Woman with a glass of wine in front of entrance to Al Portego in Venice, Italy in the evening. Stickers and signs fill the windows.
Home » Destinations » Best Spots In Venice For Aperitivo – My Top Bars & Squares for Pre-Dinner Drinks

Best Spots In Venice For Aperitivo – My Top Bars & Squares for Pre-Dinner Drinks

Last updated on March 25th, 2024

Whether it’s your first trip to Venice or your tenth, you should always be on the hunt for the best spots in Venice for an aperitivo. Whether you are a student on a budget, a newlywed couple, a family of six, or a pack of best friends on the road, I have a bar for you in Venice.

Venice is one of the only cities in Italy where it’s socially acceptable (rather, it’s encouraged) to drink all day. Aperitivo in Italy isn’t reserved for pre-dinner drinks but rather, a time of day at any moment to enjoy a good glass of wine and a small bite to eat.

It took me years of visiting Venice to finally have enough experience to share with you my top spots for an aperitivo in Venice. 

In this article, I will cover not only the best bars for aperitivo in Venice but also, which squares and piazzas are best for aperitivi. I will also include specifics on what each bar is best for, what kind of seating is available and whether or not dinner is served as well, making it easy to pick the best spot for you based on your agenda, location and occasion! 

Let’s take a closer look! 

Heading to Florence Next? Check out Where to Have Aperitivo on a Budget in Florence and Coolest Bars in Florence for Aperitivo and After Dinner Drinks.

Map Of Best Aperitivo in Venice

Best Aperitivo Venice Quick Guide

Woman sitting at table with aperol spritz and looking to left of camera.
My sister sitting outdoors enjoying an aperitivo at the dinner table
NameAddress (Neighborhood)Best ForSitting/Standing Room OnlyDinner Served
Osteria Al PortegoCalle de la Malvasia, 6014(San Marco)StudentsMostly standing with two small tables outdoorsYes
Restaurant Terrazza DanieliRiva degli Schiavoni, 4196 (San Marco)Best view/Rooftop experienceSittingYes
Bar LonghiCampiello Traghetto, 246()Luxury ExperienceSittingYes
Ca’ Segredo HotelCampo Santa Sofia, 4198/99 (Cannaregio)Romantic EveningSittingYes
Osteria BancogiroCampo San Giacometto, (Ponte di Rialto)Staying for dinnerSitting/StandingYes
Cantina Do SpadeSan Polo, 859, 30125 (San Polo)Authentic experience with localsThree tables for sitting indoors and outdoor benchesYes
Cantina del Vino già SchiaviFondamenta Nani, 992, 30123 (Dorsoduro)Aperitivo outside on the canal StandingNo
Piazza San MarcoPiazza San MarcoGrand experience SittingYes, at any of the many bars
Canal Fondamenta de la Ormesini/MisericordiaFondamenta de la Misericordia (Cannaregio)Off the beaten pathSittingYes, there are many restaurants along this canal
Campo S. Giacomo da l’OrioCampo S. Giacomo (Santa Croce)Families with children – Check out Majer wine bar SittingYes, many restaurants closeby such as OKE San Giacomo
Campo Santa MargheritaCampo Santa Margherita (Dorsoduro)Getting an aperitivo in Venice with kids. Check out Panini E Vini Da Babbo SittingYes (Check out Osteria Alla Bifora)
Harry’s BarCalle Vallaresso, 1323 (San Marco)Legendary BarSitting at barYes

Best Bars For Aperitivo Venice 

Osteria Al Portego

Calle de la Malvasia, 6014, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy

Osteria Al Portego is where I most recently sat down for an aperitivo in Venice before heading to dinner at L’Osteria di Santa Marina. The owner of the apartment I rented recommended it to me as a reliable, hip but authentic bacaro with great cicchetti.

It doesn’t have indoor seating but rather, you can stand at one of the small tables outside lining the side door or at the counters inside. They have all sorts of classic drinks such as Spritz and local wines at excellent prices.

Osteria Al portego also offers good take-out and is a casual eatery in Venice, catering primarily to locals and students. 

Good To Know: Osteria Al Portego is also one of my top picks for after dinner drinks in Venice for students.

