25 BEST Trieste Restaurants (Expert Guide 2024)

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Trieste has a vibrant, multicultural restaurant scene. This northern Italian port is a melting pot of Austrian, Italian and Eastern European cultures and cuisines.

I spent six days in Trieste in two visits and walked the historic center many times discovering its restaurants. My favorite thing about the restaurant scene here is that there are many small family-owned restaurants and cafes, some in the family for generations.

Fresh seafood is plentiful in Trieste, but you also find regional Italian dishes (gnocchi and polenta are popular), meat dishes (especially pork), locally cured meats and cheeses. Plus traditional desserts and excellent regional wines.

 Highlights of the Trieste restaurant scene:

  • Jota* – (traditional stew of potatoes, beans, sausage and sauerkraut)
  • Italian, Mediterranean and Austro-Hungarian influences
  • Freshly caught seafood; prawns, crab and fresh fish; sardines
  • Gnocchi and polenta; local cheeses
  • Meats (pork, veal), cured sausages and salami
  • Excellent regional red and white wines

👉 *Jota is also a traditional dish in Ljubljana, Slovenia, an easy day trip from Trieste. Check out our post on Ljubljana’s restaurants for more about Jota and regional cuisine there.

Quick Guide to Restaurants -Trieste, Italy

Octopus and polenta - gourmet cuisine at a restaurant in Trieste, Italy
Octopus and polenta – gourmet cuisine in Trieste.

If you are in a hurry, here is an overview of restaurants for different tastes:

25 Best Restaurants in Trieste

Outdoor restaurant in Trieste next to the Canal Grande

You will likely eat at several small, family-owned establishments in Trieste, like I did. This list is full of them, plus a section for restaurants with views.

👉 Local Tip: Consider this local foods tasting when you arrive in Trieste to eat like a local and get tips on where to eat during the rest of your stay. ✔ Check Prices – Unique Local Food In Trieste Tour

1. Caffè San Marco – Historical-Bookshop/Bar/Restaurant

Caffè San Marco is a Trieste restaurant, pastry shop, bookshop and bar all in one and a must visit when you are in Trieste.

Since 1914, it has welcomed writers, artists, and intellectuals, it is one the iconic establishments in Trieste . They focus on regional cuisine from the gulf to the Karst region seasonally and sustainably.

The wine selection in impressive including the “most important wineries of Friuli Venezia Giulia and the wines of emerging producers from countries close to us.” . Vegan options and outdoor seating and a short walk from the main square.

  • Opening Hours – Monday-Saturday (8:30 am – 10:00 pm), Sunday (10:00 am – 4:00 pm)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €20-50
  • Google Maps Pin

2. Hostaria G. Strehler – Cozy and Local

This is my favorite Trieste restaurant. It is a bit off the main tourist track and like being in your grandmother dining room…almost! The menu is handwritten, the food is homemade and the atmosphere authentic and cozy.

The menu changes nightly I believe. I had two polenta dishes, one with mushroom sauce and another with chicken. Both wonderful.

👉Personal Tidbit: I arrived on a cold night here without a reservation and it was full. The kind hostess poked her head in the dining room and asked if anyone would be ok with me joining them. A young Italian woman said yes, and we ate and talked for 2.5 hours! It was a wonderful evening, one of my favorite memories from Trieste.

Just go to Hostaria G. Strehler if you want homemade Triestian food and a local and very welcoming experience!

  • Opening Hours – Monday-Thursday (8:30 am – 10:30 pm), Friday (8:30 am – 11:30 pm), Saturday (9:00 am – 11:30 pm), Sunday (9:00 am – 9:00 pm)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €20-30
  • Google Maps Pin

3. Ristorante Ai Fiori – Italian/International

Here you find modern interpretations of Italian and Triestian cuisine with international influences. The dishes are artfully presented.

This is original cuisine beautifully presented. They are especially known for the seafood dishes, perhaps try the gnocchi with saffron and prawns.

Vegetarians are accomodated. Friendly staff and located in a quiet area near the busy center.

  • Opening Hours – Monday (7:30 pm – 10:30 pm), Tuesday-Saturday (lunch 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm and dinner 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm), Sunday (Closed)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €50-100 (lunch)
  • Google Maps Pin

4. Mangia E Fuggi– Traditional/Cozy

Another small, welcoming Trieste restaurant. They have traditional Triestian food; excellent homemade pasta and fresh fish. You might try the polenta and fried calamari for a local dish.

The staff is especially welcoming and helpful and they have craft beer and local and regional wines.

