Breakfast, the morning ritual that varies greatly across cultures, holds a special place in the hearts of Venetians.
Venice is a city of art, history, and romance, but also of delicious food. If you want to experience the authentic Venetian cuisine, you need to start your day with a proper venetian breakfast. But what is a venetian breakfast, and where can you find the best places to enjoy it? In this blog post, I will answer these questions and give you some tips on how to make the most of your morning in Venice.
Italian Breakfast: A Cultural Insight:
A venetian breakfast is not a typical breakfast that you might find in other parts of Italy or the world. It is not a lavish meal with eggs, bacon, pancakes, or cereal. It is not even a sit-down affair with a table and a waiter. A venetian breakfast is a quick and simple snack that you can grab on the go, usually consisting of a coffee and a pastry.
The coffee is usually an espresso, or a cappuccino if you prefer a milky drink. The pastry is usually a croissant, or a brioche, or a krapfen, which are all variations of the same doughy and flaky treat, sometimes filled with jam, cream, or chocolate. You can also find other types of pastries, such as muffins, donuts, or cakes, depending on the bakery or the bar.
Standing at the Counter: A Venetian Tradition
The venetian breakfast is meant to be consumed standing up at the counter of your favorite coffee shop, or at a nearby table if you are lucky enough to find one. You don’t need to spend more than a few minutes to enjoy your venetian breakfast, as it is just a way to start your day with some energy and sweetness.
This practice not only saves time but also encourages social interaction, as Venetians exchange greetings and quick conversations with fellow patrons and the barista. It’s a daily ritual that fosters a sense of community.
Where to Find the Best Venetian Breakfast?
- Venice is full of coffee shops and bakeries that offer a venetian breakfast, but not all of them are equally good. Some of them are tourist traps that charge you a fortune for a mediocre coffee and a stale pastry. Some of them are hidden gems that serve you a delicious coffee and a fresh pastry for a reasonable price. How can you tell the difference? Here are some tips to help you find the best venetian breakfast in Venice:
- Avoid the main tourist areas, such as St. Mark’s Square or the Rialto Bridge. These places are crowded, noisy, and expensive, and they don’t offer the authentic venetian breakfast experience. Instead, look for the quieter and more charming neighborhoods, such as Cannaregio, Dorsoduro, or Castello, where you can find more local and less touristy coffee shops and bakeries.
- Look for the signs that say “pasticceria” or “pasticceria artigianale”. These are the words that indicate a pastry shop or a pastry shop that makes its own pastries from scratch. These places are more likely to have fresh and tasty pastries than the ones that buy them from a factory or a supermarket.
- Ask the locals for recommendations. The best way to find the best venetian breakfast is to ask the people who live in Venice and know the city well. You can ask your hotel staff, your tour guide, your photographer, or anyone you meet on the street. They will be happy to share their favorite places with you, and you will have the chance to discover some hidden gems that you would not find otherwise.
- Try different places and different pastries. Venice has a lot of variety when it comes to venetian breakfast, and you don’t have to stick to the same place or the same pastry every day. You can explore different areas of the city and try different coffee shops and bakeries, and see which ones you like the most. You can also try different types of pastries, and see which ones suit your taste buds the most. You might be surprised by the diversity and the quality of the venetian breakfast.
Some Examples of the Best Venetian Breakfast Places
To give you some inspiration, here are some examples of the best venetian breakfast places that I have personally tried and loved. These are not the only ones, of course, but they are some of the most popular and well-reviewed ones among the locals and the tourists. You can use them as a reference, or you can find your own favorites.
- Pasticceria Bonifacio: Tucked away behind St. Mark’s Square, this tiny pastry shop is a hidden gem. It’s a favorite among locals for its “Carnival Frittelle,” delectable Venetian pastries that are a must-try during the carnival season.
- Pasticceria Tonolo: This is one of the most famous and oldest pastry shops in Venice, dating back to 1886. It is located in the Dorsoduro district, near the Accademia Bridge. It is known for its amazing croissants, especially the ones filled with apricot jam, and its creamy cappuccinos. It is always busy, but it is worth the wait. You can also find other types of pastries, such as krapfen, muffins, or cakes, and some savory snacks, such as sandwiches or pizza. The prices are very reasonable, and the service is friendly and fast.
- Pasticceria Rizzardini: This is another historic and renowned pastry shop in Venice, founded in 1742. It is located in the San Polo district, near the Frari Church. It is famous for its traditional venetian pastries, such as zaleti, frittelle, or bussolai, which are made with corn flour, raisins, or almonds. It also has a great selection of croissants, brioches, and krapfen, and a good coffee. The atmosphere is cozy and elegant, and the staff is courteous and helpful.
- Majer: Majer is a chain of restaurants and shops that offer typical Venetian products, such as coffee, biscuits, pastries and bakery. Discover the artisanal experiences, the offers and the news from the Majer blog. Majer has several locations in Venice, where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and cicchetti, with a wide choice of sweet and savory dishes.
