If the numerous tourist menus and expensive bad meals get you down when you are in Venice, why not try self catering!
On our last visit to Venice, there were 4 of us and we rented an apartment, close to Piazza San Marco.
One night we decided to "self cater" so we stopped by a deli on Frezzeria, close to our apartment and spent up (a little to) big on meats, cheese, and other antipasto delights, served up with some crusty baguettes that we had bought earlier that day, and washed down with a couple of bottles of Italy's finest vino rosso.
If you stay in Venezia for some days, and are travelling not alone, I suggest rent an apartment, as this also provides you with good opportunity to prepare your own meals. This will save you money but you can also take advantage of the heavenly selection of fresh goods. Now I live in a city where the farmers’ market is one of the poorest in selection and quality, let alone the non-existence of good rucola salad. So I was in fresh food inebriation anyhow and got my load of fresh rucola salad every evening at my famers’ store around the corner.
Of course you’ll get the freshest and best garlic here as well, Aceto Balsamico of course, and olive oil – so what is better than make your own salad in the evening.
The prices are reasonable anyhow. 300 g of rucola and of tomatoes was 1,60 Euro, and a thick bulb of garlic 0,50 Euro.
Same as for the salads – if you stay in an apartment, you can also prepare your own pasta at home. And the best of all is the pasta variety you’ll get in the supermarkets. The best brand is (well, my opinion) Barilla, and I stood with open mouth in front of the shelves (see photo 3) – all different kind of pasta, I will never ever get at home (were I live, we only have 4-5 different shapes of Barilla). So I got loads of different pasta and made my own dinner at home. It is even an Italian recipe, quite simple but oh so good. You only need olive oil, throw in the chopped garlic, have it roast until the garlic is glassy, throw in tomato paste, dilute with water – and ready we are. The spicy food lovers (like me), throw in some peperoncino (photo 2) and… yummmm.
500 g of Barilla pasta is around 0,70 Euro.
When I travel one of the things I like most is to find healthy food at the streets.
I do love fruit and when you find fruit street vendors after eating quickly at other places, as I do ... I get very happy ...
the fruit did taste great ...
1 euro one glass with fruit in pieces
1 euros a little bottle of water
I did buy here the first day cause I didn't knew there was a better place to buy fruit a the back of those street vendors
I did saw this place everytime I was at the Gran Canal ... a beautiful building or place with arcs and red curtains ... I didn't knew how to go there or what it was ....
it was a market and is easy to go from Rialto
when you go to Rialto search for the fruit Street Vendor I have told you before ... and from there find the big market that is near ... there you will find lots of fruit and fish and meat :)
I know you are not going to buy fish or meat perhaps ... but the place is incredible beautiful ... and there you can buy fruit and clean it there at a little water fountain and eat it there sting at the floor looking to the canal :) great !!
If you are on a budget, consider buying food at the supermarkets. You can buy cooked food at a very reasonable price.
An example of a menu for two:
2 tunafish salads
one gorgonzola cheese
1 bottle of wine
All for 13 euros
If you're staying in Venice for an extended period of time you will want to cook for yourself. We found the supermarket called Bila very convenient, at the San Basilio waterbus stop across the canal on the Zattere. Of course, it's fun to eat out, too!
If you are an early bird (I'm not), you can go to the Rialto Market really, really early at dawn and see products arriving by boat from the islands in the Lagoon and elsewhere to this famous market. If not, just come here before noon as then the salesmen pack it all in. Here you can buy fresh vegetables, fish and other things or just observe local life if that's what you've come for. The market is ancient and a popular place amongst Venetians themselves.
Favorite Dish: Asparagus...
The small food market right before Rialto's bridge (in the picture), if you come from the railway station. One of the rare remannts of daily life uin Venezia. The city itself is dying, nomal people cannot afford to live in a place far from the common services, where any single ggod is charged 50% more than in any city around, where the pressure of the environment is so strong over the buildingfs your flat will need costant repair at sky-high prices. Lots of flats are sold to romantic rich foreigners, they will come here a couple of weeks per year; and then the students.... Venezia has a very well known faculty of Architecture and a strong faculty of Languages, among the others. But students are living their own life, as in a separate parallel universe: everyday life almost disappeared.
Restaurants.... there are so many, but the vast majority is making business because of the tourist, not on the basis of common people, not even professionals or public servants which are typically travelling and eating out for business meals. My suggestion would be to take care and try to limit the damages, eother to your stomach or to your wallet. Of course, I cannot deny the experience of sipping a warm chocolate with cream while sitting in an autumn afternoon in the fading light in Piazza San Marco is something whose value goes well beyond the pure cost of the raw materials, but this is not always true!
Billa has a quite big shop also with some pre cooked food on the main walkway between the trainstation and San Marco. Billa is not the cheapest supermarket (owned by Rewe, Germany) chain but usually has good quality and this shop seems to be a premium shop.
Favorite Dish: Vitello Tonnato
Maybe you're self catering? We stayed in an apartment for our two weeks and we ate out a lot, but we ate in a lot too (well, we had a lovely garden out back, which was great to eat in). Well, if you are self-catering, you'll want to know where the shops are:
I noticed that a lot of stuff that we pay the earth for over here in the UK (extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, parmesan, mozzarella, ruccolo) are really cheap in Italy - even in Venice. Probably that's because they're 'everyday items' there, whereas here they're 'speciality foods'.
Favorite Dish: Biggest supermarket in Venice is Billa on the Zattere. It's quite a way down, near the San Basilio vaparetto stop. It has everything you'd need, from fresh fruit and veg, pasta, cheese, meats... well, you name it.
There are little grocers stores on many street corners, especially in the more residential parts of dorsoduro, castello and cannareggio.
There are markets at Rialto and down Strada Nova, and "market barges" at Punte Pugni (dorsoduro) and Rio Giuseppe Garibaldi (Castello).
I adore seafood and Venice has plenty to offer. It makes you wanna buy it all and eat untill you can't no more.....
Sorry to tell you that I enjoy eating at market place for just buying a pack of fruite or something rather than eating inside the restaurant.