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21 Best Restaurants in Trieste (from an Expat)

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I've been living in Trieste now for a year. And while there are plenty of great things to do, fun day trips to take, and cool views to soak up, one of my favorite things about Trieste (and Italy, in general) is the food.

While you will find fresh seafood, traditional Italian dishes, and plenty of variety, Trieste isn't quite like the rest of Italy. Given its long history as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the local food is actually Triestino, which pulls a lot of influence from its Austrian roots. You'll also find plenty of influence from Slovenia scattered around.

While I do have 2 recommended restaurants for Triestino fare, my favorite restaurants in Trieste are super varied. Just be sure that if you're visiting Trieste on a weekend that you take a moment to reserve your table as these spots can get crowded.

Easiest way to make a reservation? Download the app The Fork! You'll get up to 50% off select restaurants and the ability to get a reservation without making a call. Use code 845C4097 for an extra reward. This app works all throughout Italy, not just in Trieste.

Also note that typical to most of Italy, kitchens typically close around 3pm-7pm so even if a restaurant is open, it might just be the bar at that time. Pretty much all restaurants in Trieste offer vegetarian dishes but vegan is a little harder to come by.

With that, let's dive right into the X best restaurants in Trieste, in my humble foodie opinion.

Short on time? Here’s the cheat sheet:

💭Although a small city, you’ll find a wide variety of restaurants serving typical Italian food, Triestino cuisine, and international dishes.
🍽️Only have time for 1 restaurant? My favorite place to eat is Ristorante Baracca E Burattini.
☝️For the best food and lower prices, avoid the restaurants in Piazza Unità d'Italia and along the Grand Canal.
🛏️For quick access to plenty of bars and restaurants, stay around Cavana. Book your stay at Urbanauts Studios for a trendy studio apartment right in the heart of the action.
🍝Sure eat your pasta but don’t skip out on trying unique dishes you won’t find elsewhere in Italy.

Favorite General Restaurants

Ristorante Baracca E Burattini

This restaurant hits every time without fail. It was the 1st restaurant in Trieste that I brought my mom to right after she arrived from the train station and it was one we went back to multiple times during her stay.

The only real quirk is that they're usually only open for lunch and on the weekdays. You need to make a reservation for this one as it's usually full.

Baracca E Burattini is in between the train station and the canal in a local neighborhood. The menu is presented in a giant sheet of paper that gets passed around table to table. It's printed daily and changes often, meaning you can come back again and again to try unique meals based on what's in season.

It's generally Italian cuisine but you will typically find a few plates from Slovenia as well.

Find Baracca E Burattini on Google Maps here.


Pizzium is actually a pizza chain restaurant that recently opened up here. Typically I avoid chains and like to eat at the mom and pop spots but Pizzium is an easy exception.

My husband first tried it for lunch one day at the office but immediately came home saying I needed to give it a shot. Since living in Italy I've grown a real obsession for pasta of every kind but, while I do enjoy a pizza from time to time, the love I have for it doesn't come close to how I feel about the noodles...until Pizzium.

I feel confident in saying that their pizzas are the best I've ever had, only competing with my 1st "real" pizza in Naples.

They have a big menu with a wide variety so you're certain to find something for everyone in your group. I also recommend their Baciate (like a sandwich, just with pizza dough as the bread) and their salads.

Find Pizzium on Google Maps here.


Radici is a great little spot right in the heart of Cavana, one of the coolest neighborhoods in Trieste. While much of Trieste looks more like Austria than Italy, Cavana is the exception. Here you can sit outside in the middle of a narrow yet busy alley or dine inside.

Much like a lot of restaurants in Trieste, they also change their menu often to go along with what's in season. Last October, they offered a fig and prosciutto pizza that's still one of my favorite pizzas I've yet to try. And this summer they offered a sweet spaghetti with grilled pears that was absolutely delicious (pictured above).

While I highly recommend trying their daily/weekly menu, if you're new to the region, give the cjarsons a try. These are like ravioli and are common only in Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Find Radici on Google Maps here.

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Buffet Birreria da Rudy

This is the far less popular alternative to the famous Buffet da Pepi. Both serve traditional Triestino fare, which is very meat and potatoes heavy. While this isn't my favorite cuisine in general, I do think it's worth the try for something totally unique within Italy.

Buffet da Pepi is typically really crowded due to it's popularity but Buffet Birreria da Rudy is just as good but much more of a local haunt.

If this is your only experience with Triestino cuisine, I'd get one of their big meat plates to share among the table. If they have them, I'd also try the Canderli, or bread dumplings. These are most common in the Dolomites region but are also found in restaurants like this one.

Find Buffet Birreria da Rudy on Google Maps here.

