If you’re heading to Venice, one thing you absolutely have to do is try gelato – the Italian version of ice cream. Gelato is easily one of Italy’s greatest cultural contributions and La Serenissima is one of the best places in the country to find it. Finding the best gelato in Venice isn’t easy and as you stroll around the city, you’re going to find yourself overwhelmed by choice as this frozen Italian treat has a ubiquitous presence. Read on to discover our picks for the 11 best Venice gelato shops.
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Gelato vs. Ice Cream: What’s the Difference?
Before we dive into our list of the best gelaterias in Venice, it’s important to note that gelato is not ice cream, and word to the wise: never call it ice cream when in Italy. But if you thought that gelato was just a fancier name for good ol’ ice cream, we don’t blame you!
Though gelato and ice cream are both creamy, frozen desserts made from ingredients including dairy and sugar, gelato is actually rather distinct from ice cream. The difference lies in the proportions of each with gelato having more milk (and less cream) compared to ice cream. It also doesn’t usually contain egg yolks the way that ice cream does.
Gelato is creamier, smoother, silkier, and more elastic and fluid than ice cream. Because it’s made with less air than ice cream, gelato has a denser structure and this denseness allows it to pack a much more intense flavor than traditional ice cream.
Best of all!—gelato is also lower in fat (5 to 7% fat compared to a minimum of 10% fat for ice cream) which means it’s all the more reason to have at least one cup or cone every day of your trip!
Gelato is also traditionally served about 6–8°C (10–15°F) warmer than ice cream, meaning it will melt faster but also allow the tongue to experience a richer flavor.
Top-quality gelato ought to be creamy but not too fatty, devoid of ice crystals, and should have a clean taste that isn’t overpowered by milk or sugar. Finally, gelato should be kept in steel containers and it isn’t scooped, it’s traditionally served with a device that resembles a spatula.
Where to get the best gelato in Venice
We spent a significant amount of time trying a wide assortment of Venice gelaterias on our recent visit. They are scattered all over town so as to ensure you’ll never be far from the perfect gelato wherever you are in Venice.
Below are our top 11 places for the best gelato in Venice in no particular order.
1. Bacaro del Gelato
Located on Fondamenta Misericordia in the less-trafficked district of Cannareggio, the small, artisanal Bacaro del Gelato has a strong claim to have the best gelato in Venice. The balance of sweetness, taste, and creaminess of the gelato here is just about as perfect as can be.
Though all the 14-16 flavors they have are great, the sinful Cremino al Pistacchio (dark chocolate with pistachio cream) is devilishly good and in a class of its own. I dare say that it is arguably the best gelato we’ve ever had.
Opening Hours: 11:00-22:00 (Friday-Saturday) & 12:00-20:00 (Sunday-Tuesday & Thursday). Closed on Wednesday.
Head next door to Vino Vero to try some of the best cicchetti in Venice along with some fantastic wines.
2. Gelateria Ca’ d’Oro
Well-positioned on the highly-trafficked Strada Nova, the more than 30-year-old Gelateria Ca’ d’Oro has a large gelato counter with a wide array of flavors. Gelato comes in big portions and the flavor selection is wide-ranging and creative, from salted caramel to ricotta with honey and sesame.
Besides gelato, you can also get crêpes, pastries, sorbets, milkshakes, and popsicles at Gelateria Ca’ d’Oro.
Opening Hours: 14:00-20:00 (Monday-Thursday) & 11:00-20:00 (Friday-Sunday).
3. Gelateria il Doge
Despite its name, Gelateria il Doge is deceptively far from Doge’s Palace and is instead located near the lively Santa Margherita Square (Campo Santa Margherita) in the district of Dorsoduro. Well-known for serving some of the best gelato in Venice, there are more than 15 flavors of homemade gelato at Gelateria il Doge, including several versions of chocolate.
Il Doge is a good option for people following a special diet as they have dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free gelato flavors. I strongly recommend sampling their trademark Crema del Doge (vanilla ice cream all covered in a chocolate orange sauce and candied orange).
