Top 10 budget restaurants in Venice

Are you looking for budget restaurants in Venice? This month’s guest expert is TripAdvisor’s Hayley Coleman. She’ll shows us some great dining options in Venice, tell us what’s on offer in each restaurant and share reviews from TripAdvisor travellers. You can also find more great travel reviews and tips from TripAdvisor on their Facebookand Twitter pages.

If you a love great food and wine then Venice is going to be right up your street. Italy as a whole is well known for its gastronomic delights and Venice is no exception. There are a number of dishes that are traditional to the region that you must try here, like polenta (a cornmeal served up as a creamy puree) and the incredible seafood – it is a floating city after all. Veneto is also one of the country’s premier wine-making regions, specialising in a number of Italian classics, including Pinot Grigio and Prosecco.

But it’s not all about the cuisine. Venice is a city that’s rich with history, where travellers can take gondola rides round its maze of canals or wander through its many winding passageways. Boasting stunning architecture and its famous canals, Venice is a firm favourite with our TripAdvisor community of travellers, coming 6th in the world in TripAdvisor’s 2013 Travellers’ Choice Destinations Awards*.

With popularity inevitable comes price, but don’t worry, you can experience the wonderful food on offer without breaking the bank, so long as you have the know-how. We’ve pulled together a list of the top Venice restaurants ideal for the budget conscious traveller**. We’ve also included quotes from some of our top contributors who have actually been to the restaurants and are keen to share their insights and experiences.

1. Bacaro Osteria Barababao, Salizzada San Canzian

budget restaurants in Venice

A favourite with the locals, the décor may be a little on the unconventional side, but this restaurant serves tasty traditional and authentic Italian food. It’s just a few minutes from Rialto Bridge, tucked away down a narrow lane. Those who manage to locate it will be rewarded with a complimentary glass of Prosecco and some of the freshest dishes in the city and incredibly generous portions. A worthwhile treasure hunt, that’s for sure.

Check out their website.

What TripAdvisor travellers say: 

“All food was very good, along with the wine and service. We went twice!”

“This is a really nice busy place, with a large selection on the menu. I had the seafood spaghetti and it was delicious.”

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“If you want to taste real Venetian cuisine, this restaurant is the right choice.”

2. Rosticceria Gislon, 5424 Calle de la Bissa

budget restaurants in Venice

Another one located near Rialto Bridge, this small deli style restaurant serves a selection of fresh food, including pizza, pasta, seafood and meat dishes. Quite simply, there’s something for everyone on the menu, so you won’t be disappointed.

Check them out on TripAdvisor.

What TripAdvisor travellers say:

“This place stands out for its quality of food , range and the price. It is not very big, and tends to be overcrowded particularly at lunch time. However, it is worth it even if you have to wait.”

“I found it by chance, like almost everything in Venice, and it was a great place to eat. We ended up going twice – many options for an affordable amount.”

“This super busy lunch spot serves sublime Venetian specialties, very reasonably priced.”

3. Antico Forno, 970 Sestiere San Polo

budget restaurants in Venice

Located close to the famous Rialto Market, Antico Forno is a pit-stop pizzeria offering top-quality take-away pizza made with fresh ingredients. Serving substantial deep-dish slices, you’re sure to be satisfied, both by the size and flavour. In fact, it’s frequently hailed as the best pizza in Venice by those who’ve tried it…

Check out Antico Forno on TripAdvisor.

What TripAdvisor travellers say: 

“If you like a slice of oven-made pizza you should try this place, especially if you are near the Rialto Bridge. There is no place for sitting but the pizzas are fabulous and cheap!”

“Definitely among the best pizza I’ve had anywhere.”

“This place was recommended by a friend and was so good we went back twice for lunch! Yummy delicious pizza at great prices just on the other side of the Rialto Bridge! It is literally one of the nicest and tastiest places to eat in Venice!”

4. Al Bacco Felice, 197\e Santa Croce

budget restaurants in Venice

Based in Santa Croce, this is a lively restaurant with lots of character that’s famed for its beautiful traditional cuisine. Serving a generous selection of pasta, seafood and 50 different pizza choices, it’s a favourite amongst travellers. It gets very busy in the evenings, so if you want to guarantee yourself a table, get there early.

Check out Al Bacco Felice on TripAdvisor.

What TripAdvisor travellers say: 

“This was our favourite restaurant in Venice. The table side fish preparation was very intimate. The service is attentive, respectful and prompt.”

“Lovely food and good value fantastic Prosecco. All the staff were superb. We had lunch and dinner there most days.”

“What a local find. Two bridges from the bus station, this sidewalk restaurant serves really inexpensive pasta and pizza. We enjoyed it so much we went back three times in six days.”

5. El Refolo, 1580Via Garibaldi

budget restaurants in Venice

A hole-in-the-wall wine bar in the eastern suburbs, El Refolo not only offers great selection of drinks but a variety of snacks like sandwiches, filled rolls, and a very small-but-ever-changing selection of pasta dishes. It may not the place to go if you’re famished, but great if you want something to nibble on while sampling some of the region’s tastiest vino.

Check out El Refolo on TripAdvisor or visit their website website.

What TripAdvisor travellers say: 

“This is a wonderful place to catch up with yourself after sightseeing and shopping in Venice. Perch on a stool outside with a drink and watch the world go by.”

