Nestled in the foothills of the Italian Alps, some two-and-a-half hours’ drive east of Milan, Lake Garda remains one of the most famous destinations in Italy. Riddled with jet setter villas, picturesque vistas of the Trentino highlands, and traditional towns, the region has plenty to offer. Here are 10 of the best bars for you to try.
Boasting a beach volleyball court, tennis courts, a private stretch of sand, a foosball table and rows of deckchairs, sunbeds and beach umbrellas for rent, this bar stays open right throughout the day. There is also a television streaming live sports and a strong WiFi connection available to patrons, while the Friday and Sunday aperitivo sessions combine classic rock with plates of Italian mezze, frothy beers and local wines as well.
This bar offers a wide and diverse selection of breakfast combinations, catering to different palates and different wallets. They range from cheap, simple combos of freshly-squeezed orange juice, espresso and croissants, to pricier, full-on platters of bread and cold meat carpaccio. What’s more, the modern décor here bursts with bright colours and creates a jovial and welcoming atmosphere.
Whether you want to have a fancy aperitivo on the lakeside or just want to hit the Garda shores for evening drinks in a charming location, Golden Beach is a place you cannot miss. The view of the lake is wonderful, the garden is elegantly decorated and the lights in the evening create the perfect atmosphere for chatting away under the Italian sky. There is always music and food, so you can swing by after a restful day on the beach and enjoy a jive with the locals, too. Address: via Zamboni 7, Desenzano, Italy
Il Cappellaio Matto Caffè
Il Cappellaio Matto, the Italian for ‘Mad Hatter’, is a hidden gem in Salò, one of the most-visited towns on Lake Garda. It boasts a rustic décor which is reminiscent of old times and good wine. This rather old-fashioned look is complemented by an attention to detail and quality that is hard to find elsewhere. Cocktails are prepared meticulously and the result is overwhelmingly delightful. The proprietors welcome their guests whole-heartedly and accompany them on a journey through an odd, pleasant mix of tradition and modernity which will leave a mark on any holiday. Address: Vicolo Tomacelli 15, Salò, Italy, +39 340 664 4735
Bar, Restaurant, Italian, BBQ
Coco Beach comprises a beach, a lounge bar, a restaurant, and a disco. The owners organize events on a weekly basis to keep things interesting. On Wednesday nights there is a BBQ dinner, either meat or fish, and a disco night with a DJ set on the beach, on Sundays, aperitivo comes to the fore, with a free-of-charge buffet and a party to follow. Avid clubbers should be sure to head down on Fridays and Saturdays, when fine Italian dinners enjoy a night on the town.
Travellers in search of that classic Italian prosecco breakfast should be sure to check out Antico Caffè. With a central location in Moniga del Garda, this bar is right in the heart of the action. The décor is quaint yet elegant, the prices are affordable, and the service is cordial and attentive. They also serve aperitivo with finger food, so it is a good choice for a jaunt in the early evening too.
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Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, Vegan, Vegetarian, Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean, $$$
This place is located on the lakeside of Peschiera del Garda and offers some excellent, creative cocktails and tasty dishes in a vibrant, casual atmosphere. The attention to detail and aesthetics are combined with a passion for fresh, top-notch ingredients, which means the food matches the drinks in quality. The menu is wide and diverse, with vegetarian and vegan alternatives, while the bar is supplied with internationally renowned brands and staffed by some passionate mixers.
This striking bar is located on a street in Moniga del Garda, where it boasts a curious décor both inside and out. Made up of different pieces of furniture that are recycled and reconstructed (part of the counter is actually an old bath tub, while the outside seating is reclaimed driftwood and shipping timber re-imagined as cushioned chairs), there’s plenty to keep the brain busy at the Recyclage Cafe!
Located on the lakeside in Desenzano del Garda, La Proseccheria is a bar with a wide range of food and drinks on offer. The view of the lake is breath-takingly sublime, especially in the evening, when the tranquillity of the place emphasizes the peace that dominates all around. The atmosphere is laid-back, relaxed, but the staff are responsive and welcoming. So, whether you are hungry for breakfast or thirsty for a good spritz in the evening, La Proseccheria Mionetto is for you.
If it is a journey through Italian flavors that you’re looking for and you don’t mind splashing out for an evening, this is the perfect place for you. It offers three different organized aperitivos comprising drinks and different platters of food, each at two hours apiece. Alternatively, patrons can opt for a classic à la carte dinner in a wonderful setting on the lake. Pure romance. Address: via privata Eugenio Bravi 8, Barbarano di Salò, Italy, +39 0344 43166