Lovers of Sicilian dessert can also sample granita here. Whatever you get, you won’t walk away disappointed.
Opening Hours: Daily from 09:00-24:00.
When selecting which gelateria to visit in Venice and which flavor to go for, keep in mind that seasonal fruits are always best. Avoid places featuring unnatural, brightly colored flavors like bright greens and blues. This indicates that the stuff is mass-produced and not at all authentic or superior in taste.
4. Gelato di Natura
Since its inception in 1982, Gelato di Natura has been enthralling Venetians and visitors alike with their high-quality gelato. This family-run gelateria has proven to be so popular that there are now multiple locations over the city.
Jacky and I both really enjoyed their gelato, the mesmerizing dark chocolate, and the utterly delectable walnuts and figs, in particular, were fantastic! They also have a couple of vegan flavors to choose from.
Opening Hours: All the locations are open daily but have slightly different operating hours, though most locations are open from 10:30-23:00.
5. Gelateria S.Leonardo
Our first taste of gelato in Venice was at the rather nondescript Gelateria S.Leonardo. Located in the Jewish quarter of Cannaregio, S.Leonardo is perfect for its location as well as its cheerful interior and its selection of traditional and seasonal flavors.
The selection of flavors at S. Leonardo isn’t as big as in some other establishments but they’ve got all the classic flavors like hazelnut, chocolate, pistachio, tiramisu, and stracciatella. Plus, the gelato is very, very good.
Opening Hours: Daily from 10:00-20:00.
6. Gelateria Gallonetto
This small gelateria on a busy alley in the Castello district doesn’t always get the attention it deserves — but it’s definitely a local favorite. A small counter displays around 15 flavors made with fresh milk, seasonal fruit, and selected ingredients — from Piedmont hazelnuts and organic lemons to mascarpone.
You won’t see the gelato here, as it is kept in silver canisters deep in the counter to maintain the temperature constant at which it is kept soft.
For those who enjoy the intensity of the traditional pistachio flavor, the pistachio at Gelateria Gallonetto is a must-try. Made from the highly acclaimed Bronte Pistachio from Sicily, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better pistachio gelato in Venice.
Jacky and I both concur that the gelato we had there was right up there with the best gelato in Venice, very rich and extra creamy. Finally, of all the gelato shops we sampled in Venice, Gelateria Gallonetto was the cheapest, costing only 1.50 EUR per scoop.
Opening Hours: 10:30-22:30 (Sunday-Thursday) and 10:30-24:00 (Friday-Saturday).
Most people working in gelato shops speak English, so if you have additional questions feel free to ask! In fact, you might order in Italian but they’ll often reply back in English.
This small and seemingly unassuming ice cream parlor in the Santa Croce district is the place to head if you’re looking for the zaniest gelato concoctions in Venice.
Owner Carlo Pistacchi gives life to daring flavors that will tickle even the most sophisticated palates by combining unexpected ingredients like artichoke, ginger, celery, turmeric, avocado, fennel, and basil, with an eye towards vegan options and gluten intolerances.
I tried the ginger and artichoke flavors while Jacky boldly tried the celery. And much to our surprise, these seemingly wacky flavors tasted pretty good, with the ginger being really spicy (although the texture of the gelato wasn’t as rich or creamy as we had hoped). Even if you possess a less adventurous palette, classics like coffee and seasonal fruit flavors will have you well covered.
Opening Hours: Daily from 11:00-22:00.
8. Gelato Fantasy
If you’re going to indulge in some gelato in the touristy district of San Marco, then your first stop should be this popular gelateria. Gelato Fantasy offers some of the best gelato in Venice for you!
While you can’t go wrong with any of the flavors there, they are especially known for some of their more unique options, including cheesecake, Sacher, Nutella, Oreo, Alps’ yogurt, and KitKat!
You can also get a number of vegan and dairy-free choices. Also, if you want to indulge, even more, they also offer crêpes, waffles, smoothies, and fruit centrifuges.
