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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.