Venice is a dreamy location famous for its canals, cuisine, and culture—but like all super-walkable destinations, there comes a time when you need a caffeine refuel and a peaceful interlude between walking adventures and gondola rides. These are our picks for the three cafes you should stop in Venice to experience the best in Venetian coffee, snacks, and atmosphere. (Tips for drinking coffee like an Italian: Down your espresso standing at the bar—it costs extra to grab a table—and never order cappuccino after lunch).
Caffe del Doge
Rialto, Calle Cinque
Serious coffee-lovers should head to this chill café in a small alleyway near the Rialto bridge. This small but mighty caffeine mecca roasts their own beans imported from the likes of Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Peru and exports their coffee blends around the world. Order a shot of espresso Doge Rosso (the house blend of Arabica and robusta beans), or a Cappucino Veneziano (with shaved chocolate); they also stock a variety of teas. Pair your brew with a tiramisu, croissant, or panini.
Perfect for: An excellent cup of coffee or tea in a setting that looks like your neighborhood café.
Pasticceria Da Bonifacio
Calle degli Albanesi
This tiny café-bakery is easy to miss, but stopping by will be one of the best decisions you’ll make in Venice. Inside, the owners bake a variety of Venetian sweets and snacks, from almond croissants to mammaluchi (deep-fried batter balls with candied fruit) to the Dogaressa (a cake made only on Sundays, consisting of chocolate, meringue, and zabaione). Drink an espresso or spritz at the bar accompanied by a pizzette (tiny pizza) with veggies, anchovies, or corn. It’s also a great place to grab biscuits in cute tins and other sweet treats for back home.
Perfect for: A quick but *lovely* experience drinking coffee at the bar like a true Italian and munching down on some of the best sweets you’ll have in Venice.
Fondamenta della Misericordia
This adorable bookshop-bistro gives off major Brooklyn-meets-fairytale vibes, with plants in the windowsill, exposed wooden beams, and outdoor seats right along the canal. Located on the scenic Fondamenta della Misericordia, this store stocks children’s books, design books, cookbooks and graphic novels, while serving up a variety of light, organic dishes showcasing local Italian products. Order coffee or a glass of house prosecco, then indulge in a slice of almond cake, the mozzarella di buffalo with sundried tomatoes and bread, or the burrata with olives and eggplant.
Perfect for: A chill, light but satisfying lunch with a great view and plenty of gorgeous books to browse; you’ll want to linger.
Bonus: Just getting off the train at the Venezia Santa Lucia station and in need of a quick and strong cup of coffee? Stop by Torrefazione Cannaregio (Fondamenta dei Ormesini; +39041716371), a hip coffee shop with a variety of good-quality and affordable brews from around the world. Their cornetto (Italian croissant) is also a fan favorite.