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Trieste is located in the upper corner of Italy, located just at the border of Slovenia. It’s a compact port city and in addition to Slovenian influences, you might be surprised to come across a shop carrying beer steins, since there are residual Hungarian and Austrian influences in the melange as well. But unlike other Italian cities, you’ll find people drinking big glasses of beer, and dining on sauerkraut and dumplings…and I mean, big, hearty ones…not just gnocchi, although you’ll find those too. Which I certainly did, along with perhaps a little gelato here and there.

My daily dose of heavenly gelato from Zampolli

Since my time was limited, I wasn’t able to explore the areas far out of town, which I’ve been told were where the best food was to be found. The restaurants in the city were a bit uninspiring, although the bars filled up in the early evenings and were great places to have a Gingerino, or my favorite aperitivo; an oversized wine glass (God bless the Italians…) with a shot of bitter orange aperitif, chilled prosecco, and a slice of blood orange served with a handful of ice, the Spritz.


My first day in Trieste, I discovered this amazing little store, Trieste Funghi Shop, filled with nothing but dried mushrooms. They had a glass showcase that was packed full of them and nothing else. These were other discoveries as well:


Hotel Continentale
Via San Nicolò, 25

Well-priced and centrally located, this is a wonderful little hotel right on the main street of Trieste, close to the sea, and just about everything else.

(Note: A taxi from the airport to downtown will run you around 55€, since it’s located about 40 minutes from the city-center. There’s also a shuttle bus that runs downtown every 30 minutes to and from the airport. If arriving by train, the station’s located downtown, and a short walk or taxi ride to your hotel.)

Gelateria Zampolli
Via Ghega, 10

The best gelato in Trieste. I went daily for my fix, which may have included riso (rice) or pistachio made from Sicilian nuts, or gianduja, or nocciolo (hazelnut), always paired with a smear of cioccolato gelato.

Pastificio Mariobologna
Via Battisti, 7

Pasta-maker specializing in handmade extruded pasta in all shapes and sizes.

Gelateria Madison
Viale XX Settembre, 8

Gelato shop that uses organic milk to make its creamy-cool scoops.

Alimentazione bM
Via Roma, 3

Delicatezze, specialty food shop, with faro pasta, regional salumi, Italian cheeses, and tablets of chocolate. A good place to stock up.

Trieste Chocolate Pastries
My favorite chocolate pastry in Trieste, at La Bomboniera.

La Bomboniera
Via XX Ottobre, 3

Specialty confectionary shop, founded in 1850. Beautiful wood cabinets filled with cakes and chocolates to eat on the premises with coffee, or to take away. The giant almond macaroon filled with chocolate cream then dipped in dark Italian chocolate was superb. I like it so much, I asked for another! A must.

E. Cesca
Via Roma, 10

Huge cookware shop with bakeware, truffle shavers, chestnut roasters and anything else you’ll need for true Italian cooking.

Via Mazzini, 42a

Smaller cookware shop downtown as well.

Erta Sant’Anna, 63

Restaurant featuring raw seafood specialties and house-made pastas, which you can finish off with a sgroppino; lemon sorbetto blended with fizzy prosecco and a shot of vodka.

Buffet da Pepi
Via Cassa di Risparmio, 3

If you like meat, this tavolo caldo is for you. Spartan surroundings and big plates of boiled sausages, tongue, and brisket all served with a pile of rather good caraway-flecked sauerkraut.

La Piola
Via Nicolò, 1/B

Downtown restaurant frequented by locals serving standard fare. My pasta and chicken were satisfying, but average. However the staff was friendly and when the restaurants filled up with locals by 9pm, the atmosphere made up for the food.

Via Ponchielli, 3

My hang-out, the best caffé and bar in Trieste. Friendly staff and lively clientele.


(I was in Trieste, attending Illy’s Univeristà della Caffè you can visit their web site. Most courses are aimed at professionals although they’ve told me they plan to offer classes to consumers in the future.)


    • susan

    wow that gelato looks so dense and delicious! i like the idea of the bar w/food spread (i think some spanish bars do this too) but it probably wouldn’t fly in the states. people eat way too much here! that chewable toothbrush is making me laugh -> lol.

    • gina

    It’s called a Spritz, at least if it’s what I drank in Verona (there it was just regular orange, and not the sanguine). The orange is called Aperol, and I brought a huge bottle back to Lyon with me!

    • Judith in Umbria

    But one needs me for true Italian cooking, and I have never even been to Trieste.

    Trust you to make it to 4011 food places in a couple of days.

    • David

    Gina: Thanks! I wish I’d brought a bottle of it back with me. At Ieast I have another excuse to visit Italy, though (as if I need it.)

    And I even found this.

    • Linda H

    The photo of the gelato made me absolutely sick with envious nostalgia! Like the coffee and the prosecco, gelato in Italy tastes better than it does anywhere else.
    Aperol is sometimes served straight as an aperitivo, and it is probably the one Italian food/drink I’ve encountered that I don’t like. Taken straight it tastes to me like orange soda concentrate with a slight alcoholic heat.

    • ParisBreakfasts

    Your blood orange aperitivo reminds me of when I had “gripe” in Florence and asked room service to send up some OJ. This blood red apparition appeared and I nearly fainted :)
    That gelato is perfecto

    • Connie

    So when are you going to start giving tours of Italy ?

    • David

    Hi Connie: I did an Italian Chocolate Tour a few years ago. We started in Torino, eating gianduja then visited Domori, Amedei, and Slitti chocolates. We stopped in Genoa for pesto and Florance for art (and perhaps a bit of gelato….)

    It was a great time…wish you were there! : )

    • farmgirl

    Posting that photo is So Not Nice.

    But I still love you, because even though you’re Mr. Fancy France Chocolate God you publicly admitted on my blog that you like See’s Candies (which I grew up with and still think are wonderful). : )

    • Connie

    Wish I was too ,maybe the Italian Life Tour 2 !

    • Warren


    Your picture of the gelato brought tears to my eyes. It’s so… beautiful.

    Here in Houston, we had a chain of about 4 stores called Dolce & Freddo that made gelato fresh daily. Sadly, those have gone the way of the dinosaur.

    It was at D&F that I could get a nice cup of chocolate gelato, and finish it off with an Illy espresso. A little slice of heaven that is now lost to us Houstonians…

    Enjoy your gelato, dammit, and think of my comment next time you have some! :)


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