  • Opening Hours – Monday-Tuesday (12:00 pm – 4:00 pm), Wednesday (11:30 am – 4:00 pm), Thursday (11:30 am – 7:00 pm), Friday (12:00 pm – 7:00 pm), Saturday (12:00 pm – 5:00 pm), Sunday (Closed)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €20-40
  • Google Maps Pin

5. Buffet da Pepi – Austro Hungarian

Trieste restaurant - typical meat and horseradish dish.
Typical mixed boiled pork with mustard and horseradish.

Buffet da Pepi is a Trieste institution, the oldest buffet in Trieste founded by “Pepi the Slovenian”. They have Austro-Hungarian fare with many pork dishes, sauerkraut, soups and sandwiches.

For years Pepi himself greeted people and it was a favorite with locals and tourist. In the past year, reviews indicate the friendliness and prices have changed for the worse.

I still recommend Pepe’s for the Eastern European dishes, for meat lovers and anyone wanting to see an iconic Trieste restaurant, but do at your own discretion!

  • Opening Hours – Monday (Closed), Tuesday-Saturday (lunch 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm and dinner 7:00 pm – 11:30 pm), Sunday (lunch 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm and dinner 7:00 pm – 11:30 pm)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €20-30
  • Google Maps Pin

6. Trattoria Mara – Traditional/Seasonal

This is another excellent authentic Trieste restaurant. The menu is small and changes depending on the season and ingredients.

Polenta, cjarsons (traditional ravioli) home-cured meats, smoked ricotta and La Gubana (traditional pastry) are some of the menu items.

Reservations recommended as it is small. Another standout local experience!

  • Opening Hours – Monday, Tuesday, & Thursday (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm), Wednesday (Closed), Friday-Saturday (lunch 12:00 – 2:00 pm and dinner 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm), Sunday (Closed)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €20-40
  • Google Maps Pin

7. Mastro Birraio – Gourmet Burgers/Craft Beer

This is the place to go for interesting craft beers and gourmet burgers! A wide range of selection including coconut and grapefruit IPAs. Burgers of all kinds including steak tartare.

Very friendly and helpful staff and owner. No wine.

  • Opening Hours – Monday-Tuesday (Closed), Wednesday-Saturday (6:00 pm – 1:00 am), Sunday (6:00 pm – 12:00 am)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €20-40
  • Google Maps Pin

8. Hostaria Malcanton- Seafood/Local Experience

This seafood restaurant in Trieste is right off the square and known for the large variety of dishes. This is another cozy restaurant with friendly staff, frequented by locals.

The prices are reasonable and the selection of seafood excellent. This is a must visit for seafood lovers wanting a local experience.

  • Opening Hours – Monday & Wednesday-Sunday (lunch 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm and dinner 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm), Tuesday (Closed)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €70-90 (dinner)
  • Google Maps Pin

9. Le Botti-Traditional/Gnocchi

This trattoria has a variety of fish and meat dishes that are staples in Trieste. Gnocchi, seafood, pork dishes with decent wine.

Prices are moderate and they have a large menu. Diners repeatedly praise the gnocchi. Waitstaff are friendly and there is plenty of outdoor seating.

  • Opening Hours – Monday-Sunday (lunch 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm and dinner 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €40-60
  • Google Maps Pin

10. Alla Bella Trieste – Tavern/Local Dishes

Another authentic, small family-owned restaurant a little out of the tourist area. Still within walking distance from the square.

Fresh fish, traditional dishes in a brew pub with craft beer and wine. Highly recommended for an authentic local experience. Vegetarian options.

  • Opening Hours – Monday-Friday (9:30 am – 12:00 am), Saturday (9:30 am – 3:00 pm), Sunday (Closed)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €20-40
  • Google Maps Pin

11. Trattoria Nerodiseppia – Seafood/Romantic

A popular seafood restaurant close to the main square. Known for high quality seafood dishes with some innovation.

Good choice for a special romantic dinner. Desserts are traditional and excellent. Top-notch service.

  • Opening Hours – Sunday-Monday (Closed), Tuesday-Saturday (lunch 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm and dinner 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €40-60
  • Google Maps Pin

12. Caffè degli Specchi – Historical Grand Cafe

Crowded tables of Caffe degli Specchi, the most famous and best Trieste restaurants, in Piazza Unità d`Italia, main square of the city, with the city hall in the background
Crowded tables of Caffe degli Specchi, the most famous cafe in Trieste, in Piazza Unita  d`Italia, main square of the city, with the city hall in the background

This grand cafe is one of the few remaining from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the elegant interior reflects this. I walked by it many times on the main square.