Looking for a Non-Alcoholic Spritz Alternative? Try a Crodino Spritz!

Restaurant Terrazza Danieli

Wooden and glass front door at Danieli in Venice, Italy.

Riva degli Schiavoni, 4196, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy

Restaurant Terrazza Danieli is one of Venice’s most famous rooftop bars not far from St. Mark’s square with an extensive wine list. It’s chic and romantic with a hefty price tag but if you are looking for a romantic evening or splurge, this is where you should pre book a table. 

I suggest coming during sunset for your aperitivo in Venice. Choose from classic cocktails (and mocktails) or more elaborate, innovative drinks

Good To Know: The Terrazza doubles as a high-end restaurant serving classic Venetian cuisine for those of you who want to spend a whole evening on the rooftop. 

Love Rooftop Bars? Heading to Florence Next? Check out our picks for the best rooftop bars in Florence!

Bar Longhi

Front entrance to Hotel Gritti Palace in Venice, Italy.

Campiello Traghetto, 2467, 30124 Venezia VE 

Bar Longhi is currently one of Venice’s most trendy locations for aperitivo located in the Gritti Palace with a fantastic view overlooking the Grand Canal. You are seated literally at eye level with the water on the canal so sit back and relax as you enjoy the people watching, or rather, the boat watching.  Just like Terrazza Danieli, Bar Longhi is definitely one of the more expensive options for an aperitivo in Venice.

Bar Longhi sets itself apart by its bright interior, decorated with beautiful Murano glass chandeliers contrasted by century old artwork and other antiques. 

Try It: The Gritti Spritz is Longhi’s signature cocktail, a variation of the classic spritz.

Fit In: Learn How to Toast in Italian!

Ca’ Sagredo Hotel

Stone building with wooden and glass door. Two plants in stone planters on either side of the door.

Campo Santa Sofia, 4198/99, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy

Terrazza Panoramica, located within the 14th century palazzo of Ca’ Sagredo Hotel, is one of my top picks for a romantic aperitivo in Venice when it’s warm outside. I would consider this one of the more elegant and sophisticated spots in Venice overlooking the water with a large selection of traditional Venetian drinks to choose from. 

Located just on the edge of the Cannaregio neighborhood, the Terrazza Panoramica is still close to the central downtown area of Venice on the Grand Canal. 

Good To Know: You can also book your accommodation and dinner here as well, one of the best options for newly weds or romantic getaways in Venice. 

Osteria Bancogiro

Campo San Giacometto, Ponte di Rialto

Osteria Bancogiro is a traditional Venetian bacaro and restaurant close to the Rialto Market. It’s my absolute favorite place in Venice for several things including aperitivo, dinner, cicchetti, and post-dinner drinks in Piazza Erbaria on the Grand Canal (on the backside of the restaurant). 

Osteria Bancogiro is informal and casual yet refined at the same time. The cicchetti are some of the absolute best I have ever had in Venice, including their fresh raw cicchetti selection, particularly good for gluten-free travelers.

Come to Osteria Bancogiro anytime of the day for an aperitivo, not necessarily before dinner but also mid-morning, before lunch or in the late afternoon. 

Cantina Do Spade

San Polo, 859, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

Cantina Do Spade is still to this day one of the few places in Venice that serve cicchetti and ombra as they originally were served, fast and in a small amount. Pick up one of their tasty fried meatballs and literally a sip of wine in a shot glass to tie you over before your dinner reservation. 

It’s small so be prepared to stand. They do have three small tables inside but they are always taken. You can stand at the counter (be quick and make room for others though!) or stand more leisurely outside the entrance. 

Good To Know: Cantina Do Spade also has a take out menu, if you are feeling lazy after your wine and want to opt for an easy night in. 

Cantina del Vino già Schiavi

Fondamenta Nani, 992, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy

Cantina del Vino già Schiavi is one of the most famous spots of cicchetti in Venice with an excellent selection of wines to taste and for purchase. They have one of the best selections of crostini cicchetti, of which they never ever run out of. 

