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[Insider Tips] The Best Gelato Venice Italy Has To Offer

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As a seasoned traveler to Venice since I only live an hour away, I’ve been enchanted by the city of waterways for years. 

My journey to finding the best gelato in Venice has been an adventure of its own. We’re not talking about your run-of-the-mill vanilla ice cream here; this is about the creamy, dreamy gelato that holds centuries of Italian tradition in every scoop.

There’s something about eating gelato in Venice that just feels right. Maybe it’s the way the flavors come alive in the Italian sun, or perhaps it’s the simple joy of enjoying it while watching the gondolas glide by. 

Either way, this is an experience you don’t want to miss. So, where is the best place to get a gelato in Venice?

Read on for the insider tips to help you get the best gelato possible while you enjoy the sights and sounds of the floating city!

Want to know the best time to visit Venice? Read the full article!

Italian Gelato vs Ice Cream

Often, folks wonder about the difference between gelato and regular ice cream. Well, despite the similarities, gelato and your typical vanilla ice cream are as different as Venice and Vegas. While both are sweet, creamy, and best served cold, the differences lie in the ingredients and the method of preparation.

Gelato, the Italian word for ice cream, has a lower fat content than its American counterpart. It’s made with more milk and less cream, meaning it churns out a lighter and slightly less creamy texture. But don’t be fooled, gelato is not lacking in flavor. In fact, the lessened fat allows the flavors to shine more brightly.

What’s more, gelato is churned at a slower speed, which introduces less air into the mixture, resulting in a denser dessert. Plus, it’s served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream, making it softer and silkier on the palate.

Tips on Ordering Gelato in Venice

As a frequent visitor to Venice, I’ve had a lot of delicious gelato and some that left me feeling ripped off. Instead of wasting your precious time getting a bad gelato in Venice, let me give you some tips on getting the best gelato before you read the list of the gelato shops in Venice that I recommend. 

Read my guide on the essential foods to eat in Venice!

When to eat gelato in Venice

There’s something you need to understand – for Venetians, there’s no wrong time for gelato! It’s not uncommon to see locals enjoying a creamy scoop for breakfast, as an afternoon pick-me-up, or as a sweet end to a meal. But if you’re looking for the ‘best’ time to visit Venice’s gelato shops, then let’s talk about the gelato season.

While you can find gelato year-round in Venice, the warmer months from April to October are prime time for this frozen treat. Gelaterias often showcase seasonal fruit flavors like fragrant strawberry or juicy peach during spring and summer. But no matter the season, a scoop of yummy gelato is always a good idea especially when you have choices like salted pistachio or classic gianduiotto!

How to spot authentic gelato

authentic gelato in italy

Authentic gelato is a symphony of flavors that dances on your tongue – a far cry from the artificial tastes often found elsewhere. But how can you spot the real deal? Here are a few tips:

First, look at the color. Authentic gelato uses all-natural ingredients. For instance, if you see mint gelato that’s bright green, that’s a red flag. Real mint gelato should be white or off-white, because mint leaves, when infused, don’t really dye the milk.

Second, pay attention to the presentation. If the gelato is piled high in beautiful, fluffy mounds, tread carefully. Real gelato is denser due to less air being churned into it, and it should not be able to hold such a whipped shape. Authentic gelato is typically stored in metal tins and often covered.

How to order gelato

When it comes to ordering gelato in Venice, don’t be shy! Many gelato shops let you choose multiple flavors in a single cup or cone. It’s a great chance to mix and match, pairing classics like dark chocolate with something more adventurous like Japanese mochi or a seasonal fruit flavor.

Also, don’t overlook the classics. Flavors like crema del doge, a Venetian specialty, or stracciatella, the Italian version of chocolate chip, are always a hit. But remember, the best way to find your favorite is to taste, taste, and taste some more! Most places are happy to give you a sample.

And one last thing: when in Venice, do as the Venetians do. Enjoy your gelato slowly, savor each bite, and let the city’s beauty wash over you. 

Want to save money during your trip to Venice? Read my guide on how to budget for Venice!

The Top 8 Gelato Shops in Venice

When it comes to finding the best gelato in Venice, you have to remember that it’s not just about the gelato itself. It’s also about the atmosphere, the location, and the people behind the gelato shops counters who bring the gelato to life. From the bustling main island to the quieter neighborhoods, each gelateria has its own unique charm.

Here are my tried and true favorites to eat when I am in Venice (in no particular order):

1 – Gelato di Natura

gelato di natura best gelato shops in venice italy

Gelato di Natura is a beloved gelateria with the adventurous spirit of Marco Polo. Its innovative Michi desserts taking center stage. Drawing inspiration from the Japanese Mochi, each Michi is a delightful little rice cake filled with a variety of gelato flavors – from the classic chocolate and vanilla to the more exotic green tea, strawberry, and coffee.

Gelato di Natura, with a location near San Marco, is a beacon for passersby, its vibrant tiles and rustic wood rafters inviting you in for a taste of Italy. But be warned, this is a standing-room-only establishment, so be ready to savor your scoops while strolling through the picturesque Venetian streets. Usually, I steer people away from the tourist trap areas of the city for food, but this gelateria is a nice exception to the tule.

The Gianduja Torino is a must-try, a harmonious blend of Piedmont hazelnuts and Ivory Coast chocolate. And for those with a penchant for the unique, the Zuppa Inglese is a delightful concoction of egg yolks, biscuits, and Alchermes liqueur.

And if you’re looking for a recommendation for something a bit less complex, you can’t go wrong with their Cookies, Tiramisu, or Espresso flavors.

