Our Anniversary to Italy: Part 21 – Eating in Venice

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Emily Jablon:  Daraius and I went to Europe in September to celebrate our 2nd anniversary for ~2 weeks.  It was my first time in Italy so I was very excited!  In Italy, we visited Varenna on Lake Como, Milan, Venice, and Rome.

Since we were in Europe, we visited a friend in Strasbourg, France and also spent a night in Zurich.  We started our trip with a one day layover in Chicago to see friends!

Eating In Venice
Emily Enjoying a Relaxing Lunch on the Grand Canal

Our Anniversary To Italy – Trip Report Index:

Eating in Venice

Here’s where we ate in Venice:

We learned about a few of these places in the Rick Steves’ Italy guidebook.

1.   Rizzo Café

We had lunch at Rizzo Café, which was a Rick Steves recommendation.

Eating In Venice
Daraius – With a Mean & Hungry Look – Outside Rizzo Cafe Looking Forward to Lunch

The cafe sells slices of pizza and sandwiches.  The prices are very reasonable, but you pay a little more if you sit inside at their tables.

Eating In Venice
Prices Were Very Reasonable

Panini Sandwiches were only 1 euro!  We paid 10x that for a panini in Milan, though it had a view of the Duomo! 

Eating In Venice
Emily Bought a Panini Sandwich for Only 1 Euro

There was a case of sweets: tarts, cookies, etc.

Eating In Venice
A Case of Tasty Sweets

I ordered a Venetian sandwich!

Eating In Venice
Emily’s Delicious 1 Euro Panini

Daraius had pizza (which was ok) AND a Milanese sandwich.

Eating In Venice
The Pizza was Just OK

We also ordered a chocolate milkshake and a coffee drink.

Eating In Venice
We Ordered a Chocolate Milkshake and a Coffee Drink

We could have split my Venetian sandwich because it was so large and filling.  However, it was so delicious that I ate most of it by myself.  Daraius finished the rest later.

Eating In Venice
Emily Enjoying Lunch at Rizzo Cafe

All in all, this was a good, cheap no-frills lunch.

2.   Hilton Executive Lounge

We went to the Hilton Executive Lounge for breakfast at the Hilton Molino Stucky.  It is open from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm, and breakfast is from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.

If you are a Gold or Diamond Hilton member, you can access the lounge for free breakfast.  You can get free Hilton Gold status with the Citi Hilton Reserve card.

Eating In Venice
The Entrance to the Executive Lounge

It was located off the main lobby.  Kids under 16 have to have an adult with them and they can’t drink alcohol!

Eating In Venice
No Alcohol for Kids Under 16!

There was a buffet with many food stations.

Eating In Venice
Lounge Buffet With Many Food Stations

There was yogurt, fruit, and dried fruit…

Eating In Venice
The Buffet Included Yogurt and Fruit

cereal, bread, muffins and pastries…

Eating In Venice
There Were Fresh Baked Muffins, Pastries, and Rolls

scrambled eggs…

Eating In Venice
Scrambled Eggs Were Also Available

bacon and sausage…

Eating In Venice
The Buffet Also Included Bacon and Sausage

and fresh juices.

Eating In Venice
Fresh Juices was Also Available

The buffet also included several types of nuts, chips, crackers, and breadsticks.

Eating In Venice
Nuts, Chips, Crackers, and Breadsticks Were Part of the Buffet

There was also a nice view of the canal right outside our window!

Eating In Venice
Admiring the Canal While Having Breakfast

However, the food wasn’t exceptionally tasty like it is at the Park Hyatts.  But there certainly was a lot of food – and it was free!  So we’d eat a heavy breakfast so that we didn’t have to eat much for lunch.

3.   Café India

One of my favorite restaurants in Venice (actually on Giudecca island) was called Café India.  But it didn’t serve Indian food.  There was no name on the front of the restaurant.  I loved my food, but Daraius didn’t like his!

But we both agreed that it had one heck of a view!

Eating In Venice
Cafe India had no Sign

It is the restaurant which is closest to the S. Basilio waterbus stop, which is two stops before Palanca, which is the closest stop to the hotel.

It is about a 20 minute walk from the Hilton Molino Stucky (just walk right towards the water bus stops as you leave the hotel from the main doors).

Eating In Venice
Cafe India is Near the S. Basilio waterbus Stop

The restaurant was right on the canal!  There also wasn’t a lot of crowds since the restaurant is not on the main island of Venice.

