Trieste Food

What and Where to Eat in Trieste?

We spent a month in Trieste researching what local foods to eat and where to eat them. We’ve compiled a summary of the information we collected so you can start enjoying these foods as soon as you arrive!

Significantly, Trieste is known for several local products, including several excellent smoked hams and cheeses. The most popular of these are Prosciutto di San Daniele and Montasio.

Additionally, Trieste is home to many traditional dishes that combine foods from different regions and religions including influences from the Austro-Hungarian Empire mixed with Mediterranean flavors and traditions from Italy.

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Local Food Products in Trieste

Trieste is known for its delicious food. You should not miss out on these local specialties while visiting the city.

Protected Products

Prosciutto di San Daniele in Trieste, Italy

Prosciutto di San Daniele PDO

Prosciutto di San Daniele comes from the area around San Daniele in the province of Udine.  Until recently, it was made exclusively from large pig breeds such as Landrace, Large White, and Duroc. However, due to increased demand, the hams are now made from other local breeds as well.

Only local sea salt is used in the curing process, which involves stacking the hams on top of each other and aging them for at least 13 months. The result is a ham that is even sweeter and darker in color with a more delicate flavor than found in other varieties.

It is traditionally served as an appetizer with homebaked breads, melons, and figs.

Prosciutto di Sauris PGI

Prosciutto di Sauris PGI is a raw, smoked ham made from the legs of the Large White, Landrace Italiana, and Duroc Italiana pig breeds.

Trieste Food includes Montasio cheese

Montasio PDO

Montasio is a fat, soft to semi-hard cheese made with unpasteurized cow’s milk. It’s sold at four different stages of aging:

Montasio Fresco is aged from 2 to 3 months. It’s soft and has a delicate, creamy flavor.

Montasio Mezzano is aged for over four months. It’s stronger and has a pleasantly rich flavor.

Stagionato is aged for over ten months. It’s even stronger and has a more mature flavor.

Montasio Stravecchio is aged over 18 months. It’s particularly aromatic and has a sharp, nutty flavor.

The first three varieties are typically served as an appetizer or snack, often paired with fresh fruit or enjoyed after a meal. In contrast, the last variety is often grated over pasta dishes or soups.

Montasio was initially made in the 13th century by Benedictine monks at their monastery in the Giulia Alps. Today, Montasio is widely produced throughout the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region.

Tergeste PDO Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Tergeste PDO extra virgin olive oil is obtained from the Belica or Bianchera olive varieties, which must make up at least 20% of the groves, and from the Carbona, Leccino, Leccio del Corno, Frantoio, Maurino and Pendolino varieties, which must make up at least 80%, individually or mixed.

It’s only made in six municipalities in the province of Trieste.

Tergeste DOP has a golden green color, a mild fruity aroma, and a mild flavor.

Other Products

Prosciutto Cotto Triestino in Trieste, Italy

Prosciutto Cotto Triestino

Prosciutto Cotto Triestino or Cotto Trieste is a cooked ham made from pork legs. Its defining characteristic is that it’s left on the bone, which is considered a rarity.

The ham is prepared by injecting water, salt, sugar, and flavorings into the femoral artery and massaging it, so the brine distributes throughout the meat. It is first smoked over wood and aromatic herbs and then slow-cooked in steam ovens for approximately 12 hours.

The ham is eaten alone or paired with horseradish sauce or mustard.

Alto But in Trieste, Italy

Carnia Alto But

Carnia Alto But is a hard cheese made from raw milk of the Bruna Alpina cattle that graze freely in the Alps. Wheels are sold at three different ages:

Fresco is aged for a minimum of 2 months.

Mezzano is aged for a minimum of 6 months.

Vecchio is aged for a minimum of 12 months.

The cheese is sweet when young but becomes more aromatic as it ages.

The cheese is often paired with a glass of local wine such as Verduzzo Friulano Passito or Refosco del Friuli, and served with spicy mustard or chestnut honey on the side.


Malga was originally produced in the Carnia Alps by people who lived in huts called malga.

The semi-hard cheese is made from skimmed and whole raw cow’s milk (or a blend of cow’s milk and 10% of goat’s milk). It’s often left to ripen on wooden boards from one month to over a year. 

The flavors are intense, grassy, pleasant, and sometimes slightly bitter.

It is recommended to pair Malga with full-bodied red wines and serve it with chestnut honey or rye bread.


Jamar is a traditional Italian cheese originating from karst caves in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. The cheese is produced on the Zidarič farm located a few miles outside of Trieste in Prepotto. Jamar is made from raw cow’s milk and it’s left to age for four months in humid karst caves.

Underneath its moldy and rough brown rind, the cheese has a semi-hard, crumbly texture. The aromas are intense with hints of blue cheese, while the flavors are rich, strong, nutty, earthy, and spicy. It’s recommended to serve the cheese with local honey or use it in a variety of dishes, giving them a distinctive flavor. 