Opening Hours: Daily from 10:00-24:00.
One of the best-known Italian chocolate stores in Venice, Venchi also has really yummy gelato! Their gelato is made using natural, select ingredients, including fresh milk, fruit, Piedmont hazelnuts, Sicilian pistachios, Sorrento lemons, and, of course, our chocolate!
Venchi’s gelato is a tad expensive but worth the splurge for its alluring looks and indulgently rich taste. The shop is a paradise for chocoholics with a staggering number of iterations of the classic chocolate gelato. Their cones are awesome as well, you can even get one with melted chocolate inside.
Opening Hours: 10:30-23:00 (Sunday-Thursday) and 10:30-23:30 (Friday-Saturday).
10. Gelateria Crystal
A minimalist approach, little to no use of sugar, and an indisputable creamy texture have made Gelateria Crystal a favorite on the Via Garibaldi boulevard in the district of Castello. They don’t have the widest selection of flavors, but you can get all the traditional gelato flavors.
Opening Hours: 15:30-23:00 (Monday) and 12:00-23:00 (Tuesday-Sunday).
11. Gelatoteca Suso
Probably the most famous gelato shop in Venice, not far from the Rialto Bridge, Gelatoteca Suso is not a place to linger in. Hardly a day goes by without long queues of tourists and locals alike waiting for their sweet fix.
The bright and inviting artisanal gelateria boasts a large gelato counter with more than two dozen instagrammable flavors. Some of the most popular flavors at Gelatoteca Suso are Manet (a blend of chocolate and hazelnuts covered with salted pistachio), Opera (Piedmontese hazelnut), Marosticana (pistachio with almonds and black cherries), Walnut & Figs, and of course, their signature Suso (double caramel with toffee).
While Gelatoteca Suso may be the most popular gelateria in Venice, it’s certainly nowhere close to being the best, and to be perfectly honest, is rather overrated. The gelato at Suso looks very good, but we didn’t like it as much in comparison to the other places we’ve covered in this list.
I think it’s mostly hyped up due to its prime location and large presence on social media. You be the judge and find out what you think.
Opening Hours: 10:30-23:00 (Sunday-Thursday) and 10:30-23:30 (Friday-Saturday).
How much does gelato in Venice cost?
The price of a single scoop of gelato ranges from 1.50-2.20 EUR at all the gelato shops we’ve covered in our list. The price is the same regardless of whether you get a cone or cup.
While most places do accept card payment, it’s always handy to keep some loose change on hand. Otherwise, there’s nothing worse than running out just when you’ve spotted some mouth-watering gelato.
If you’re wondering whether to get gelato in a cone or cup, Jacky and I personally prefer getting in a cone as there is nothing to throw away at the end except for a napkin, therefore being more eco-friendly.
Map of the best Gelato Shops in Venice
Here is a map of the best gelaterias in Venice. You’ll find the addresses of those shops by clicking on the icons on the map.
Further reading for your Venice Visit
That summarizes our definitive guide to where to find the best gelato in Venice. We assume that you’re not going to Venice *just* to eat gelato (although, no worries if that is the case). Either way, we reckon you’ll find the following resources useful for planning your trip to Venice!
Further Reading For Your Venice Visit
→ Check Out the 30 Essential Things to do in Venice
→ Find Out How to Spend One Perfect Day in Venice!
→ Discover How to Spend a Blissful Weekend in Venice!
→ Read Our Comprehensive Guide to Public Transport in Venice
→ Check Out the 30+ Must-See Sights Along the Grand Canal in Venice
→ Learn About the 22 Essential Foods and Drinks to Try in Venice!
→ Uncover the 19 Best Photo Spots in Venice!
→ Check Out the 14 Best Traditional Souvernirs to Buy in Venice!
→ Find Out About the 12 Best Cicchetti Bars in Venice!
Do you agree with our list? Where did you find the best gelato in Venice? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!