Trattoria Venezia

A restaurant located on Budapest’s car-saturated Grand Boulevard may not be your dream dinner venue, but Trattoria Venezia serves outstanding Italian dishes at somewhat lower prices than places in downtown. I've found that the seafood-based dishes - not the strongest suit of landlocked Hungary - are especially good here.

For appetizers, try the cozze e vongole (€10), which is a generous serving of mussels blanketed in a rich white wine-based sauce (use the bread to mop up the leftover), and the squid-, mussel-, and shrimp-infused creamy fish soup (€11) imparting a peppery and garlicky tang. The main courses are a reliable collection of typical Italian fare, be it pasta carbonara (the original, no-cream version; €7), other home-made pastas, or the Roman-style, wood-fired pizzas. The only obvious nod to the restaurant’s moniker is the black risotto (€10), the stereotypical Venetian dish that owes its color to squid ink and arrives with bits of the mollusk and, true to its origins, a soupy texture.

Perhaps I could've done without the ear-catching English and Italian cover songs that are part of the daily live music performances, but keep Trattoria Venezia in the back of your mind when you're looking for reliable Italian food a bit off the beaten paths.