As Venice’s most popular tourist quarter, San Marco’s bars leave nothing to be desired. From traditional Venetian wine bars to modern cocktail bars, San Marco offers the perfect spots to spend an evening drinking and socializing in Italy. Check out our list below.
Bar, Restaurant, Italian, Mediterranean, Vegetarian
L’Ombra del Leone is a fantastic aperitivo bar and restaurant, located right on Canale Grande. It is a great alternative to the pricey luxury hotel bars that are lined up along the canal. The bar can be found on the ground floor of Ca’ Guistinian, a gothic palazzo that is used as headquarters for the organization responsible for the Venice Film Festival as well as Art and Architecture Biennales. L’Ombra del Leone’s interior is designed in a modern style and at night, there are special video installations played on the bar’s walls. However, the bar’s outdoor seating, at the famous Canale Grande, is still the highlight of l’Ombra del Leone.
The bar and restaurant at Palazzina G, is the creation of visionary designer Philippe Starck, who combined classic Venetian design elements, such as extravagant chandeliers and mirrors, with glamour and a contemporary style. The former palazzo’s entrance has been transformed into a successful combination of lobby, lounge, bar as well as restaurant that invites both hotel guests and walk-ins to mingle and enjoy one of the bartenders’ signature drinks. During cocktail hour, Palazzina G’s professional bartenders create everything from martinis to drinks with smooth and expensive vodkas. The bar also has a terrace that offers breathtaking rooftop views of Venice.
Bacaro Jazz, located in the heart of Venice, just a few steps away from the famous Rialto Bridge, has been a fixture in the city’s bar scene for more than a decade. The bar’s comfortable interior and the friendly staff invite guests to spend a great evening in a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. The bar’s walls of positive testimonials are by happy customers, so feel free to share your thoughts as well when you’re there. Bacaro Jazz’s happy hour is everyday between 4pm and 7pm, where guests can enjoy excellent cocktails with fantastic jazz music in the background. It also has a wide selection of beers as well as a exclusive wine list that is full of regional Italian specialties.
Vitae is a popular bar with modern design that is located in a small side street in Rialto. The bar attracts both locals and tourists alike with its fantastic selection of drinks, ranging from beer to wine and vodka to gin, attentive service as well as an eclectic mix of music. Locals especially like to frequent Vitae for casual after-work drinks at very affordable rates in the midst of a laid-back atmosphere. The bar stays open until long past midnight and usually transforms from a relaxing after-work setting into a lively club crowd, who dance the night away to funky rhythms. San Marco 4118 Calle Sant’Antonio, Venice, Italy
Vino Vino is an intimate vino bar in the immediate vicinity of the Venice Opera House that provides an informal setting for both locals and tourists to enjoy a high-quality glass of wine along with a selection of delicious tapas and fish specialties. Vino Vino is also especially popular with gondoliers, so when you are there, watch out for them as they know the most fascinating stories about the city and its history. Vino Vino is the perfect place to form long-lasting friendships with local Venetians.
Harry’s Bar, first opened in 1931, has developed into a fixture in Venice’s bar and restaurant scene while achieving an impeccable reputation with both locals and tourists. Harry’s Bar is the very symbol of gastronomic culture in Venice with its impressive array of sophisticated cocktails, beers and fine Italian wines as well as excellent service. Harry’s Bar has had a long and colorful history with a clientele that includes Orson Welles, Truman Capote, and Ernest Hemingway, who was a fixture in the bar during the last 1940s. In 2001, the bar was even declared a national landmark by the Italian Ministry for cultural affairs.
Bar, Restaurant, Wine, Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean, $$$
Enoteca Al Volto has over 1000 bottles of wine – if you can't decide, opt for the prosecco | Courtesy of Enoteca Al Volto
Al Volto, located just a few steps away from the beautiful Rialto Bridge, is one of the oldest wine bars in Venice. The exquisite selection of over 100 local Italian and international wines attract a diverse clientele with wine connoisseurs from all over the world. If you are overwhelmed by the wide choice of wines, the staff at Al Volto are very knowledgeable and always happy to help customers find the perfect wine. There is also a daily special selection of a few wines, which makes the task of choosing a bit easier and gives guests the chance to sample different wines every time they visit the bar. Al Volto also has an adjoining restaurant that serves delicious Italian cuisine, ranging from homemade pasta specialties to seafood from the Adriatic.
Bar, Restaurant, Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean, $$$
Bacarando in Corte dell’Orso is located on the San Marco side of the famous Rialto Bridge that connects the sestiere San Polo with the sestiere San Marco. Bacarando in Corte dell’Orso is a fairly new addition to Venice’s restaurant and bar scene, however, it has already been able to develop into a popular meeting place for young Venetians. Even though Bacarando in Corte dell’Orso includes an excellent restaurant, the bar only gets really busy after dinner time when young locals and the occasional tourist go out to enjoy a glass of great wine. The bar also features regular live music, which transforms the place into one of the hippest and most stylish places in the neighborhood.
Bar Longhi is a beautiful, elegant and intimate bar inside The Gritti Palace, located on the famous Canale Grande. The Gritti Palace successfully combines history and culture with modern Venetian style and offers a hip and trendy environment for an increasingly international clientele. The bar’s interior is classic and modern, however, it is the grand canal terrace that is the true highlight of Bar Longhi. It offers magnificent views of the Venetian lagoon and the Canale Grande, the most important waterway in Venice, at day and night. Bar Longhi guarantees an excellent selection of sophisticated drinks to be enjoyed in a truly unique atmosphere.
Teamo Wine Bar is a modern wine bar right in the heart of San Marco that specializes in local wines, directly sourced from small vineries in various Italian regions, such as the classy pinot grigio and chardonnay from Veneto or the hearty chianti colli senesi from Toscana. The exquisite selection of wines is complemented by a wide choice of snacks and delicious pasta, risotto and seafood specialties. Teamo Wine Bar also offers special wine tasting evenings on a regular basis.