Open 7 days from 9:30 to 20:00

Check out my favorite coffee shops in Venice for your daily pick me up!

2 – Gelateria Ca d’Oro

Situated on the bustling Strada Nova, Gelateria Ca’d’Oro, with its rich history of over three decades, boasts a sizeable gelato counter that teems with an extensive selection of flavors. The servings are generous and the range of flavors is both broad and inventive, featuring options from savory-sweet salted caramel to the unique blend of ricotta, honey, and sesame.

In addition to gelato, Gelateria Ca’d’Oro offers a variety of other treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. Among the selections, you can find crêpes, pastries, refreshing sorbets, creamy milkshakes, and fun popsicles. This place is more than just one of the best gelato shops, it’s a full-service dessert stop catering to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

Open Sunday to Thursday from 11:00 to 22:00

Friday and Saturday 11:00 to 23:00

3 – Gelateria il Doge

best gelato in venice - il doge

Gelateria il Doge is nestled close to the vibrant Santa Margherita Square (Campo Santa Margherita) in the laid-back Dorsoduro district. This establishment has earned a reputation for offering some of the best gelato in Venice, presenting more than 15 distinct flavors of homemade gelato, with several delightful variations of chocolate included.

Gelateria il Doge is an excellent choice for those with specific dietary requirements, as they cater to dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free diets with an assortment of gelato flavors. A must-try is their signature Crema del Doge, which is a vanilla ice cream smothered in a chocolate orange sauce and adorned with candied orange.

Open daily from 09:00 to 00:00

4 – Gelato Fantasy

best gelato in venice - gelato fantasy

For those venturing into the bustling tourist hub of San Marco and seeking to indulge in delectable gelato, Gelato Fantasy is a good gelateria in a convenient location. Although I would opt for the other places on my list before recommending this gelateria since it isn’t exactly the best gelato, the location makes it a good spot to get a break from sightseeing especially if you are there for a short time.

Gelato Fantasy is particularly known for its unique and creative options. These include indulgent flavors such as cheesecake, Sacher torte, Nutella, Oreo, Alps’ yogurt, and KitKat! These quirky flavors, combined with the gelateria’s reputation for quality, make Gelato Fantasy an exceptional spot to satisfy your gelato cravings in Venice.

Open daily from 10:00 to 23:30

5 – Gelatoteca Suso

gelateria suso best gelato in venice

SuSo, situated close to the iconic Rialto Bridge, distinguishes itself by offering an array of inventive gelato flavors. The gelateria’s best gelato and signature flavor, Manet, is a blend of salted pistachio and hazelnut. Additionally, SuSo presents unique options like the seasonal Walnut & Fig and the Oriental Express – a flavor that pays tribute to Venice’s historic position as a crossroads between East and West.

Open daily from 10:00 to 23:30

6 – Gelateria Nico

best gelato in venice - nico

Gelateria Nico has held its place as a beloved fixture in Venice ever since its establishment by Giovanni Causin in 1935, situated alongside the picturesque canals. The Gianduiotto sundae, overflowing with abundant layers of chocolate, hazelnut, and whipped cream, quickly gained popularity among the locals.

Gelateria Nico provides a seated dining experience reminiscent of a vintage American ice cream shop, serving its best gelato in a retro-style glass cup. True to its Venetian setting, guests who choose to dine on the spacious terrace are treated to a captivating view of the Giudecca Canal as they savor their gelato delicacies.

Open daily from 07:30 to 21:30

7 – Bacaro del Gelato

bacaro del gelato

Bacaro del Gelato in the Cannaregio neighborhood is a petite gelato shop established by two young Venetians with a passion for traditional flavors, presents an uncomplicated, brightly-lit storefront. Its focus is clear: well-crafted, classic gelato. 

The day’s best gelato offerings are handwritten on a chalkboard menu. The dark chocolate flavor is intensely rich and slightly bitter, earning its place as a fan favorite. Other popular choices include pistachio, hazelnut, and tiramisu. 

bacaro del gelato cannaregio

Regardless of your chosen flavor, consider having your gelato scoops nestled in a house-made brioche with fresh whipped cream, transforming it into an extraordinary gelato sandwich.

Given its off-the-beaten-path location, Bacaro del Gelato provides a peaceful escape from the often crowded tourist areas of Venice. This makes it the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely gelato while exploring the more tranquil parts of the city.

Open daily from 11:00 to 22:30

8 – La Mela Verde

La Mela Verde, translating to “The Green Apple,” is a charming, petite ice cream store nestled in the Castello district of Venice. The shop is famed for its traditional, artisanal Italian ice cream, lovingly handcrafted in-house. Each serving of their delectable gelato is reasonably priced at about 2€.

A unique treat on their menu is the Panna Gelato, which consists of sweet brioche filled with a creamy filling of ice cream, providing a delightful contrast of textures. The green apple flavor, which is their signature offering, is a must-try. This is hardly a surprise given that the shop itself is named after this flavor, highlighting its special place in their gelato line-up.

Open daily from 11:00 to 22:30

Wrapping It Up

In the labyrinth of canals and cobblestone streets that is Venice, Italy, the quest for the perfect gelato is a delightful journey. Each gelateria we’ve explored offers a unique twist on this classic Italian treat, from traditional flavors to innovative creations. But no matter where you find yourself in this enchanting city, one thing remains constant – the passion and craftsmanship that go into every scoop.

These are just my opinion on the best gelato shops in Venice, Italy. Don’t hesitate to try some others you come acrosss and let me know what you thought of them in the comment box below.

If you need more travel tips to Venice, make sure to check out the articles below!

Sal Presti

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