“El Refolo is the best bar in town! Max and Alvise will welcome you as an old friend and will prepare the best spritz in town! The sandwiches are yummy and the music really cool!”

“Love going here for a glass of Raboso and a selection of their excellent Cichetti. Off the beaten track in real Venice (Via Garibaldi). Love the owners too who are very friendly.”

6. Quanto Basta, 148 Cannaregio

budget restaurants in Venice

Located in the famous, historical and bustling Cannaregio neighbourhood, this restaurant serves some of the freshest food going in the city. They prepare and cook pizza from scratch right before your eyes, so you can watch the chef spin the dough and show off their skills. On top of homemade pizza, they sell kebabs, and to-die-for Italian gelato (ice-cream), traditional cakes and chocolate.

Check out Quanto Basta on TripAdvisor or visit their website.

What TripAdvisor travellers say: 

“This place has it all, great pizza, kebabs and gellato. We ate here all throughout the trip. Great food, staff are great and prices are great.”

“This restaurant is just a block or so away from the railway station and the food was so good and reasonable we went twice!!”

“The chicken kebab is so good that we had it three nights in a row! Generous slices of chicken and lots of salad. Would highly recommend to fellow travellers.”

7. Impronta Café, Crosera

budget restaurants in Venice

A favourite for lunch amongst the local professionals and university professors, this serves affordable by high quality cuisine. You can get an afternoon primo (pasta, risotto or polenta) or secondo (heavier meat dishes, stew or fish), along with a glass of wine for around 12 Euros. There’s also a lighter selection of sandwiches and salads for those with a smaller appetite. Don’t feel intimidated if you’re the only traveller in there, the staff speak excellent English.

Check out the Impronta Café on TripAdvisor or visit their Website.

What TripAdvisor travellers say: 

“Despite being hard to find, the delicious food was worth the extra few minutes searching.”

“Fantastic restaurant in so many ways. Very new, very clean, very friendly, very cheap for what you get. Food is beautifully served, looks fantastic and if possible tastes even better.”

“This place is in a class of its own as far as Venice is concerned. It has its own unfussy style and offers a menu full of original and delicious dishes.”

8. Fritto Frutta, 220 Fondamenta dei Tolentini

budget restaurants in Venice

True to its name, it sells an incredible and unique selection of fried foods and fresh fruit smoothies. It’s perfect for meat lovers and vegans alike, serving a selection flash-fried battered meats, fish, cheeses or vegetables. The frittures are served in cones ranging from small snack sized portions to large family-sized ones (which you can of course keep to yourself if you’re hungry).

Check out Fritto Frutta on Tripadvisor or visit their website.

What TripAdvisor travellers say: 

“Something a little different to eat for lunch or a snack. Delicious, inexpensive and what a friendly little place. We went there twice in three days!”

“Amazing food and selection, really friendly service, easy to find location. It was the best food we found in Venice and also by far the cheapest.”

“The owner is incredibly kind, energetic, and genuinely helpful. He speaks English well and is able (and very willing) to explain everything to you without any problems. The food is quite good, the frying technique is excellent. It is a very nice change of pace from the pizza, wine, and seafood dishes in Venice.”

9. Pizza 2000, Campo Sant_Agostin – San Polo

budget restaurants in Venice

Open until late at night, this San Polo pizzeria serves a large range of pizzas. It’s great value, there’s plenty of choice and it’s the perfect stopover after a few drinks. In fact, you can carry on drinking here, since they also serve beers. Bonus.

Check out Pizza 2000 on TripAdvisor.

What TripAdvisor travellers say: 

“We were staying in a nearby apartment complex and stumbled upon this excellent Pizzeria. There is a HUGE choice of pizzas, they are cooked fresh, were really tasty and good value.”

“We came across this beauty whilst strolling through Venice. Hungry and needing to refuel straight away we took a chance on this quaint little corner shop. We ordered two slices of humunguos pizza and thought the lady had only charged me for one when I got my change!! It was a fantastic slice of pizza, will definitely be going out of my way to find this place again.”

“Great value, friendly service, lots of choice of toppings, all freshly prepared in front of you, delicious Pizzas!”

10. Panini Lampo, 1162 Calle Larga dei Bari

budget restaurants in Venice

Panini Lampo is snack central, offering freshly prepared paninis, sandwiches and wraps made to order. Pick from a wide selection of fresh breads and fillings including cured meats, salads and genuine Italian cheeses. At around 3.50 Euros, you can’t really go wrong.

What TripAdvisor travellers say: 

“Fantastic Panini and extremely personable staff. If we were here longer we would come every day! I will recommend it to everyone I know.”

“We happened to stumble on this little place on our way back to our hotel to escape the crowds near Rialto and San Marco. We grabbed a quick Columbo sandwich that was fresh, delicious and filling and it only cost around 7 Euros for two sandwiches. Definitely make your way here to grab a fabulous lunch!”

“This place definitely deserves a good comment. You can get a fresh panini with whatever you want in it, good service and fair prices.”

Head over to TripAdvisor for more information on Venice..

* The Travellers’ Choice Destinations awards honour top travel spots worldwide based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers. 

**List is selected according to the TripAdvisor Popularity Index, correct as of 4th July 2013.

Can you recommend any budget restaurants in Venice? Let us know in the comments…

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