15 best bars in beautiful Venice, Italy

Bar Longhi Gritti Palace

If you’re visiting one of Italy’s most famous cities, I know you’ll be spending a lot of time in the traffic-free centre on foot. I therefore think that finding the perfect pick among the best bars in Venice is a must for many a weary traveller, who wishes to relax with a refreshing drink at the end of an exciting but tiring day. 

I really love Venice and I think it’s the most magical, romantic city. Personally, I have such fond memories of sitting by the canal, bellini in hand, watching the world go by.

Having sampled the drinks at a number of bars in Venice (it’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it!), I have compiled this guide to the very best options.

From the best cocktail bars to the cosiest neighbourhood Osteria serving mouthwatering, freshly prepared bar snacks to savour alongside your food, my guide to the best bars in Venice covers every type of occasion.

Whether you want to drink in sweeping canal views as you sip, taste an expertly mixed cocktail or mingle with the locals in one of the city’s finest yet most affordable establishments, I’ve got 15 of the best bars in Venice for you to add to your itinerary.

Author Bio: Jessie Moore

Jessie Moore is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

1. Bar Longhi

Address: Campiello Traghetto, 2467, 30124 Venezia

Best for: Class and opulence

Bar Longhi Venice

This has to be my all-time favourite bar in Venice, simply for its unbeatable elegance and sophistication. Plus, if it’s a room with a view you’re looking for, then I’d highly recommend the impeccable Bar Longhi.

It can be found inside The Gritti Palace, one of the best luxury hotels in Venice. I do warn you, it’s not the cheapest place for a cocktail, but it certainly oozes class.

Bar Longhi Bellinis

Bar Longhi has a waterfront terrace, so you can enjoy views of the Grand Canal from inside or out.

I don’t think the word ‘grand’ does it full justice. Opulent details include handmade Venetian mirrors, Murano glass lampshades, original paintings, fine fabrics and a solid marble countertop. 

2. Venice Jazz Club

Address: Dorsoduro, 3102, 30123 Venezia

Best for: Live music

I’d really recommend stepping back in time during your Italian sojourn at the Venice Jazz Club.

This intimate venue has low lighting and a well-stocked bar, and you can be serenaded in style by the in-house VJC quartet as you sip. The band includes guitar, piano, drums and double bass players. 

As Venice’s only jazz club, it’s a popular place. Live music is usually played late in the evenings between 9pm and 11pm.

Located in the Dorsoduro district, the bar is positioned between the San Barnaba and Santa Margherita piazzas. A visit to the club is one of my favourite things to do in Venice.

3. Cantine del Vino già Schiavi

Address: Fondamenta Nani, 992, 30123 Venezia

Best for: A legendary tavern

Visitors are certainly spoiled for choice at the Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi, a place that’s nothing short of legendary.

The full length of each wall is lined with row upon row of bottles, and you can buy light meals and snacks as well as wine by the glass.

Despite its popularity and convivial atmosphere, I think the food and drinks at Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi are pretty reasonably priced.

It’s super cute – and very tiny – so do grab a seat here if you possibly can. 

4. Il Brillo Parlante

Address: Calle del Tabacco, 2394, 30125 Venezia

Best for: A friendly, unfussy bar

Though the sign says ‘Bar Il Brillo Parlante’, this Venice venue is also known among locals and tourists as a café.

Don’t be nonplussed by the plain, unfussy exterior – I realy think this is a place well worth getting to know.

Drinks come with complimentary snacks, which comes in handy if you get chatting to a local and may miss your dinner reservation (speaking from personal experience!).

Open from breakfast time, you could spend all day dipping in and out of Il Brillo Parlante, devouring delicious pastries and toasted sandwiches accompanied by rounds of cappuccino and aperol spritz.

5. Il Mercante

Address: Fondamenta Frari, 2564, 30125 Venezia

Best for: Incredible cocktails

Il Mercante Bar

Located right by the impressive Basilica dei Frari, Il Mercante literally translates as ‘The Merchant’ (of Venice).

If that Shakespearian association isn’t enough, I’d recommend trying one of the custom-made cocktails. As well as being palate-pleasers, believe me when I say they are works of art!

You might even be fortunate enough to grab a table by the water, although the place generally becomes packed out as the evening wears on.

In my opinion, the cocktails are a dream at Il Mercante and the service is impeccable. 

6. All’Arco

Address: S. Polo, 436, 30125 Venezia

Best for: A quaint and authentic atmosphere

If you’d gladly eschew sleek and modern in favour of a quintessentially Venetian joint, I’d recommend stopping by All’Arco.

A few minutes’ walk from the Rialto Bridge, it’s little more than a hole-in-the-wall, but serves those delectable bar snacks known locally as cicchetti.

For an authentic atmosphere, a warm welcome and a good selection of high quality wines, I know you’re going to love All’Arco.

As it’s very small and can get crowded, I’d suggest being willing to stand at the counter if a spot becomes free while waiting for a table.

7. Harry’s Bar

Address: Calle Vallaresso, 1323, 30124 Venezia

Best for: Bellinis

Of all Venice bars, Harry’s is surely the most legendary of all. This place is famous all over the world as the birthplace of the bellini, comprising peach puree and champagne.

Martini is also an institution at Harry’s in Venice, although it is, somewhat unusually, served in a stemless glass here (and I’m not sure I can quite get on board with that!).

With its location close to Piazza San Marco, the original Harry’s in Venice is still, for many, by far the best.

Just be wary that its legendary status comes with a price tag. If I’m bring totally honest, I did think it was very overpriced because you’re essentially paying for the story of the place, as well as the drinks.

That said, I’d say it’s worth visiting at least once during your visit to Venice, otherwise you may well feel like you’ve missed out.

