Antico Caffè San Marco

Top choice cafe in Trieste

Opening just before WWI, and a favourite of writers Svevo, Saba and Joyce, this Viennese Secession giant is spectacularly decorated with theatrical mask paintings, coffee-leaf themed gilt and dark chocolate walls, and miles of red marble tables. Saved from demolition in 2013, it's no longer a place of melancholy nostalgia, but instead a vibrant cultural hub with beautifully restored decor, young staff and an in-cafe bookshop.

There are both local and Slovenian wines by the glass, prosecco or Champagne, plus sandwiches, snacks and pastries or a more substantial menu in the evenings.