Eating In Venice
Great Canal View From the Cafe India

They have Italian food on their menu, which is reasonably priced.

Eating In Venice
Cafe India Serves Reasonably Priced Italian Food

Cafe India has good views of St. Mark’s Basilica, the St. Mark’s Clock Tower, and Doge’s Palace.

I ordered a Gran Crema, which was a delicious coffee type drink.

Eating In Venice
Emily Ordered a Tasty Gran Crema Drink

Daraius got a bottled peach tea. For our main courses, we ordered spaghetti carbonara, which was very good.  It was creamy and flavorful, and you could taste the fresh bacon.

Eating In Venice
Emily Ordered Spaghetti Carbonara With Fresh Bacon

Daraius ordered penne arribiatta, which was supposed to be a bit spicy, but wasn’t.

Eating In Venice
Daraius’ Penne Arribiatta Wasn’t Spicy

We both thought my Spaghetti was better.

For dessert, Daraius had a panna with chocolate, but it was okay.  I tried their cinnamon hot chocolate, which was supposed to be thicky and creamy in the pictures, but was watery and flavorless when they brought it out.

Eating In Venice
The Panna With Chocolate and Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Were Just Okay

They have a huge menu and I would have returned for more Gran Crèma, as well as their milkshakes and sandwiches.

Eating In Venice
Giant Sandwiches From Cafe India

This was a great place to sit and eat a slow meal and contemplate how lucky we were to be here!

4.   Caffé Lavena

One evening, we went to St. Mark’s Square, and had gelato from Caffe Lavena.

Eating In Venice
Emily Looking Forward to Gelato From Cafe Lavena

I liked the old architecture on the interior.  The chandelier was certainly impressive.

Eating In Venice
Emily Liked the Architecture and Chandlier In Caffe Lavena

We split one gelato, which includes two scoops.  So we each picked a flavor.  Daraius chose cherry and vanilla and I chose strawberry.  We both liked his cherry and vanilla much better.

Eating In Venice
Emily with Gelato From Caffe Lavena

5.   Pizza Crash

One evening we explored Venice in the evening and night.  It was very romantic to walk around in the evening once the crowds had left.

Daraius and I went to Pizza Crash, a kebab eatery, for cheap food, that still seemed a bit overpriced.   That’s because it was right in the heart of Venice.

We were looking for something cheaper than a full service restaurant.

Eating In Venice
Somewhat Overpriced for Cheap Food

The pizzas were about 5 euro (~$7) to 7 euro (~$10).  I ordered a slice of pepperoni pizza…

Eating In Venice
Emily Ordered a Slice of Pepperoni Pizza

and Daraius had a chicken shwarma.

Eating In Venice
Daraius Ordered a Chicken Shwarma

It wasn’t the best food, but it was relatively cheap and fast.   There also isn’t much seating room, so you may have to stand and eat!

Many restaurants that are sit down charge at least 12 euro for a meal, so we decided to try a cheap dinner instead.

We were having a lot of fun walking around Venice that night!

6.   Around the Hilton Molino Stucky

There are a few restaurants and shops as you walk down the canal outside the Hilton Molino Stucky.  Just turn right outside the main doors and cross the small bridge.  It is a very pleasant walk along the canal!

Restaurants immediately near the Hilton were expensive, around 20 euro (~$27) a main course, so we skipped it.  We stopped at Harry’s Dolci Cipriani, but didn’t go in after checking out the menu.

Eating In Venice
Emily Outside Harry’s Dolci Cipriani

We walked past Ostaria ae Botti which had cheaper food and appeared to have a lot of locals hanging out.

Eating In Venice
We Went Past the Expensive Ostaria ae Botti

We found a small shop that sold fresh fruit…

Eating In Venice
Market Selling Fresh Fruit

and another shop selling sandwiches.

Eating In Venice
Sandwiches For Sale in the Market

We found a Prix Quality supermarket, which was a great place to stock up on supplies!  Here’s a map to the shop from the Hilton Molino Stucky.

Eating In Venice
Emily Outside the Supermarket

There was a large wine selection.

Eating In Venice
Emily by the Supermarket’s Wine Selection

A box of fruit juice was only 0.79 euro (~$1).

Eating In Venice
You Could get Juice for 0.79 Euro

Jars of sardines were only 1.14 euro.

Eating In Venice
The Supermarket Sold Cheap Sardines

Bottom Line

There are a lot of expensive restaurants in Venice.  But you don’t have to bust your budget and can find places to eat for less!

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