It has an interesting, rich history. The people-watching and view of the square can’t be beat. The prices are a little high, and the food is of good quality, but I think the main attraction is getting a feel of “old Trieste”.

  • Opening Hours – Monday-Saturday (8:00 am – 12:00 am), Sunday (8:00 am – 9:00 pm)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €20-40
  • Google Maps Pin

13. Arcoriccardo Ristorante – Unique Location

Roman arch near Arcodiriccardo restaurant in Trieste
Arco di Riccardo – Roman arch near Arcoriccardo Restaurant in the center of Trieste.

Arcoriccardo Restaurant is in a unique location, right under the ancient Roman arch on a private square. It’s near grand plaza and has excellent cuisine and friendly waitstaff. The atmosphere is cozy and refined.

They are known for the beef and seafood dishes; Italian and Mediterranean style.

Gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options.

  • Opening Hours – Monday-Sunday (lunch 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm and dinner 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €60-80
  • Google Maps Pin

14. Bracerie Venete – Best Fine Dining – Meat Dishes

Small and quiet upscale restaurant with a meat-focussed menu. Gourmet steak, carpaccio and more.

Very friendly staff and beatifully presented cuisine. Excellent wine and top notch overall experience.

  • Opening Hours – Monday-Saturday (7:00 pm – 10:30 pm), Sunday (Closed)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €100-120
  • Google Maps Pin

15. Enoteca Nanut Trieste – Wine Bar

Another intimate and friendly Trieste restaurant with a wine bar. Excellent regional and local wines and Italian cuisine.

Try beef tartare, gnocchi or lamb chops or come for the excellent wine selection.

Near the Canal Grande.

  • Opening Hours – Sunday-Monday (Closed), Tuesday-Saturday (lunch 11:00 am – 2:30 pm and dinner 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €60-80
  • Google Maps Pin

16. Bianco Pizzeria- Pizza on the Canal

Grand canal in Trieste with restaurant tables outsie
Outdoor seating along the Canal Grande, Trieste

This is the place for Neapolitan pizza right near the Canal. The desserts also get good reviews as does the cozy atmosphere.

Try the tiramisu. Prices are reasonable.

  • Opening Hours – Monday-Sunday (lunch 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm and dinner 7:00 pm – 11:30 pm)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €20-40
  • Google Maps Pin

Best Trieste Restaurants With A View

These restaurants are either near the harbor with outdoor seating, or situated on a hill with excellent city and harbor views.

View of the harbor in Trieste with boats.
View of the Trieste harbor

👉 Culture Tip: If you are in Trieste in winter, you may experience the famous north wind, the Bora. It blows through Trieste in gusts; I felt it in December and have never forgotten the exhileration. I say this because if you knew the Bora wind was likely, you could book at one of these view restaurants and see the Bora blowing through the Adriatic. It would be amazing.

17. PIER Restaurant – Sunset Views

PIER has stunning views of the marina. A great place for dinner and watching the boats come in at sunset, just a short walk from the center at the end of the pier.

You can have drinks on the rooftop bar, then excellent seasonal seafood or italian cuisine. Homemade ravioli with shrimp, or ghocchi or an excellent seafood tartare are all good choices. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.

  • Opening Hours – Sunday-Thursday (9:00 am – 12:00 pm), Friday-Saturday (9:00 am – 2:00 am)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €40-60
  • Google Maps Pin

18. Adesso è Così Ristorante di Pesce Contemporaneo e Pizzeria-Fish

Adesso e Cosi Restaurants has a good view of the port and quite good fish and Italian dishes. The portions are good sized and the waitstaff friendly.

They recieved the Traveller’s Choice award from Tripadvisor in 2023.

  • Opening Hours – Sunday-Thursday (lunch 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm and dinner 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm), Friday-Saturday (lunch 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm and dinner 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €20-40
  • Google Maps Pin

19. Ristorante Al Bagatto – Michelen recommended

Al Bagatto is a Michelen recommended restaurant; small and elegant and known for fish dishes. It is near the harbor but known more for excellent cuisine than views.

There are two private rooms available with reservation.

  • Opening Hours – Monday (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm), Tuesday-Saturday (lunch 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm and dinner 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm), Sunday (Closed)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €160-180
  • Google Maps Pin

20. Tavernetta al Molo – On the Water (Castle Miramare)

You are literally steps from the water at Tavernetta al Molo. NOTE: It is next to Castle Miramare, about 10 minutes from downtown Trieste by car or bus.

The cuisine is Mediterranean/Italian and of excellent quality. Outdoor or indoor seating.

