Finding the best gelaterias in Venice was undoubtedly some of the best research I’ve done for a blog post! It was hard work, but someone had to do it. Armed with determination (and a few companions), I started my search for good ice cream shops in Venice.
When I mean good, I mean places that use real hand-crafted ice-cream made with fresh fruits, fresh ingredients and real milk (not the artificial, powdered milk served up at so many bars and cafés in Venice).
So, together with my 13-year-old son (I needed an expert’s advice) and an American friend, I started a tour of gelaterias in the southern half of the city (we reserved the northern part and the center near San Marco for another ice cream treasure hunt). We walked around the Santa Lucia train station, then the area near the Ca’ Pesaro and the Natural History Museum, and then finally the area near Campo Santa Margherita.
Here are the best gelaterias we found:
Gelateria QB Quanto Basta
Lista di Spagna, 148
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
This place is run by Adriana, her husband and her two lovely daughters Elisa and Marta. It’s only a few minutes walk from the train station, on the busy Lista di Spagna. Born as an answer to the dozens of foreign take-away places which have sprouted in Venice in the last few years, the Gelateria QB has over 40 flavors of ice cream, which change daily, if not hourly.
Prices are quite good, considering the central location, and the staff is extremely friendly. We tried out the chocolate and orange flavor, along with the toffee and chocolate chip varieties. Just one word: delicious. Some of the more exotic flavors on offer include: Kit Kat, watermelon, lime, pistachio, chocolate and chili.
Gelateria San Stae
Santa Croce 1910, Salizada San Stae
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Located between two of Venice’s nicest museums, the Ca’ Pesaro and the Museum of Natural History, the small but lovely Gelateria San Stae is run by Chiara. (It’s also only a few meters away from San Stae Vaporetto stop.) The Gelateria San Stae has been mentioned in various Venice guide books and it is well known by locals.
The gelato display is amazing, with big chunks of fruit, biscuits and chocolate everywhere. Prices are quite good and the flavors range from the usual to the extravagant, including prosecco, bussolà (a biscuit from Burano) and venexiana (candied fruit in a vanilla sauce). On Saturdays, Chiara holds ”Nutella Day,” offering a whole menu made out of Nutella chocolate.
We tried the “Fruits of the Forest” flavor and we were not at all disappointed: It was one of the best fruit-flavored gelatos we have ever eaten.
Campo San Barnaba
Open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight
Grom is actually a very large chain of gelato shops found all over Italy, with locations in New York, Paris and Tokyo as well. We visited the shop in Campo San Barnaba, just a few meters away from Campo Santa Margherita.
Though Grom is known for using quality ingredients and strange flavors, we found the place a bit overpriced compared to the previous two. However, the selection of gelato is quite good and the flavors are tasty. Grom’s specialty is the granita siciliana (Sicilian slush) made with real lemons, strawberries or coffee. (The lemon granita is really, really good.)
Until next time, happy licking!