The Cuisine of Trieste is uniquely Mediterranean, and it offers something for every palate. Foodies rejoice!
In one of the most intimate corners of the Mediterranean sea lies Trieste, a city and seaport in Italy’s Friuli Venezia Giulia, just 10-15 kilometres from Slovenia and not far from Croatia.
Trieste’s coastline is a picture-perfect postcard of the blue Mediterranean sea, and its warm climate makes it a must-visit for leisure lovers, particularly foodies! Here’s why you want to know more about the cuisine of Trieste and its rich (often delicious) traditions.
Where is Trieste, Anyway?
Trieste is nestled deep inside the Gulf of Trieste, part of the Adriatic Sea, part of it is located in Croatia, part in Italy and part in Slovenia.
Trieste is a coastal city with immense historical significance, and people have lived in the strategic port for thousands of years. Still, it wasn’t until it became part of the Ancient Roman Republic that Trieste became a cultural, economic and gastronomic hot spot.
An authentic gem on the Mediterranean coast, the sunny city of Trieste, is visited by history buffs, architecture enthusiasts and lovers of tasty food and wine all year round. You can feel the Mediterranean vibe everywhere, especially when walking the lengthy coastline while the warm sea breeze caresses your cheeks.
Slovenian Food, All You Need to Know
Trieste might be an Italian city, but its food traditions are closer-related to the hearty Slovenian cuisine. Slovenia neighbours Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Italy. These cultures greatly influence the Slovenian menu — enjoy goulash in the east and prosciutto in the west, treat yourself to sausages and sauerkraut up north, and fish stews near the coast. In fact, it is said Slovenia has over 100 different soups and stews!
Being one of the region’s most significant cities, Trieste offers every Slovenian flavour, so we mean it — there’s something in Trieste for every taste, budget and occasion.
The Cuisine of Trieste: Flavours & Dishes
La Jota Triestina. This Italian-inspired soup is perhaps Trieste’s best-known comfort food. Potatoes, beans, sauerkraut, pancetta and seasonings make this soup a flavourful meal; the soup is thickened with flour for a satisfying main course.
Prosciutto Cotto Triestino. Trieste has its own prosciutto, and the briny ham is so tender it melts in your mouth. Making yourself a sandwich with the cured meat and crusty bread is traditional.
Goulash Triestino. This spicy stew has a bright red colour thanks to the vibrant paprika famous in neighbouring Hungary. The stew often contains beef, tomato paste and aromatics. Hearty and immensely satisfying, this is no ordinary goulash.
Chifelini. Also known as Chifeletti, this is the ultimate side dish for your every meal in Trieste. Deep-fried potato fritters made with flour, eggs and butter. They’re crackly, buttery and insanely delicious!
Restaurants to Try in Trieste
Trattoria Nerodiseppia. For a local eatery with a lively ambience and a young crowd, this trattoria is for you. The seafood here is as fresh as it gets, and you’ll find your favourite Mediterranean dishes masterfully crafted by an enthusiastic team. Try the fritto misto!
Al Bargatto. For a lavish dinner worthy of the most memorable occasions. Al Bargatto was featured in Italy’s Michelin guide, and it offers a luxurious menu with creative dishes inspired by the most exciting Mediterranean flavours. This long-tablecloth dining room has been around since 1966, and it’s amongst the most distinguished restaurants in Trieste.
Bring the Cuisine of Trieste to your Home
If you’re as excited about the cuisine of Trieste, you might want to try making Trieste’s signature dishes at home. Here are a few trustworthy recipes we’ve found for you. Happy cooking!
Jota Triestina Recipe
Make the rich beans, potatoes and sauerkraut stew at home with only ten ingredients. Nothing beats the comforting flavour of this classic. This is food for the soul.
Chifeletti Recipe (AKA Chifelini)
Potatoes, butter, flour and eggs are all you need to craft these crispy cakes from scratch. Triste’s ultimate side dish and snack is easier to make than you think. This recipe makes a whole lot of chifeletti!
How to Pair Trieste Specialties with Wine?
The cuisine of Trieste is wine-friendly, just like every Mediterranean cuisine. Wine and food are two sides of the same coin. So, how to pair Trieste food with wine? A good strategy is finding wine from Slovenia — wine enjoyed every day with Trieste’s typical dishes by thousands of people. Check out our full guide to Wines from Slovenia here.
Look for wine from the Slovenian Littoral, Primorska. Here, the white grapes Ribolla, Sivi Pinot (Pinot Gris) and Sauvignon Blanc feel right at home. For red wine, explore the wines made with Refosco; these fruity reds have the loveliest acidity — they’ll cut through the heartiest goulash!
Visit Trieste Through Your Taste Buds
Now that you know about Trieste, its food traditions, typical recipes and the wines that go with it, it’s time to make yourself feel like in the Mediterranean city. Make yourself a Trieste-inspired meal, and pop open a bottle of wine! Happy pairing!