I would suggest combining a visit to Castle Miramare with lunch here if you have transportation. It takes only an hour or two to see the castle and the grounds.

  • Opening Hours – Wednesday-Monday (lunch 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm and dinner 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm), Tuesday (Closed)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €60-80
  • Google Maps Pin

21. Osteria Istriano Of Giobi And Oxa – Seafood / Harbor Views

Another excellent restaurant with outdoor seating and views of the harbor. Most of the menu is fish-based. The homemade gnochi with crab sauce gets excellent reviews.

Osteria Istriano is also a standout for extra-friendly and accomodating staff.

  • Opening Hours – Tuesday-Saturday (lunch 12:30 – 2:00 pm and dinner 7:30 – 10:00 pm), Sunday (12:30 am – 2:00 pm), Monday (Closed)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €60-80
  • Google Maps Pin

22. da Pino Trieste – Pizza

Da Pino is a large pizza restaurant with outdoor seating and a good view of the harbor.

It has a huge variety of pizza’s made from regional ingredients.

  • Opening Hours – Sunday-Thursday (lunch 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm and dinner 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm), Friday-Saturday (lunch 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm and dinner 6:30 pm – 12:00 am)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €20-40
  • Google Maps Pin

23. Trattoria Al Sub – Hidden Gem / Seafood

Just a few minutes north of Trieste, known mostly to locals, is this trattoria with amazing seafood. The dishes are simple and seasonal in this family owned restaurant.

You can see the sea throught the pine trees, but you come here for the excellent cuisine more than the view. See their website (and octopus!) for an example of their wonderful seafood dishes.

Trattoria al Sub is located next to the popular Barcola Beach.

  • Opening Hours – Monday (Closed), Tuesday-Saturday (lunch 11:30 am – 2:30 pm and dinner 7:15 pm – 10:00 pm), Sunday (11:30 am – 2:30 pm)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €40-60
  • Google Maps Pin

24. Ristorante Navigando Trieste – Seafood and Pizza

An outdoor seafood and pizza restaurant with an ok view of the harbor. They get consistently good reviews for both the seafood and pizza. Vegetarian friendly and just a few blocks off of the main square.

  • Opening Hours – Monday-Sunday (lunch 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm and dinner 8:00 – 11:00 pm)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €60-80
  • Google Maps Pin

25. Osterija Ferluga – Stunning View

Breathtaking view of the city and harbor from an outdoor patio. The food is good quality, but you come her for the experience of the patio, under a chestnut tree and the stunning view.

  • Opening Hours – Monday-Tuesday (Closed), Wednesday-Thursday (7:00 pm – 12:00 am), Friday-Sunday (12:00 pm – 12:00 am)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – €40-60
  • Google Maps Pin

Trieste Restaurants MAP

Where To Stay In Trieste

Sunset on the main square in Trieste, Italy

You want to stay near the center and the grand plaza in Trieste. These hotels fit the bill and are of high quality with a local, authentic feel.

📍Luxury Option: Savoia Excelsior Palace Trieste. An iconic hotel in Trieste, with rich history back to Austro-Hungary Empire. Sea views, gourmet cuisine. Refined and elegant. Located on the Grand Plaza (Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia).

📍Mid-Range Option: Addicted to Paradise B&B.  Beautiful decor and large, bright rooms. Near both the city center and the train station.

📍Budget Option:  B&B I Filoksenia This is my favorite place to stay in Trieste. The building is historic with lovely antique-filled rooms. You can walk to the main square or the train station in a few minutes.

FAQs – Trieste Restaurants and Food

Questions and answers about Trieste, Italy.

What food is Trieste famous for?

Trieste is most famous for coffee rather than food; it is the coffee capital of Italy.

What is special about Trieste Italy?

Trieste has the largest square in Europe that is also on the sea. It is also special due to being a crossroads of culture; Eastern European, Austro-Hungarian and Italian cultures converge here and it is the coffee capital of Italy.

Do you tip in Italy?

Tipping in restaurants is not expected, but you can leave a small amount for excellent service.

Final Thoughts on Restaurants in Trieste

Outdoor seating at a restaurant in the city center of Trieste at Christmas.

Trieste is ouside the usual tourist route and absolutely worth a visit. The city retains some of the elegance of its historic past as part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Restaurants in Trieste reflect both it’s status as a port city on the Adriatic and it’s multicultural past. The cuisine is fresh and local, the seafood excellent and the many small, family-owned restaurants mean you have an authentic and local experience.

In a nutshell, Trieste’s restaurants are outstanding for anyone who enjoys a more slow and cultural travel experience.