A restaurant 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. The seafood dishes—not the strongest suit of landlocked Hungary—are especially good here.
For appetizers, try the cozze e vongole (€10), 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 (brodetto; €11). The main courses are a reliable collection of typical Italian fare, be it pasta carbonara (the original, no-cream version; €7) or the Roman-style wood-fired pizzas. The only obvious nod to the restaurant’s moniker is the black risotto (€10), a signature Venetian dish that ows its color to squid ink and arrives with bits of mollusk. A range of affordable Hungarian and Italian wines are also available.
I could've done without the ear-catching English and Italian cover songs that comprise 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.