When looking to connect yourself with a coffee in Venice, where do you start?
Venice is the city of spritz and cicchetti, but is it really just about having a tipple with aperitivo? Of course not. The love story of Venice and coffee has very deep roots.
By reading this guide you’ll not only learn where to find the best coffee in Venice but also some of the history about coffee in this city and how it all came about.
How to Drink the Best Coffee in Venice
Let’s take a step back in time… In 1585, the ambassador of the Serenissima Republic of Venice in Constantinople introduced the ‘black drink’ to Venetians.
They loved it so much that in 1683 it’s right here that the oldest coffee shop in Europe was born and strategically positioned in the most famous square in Venice.
It’s success was such that over 70 years, 206 coffee houses sprung up in the city (and the Senate had to stop more from opening) while even the oldest cafè in the world Caffè Florian opened to the public in 1720. It goes without saying, Coffee has been animating the social and cultural life of the city ever since.
The art of coffee roasting is taken seriously in Venice and today it’s still possible to find cafès serving amazing coffees, which are nothing less than a selection of the best beans which arrive here from various coffee regions around the world.
Whether you are a certified coffee lover or not, keep reading below to find out a few curious facts about the history of coffee in Venice, the oldest roaster and coffee shop in the city and where you can still drink some of the best coffee in Venice.
History of Coffee in Venice
Here’s some interesting historical facts about coffee in Venice worth knowing:
What is the oldest Coffee shop in Venice?
In 1720 the first café in Europe and the world opened its doors: Caffè Florian.
Located under the Procuratie Nove in St. Mark’s Square, the original name was ‘Alla Venezia Trionfante’, and started to be called ‘Florian’ in honour of its founder, Floreano Francescani.
Caffè Florian was the meeting spot of the Venetian elite and illustrious characters such as:
- Carlo Goldoni
- Giacomo Casanova
- Ernest Hemingaway
- Antonio Canova
Which are just a few of the big names that used to frequent it. It is also worth noting that Caffè Florian was the only venue that allowed women to enter at that time.
The cafè is known by many as a historical monument and holds immense value for the city of Venice and is part of the Association of Historical Places of Italy.
Sitting at one of its tables, in 18th century style rooms to enjoy a tasty coffee is an unforgettable experience. Visitors even choose to go on a morning coffee tour like this one as a way to get to know what an authentic Venetian coffee bar is really like.
Where to find the best Coffee in Venice
Caffè Girani is the oldest artisan coffee roaster in Venice selling the best coffee in Venice. The oldest coffee roaster was founded by Giuseppe Girani in 1928.
The original shop was in Rialto and then moved to Calle del Dose in the Castello district in 2011.
Girani was a real point of reference in the coffee industry as he used to provide the highest quality coffee to the most luxurious hotels and best cafès in the city.
The beans come from highly selected mountain plantations located in Central America are individually toasted and mixed according to traditional family recipes.
They are still roasted manually with a rare Vittoria machine to maximise the floral and fruity aromas of every type of bean.
I had the pleasure to have a conversation with Roberta, one of Girani’s two granddaughters, who showed me the different coffee blends they sell like the Fassina, which has 9 of the finest varieties of Arabica beans.
If you’re a coffee lover like me, why not stop by Caffè Girani during one of your days and pick up a bag of coffee as an authentic souvenir from Venice for a loved one?
📍 Campo Bandiera e Moro, 3727, 30122 Venice
Coffee Shops in Venice
Below are some coffee shops where you can taste the best coffee in Venice.
I will also talk a bit about their history and which blends and or single origins coffees you can expect to taste in each one.
Remember that you can download the map (above), that way you can use it while exploring Venice and its streets!
Café del Doge
Only 2 minutes away from the Rialto Bridge, you can find one of the unmissable addresses for every coffee enthusiast: Caffè del Doge. The coffee shop was founded in 1952, that initially was a small city roasting company.
It immediately stands out for the production of fine coffee blends for espresso and coffee for home mochas. Over the years, the company expanded, becoming a dynamic and modern artisanal coffee brand selling its products around the world.
Here you can taste more than 14 varieties of espresso coffee, including the two famous classic blends Doge Rosso 100% Arabica and Doge Nero.
📍 Caffè del Doge, San Polo 609, Venice
Torrefazione Cannaregio is a coffee shop and the second oldest coffee roaster in Venice (1930). In this case, we’re in different part of the city, and more specifically in the less touristy Cannaregio neighbourhood, near the Guglie water bus stop.
The Jute bags decorate the space, the fresh fruity aroma flowing through as you walk towards the entrance and steaming cups of coffee are some of the things that will capture your attention as soon as you walk in.
Go to the counter to choose which blend to try. You can take a look at the old style silos on the wall that hold and display single origin and blended coffee beans.
If you’re undecided, why not taste the historic house blend ‘Cafè Remèr’? It is prepared with a combination of 8 different Arabicas selected and imported from Costa Rica, Colombia, India, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Brazil and Salvador.
📍 Fondamenta dei Ormesini, Cannaregio 2804, Venice
Caffè Brasilia is just a small coffee shop that to be honest doesn’t look different from many others around the city. With two sites, one in Rio Terà dei Assassini and the other one in Strada Nova, this coffee business was founded in 1961 and has continued to prepare and serve one of the best coffee in Venice since then.
You can have your cup of espresso or cappuccino as any Italian would do, accompanied by a croissant or krapfen in the morning or with a freshly prepared tramezzino or panino.
If you’re into trying something completely different, then you give a go to their Caffè Brasilia prepared with the addition of hazelnut cream, the Dersuttone with Baileys or the Caffè del Conte if you like the idea of mixing coffee and chocolate together.
📍 Rio Terà dei Assassini, 30124 Venice
As a coffee aficionado, you can’t skip a visit to Caffè Florian, the first cafè in the world! Located in the very heart of the city, St. Mark’s Square, today you can still sip an exceptional coffee in one of its 18th century salons (Sale).
Visiting the Caffè Florian is like taking a step back in time, imagine sitting at the table next to Charles Dickens, Giacomo Casanova or the composer Stravinsky, some of the most illustrious characters and visitors of the cafè.
As your exploration of the best coffee in Venice continues, then make sure to try the house blend ‘Venezia 1720’. It’s a combination of the finest Arabica beans that come from Central America and Brazil.
The luxury of having a coffee at Caffè Florian combined with the history that only this unique place can offer, is bound to make it worth spending that bit extra.
📍 Caffè Florian, Piazza San Marco 57, Venice
Bottega del Caffè Dersut
The Bottega del Caffè Dersut is just on the side of the Basilica Santa Maria Gloriosi dei Frari in the San Polo district. This is a café where you can sit down, relax and enjoy one of the many speciality coffees on the menu.
You can either try their signature coffee called Caffè Bottega, a classic coffee with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder on top, the Nocciolato with pure hazelnuts or the Caffè Cocco, with chocolate and coconut syrup and flakes.
The Bottega del Caffè’s coffee is not only one of the best coffee shops in Venice but also a place to indulge in a slightly more elaborated coffee experience.
📍 Campo dei Frari, 3015, San Polo, Venice
Best Coffee in Venice
Now that you know exactly where to find the best coffee in Venice so you can get your daily dose of caffeine, which of the above establishments will you visit first?
Either way, now you’ll start to understand where you can get the best and authentic Venetian coffee and keep find new places to try while along the way.
Life is too short for bad coffee and since you’ll be here soon, why not read about what to eat in Venice for ideas on how to connect with the city’s food culture too?
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