Cafés in the Italian town of Trieste is an institution. Since the 18th century, intellectuals, writers and politicians used to meet there to exchange ideas and to talk about their projects. Nowadays, these cafes in Trieste are the perfect pastime for local people and tourists looking for retro atmospheres.
Trieste cafes offer you the possibility to have a coffee sitting at the tables where in the past James Joyce, the Irish novelist and poet who called Trieste his home for about 10 years, used to sit. Italian novelists Saba and Svevo used to go there, too.
Among the furnishings recalling the delights of the late 1800s and early 1900s, book presentations, exhibitions and literary awards, here are the most famous Trieste cafes.
We recommend you to go there during your stay in Trieste and order a typical capo in b coffee to taste at a slow and relaxed pace, just as the Triestines do when they go to their literary cafes.
Cafe San Marco Trieste
Trieste cafe, bookshop and restaurant, the ancient Cafe San Marco Trieste is one of Trieste’s oldest cafes, with 103 years of activity and 1000 customers a day. Known as a cultural lounge, it is a real institution in the city.
Ancient Cafe San Marco is the perfect place to taste dishes from Istrian, Slavic, Jewish and Greek communities in Trieste, while attending jazz concerts or exhibitions of local artists. With its classic-vintage furnishings and the large glass chandeliers, you will be amazed by the cozy atmosphere.
Try its blend of coffee, unavailable in other historic Trieste cafes, and the fine pastry shop of European inspiration. You can find it in Via Cesare Battisti 18, in Trieste.
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Cafe Stella Polare Trieste
Not just coffee in the Cafe Stella Polare in Trieste, located on the corner between Via Dante Alighieri and Piazza Sant’Antonio, but also lunch break, happy hour in the afternoon and tea room, to rest in a comfortable and relaxed place.
Opened in 1867, it has still its ancient furniture and the elegant atmosphere of its Austro-Hungarian architecture. These kinds of atmospheres are also present in mirrors and plasters garnishing the walls. Stella Polare is the perfect place for a relaxing break, in spring and summer too.
Cafe Tommaseo Trieste: Arabica coffee
Among the historical cafés, there is Cafe Tommaseo, famous for its setting and excellence of its products. Founded in 1830, it was one of Saba, Joyce and Svevo’s favorite literary cafes in Trieste and has the reputation of Historical Place of Italy.
What is the peculiarity of Cafe Tommaseo, compared to other coffee shops in Trieste? No doubt it is its partnership with the prestigious Bishoff wine shop, which has a vast assortment of fine wines.
If you are a wine lover, then, Café Tommaseo in Trieste is a coffee shop where you can also sample a glass of white or red wine, matched with quality gourmet dishes. Café Tommaseo is in Piazza Tommaseo 4.
Pirona Trieste: Coffee and pastry shop
Joyce began to write the Ulysses sitting at a table of this ancient cafe. Those who came there until July 2017 know very well that the Pirona Coffee Shop was one of Trieste’s historic cafes. The most representative of the original Liberty style.
Why do we say It was? Because on the last July, its beautiful furnishings of the early 1900s were sold to be exhibited in a museum, so that Café Pirona lost its own identity.
In this way, Trieste loses not only a delicious pastry shop but also an incredible part of its history and a town institution. Will it be rebuilt elsewhere, with the original furnishings? We hope so. In that case you will not give up a cake in this magical cafe. So full in atmospheres of the beginning of the twentieth century.
Tergesteo Trieste: winter garden
The Italian writer Saba dedicated to this cafe some verses of his poetry Canzoniere. Its rooms are still today a Triestian cultural elite hangout. For two years, the ancient Tergesteo Cafe in Trieste has become Tergesteo Garden. Thanks to a restyling, it expanded its exterior with a winter garden.
Tergesteo Cafe is located in a Gallery and is a reference point for anyone who wants to take a nero triestino, a typical black coffee, or have an aperitif or eat something, looking out of its large windows. It has tasty dishes for vegans and delicious sweets. If you like to stop here for a coffee break or for a snack, you can find it in Piazza della Bora 15.
Caffè Degli Specchi, Trieste
Opened in 1839, Caffè Degli Specchi still has an elegant Hapsburg charm. Its glass showcases full of sweets are tempting, its armchairs overlooking the wonderful Piazza Unità d’Italia are cozy and what about those gloomy chocolate shot glasses? In this old cafe of Trieste you really breathe the city’s Middle-European past. The refinement of this place accentuates its beauty.
Do you know why it is called Caffè degli Specchi, which means Mirrors café? It happens because, at the beginning, its walls were full of mirrors. They were used to reflect the external light, even when it was weaker at sunset. In this way, customers stayed there for a long time. And there was no need to turn on the oil lamps, to light up the environments.
If you are in Trieste just a few hours, we invite you to sit at one of the external tables of the Caffè Degli Specchi in summer. The view you will enjoy from there let you feel as you were in an open-air lounge, between the relaxation and the charm of the square. The Caffè Degli Specchi is in Piazza Unità d’Italia 7.
Antico Caffè Torinese, Trieste
Antico Caffè Torinese is a place where you can taste excellent cocktails. It is not important it has just a few tables. The atmosphere here is so evocative you can be happy just with tasting a cocktail standing.
Furniture is in teak and other valuable woods and refers to the interiors of the passenger vessels of early 1900s. Its counter in Liberty style is a piece of craft, with its impressive chandelier above.
Stop here for a hot chocolate in winter or a fresh cocktail in summer. You will test its extraordinary hospitality. Antico Caffè Torinese is in Corso Italia 2 in Trieste.
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Trieste cafes: how to discover them?
Did you like our small tour of the historical cafes in Trieste? It was evocative, don’t you think? So why don’t you seize the opportunity to enjoy your own tour, during your stay in Trieste?
The retro charm of Trieste is unique. A tour of its literary cafes is the ideal way for a glimpse into the past of this town. Are you looking for the best way to visit Trieste? The best solution is to get there on board a luxury car with private driver, surrounded by the comfort and the discretion that marks Triestines.
Trust in our transfer professionals. Let you drive in magical roads and ages of a town which deserves to be discovered! For your working time or your leisure, choose a high quality car with private driver. And then stop in a cafe in Triste for your date with history.