Tucked deep into Santa Croce, this gelateria is worth seeking out for its delicious handmade creations, which come in such unusual flavors as ginger and celery, as well as the creamiest pistachio, chocolate and banana you will taste in Venice. The ice cream is totally seasonal and prepared with the best ingredients, as will tell you the (aptly named) owner Carlo Pistacchi, who is passionate and knowledgeable about his craft.
Venetians have elevated snacking to a high art in the form of bacari (small wine bars), where you can order tapas-like small plates of goodies called cicheti almost all day long. This one in Cannaregio is where I prefer to go for a nibble after a day of sightseeing. The tiny veal meatballs tossed in a delicate wine sauce are superb. Regulars go for the grilled squid, slightly charred but tender, with just a squeeze of lemon.
Caffè del Doge
Down a narrow alley off of the Grand Canal near the madness of the Rialto Bridge, this simple café serves some of the best coffee in the city. Smokers sit at the few tables out front in the alley. You place your coffee orders inside to the barristas behind the counter, where roasting is a serious art form. You can buy pastries and fresh squeezed fruit juices to go with your macchiato or espresso, as well as whole beans, bags of ground coffee and lots of coffee accessories to try to replicate the taste at home.
Wandering around Dorsoduro, you soon discover that the quarter is like a small village hidden within the larger city. Its beating heart is the Campo Santa Margherita (in Venice, with the sole exception of Piazza San Marco, a square is called a campo rather than a piazza). Dominating the wide, long square are leafy trees, a rarity in this city of stone and water, adding to the sense that you’re in a small village. Residents favor the Rosso when it comes to lingering over their morning cappuccinos.
Cantinone Già Schiavi
Indagare insider Marie Brandolini, known for her innovative, colorful glass creations based on traditional Venetian designs, recommends Cantinone già Schiavi “for a good ombra, glass of white wine, and hearty ciccetti (tapas).”
Indagare insider Marie Brandolini, known for her innovative, colorful glass creations based on traditional Venetian designs, recommends Cavatappi: “Open 9-24. Great for a quick lunch. Good enoteca.”
For a sweet pick-me-up, head to Colussi, a family-run bakery that opened in 1840 and sells delicious cookies and pastries. It’s between San Marco Square and the Rialto Bridge.
Yes, there are gelato shops on many corners but this one has been a local favorite for decades, in part because its location on the quay by the Giudecca Canal is the perfect place to wander or let the kids sit with their feet dangling above the water while working on your cone.
A nice spot in the summer is Arrigo Cipriani’s second Venetian restaurant (after Harry’s Bar), which is situated on the relaxing island of Giudecca and has amazing views across the canal. Closed Tuesday.
This small café behind the former villa of Peggy Guggenheim overlooks the garden where sculptures are displayed and Mrs. Guggenheim and her beloved dogs are buried. The menu, which is overseen by a nearby restaurant called Ai Gondolieri, is not extensive but it’s a very peaceful setting, and since it’s only open to those who have paid the entrance fee for the museum, it’s ideal for a break before or after your visit. Closed Tuesdays.