A Bargain Lunch Restaurant in Venice (February 2009)

This article originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of Dream of Italy. Updated 2018: This restaurant has closed. 

Try to find a bargain meal in Venice…near St. Mark’s Basilica…and you have an impossible task at hand. Well, it may have gotten a bit easier with a unique new restaurant that opened this month. St. Mark’s Procurators, the non-profit organization that operates the basilica, has opened a low-cost restaurant run by a local catering company. The idea is to make a visit to Venice more affordable for religious pilgrims and other visitors.

Located on Calle degli Albanesi, just a stone’s throw from St. Mark’s Square, Alla Basilica offers two courses – a pasta dish and a main course such as grilled steak or seafood – plus bread and water for 13 euros. An appetizer costs 5 euros and dessert is just 3.50 euros. The restaurant has 120 seats and serves lunch on a first-come, first-served basis between noon and 4 p.m.

Groups of 50 or more can call (39) 0415220524 to reserve the restaurant for dinner. Apparently neighboring restaurants have now lowered their prices in response to the competition posed by Alla Basilica.