Caffè La serra | Our Favourite Cafe in Venice

Cafe culture is quintessentially Italian, and that certainly holds true in Venice. There are a thousand cafes in Venice in which to enjoy a cappuccino, espresso or macchiato, (or tea, beer or soft drinks if you prefer) and we paused in several during our recent visit.

Many Venetian cafes offer light meals and sweets, perfect for a light lunch or a restful pit-stop during the day.

Caffè La serra

This beautiful cafe is housed within a stunning historical greenhouse in Castello, right by the Biennale Gardens.

One half of the structure houses a garden centre selling beautiful plants, flowers, seeds and gardening equipment. The other is home to this delightful cafe, with a smattering of tables inside and more out in the garden, shaded by large umbrellas.

Caffè La serra | My Favourite Cafe in Venice Caffè La serra | My Favourite Cafe in Venice

Originally known as Serra Margherita, the iron and glass greenhouse was built in 1894 to house palm trees and decorative plants for the International Art Exhibition of the same year. It was part of a larger redesign of the Castello gardens, a quiet area away from busier urban neighbourhoods. Originally, the ironwork was painted white, as was the style for greenhouses in Europe at that time.

For the next hundred years the greenhouse was used for to propagate seedlings to plant into the flowerbeds of the city’s municipal gardens, and to overwinter the park’s warm-climate plants. During that time, it underwent a number of modifications, including a switch to green rather than white paint, a new roof, and the addition of concrete flower beds and a small greenhouse extension.

Caffè La serra | My Favourite Cafe in Venice Caffè La serra | My Favourite Cafe in Venice

Sadly, in the 1990 the greenhouse was abandoned and its condition deteriorated in the years that followed. It wasn’t until 2006 that a thorough restoration saw the beautiful greenhouse repaired and protected, and brought back into use as a garden centre and cafe.

Caffè La serra | My Favourite Cafe in Venice Caffè La serra | My Favourite Cafe in Venice Caffè La serra | My Favourite Cafe in Venice

Pete ordered a local beer, which came with a welcome basket of crisps. My hot chocolate was thick, velvety and very good. We resisted the cakes and desserts, having enjoyed a generous lunch, but the choices looked tempting, as did a range of fresh juices and other drinks.

Find out more about eating out in Venice, and more of our favourite places. 

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11 Comments to "Caffè La serra | Our Favourite Cafe in Venice"

  1. Anda

    I never knew about Caffè La Serra. I wonder if it was closed at the time we have visited Venice. I would have liked to have a Capuccino in this beautiful iron and glass greenhouse in Castello.

  2. Amy

    What a beautiful place! I do love a good cafe in admist a a nursery/garden/greenhouse. Always feels so peaceful and serene and not ot mention beautiful. We have a local place that a little like this and there is a small lake where the kids can buy feed to feed the ducks. Hours of entertainment watching them as they chase the ducks.

  3. Jane Dempster-Smith

    I love wandering Venice and falling into lovely alleyways and finding little cafes. What a great find and how great to see that the restoration has taken place. That hot chocolate looked amazing making me wish I had one now.

  4. Daniel

    I’ve been to Venice a couple of times but never heard about this cafe. I’ve been to a similar place in my hometown and it’s amazing. As a cafe lover, I absolutely must visit next time I go to Venice. Thanks for the recommendation.

  5. Lisa

    Ooh your cioccolato caldo looks insanely good! We’re in Veneto half the year, (actually here now), and will be back in Venice on Saturday! That said, I’m going to hunt down Caffe La Serra and see if I can get my hands on some hot chocolate too! It looks like you went when the weather was warmer too!


    Hi Lisa, yes we were there in April and it was insanely hot, will into the 30s! House lovely that you spend half the year in the Veneto!

  6. Sinjana Ghosh

    I like cafes with a history behind them, such as this. How nicely was the greenhouse restored to form this beautiful setup. Your hot chocolate looks delicious! Will be on my list when i visit Venice

  7. Annick

    What a beautiful find in Venice! I like it when buildings are re-discovered and put back into use. The greenhouse sounds like a beautiful spot to grab a quick bite. I’ll order a beer if it comes with a basket of chips too! And the hit chocolate sounds delicious!

  8. Clarice

    I am glad to know that they restored the beautiful greenhouse. It looks like a very cozy place and I can just imagine myself enjoying afternoon tea in the area. Would love to try their hot chocolate too.

  9. Bhushavali N

    This place is absolutely gorgeous. Reminds me of a small cafe located inside a conservatory in London.I love it when its so mingled with and surrounded by nature.
    Its more than a century old building! Wow! I’ll definitely visit here when I head to Venice.

  10. Ann

    Oh I’ve been in love with Venice since I was 4 and visited for the first time! Since then I have gone back so many times and I never get tired of it. I will make sure to visit Caffe La Serra next time I am in Venice (which would be this spring) as it seems a lovely place to spend some time.


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