- Pasticceria Dal Mas: This is a modern and trendy pastry shop in Venice, opened in 2010. It is located in the Cannaregio district, near the Guglie Bridge. It is known for its innovative and creative pastries, such as the cronut, which is a hybrid between a croissant and a donut, or the bombolone, which is a large and fluffy donut filled with cream or chocolate. It also has a variety of croissants, brioches, and krapfen, and a quality coffee. The place is spacious and bright, and the staff is friendly and professional.
- Marchini Time: Marchini Time is a bar and pastry shop located in the central Campo San Luca, at the corner of one of the most frequented areas of Venice. It is the ideal place for a morning coffee break, a quick snack or an aperitif with friends. The long opening hours, the speed of service and the quality of the products offered, have determined the success of this meeting place within the panorama of the historic center of Venice.
- Al Theatro: A rarity in Venice, Al Theatro near La Fenice Theatre provides seating, making it an ideal spot to savor your breakfast in comfort. It is a contemporary restaurant in the center of Venice, near the Gran Teatro La Fenice. The staff is friendly and professional, but the service is slow and not exactly efficient. The prices are reasonable, and the quality is high. Al
Theatro is a perfect place to have a venetian breakfast or one of the best “tramezzino” in Venice city center.
- Fujiyama – Tea Room Beatrice: is a cozy and elegant tea room in the Dorsoduro district, near the San Barnaba church. It offers a selection of green, pu erh, white, yellow, oolong teas from China and Japan, as well as classic and aromatic black, rooibos teas and flowers, tisanes and infusions. You can also enjoy some delicious cakes, sandwiches, salads and soups, made with fresh and organic ingredients. The tea room has a beautiful garden inside, where you can relax.
- Caffè Florian: Caffè Florian holds the prestigious title of being the oldest café in the world. Throughout its storied history, luminaries such as Antonio Vivaldi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and many others have graced its opulent halls with their presence. While it may be on the pricier side, a visit to Caffè Florian is a step back in time, offering not only a historic atmosphere but also breathtaking views of the square.
Take the photo opportunity booking a photographic service.
Combo Venezia is a hostel, a bar, a restaurant, and a cultural hub in the heart of Venice. It is located in a restored 12th-century monastery in the Cannaregio district, near the Fondamenta Nove vaporetto stop. It is a place where locals, travelers, and students can meet, mingle, and enjoy the authentic Venetian atmosphere.
One of the highlights of Combo Venezia is the Sunday brunch, which is served usually from 12:00 to 15:00 in the spacious and bright dining room, overlooking the canal. The brunch menu offers a variety of dishes, from sweet to savory, from traditional to international, from vegetarian to vegan. You can find croissants, cakes, muffins, pancakes, yogurt, granola, fruit, eggs, bacon, cheese, ham, salads, sandwiches, soups, and more. You can also enjoy a selection of coffee, tea, juice, wine, beer, and cocktails.
You can also find some art exhibitions, concerts, and events happening in the cloister, where you can chill out and admire the view of the city. The Sunday brunch is a great opportunity to experience the venetian breakfast in a different and creative way, and to discover the Combo community, which is open to everyone.
If you are looking for a luxury breakfast in Venice, you might want to try the one at Gio’s, the restaurant of the St. Regis Hotel. Gio’s is a contemporary restaurant that offers dishes of the Venetian cuisine revisited with flavors from all around the world. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, aperitif, and dinner, with a wide choice of sweet and savory dishes.
The luxury breakfast at Gio’s is served from 7:00am to 10:30am daily, in the spacious and bright dining room, overlooking the Grand Canal. You can also choose to have your breakfast on the wonderful terrace, which offers one of the most beautiful views of Venice, with the Basilica della Salute on one side and Punta della Dogana on the other .
The luxury breakfast at Gio’s is not a buffet-style, but a la carte, which means you can order whatever you want from the menu, and have it freshly prepared by the chef. The menu offers a variety of dishes, from classic to exotic, from light to indulgent, from vegetarian to gluten-free. You can find croissants, pancakes, waffles, muffins, cakes, yogurt, granola, fruit, eggs, bacon, cheese, ham, salmon, caviar, and more. You can also enjoy a selection of coffee, tea, juice, champagne, and cocktails.
The luxury breakfast at Gio’s is not cheap, but it is worth it. The quality of the food, the service, and the view are exceptional, and the atmosphere is cozy and elegant. The luxury breakfast at Gio’s is a perfect way to start your day in Venice, with a touch of sophistication and glamour. You can also find some exclusive products, such as wines, liqueurs, and chocolates, in their shop.
If you want to have the luxury breakfast at Gio’s, you need to make a reservation in advance, either online through their website or by phone. The luxury breakfast at Gio’s costs 55 euros per person (while I’m writing), and it is included in some of the hotel packages.