Trieste offers a wide variety of fresh fish, including tuna. Tuna can be found in many local dishes and is prepared in various delicious ways. The abundance of fresh fish available in Trieste makes it a prime location for seafood lovers.


Bass is a popular fish in Trieste, Italy. It is often used in various dishes such as brodetto alla triestina, a traditional fish stew made with sea bass, striped bass, squid and lobster tails. Another popular dish is spaghetti with telline and raw sea bass appetizer with rosa di gorizia radicchio dressed with oil and apple vinegar.


With its prime location along the Gulf of Trieste and the Adriatic Sea, it’s no surprise that sardines are on the menu at many restaurants. Sardoni marinati is a typical way to cook sardines in Trieste, which involves marinating them in lemon juice and spices. Another popular dish is sardoni in savor, where sardines are cooked with a sauce made from a stew of onions, vinegar, and wine.


Mussels are a popular ingredient in many traditional Trieste dishes, such as Pedoci a la Scotadeo, cooked with garlic, parsley, and breadcrumbs. Another classic Trieste dish is the seafood-based soup which includes a mixture of minced onions and garlic, olive oil, wine, and a variety of fish, including mussels.

Traditional Dishes in Trieste

Starting in the eighteenth century, people from many cultures migrated to Trieste. As a result, Trieste traditional food is a mixture of Mediterranean and Central European cuisines. The combination makes for many unique flavors.

First Courses

La Jota Triestina

This traditional soup is usually made with beans, olive oil, potatoes, sauerkraut, flour, pancetta, garlic, cumin, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.

It is typically served as an appetizer or accompaniment to meat dishes. Jota is one of the main dishes found in Trieste.


Chifelini or chifeletti are fritters made of potatoes, flour, eggs, butter, and salt or sugar. The mixture is shaped into logs crescents and then fried in oil until golden brown.

They can be savory or sweet. The savory version is sprinkled with salt and may be served with a sauce. The sweet version is typically dusted with powdered sugar or cinnamon.

Fried Pilchards

Fried Pilchards, which can be eaten cold, are a Trieste favorite and often preferred to more sophisticated fish dishes.

Pilchards are similar to anchovies. The biggest and best are called barcolani, meaning they were caught in front of the Riviera Barcola.

Minestra de Bisi Spacai o Bunkersuppe

Soup made from dried peas is a traditional dish in Trieste. It gets the name “bunkersuppe” because it was fed to Austrian soldiers in the trenches (bunker).

Capuzi Garbi

Capuzi garbi is a white sauerkraut that is served as a side dish for pork and is the key ingredient in jota, the quintessential Trieste soup.

Brodetto alla Triestina

This Trieste-style fish stew is a symbolic dish of the seafood cuisine of the Adriatic.

Main Courses

Goulasch in Trieste, Italy

Goulasch alla Triestina

Goulasch alla Triestina is a traditional dish that came to the city during Austo-Hungarian rule.

The slow-cooked stew is made with onions, beef, Hungarian hot paprika, olive oil, tomatoes or tomato paste, flour, and Italian herbs such as rosemary, thyme, marjoram or oregano, and bay leaves.

The goulash is typically served with polenta, gnocchi, or potatoes.



Presnitz is a specialty of Trieste. This Italian cake roll has a dough made with flour, sugar, eggs, butter, milk, and lemon juice, and a filling layer consisting of butter, sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pine nuts. The cake’s characteristic inner swirls become visible when sliced.

According to legend, presnitz was invented in a competition for the best sweet to give to Princess Sissi, the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph, when she visited Trieste for the first time.

Struccolo de Pomi

As with the Goulasch, apple strudel came to Trieste from Hungary (perhaps via the Balkans).

Pinza and Titola

Pinza and Titola are traditional Easter desserts from Trieste.


Fave are small almond biscuits flavored with vanilla, rosewater, and chocolate. They are white, pink, and brown to symbolize birth, life, and death, respectively, and are eaten in Trieste during the feasts for the dead in October and November.

Local Markets in Trieste

Trieste food markets range from the large Mercato Coperto to small local fish and produce stands. Also, the upscale Eataly Trieste in the historic Antico Magazzina Vini is a must-visit for all wine and food fans.

Former Wine Warehouse – Eataly Trieste in Trieste, Italy

Eataly Trieste

While Eataly Trieste is not a “local market,” it sells local food and wine. The modern establishment is located in the historic Antico Magazzina Vini. The “Ancient Wine Warehouse” was built in 1902 to store wine from Dalmatia and Istria.

Address: Riva Tommaso Gulli, 1, 34123 Trieste TS, Italy

Mercato Coperto Trieste in Trieste, Italy

Mercato Coperto Trieste

aka the Covered Market of Trieste began as a gift from the daughter of a wealthy English merchant to the Trieste vendors. The current market, distinguished by large bright windows, was designed by the architect Camillo Iona. Opened in 1936, it is still extremely modern and functional today.