Mimì e Cocotte

When we first moved to Trieste, a friend recommended this restaurant for their cacio e pepe and while yes, they make a mean one, their entire menu is really delicious.

This is one of those restaurants that you'd most likely walk right by if you didn't know about it. Although centrally located, most people walk past this street either to the coast or into Cavana. But alongside Mimì e Cocotte there are a handful of other cozy spots to try here, too.

The restaurant itself is small and full of charm. They have a few pasta and meat dishes always on rotation but otherwise switch it up with seasonal plates. The menu here isn't large but has enough on it that you have some choices.

We recently tried their almost daily brunch and really enjoyed that as well. The avocado toast was a clear winner!

Find Mimì e Cocotte on Google Maps here.


Looking for fresh seafood paired with nice wine? Joia is a great starting point, especially if you're looking for a place that offers a touch of luxury and well-presented plates

They don't just offer your typical fish dishes but have a wide range of seafood varieties, from raw fish to an octopus burger.

There are loads of seafood restaurants in Trieste but this is one of the most recommended.

Find Joia on Google Maps here.

The Modernist

The Modernist is a good choice when you want something unique. This restaurant's menu is honestly all over the place and I'm here for it. You'll find fusions between Italian, Asian, and Latino dishes in one here.

My favorite thing to order when we go is their guacamole (best in town!), cachapas (a typical Venezuelan dish), and their crunchy rice with salmon (a fresh take on sashimi). It's a unique meal but for me, it combines a lot of things I really love.

If we don't want Italian, this is one of our first choices. Usually you don't need reservations either, so it's a great last minute decision.

Find The Modernist on Google Maps here.

Odio Il Brodo

Odio Il Brodo literally translates to "I hate broth" so I guess you can be confident that you won't find soup on this menu. Instead you'll find dishes upon dishes offering chicken in a variety of ways.

They do a monthly (chicken) sandwich which is usually pretty good but my go-to is General Tao's chicken and rice bowl. My husband loves their chicken and waffles, which as a girl from the South of the US, I can confirm it's pretty great.

The menu here is super creative so it's likely that even if you find something that sounds familiar, they've turned it into something totally their own.

If you love chicken, you'll love Odio Il Brodo.

Find Odio Il Brodo on Google Maps here.

Tavernetta al Molo

If you head outside of the city center and down the coast to Miramare Castle, I highly recommend grabbing lunch at Tavernetta al Molo. Located in the small town of Grignano Miramare, this seafood restaurant is one of my favorites.

I ended up here by accident, getting too hungry after visiting the castle to want to wait for something in Barcola or back in Trieste and I'm so happy I did. In the summer you can eat outside with views of the marina but even in the fall, when I visited, eating inside was super cozy.

This is a great place to try local seafood dishes with pasta and great fish. The waiter was helpful in giving his opinion on which plates to try and I'm so glad we listened because we devoured every single bite.

Find Tavernetta al Molo on Google Maps here.

Favorite Brunch Spots

Now that we covered my favorite general restaurants in Trieste, I have a few more spots to share with you. Because even though this city is small, there's more than enough restaurants to go around.

If you're in Trieste in the morning, you'll quickly find out that breakfast isn't super important here. While there are coffee shops galore, most only serve croissants or small pastries. If you're looking for something bigger, more like brunch than breakfast, I recommend one of these 3 spots (in addition to Mimì e Cocotte mentioned above):

  • Mug: Located in Cavana, Mug is open daily with small breakfast options, cakes, and coffee, but they go big for Sunday brunch. I always get their vegan brunch and my husband goes with the English one. If the weather is good, I recommend sitting outside on their patio (strangely across the street from the restaurant itself).
  • The Taste of Home: They have 2 locations in Trieste, one in Piazza della Borsa and the other right at XX Settembre. Both are good but if you've been following my other recommendations and haven't yet strolled down XX Settembre, I recommend going to that area to try it out. The vegan bagel sandwich there is fantastic, whether you're a vegan or not.
  • Panificio Pasticceria Giovini Moreno: While this is technically a bakery, they go big at this one. It's just a short walk from Castello di San Giusto but tucked away in a local neighborhood. It can get really busy and for good reason, their bread is fantastic. For breakfast, brunch, or lunch you can enjoy a variety of pizzas, breads, and sandwiches alongside plenty of sweets. Just note that they're not open on Sunday.

Favorite Ozmiza

An ozmiza is a Trieste tradition. These are basically farmhouses that sell what they produce. Likely you won't find big meals and a full menu but instead meat and cheese platters served with wine. Many are small and tucked away inside a house but others are more popular and come with sweeping views.

