Caffe Trieste

Caffe Trieste logo.jpg
Caffè Trieste in North Beach

Caffè Trieste is an internationally known chain of four Italian-themed coffeehouses plus one retail store in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas of California. Caffè Trieste was opened in 1956 by Giovanni Giotta (aka "Papa Gianni"), who in 1951 had emigrated to the United States from the small fishing town of Rovigno D'Istria, Croatia (before the World War II part of Italy). Missing the espresso houses of Trieste, Italy, Giotta opened his own cafe. Caffè Trieste is said to be the first espresso house on the West Coast.[1]


The original Caffè Trieste in San Francisco's North Beach quickly became popular among the neighborhood's primarily Italian residents. "It was all Italian people," Giotta said of the neighborhood, "But I got the American people to like cappuccino."[2]

Meeting place for authors and artistsEdit

Jack Hirschman (February 2013)

The Caffè Trieste also becomes a convenient meeting place for Beat movement writers like Lawrence Ferlinghetti (still a regular), Alan Watts, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Richard Brautigan, Bob Kaufman, Gregory Corso, Michael McClure, Kenneth Rexroth and Neeli Cherkovski, who lived in North Beach in the 1950s and 1960s.[3] Jack Hirschman, former Poet Laureate of San Francisco, has also been a regular patron. In addition to other writers and poets, painters such as Peter Le Blanc and Don Moses and photographers Joe Rosenthal (Pulitzer Prize winner), Jimo Perini and Christopher Felver, other celebrities counting themselves among the Trieste Aficionados include Paul Kantner, Jack Sarfatti, Joey Reynolds and Mal Sharpe.

The Caffe has been featured in several movies, on television, radio, in magazines, and in dozens of photography, tourism and other books, ranging from local to national and international in scope.[4][5] Francis Ford Coppola wrote much of the screenplay for The Godfather while sitting in the Caffè Trieste.[1][6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Caffe Trieste's Influence Percolates Through Area" The Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2010
  2. ^ "50 Years of Art and Coffee" by Cecilia M. Vega, San Francisco Chronicle, April 1, 2006
  3. ^ Mick Sinclair, San Francisco: A Cultural and Literary History (Signal Books, 2004), page 176
  4. ^ Ira Nowinski with Charles Wehrenberg, Rebecca Solnit, et al., Ira Nowinski's San Francisco, The Bancroft Library/Heyday Books, Berkeley, p.56/57, ISBN 1-59714-040-6
  5. ^ Ira Nowinski with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, et al., Cafe Society: Photographs and Poetry from San Francisco's North Beach, A Seefood Studios Book, San Francisco 1978, ISBN 0-916860-05-1
  6. ^ "Gianfranco Giotta dies, owner of Caffè Trieste" SF Gate, September 19, 1999

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 37°47′55″N 122°24′26″W / 37.79872°N 122.40727°W / 37.79872; -122.40727