Address: Via Giosuè Carducci, 36, 34125 Trieste TS, Italy

Pescherie Davide in Trieste, Italy

Pescherie Davide

This historic fish market was opened in 1930.

Address: Via Conti, 44, 34138 Trieste TS, Italy

Pescherie Grassilli in Trieste, Italy

Pescherie Grassilli

This popular fish market has been in operation since 1960.

Address: Via Giosuè Carducci, 32, 34125 Trieste TS, Italy

Market on the Grand Canal in Trieste, Italy

Market on the Grand Canal

The market in Piazza Sant’Antonio Nuovo has numerous vendors selling local products every day we passed by.

Address: Piazza Sant’Antonio Nuovo, 34122 Trieste TS, Italy

Pescherie Da Claudio in Trieste, Italy

Pescherie Da Claudio

This pescheria sells fresh fish in the heart of the historic center of the city.

Address: Via di Cavana, 13c, 34121 Trieste TS, Italy

Small Market at Piazza Attilio Hortis in Trieste, Italy

Small Market at Piazza Attilio Hortis

Address: 34123 Trieste, Province of Trieste, Italy

Restaurants in Trieste

Following is a list of the best restaurants in Trieste:

Ristorante Menarosti

Ristorante Menarosti is a historic restaurant known for serving excellent fish and seafood.

Address: Ristorante Menarosti, Via del Toro, 12, 34125 Trieste TS, Italy

Ristorante Al Bagatto

Ristorante Al Bagatto offers fish-based cuisine with a modern touch in the historic city center.

Address: Via Luigi Cadorna, 7, 34124 Trieste TS, Italy

Buffet da Pepi

Buffet da Pepi is a historic restaurant in Trieste, serving typical Triestine cuisine. The restaurant offers a standing bar experience for lunch, where locals enjoy pork dishes and mustard. One of the specialties at Buffet da Pepi is the mixed plate of boiled pork, known as “piatto misto di caldaia,” which is a must-try for visitors. Another famous dish that is worth trying is the calandraca, made with boiled potatoes. The restaurant has been serving customers since 1897 and continues to be a popular spot among tourists and locals alike.

Address: Via della Cassa di Risparmio, 3, 34121 Trieste TS, Italy

Harry's Piccolo

Harry’s Piccolo has been awarded two Michelin stars. Moreover, its located in the famous Unity of Italy Square.

Address: Piazza Unità d’Italia, 2, 34121 Trieste TS, Italy

Food Tours in Trieste

Want to learn about local food in Trieste? Book a highly-rated food experience!

FAQs About Trieste Food

What Food Is Trieste Known For?

Some of the best-known foods in Trieste include:

Jota: a hearty soup made with beans, sauerkraut, and potatoes, often served with smoked pork or sausage.

Brodetto: a fish stew that typically includes different types of fish and shellfish, as well as tomatoes, onions, and wine.

Goulash: a Hungarian-style beef stew that is popular in Trieste due to the city’s proximity to Slovenia and Hungary.

Strudel: a sweet pastry filled with apples or other fruits, nuts, and spices.

Of course, these are just a few examples – there are many other delicious foods to discover in Trieste, so be sure to explore and try as much as you can!

What is a typical dish from Trieste?

One of the most famous dishes from Trieste is Jota, a hearty soup made with sauerkraut, beans, potatoes, and pork. Another popular dish is Brodetto, a fish stew made with various types of seafood such as squid, shrimp, and clams. Frico con Patate is another traditional dish from Trieste made with potatoes and cheese that is fried until crispy. Other local specialties include Goulash, Canestrelli (a type of sweet biscuit), and Strucolo de Pomi (an apple strudel).

What is unique from Trieste?

There are many unique things to explore and discover in the city of Trieste, ranging from its stunning architecture and scenic waterfront to its vibrant arts scene and delicious seafood dishes.

Significantly, Trieste is unique from the rest of Italy. The city feels more like Vienna, Austria than any other part of Italy. Trieste cuisine is not an exception. The food is more similar to Eastern Europe than it is to nearby Venice.

What is Trieste in English?

Trieste is an Italian city and does not have an English translation. However, it is sometimes referred to as “Trst” in Slovenian or “Tergeste” in Latin.

Where is the Best Place to Stay in Trieste?

Hotels in Trieste

There are many great places to stay in Trieste. For the best experience, we recommend staying near the Piazza Unita d’ Italia (the castle marker on the map below). Northeast of the castle marker is a great area with historic churches, cafes, the canal, and many restaurants.  Southwest of the castle marker is a beautiful area with older churches and buildings, small shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Here’s an interactive map with hotel and apartment options that can be filtered to meet your needs. Select your travel dates to get specific availability and prices.

Book your stay now!