Sitting on the dock Venice Grand Canal

The Secret Happy Hour in Venice

Posted on Posted in Travel, Venice, Wine

My first AirBnb host mapped out the route to what she said was “a fantastic happy hour along the Grand Canal”. She said that you only need to buy a drink and pay a slight fee for the food. I put it on my list and set out to find Taverna al Remer with her instructions and the map. Rialto Bridge make a left follow the street over a bridge and turn in the alley – if you go past the second bridge you’ve gone too far.

Grand Canal Venice Sunset
Great view of the Grand Canal in Venice

I walked back and forth trying to find the Taverna and my stomach gave up and led me elsewhere for a proper dinner chalking it up to it being such a “secret” that I needed a password or something.

At my second AirBnb flat, my new host also mentioned Taverna al Remer and I explained my first botched attempt. Again she pointed it out on the map and this time I had my Google Maps ready at hand. With the map directions I set off. Since I’m a novice with the whole Google Maps while walking, I stopped to take photos along the way (it’s Venice and every corner has an amazing photo just waiting) and then quickly closed the camera app (or so I thought). I had closed the Google Maps app and in the maze of Venice, I wasn’t able to get a proper signal to bring the route back to life. Shattered that this mission had to be aborted, I was feeling like it wasn’t meant to be.

Grand Canal Markets
Looking across the Grand Canal toward the markets

I moved to my third AirBnb flat determined that on my last night in the city I was going to find this place. This time with a weak signal in the house, I did a search to find a helpful blog post (or two) mentioning the happy hour and a few helpful clues to directions such as “unmarked alleyway”, ask at the “farmacia” they can help (indicating that it was close by) and don’t cross the second bridge (that I knew).

So this time with Google Maps at the ready and no camera app opened, I set out toward the Rialto Bridge and the street that I had traversed many days now in search of this secret place. Over the first bridge I went with construction on my left and the Italian department store, Coin, on my right. Seeing the second bridge in my sight, I knew I was close. There were two unmarked alleyways, I looked down the first and saw the water so went with the second. Down the alley I went.

Finding Taverna al Remer
This is why I kept missing the alley leading to Taverna al Remer as it is set inside the street shops

In the movies, this would be the part where you say “stupid girl, deserted, small alleyways just beg for trouble”, luckily this isn’t that kind of movie. I followed the alley to the right and then to the left to see a group of what appeared to be college kids at the water’s edge (college kids, cheap happy hour, a good sign). I saw another bunch of college kids making out on the right and left (ah, to be young again). I made a sharp right into a charming wooden bar. I had found it – Taverna al Remer!

Taveran al Remer Venice Happy Hour
On the left the entrance to Taverna al Remer, on the right the alleyway

Looking at the “free food table”, my hosts exaggerated a bit in my opinion as I saw a few plates of crostini, potato squares, croutons (spicy nuggets) nothing to get excited about. I walked out toward the water’s edge to take photos from this secluded spot across from the Rialto Market and in view of the Rialto Bridge.

Sitting on the dock Venice Grand Canal
The Happy Hour at Taverna al Remer has fantastic seating on the Grand Canal – what a view!

Not wanting to give up since I came this far, I went back into the bar and ordered a glass of red. The bartender asked what kind, I said “surprise me”. He asked if I was going outside, I said “sure”. He picked a red and said “you need to stay inside” as he gave me a taste of the red. It was quite good and putting it in a plastic cup would only do it a disservice so I happily stayed inside. My glass of red was €5 and he asked if I wanted the food option, I said ok – that was an additional €2.

Taverna al Remer dining room
Taverna al Remer is a fancy restaurant after happy hour

I took my plastic plate and was happy to see a full table with a pasta dish added. I was behind a young girl who was filling her plate in the “pyramid of buffet food” with the pasta and with each scoop hoping she would stop to leave me some. Luckily her food building skills are not quite U.S. caliber so there was a bit of pasta left. I added some pasta to my potato square, (very) spicy croutons and crostini (olive or chicken spread?).  I found one chair and a table and parked myself to watch the incoming people – young and old, local and foreign. With all the pasta gone (I left enough for the two guys behind me), I was able to reload with the other options.

Taverna al Remer happy hour food
My second plate of appetizers at Taverna al Remer – I got my 2 Euro worth of food

Once the food table was cleared, I finished my food, which was filling enough to be a cheap dinner and walked out to the dock to see my final sunset in Venice with a satisfying smile on my face.

Taverna al Remer Venice sunset
The view of the sunset from the Grand Canal at Taverna al Remer

The Happy Hour starts at 5:30 p.m. (and ends at 7:30 p.m.) and from the looks of the trash bins and students on the dock, you should get there early (I arrived at 6:40 p.m.) to enjoy more food as it get restocked.

6 thoughts on “The Secret Happy Hour in Venice

  1. I’m pretty sure that getting hopelessly lost in Venice is part of the experience you’re supposed to have. When I got hopelessly lost, I was with my younger son, the one with a GPS in his head, but Venice even confounded him. For some reason he and I both had a craving for Chinese food. Unfortunately, we found the restaurant we were looking for. It would have been better if we had stayed lost and just had a pizza.

    1. getting hopelessly lost is part of the Venice charm but I’ve been there enough times that I really should have known better to find this place. As for Chinese food, wow, I wished I talked to you before I left as I was so sick of pizza/pasta, I would have loved to have found that!

  2. I did not know about that place at all! I wish I knew, when I was for few hours in Venice in May! Well, this is a good reason to come back then! I do not blame you for not getting the place at first, must be well hidden! If I am in Venice again, I will be on a look out for sure! Wonder how long is it going to take me to find it!

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