They aren't in city and will require some effort to get to but if you have a car or are up for a bus trip, they're worth it.

Just know their schedules can be a bit erratic, so check ozmize.com to see which are open on the day you'll be in Trieste. You'll definitely want to call and make a reservation, especially in the summer, and to make sure they're actually open on the day you're planning on visiting Trieste.

Most people choose osmiza Stoka E.E. and Azienda Agricola Verginella thanks to their stunning view of the sea.

Favorite Aperitivo Spots

Enjoying an aperitivo at the end of a long day is one of life's great pleasures. If you're new to Italy and don't know, an aperitivo is kind of like happy hour. You'd get a drink and small bites in the afternoon to wind down from your day.

Go for a prosecco, Aperol Spritz, or if you like bitters, a Cynar Spritz, and kick back and relax. You can get an aperitivo pretty much anywhere in the city but if you're looking for somewhere special, I'd recommend:

  • Al Ciketo: Located in Cavana, this is a wine bar that also specializes in cicchetti, small bites of bread topped with a variety of toppings. This tradition comes from Venice but it's relatively popular in Trieste, too. Just know that Al Ciketo can get crowded and it's almost all standing room only.
  • Cemût: This is the first place we ever went in Trieste but it's still one of our favorites. They have indoor and outdoor seating but if the weather is nice, I highly recommend sitting outside on their large patio. They offer a variety of drinks and wine and small bites. Be sure to give the frico a try! This is a local dish made with cheese and potatoes and served with polenta.
  • La Muta: If you're more of a cocktail person, you'll prefer La Muta. They have an extensive drink list but their bartenders are also super skilled and usually happy to make you something unique if you can't find something that sparks your interest. They serve their drinks with complimentary snacks but also have a small food menu.
  • Eataly: Eataly is a chain found all over the world. They have a grocery store, wine cellar, restaurant, and bar and cafe all in one. My favorite part about Eataly is the bar/cafe thanks to the view of the marina. The back wall here is glass from floor to ceiling overlooking the marina which makes for a really great ambiance. Their restaurant is upstairs but unfortunately half of the view is blocked by the balcony, so grabbing a drink, morning or night is better.

Favorite Gelato Shops

We can't end a list of the best restaurants in Trieste without mentioning where to grab a gelato. There are plenty more gelato shops in Trieste but these 3 are my top recommendations:

  • Chocolat: Located right in the heart of Trieste, if you're a chocolate lover, go here first. In the summer they offer a few gelatos (their pistachio cream is a must-add!) and in the winter they stick with hot chocolate varieties.
  • Gelato Marco: This is easily my favorite. Just know that the line can get really long in the summer since it's centrally located. Grab a number and get ready for the wait but if you ask me, it's worth it. If you don't like super sweet things, try the yogurt and honey gelato. That's my go-to every single time!
  • Gelateria Pipolo: While I still think the gelato here is better than the reviews warrant, my favorite aspect of this one is the location on XX Settembre.
  • Gelateria Zampolli: Zampolli is by far the most popular spot on this list. Unlike Marco, which does a number system, Zampolli is a free for all. Unless you arrive at an unlikely quiet time, you really have to push your way to the front because lines don't really exist here. The gelato is worth it if you're up for the challenge.

Still Planning Your Trip to Trieste?

Alongside great restaurants, there's plenty more to see and do here. If you have the time, I highly recommend you stay the night here to at least enjoy a full day in our seaside town.

📍Need a place to stay? These 3 hotel options below are located in the 3 best areas of Trieste to stay so you can pick one based on what you're hoping to see and do while here:

  • Budget Option: Trieste Center Rooms & Apartments. These apartments are spacious and perfectly located right next to Viale XX Settembre, one of the best walking streets in the city.
  • Mid-Range Option: Urbanauts Studios. These trendy studio apartments are located right in Cavana, the coolest and most walkable area in Trieste.
  • Luxury Option: Savoia Excelsior Palace. Stay right on the Adriatic Sea and right to Piazza Unità d'Italia and the canal, two of Trieste's must-sees.

Enjoy the Many Delicious Restaurants in Trieste

You've probably noticed that I didn't include any restaurant in Piazza Unità d'Italia or along the Grand Canal. While I do understand the obvious appeal of the environment, I've tried a handful of those restaurants and always come away feeling a bit deceived.

If you're eager to swap the views for a slightly less delicious meal, go for it, but if you're more motivated by a really great restaurant, I'd recommend skipping those areas and getting off the beaten path a little bit.

Go to Piazza Unità d'Italia and the Grand Canal for a scenic walk or to grab a coffee or beer but for a really memorable meal in Trieste, I'd recommend avoiding the super touristic areas and heading to local favorites instead.

Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!

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