Even though San Polo is the smallest of Venice’s six sestiere, it has a very active nightlife and an excellent variety of bars, clubs and restaurants. Check out our list below to find out more about the most outstanding bars in this lively neighborhood of Italy.
Bar, Restaurant, Italian, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Pub Grub, $$$
Cantina Ai Do Mori | markdoliner/Flickr
Do Mori is a daytime bar that is hidden behind the touristy areas of the Rialto area. The traditional bacaro dates back to 1462, which makes it one of the oldest and most traditional bars in the whole of Venice. The drink of choice at Do Mori is red and white house wine, which is complemented by sandwiches, called francoboli, and a selection of cicchetti, the most classic type of bar food there is. Do Mori is mostly frequented by locals, which guarantees an authentic atmosphere.
Al Mercá, located down a quiet side street of the San Polo district, is not much more than a food counter with a standing area outside. During the day, Al Mercá is particularly popular with busy market shoppers, who stop by for a glass or two of the house wine before returning home. However, Al Mercá is at its busiest before dinner, during the traditional aperitivo hour. In Venice, this is between 5pm and 7pm, when Venetians of all professions come together at Al Mercá to enjoy a traditional Venetian spritz in an informal and hospitable setting. Al Mercá is the ideal spot to experience a traditional Venetian aperitivo amongst locals.
Naranzaria is a restaurant and bar, named after the old citrus market that was historically located in the very spot the restaurant can be found today. Now, Naranzaria is a family owned restaurant and stylish bar. Located just off the Rialto Bridge, Naranzaria offers beautiful views of the Canale Grande with its outside seating area. The restaurant is particularly busy during aperitivo hour, where guests can not only enjoy the traditional Venetian spritz but also excellent wines from their very own Friuli vineyards and an inventive Italian-Japanese fusion menu. Restaurant during the day, Naranzaria turns into one of the hippest meeting spots in Venice’s bar scene.
Osteria Bancogiro is a successful combination of restaurant and bar, located right on Campo Erbaria with a fantastic view of the Canale Grande. Run by a group of friends, who are both wine connoisseurs and food enthusiasts, Osteria Bancogiro caters for all types of occasions. During al fresco season, the bar’s outdoor seating is perfect for enjoying a glass of wine during the day or a traditional Venetian aperitivo just before dinner. For bad weather, Osteria Bancogiro also has a small dining room above the bar, where delicious Italian dishes are produced with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Be it just for a quick drink or for a nice dinner amongst friends, Osteria Bancogiro is the place to go.
Just off the Rialto Market, the Rialto daytime bar All’Arco is a truly authentic place to enjoy a glass of wine or spritz during the day. Aside from a tiny two person table on the street in front of the bar, All’Arco offers standing space only. Red and white wine are the drinks of choice with an excellent selection of Italian wines, mostly from small vineyards and individual producers in the north east section of the country. The exquisite wines are complemented with market-fresh cicchetti, mini bruschetta and other traditional bar snacks. All’Arco is a great place to experience local culture and mingle with Venetians.
Jazz Club Novecento is a small and cozy restaurant in the San Polo area that resembles old jazz pubs. The combination of restaurant and bar attracts both locals and the occasional tourist, even though it is a bit off the beaten path. Jazz Club Novecento is widely known for its excellent pizza menu, which includes all the classics like calzone and caprese, high quality wines and fantastic jazz music. This is a great place to have a meal in a laid back and authentic atmosphere.
Colpo de Mato is a small bar and café, away from the hustle and bustle of the main touristy areas of San Polo. The drink of choice at Colpo de Mato is house wine, which comes at great value and excellent quality. The wide range of wines and Italian, as well as international, beers at Colpo de Mato are complemented with popular Italian bar snacks, most notably the outstanding bruschetta, and a selection of small pasta dishes. Colpo de Mato is particularly recommendable for a quiet drink during the late hours of the afternoon.
Osteria Alla Ciurma, located right off the Rialto market, is particularly popular with locals who stop off for a drink or a little snack while doing their food shopping for the week. Alla Ciurma, meaning the crew, is situated in an ancient storeroom and owes its name to the inside of the bar, which resembles the inside of a boat. Owner Marco Paola creates a charming and authentic atmosphere in his bar, which has attracted a loyal group of customers. A glass of the excellent house wine and the traditional cicchetti costs under one euro at Ostero Alla Ciurma – a truly authentic experience at great value.
Vineria all’Amarone is an excellent wine bar, located in the heart of the San Polo quarter. Founded in 2013 by Alfredo Depietri, a popular entrepreneur, restaurant and bar owner, Vineria all’Amarone has been able to acquire a regular clientele and an outstanding reputation amongst Venice’s locals. The baroffers a fine selection of local wines that range from luxurious vinos, such as the Amarone della Valpolicella, to more affordable wines from small vineries in the region. The exquisite wine is served alongside classic Italian finger food, including bruschetta, cicchetti, salame, and cheese platters.
Ristobar San Polo, located on Campo San Polo, is a popular daytime bar and small restaurant that, due to its great location, attracts both locals and tourists alike. At lunchtime, Ristobar San Polo offers classic Italian cuisine, such as pasta, pizza and lasagna at great prices. In the afternoon, Ristobar San Polo is a popular hangout place for Venetians and a perfect spot to enjoy a traditional Venetian spritz or a glass of the house wine.