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Some gelaterias may revise their hours and menus due to COVID-19. Others may close, either temporarily or permanently, without notice. Be sure to check websites for updated information.
We spent a week in Venice and, without a doubt, Italy’s city of canals is gorgeous. But, as much as we loved the epic views that literally hit us in the face every time we left our Airbnb apartment, we gave our Fitbit a workout for another reason – a noble quest to find the best gelato in Venice.
Food travelers like us who visit Italy have access to great gelato. Thanks to Venice’s constant flow of tourists, we found no shortage of quality, creamy gelato with exotic flavors to cool us down and satisfy our sweet tooth cravings.
Venice has a range of gelateria among its maze-like streets, gondolas and canals. Some are organic, some are both traditional and family-owned and some feel like old fashioned ice cream parlors.
With a tourist throng that never stops, the city seems to have gelato shops waiting around every corner. As a bonus, many of the best gelaterias are located near Venice’s best restaurants and cicchetti bars.
The Best Gelato in Venice
It’s easy to find great flavors when eating gelato in Venice. Aside from pure fiore di latte, we enjoyed gelato flavored with lemons from Sorrento, pistachios from Sicily and the always popular amerena cherries from Emilia-Romagna. The result is a delightfully creamy concoction with legendary flavors that never disappointed us.
In the scope of seven days, we ate enough gelato to narrow our favorites to five awesome Venice gelato shops. Based on our hands-on, spoon-to-mouth research, these are our picks for the five gelaterias scooping the best ice cream in Venice:
Gelateria il Doge
Gelateria il Doge disproves the concept of all gelato being equal with its Crema del Doge, a decadent gelato loaded with chocolate and candied orange. Open since 1986, the gelateria is a popular spot for gelato lovers seeking both exotic combinations and familiar favorites.
During our visit, we created a double-decker cone for the ages by topping rich, dark Cioccolato with a scoop of Crema del Doge. Splurging for a ricopeto cone covered with jimmies was a no-brainer. Even with the extra euro fee, the total cost of €3.80 was a relatively small price to pay for gelato bliss.
Our cheap eats readers will be happy to read that a single scoop cone cost €1.80 at the time of our visit. However, as a word of warning, you probably won’t want to stop at one scoop when you eat gelato at Gelateria il Doge.
Bring euros. Gelateria il Doge didn’t take credit cards at the time of our visits.
Gelateria il Doge has two locations at Campo Santa Margherita and Campiello San Tomà. We ate and photographed our gelato at the Campiello San Tomà gelateria.
Located near the Rialto Bridge, SuSo stands out from the crowd with its slate of creative flavors. The gelateria’s featured flavor, Manet, includes salted pistachio and hazelnut. SuSo also offers flavors like seasonal Walnut & Fig and, in a nod to Venice’s place at the end of Asia’s silk road, the Oriental Express with caramel, ginger and cinnamon.
Mindi ordered Marostica, a stunning combination of pistachio and amarena cherry, while Daryl opted for a scoop of Opera gelato made with Nutella and hazelnut. Which was better? We agree to disagree since we both think ours was the night’s winner.
Don’t be deterred by a long line at SuSo. The tiny gelateria is often crowded due to its prime Venice location.
Gelatotceca Suso is located at Calle della Bissa, 5453, 30124 San Marco, Venezia VE, Italy.
We didn’t expect to find a gelateria called Alaska in Venice. The two destinations are literally halfway around the world from each other.
As we learned during our visit, the shop was previously a milk store and the gelateria kept the name as a nod to tradition. We also learned that Gelateria Alaska makes some seriously tasty gelato.
After consulting with scooper Roberto Menin about flavors like Tiramisu, Tumeric and Ginger, we ordered a creamy scoop of Pear gelato. Refreshingly tasty despite, or perhaps because of, its simplicity, we ordered a scoop of Fore di Latte for good measure.
With each scoop costing just €1.50 at the time of our visit, eating the second cone didn’t break our bank. Perhaps we should have ordered a third.
Gelato di Natura
A popular Venice gelateria since 1982, Gelato di Natura channels the spirit of Marco Polo with its creative Michi desserts. Similar to Japanese Mochi, each Michi is a petite rice cake stuffed with chocolate, vanilla, green tea, strawberry or coffee gelato.
But, at the end of the day, gelato is the main event at Gelato di Natura. During our visit, we enjoyed a scoop of Amarena gelato, passing on creative flavors like Walnuts & Fig and Zuppa Inglese.
Noticing some similarities with SuSo’s flavors, we later discovered the overlap was no coincidence. As was the case with our gelato session at SuSo, we thoroughly enjoyed eating Gelato di Natura’s whisked, small-batch Italian ice cream.
Gelateria Nico has been a Venice institution since Giovanni Causin opened the canal-side gelateria in 1935. The gelateria’s Gianduuito quickly became a local favorite due to its sundaes topped with generous amounts of chocolate, hazelnut and whipped cream.
Unlike the other gelaterias recommended in this guide, Gelateria Nico offers a sit-down experience that almost feels like an old-time American ice cream parlor, serving gelato in antique-style parfait glasses. And, since this is Venice, diners who sit on the expansive terrace can enjoy a view of the Giudecca Canal while they eat their gelato creations.
During our mid-afternoon gelato break, we savored a Frappé di Gelato made with milk, gelato and whipped cream. Adding amarena cherries for an extra euro was an obvious choice and one that we didn’t regret.
Switch it up in the summer and order a dipped popsicle instead of gelato.
Gelateria Nico is located at Fodamenta Zattere al Ponte Longo, 922, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy.
Plan Your Venice Stay
Book a Venice Tour
Venice is bigger and better than we expected.
Taking a Welcome to Venice Walking Tour helped us familiarize ourselves with the city without getting overwhelmed. This tour includes a visit to St. Mark’s Basilica and a Gondola Ride. Other tour options include a Venice Food Tour and a Venice in a Day Tour.
Check out the following tours if you’re interested in digging deep into Venice between gelato cones:
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.