My Sweet Venice: Pasticceria Dal Mas
I have to admit that there are quite a few lovely pastry shops in Venice and each one is famous for something in particular. Being Venetian, I know where we go when we want a pastry with cream, when we prioritise the quality of our coffee, or when all we crave is a pizzetta, and being Venetian I also know that we all agree that there are only a couple of places that truly satisfy everyone, from every point of view, and one of these places is Pasticceria Dal Mas.
First of all, this pastry shop is the proof that not all that is close to the train station is bad -quite the contrary in this case- and secondly, it has some of the best croissants in all of Venice!!!! When I used to teach English nearby I always had my second breakfast here, usually a croissant and a cappuccino in winter and a freshly squeezed orange juice and a fruit and custard tart in spring.
Pasticceria Dal Mas is know not only for its pastries, but also for its artisanal chocolate production. There are, in fact, two different shops, both wonderful, just be aware that you'll want to eat everything. Their windows are beautiful and inviting and it's always a pleasure to look at them, in fact they change very often and for every occasion (like Christmas, Easter or feasts like Saint Valentine's) the pastry chefs create something special.
Dal Mas is definitely the best place to come if you want to try typical Venetian cakes and pastries. Of course they make a wide variety of things (you can take home a small sacher cake for 7 euros! OMG...just so good!), but I especially love their huge biscuits. Just look at them, don't they make you want to break the window and start eating?! The pastry dough is the thing I prefer here, so I recommend trying anything with that, but really, whatever you'll choose stay sure you'll land on your feet.
Their cakes are rich and tasty and the owner is really passionate about his activity, in fact the cafe is always clean and tidy, with big bright windows that convey a sense of cleanliness and attract passersby with their mouthwatering pastries. Here you can really have whatever you want, whether you prefer biscuits, dry cakes, croissants or more creamy pastries.
Another great thing is that the coffee is excellent too. Unfortunately, it often happens that where there's good coffee the pastries are so so, while where the pastries are good the coffee is not exactly what you would expect, but Dal Mas makes great coffee and the girls behind the counter make the most foamy and beautiful cappuccinos in town. In addition to this, they are always smiling and kind, which -to me- is a great plus.
This is the place to come also if you have a savoury craving. I sometimes enjoy a Campari soda with a small pizzetta. In general, they offer an assortment of pizzette with anchovy, mushrooms, ham or olives, some salatini (pastry dough stuffed with spinach and ricotta, sausage or other) and some delicious stuffed ambrogini. Ambrogino is a type of soft bread made with butter that can be either sweet or savoury, simply delicious, a real quintessential culinary experience in Venice. Traditionally you would slice them and stuff them with prosciutto, but often I just eat them on their own, a real treat!
If you are on your way to the train station and want to buy a gift for somebody at home, I suggest looking at their biscuits and confectionaries. Some biscuits come in beautifully decorated metal boxes, while their artisan products are elegantly packed and sealed with a red or yellow ribbon. It will be difficult to choose...not only the assortment of biscuits is incredibly rich, to make matters worse they also offer baci in gondola (small meringues with a heart of dark chocolate), small focaccine and the traditional Venetian focaccia. Despite the similarity in their name, focaccine and focaccia are two completely different things: the first ones are small buttery bun, perfect served with jam and cream, while focaccia is the traditional Venetian yeast cake, in the past normally eaten at Christmas and Easter and now available all year round, perfect at breakfast dipped into a hot coffee (or latte if you prefer).
Before saying goodbye, I also have to mention the Dolce del Moro and the San Marco cake... so good! I particularly like the first one, with chocolate and lots of different nuts...
So, I recommend Pasticceria Dal Mas to all those that have a sweet tooth and want to taste authentic Venetian pastries. The quality is more than excellent, the staff helpful and always smiling and the atmosphere "calmly buzzing". Pasticceria Dal Mas is one of my favourite pastry shops in Venice and I am absolutely sure you will love it too.
Address: Cannaregio, Rio Terà Lista di Spagna, 149, 30121 Venezia
Phone: +39 041 715101