Come here to eat your cicchetti and have your aperitivo in Venice with your legs dangling over the canal or on one of the footbridges. Because the cantina is so popular, most people get their aperitivo in a plastic cup and have it outside. Actually, if you come at the ‘right’ time, when it’s the most crowded, this is your only option. 

This, however, is my favorite way to eat in Venice, at the most popular times when you can feel the Venetian culture beating strongly. So much of authentic Venetian traditions have been lost overtime as the city has become evermore touristy but the Cantina del Vino gia Schiavi still embodies the Venetian cicchetti and bacaro culture to this day. 

Harry’s Bar

Glass and wood doors at entrance to Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy.

Calle Vallaresso, 1323, 30124 Venezia VE

Harry’s Bar is a Venetian institution, a landmark and pioneer in creating some of Venice’s most famous and delicious food and drink such as carpaccio and the bellini. 

The bar is sophisticated and chic, catering mostly to oldtimers and high class tourism. I actually don’t recommend eating here because I don’t think the food is worth the money. This being said, most people come here for the whole experience, the name, or because they are hoping to see a celebrity. 

Instead, I suggest travelers come for an aperitivo in Venice and order the bellini, their signature drink. If you do decide to eat, you will have to pre book your table as it is still a very popular restaurant in Venice. 

Other Favorite Spots For Aperitivo In Venice

Entrance to Florian Bar in Venice, Italy. People dining inside.

Because there are so many amazing places to drink and eat in Venice, it’s hard to list them all. Above I have listed my top places for aperitivo in Venice but here, I am sharing my best areas and squares in Venice to have the best aperitivo in Venice:

  • Piazza San Marco: Florian or Quadri
  • Canal Fondamenta de la Ormesini/Misericordia: Al Timon 
  • Campo S. Giacomo: Majer wine bar “La Cantinetta”
  • Campo Santa Margherita: Vini e Panini da Babbo

Aperitivo With Kids: These locations are also my top picks for having an aperitivo with kids because they are mostly away from the waterfronts and canals with space to run freely. Read more about where to eat and drink with kids in Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Venice and Best Squares to Eat and Drink with Kids in Venice.

Venice bound? Get prepared with all of our Venice posts:
20+ Must-Try Foods And Drinks In Venice – And My Favorite Places To Eat Them
What Are Cicchetti? + Where To Eat Them In Venice
What Is A Bacaro? + A Local’s Self Guided Bacaro Tour Itinerary
My Favorite Cicchetti In Venice – The 10 Best Bacari To Try
Best Restaurants in Venice + Nearest Cicchetti Stops
Best Gelato In Venice – My Italian Family’s 10 Favorite Gelaterie
7 Food Markets In Venice Worth Your Time
Where To Get Coffee In Venice
Where To Eat Breakfast In Venice – A Local’s Favorite Breakfast Nooks
10 Amazing Bakeries In Venice – Where to Get Your Pastry On
Best Spots In Venice For Aperitivo – My Top Bars & Squares for Pre-Dinner Drinks
Dinner On The Water In Venice – My Top 7 Restaurants
Best Pizza In Venice – My ‘Don’t Miss’ List
My Favorite After Dinner Drink Spots In Venice
Shopping at the Rialto Market in Venice – Tips + Printable
5 Street Foods To Try In Venice & Where Eat Them
Best Places To Get Takeout In Venice – My Top Picks
Where To Eat Before Catching Your Train At The Venice Santa Lucia Train Station
My Favorite Food Chains To Try In Venice
Eating Gluten-Free In Venice – Restaurants, Cicchetti & Gelato
Gluten-Free Cicchetti In Venice – What To Order (& Avoid) and How to Order
Eating Vegetarian In Venice – My Top Five Vegetarian Friendly Restaurants + Tips
Eating Vegan In Venice, Italy – My Top Five Vegan Friendly Restaurants

Eating in Venice While Pregnant
8+ Kid Friendly Restaurants In Venice
Best Squares To Eat And Drink With Kids In Venice
24 Hour Food Guide For Venice – A Self Guided Tour For Foodies in Venice
Eating Around Venice in 48 hours – 2 Day Venice Itinerary For Foodies
10 Best Food Souvenirs From Venice, Italy + Where I Buy Them