My Flavours of Friuli Venezia Giulia tour wrapped up in the stunning and dignified little port city of Trieste – where fantastic regional flavours flourish with flair.
For a city of only around 200,000 residents, Trieste has an impressive number of highly regarded restaurants, cafes, and bars. My visit was way too short to delve into more than a few. But what a tasty few they were! Here’s a look at three of the best.
Antico Caffe San Marco
Via Battisti 18
Founded in 1914, destroyed during the first World War but reopened soon after, this historic café, bar, bookshop, restaurant and pasticceria is as famous for some of its former regulars (namely James Joyce) as it is for its gorgeous Vienna Secession interiors, frescos and accouterments. Thing is though, San Marco isn’t some antiquated space preserved in aspic for tourist. It’s still a smart place for a quality espresso. And I reckon one could still knock out a great novel here, or work through a clogged up inbox or publish blog post or two. My accolades go to the bar staff, particularly for the adept skill applied to making me a shakerato, a frothy coffee drink serving in a martini glass made only of espresso and ice cubes. Details at caffesanmarcotrieste.eu.
Buffet da Pepi
Via della Cassa di Risparmio 3
Buffets are a ‘thing’ in Trieste, and an epically meaty ‘thing’ at that. But buffet I don’t mean some Vegas style AYCE mega salad bar with waffle station and omelets on-demand or heat lamp heap of so called Chinese fried foods. For the Triestini, buffets are casual bar-restaurants specialising in caldaia (broth boiled) meats. Most well known of the Trieste buffets is da Pepi. Best bet here is the mixed platter (roast pork, wurstel, tongue, bacon, sausage, smoked ham and sour kraut, €22): a mound of yum not only representative of different cuts and preparations of pork but also of the city’s blend of Latin, Germanic and Slavic cultures and traditions from its Austro-Hungarian past. Find out more at buffetdapepi.it.
Buffet da Siora Rosa
Piazza Attilio Hortis 3
The coolest neighbourhood bar I’ve ever stumbled into – compact, quaint and homey Siora Rosa is everything an outsider would want for a “remember that little plan in” food and drink experience, and all a local could ask for with respect to having an inexpensive just round the corner eatery. When you go (and trip to Trieste without so much as a quick drink here would be lacking) let the bartender (during my visit this was a kindly gentleman who had to be at least 80 years young) decide your wine for you and even if you are completely stuffed to the gills (I didn’t think I could eat another bite after my munch at da Pepi) have something. I recommend a beautifully basic panino of prosciutto cotto in crosta (cooked ham in crusty bread) with generous shavings of fresh horseradish. It shouldn’t set you back more than €4. Check out the Siora Rosa Facebook page: facebook.com/pages/Da-Siora-Rosa/199458580087622.
I dream of a repeat visit to Triesta. In fact, it’s taking me an eternity simply to draft this post because I can’t get more than a sentence or two in before I start zoning out on my photos and notes remembered how much I loved it there … thinking about when I could head back down there … trying to figure out where I should go on future excursions … scanning real estate sites to see what a pied-à-terre might cost …
And that’s not only about the consumables. Trieste is an amazing destination with so many other aspects making it worth a dedicated looksee.
Some of the oldest Roman remains outside of Rome can be found here, as well as a delectable array of bars and restaurants. Within a short drive there’s the wine country of Friuli, the craggy and wild Dolomite mountain range, world-class beaches, ancient villages, and historic Venice, not to mention Slovenia and the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia.
To whet your appetite until my next Flavours of Friuli Venezia Giulia post, go to turismofvg.it for travel ideas, itinerary inspiration, discounts, special offers and more to make your time in FVG as flavoursome as possible.
For info specifically about visiting Trieste go to discover-trieste.it.