that is frequented by locals at all hours of the day. This is a classic Venetian bacaro where you can grab a cheap snack and a reasonably priced glass of wine and then sit out on the street overlooking the canal. If you are looking for a cheap place to eat that has a bit of that dreamy Venetian ambiance, then this is the place to do it. Al Merca is located not far away from the Rialto Bridge, in the San Polo district. Prices start at about €1.50, and you can try fresh seafood platters, as well as fresh paninis, filled rolls and delicious fried morsels to keep you going. Try the polpette melanzane or the truffle cheese panini to go with your favourite spritz order.
Campo Cesare Battisti, San Polo 213, Venice
Cantina do SpadeCantina do Spade is another cicchetti bar that serves up cheap, delicious morsels for every meal. This place is tucked away down an alley but it should not be missed if you are looking for a budget friendly place to eat. This place is often packed with locals and tourists alike and has a great laid-back vibe to it. Cantina do Spade is located not far from the Rialto Market, down a long alley way. This place has both a restaurant and a cicchetti bar, and all the prices are much cheaper than the touristy counterparts (but you should know that it is a good idea to book ahead for this popular eatery). If you are there for cicchetti, try the meatballs in tomato and the fried bread and mozzarella.
Calle Do Spade 19, San Polo 30125 Venezia, Italy
Osteria Alla CiurmaThis is a great little bar to seek out if you want something that reflects the fresh products from the Rialto market. Everything is made fresh when you get there, and is served in their small premises that are designed to look like the inside of a boat. The head chef is always experimenting with different flavours so you can expect some of the best cicchetti in the area. This bar is located close to the Rialto markets, and you can expect to pay around €1.50 for cicchetti, €0.90 for a glass of the house wine, and about €15 for a sharing platter. Try some of the chefs favourites like the creamy codfish mousse and the courgette flowers stuffed with cheese and anchovies.
Calle Galeazza 406, 30125 Venice, Italy
4. Café FilermoThis is possibly the friendliest bars in all of Venice, where the host will go out of his way to make sure you are well fed. This bar sells snacks and food platters, and drinks at very reasonable prices, and often the barman will bring over extra food at no extra cost. Café Filermo is small and does not have a full restaurant and kitchen, but the service and atmosphere will more than make up for this. Café Filermo is located a little off the beaten track in the residential neighbourhood of Cannaregio, but you will not regret coming here if you are staying in the area. The host will offer up platters of cheeses and meats, and does a pretty good hot chocolate if you are looking for something to warm you up.
Cannaregio 2208, 30121 Venice, Italy
TuttinpiediMost people will tell you to steer clear of the eateries around Saint Mark's Square (and for the most part they are correct), but if you are in the area and need something cheap head to Tuttinpiedi, just minutes away from the square. This hole in the wall is run by the owner who will ask you what flavours you like and make the pasta-to-go in front of you. This is truly a hidden gem and you will probably come back for seconds if the first generous serving was not enough. Tuttinpiedi is located very centrally next to Saint Mark's, but you will probably have to take it away with you as there are no tables in the eatery itself. A generous serving of pasta from here is around €7-€8, and some of the popular options include carbonara verdure, the squid ink, grilled prawn and spicy tomato. There is also vegetarian options available here.
Sotoportego del Cavalletto, 1099/A, 30124 Venice, Italy
Venice is full of restaurants, we find one at each corner. It is easy, however, to stumble, especially in the streets most traveled by tourists, in very expensive premises that serve dishes of low quality.
If you inform yourself well and look for the most hidden streets, the good restaurants at affordable prices are there.
One of the best is, in my opinion, La Zucca, where you can taste dishes made with fresh seasonal vegetables created with fantasy and genuine ingredients.
If you want to eat delicious meat, I recommend the Timon, famous for its fillet with green pepper.
Near the Fondamenta della Misericordia, at the Paradiso Perduto and the Vedova you can taste good fish. Or go to Il Portego, a restaurant near Rialto. The dishes are very abundant and cheap.
As good and cheap pizzerias I recommend instead the Anfora and the Vecio Pozzo (which is also a good restaurant), which are located near the Railway Station, after the Ponte degli Scalzi.