8. Birreria Zanon

Address: Fondamenta dei Ormesini, 2735, 30121 Venezia

Best for: Beer lovers

Birreria Zanon stands out on the Venice nightlife scene as a place where great beers are the order of the day – or rather, the evening.

Simple wooden tables and chairs, large beer kegs and painted metal signs create an ambience that is international rather than Venetian or even Italian.

Beers from Belgium, the US and Britain feature on the drinks list, and the clientele tends to veer towards the serious beer-lover – in all its forms.

I’m not a big beer drinker myself so tis wouldn’t be one of my personal favourites. But I wanted to include it for those who simply love a good pint.

Students, gondoliers, builders and tourists mix as seamlessly as the beer flows from the taps behind the bar.

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9. Skyline Rooftop Bar

Address: Giudecca, 810, 30133 Venezia

Best for: A drink with a view

Skyline Rooftop Bar in Venice

Arguably the best view over Venice can be yours when drinking at the Skyline Rooftop Bar. In a city as beautiful as this, that’s no minor claim.

The bar is on the eighth floor, and has a fabulous outdoor terrace so you can make the most of those jaw-dropping views.

The Skyline Rooftop Bar is located in the arty Accademia neighbourhood, inside the Hilton Molino Stucky. The building was a flour mill once-upon-a-time.

From creative mixologists to live bands and DJs, I consider this to be the most stylish place to be after the sun sets over the canals.

10. Osteria da Filo

Address: Santa Croce, 1539, 30135 Venezia

Best for: Neighbourhood feel

This Venetian Osteria has a neighbourhood vibe and is all the better for it. I love this place for great wine, good conversation and top quality, freshly prepared bar snacks.

I’m pleased to say that a visit here won’t break the bank either. Ideal if you’ve already overspent at one of the city’s pricier places (which is easily done, believe me!).

Even during the quieter season, this is enough of a locals’ joint to be a hive of activity, helped along by frequent live music sessions.

11. Bacaro ae Bricoe

Address: Fondamenta dei Ormesini, 2684, 30121 Venezia

Best for: A lively atmosphere

This authentic Venetian bar can be found in the Cannaregio district, and I love that stepping into this welcoming place can feel like a homecoming for both locals and visitors. 

From artisan beers to an expertly mixed and reasonably priced Aperol spritz, it’s a great bar to go to after a long day of exploring.

The food, drinks and service are fabulous, and the atmosphere is unfailingly lively.

12. Vino Vero

Address: Fondamenta de la Misericordia, 2497, 30100 Venezia

Best for: Wine lovers

Vino Vero Venice

Vino Vero’s Italian venture has been so successful that there is now a bar in Lisbon as well as Venice.

Occupying a canalside position, it specialises in offering a range of natural wines from around the world.

Vino Vero Venice Bar photographed by Karuna Clayton

If you want to know more about the wines or would like a recommendation, do ask the knowledgeable and approachable staff who I know will be happy to shed some light.

Trust me, the cicchetti are every bit as good as even the finest vintages too. 

13. Bar Al Prosecco

Address: Sestiere Santa Croce, 30135 Venezia

Best for: Organic wine

Several decades ago, few people outside of Italy had even heard of Prosecco. Yet now it’s the go-to sparkling wine for punters from all over the world.

This bar is located on one of Venice’s most photogenic piazzas, and specialises in biodynamic, organic wines made using natural techniques. An admirable endeavour I think!

In addition to the quaffable goods, there are tempting platters of artisan cheeses and meats available – the perfect foil for a glass of dry white or rich red.

Staff are happy to share their knowledge of the fermentation processes with you. So if you’re baffled by all the terminology, do feel free to ask.

14. Estro

Address: Dorsoduro 3778 Crosera, Calle S. Pantalon, 30123 Venezia

Best for: Excellent food and wine

Estro Venice

Tucked away in the Dorsoduro, Estro is somewhat off the beaten tourist path – and I think it’s all the better for it.

Being recommended by the Michelin Guide, though, it’s hardly an unknown find. Nor is it the place to bag a bargain feed. But it does have a treat or two in store for your tastebuds.  

Some 700 organic wines are offered here, and of course the food is top-notch. Cuisine is Mediterranean in style, with the kind of twists on traditional dishes that make it worthy of a Michelin mention. 

15. Osteria Ai Pugni

Address: Fondamenta Gherardini, 2836, 30125 Venezia

Best for: Rustic decor

With a long wine list, delicious cicchetti and a canal-side location, Osteria Ai Pugni ticks a lot of boxes.

The name is intriguing too. ‘Pugni’ translates to fists, and this joint is so-called due to the frequent fist-fights formerly taking place on the Ponte dei Pugni close by.

During the Renaissance era, rival clans would hold their physical clashes here, and the four footprints visible on the bridge today mark where fighters once stood awaiting their fate. 

If that all sounds a bit Montagues and Capulets, don’t despair. I can assure you that there’s not a hint of this violent history within Osteria Ai Pugni – just chic, rustic styling and menus offering bar snacks, full meals and a range of appealing drinks.

I’d particularly recommend the mature cheeses and cured meats served here, as they are particularly tasty.

Now if you’re not in the mood for a bellini or an aperol spritz then I haven’t done my job properly! Whether you love a glamorous rooftop bar or a cosy wine bar, this guide to the best bars in Venice has you covered.

Do let me know any of your own favourite bars in Venice in the comments – I always love hearing from you!

Planning a trip to Venice? Discover my pick of the best luxury hotels in Venice, read my guide to the best things to do in Venice, or browse the best Michelin star restaurants in Venice.

Or if you’re deciding which Italian city to visit, read my guide to choosing between Venice or Rome.

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Jessie Moore
Jessie Moore

Jessie is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

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