Over 50 years Serving Espresso in San Francisco

The Caffe is a fixture in North Beach and has been for the past half century. Come by and experience the relaxed and friendly Caffe Trieste.

The coffee is the main thing. We make each cup to order and use our own roast for an authentic flavor. Bring the taste home, order online.

Music is a big part of the Caffe Trieste family. Stop by for one of The NEW Caffe Trieste Saturday Concerts or one of the other artists that perform regularly at the Caffe.Above: Ned "Eddi" Boynton playing his Benedetto guitar.




Giovanni “Papa Gianni” Giotta (1920-2016)


Dear Friends, Colleagues and Customers:  

It is with “cuor’ pesante” (heavy heart) that I must report to you the passing of my father.  This little dynamo of a man founded our company, accomplished so much and made so many feel good with his personality, service and music.  His unique expressions-his hands, his words and his songs, are preserved in history.  He was at the core of my musical upbringing and life, and our world will never be the same without him.  Below is his complete obituary as it will appear in the San Francisco Chronicle.      

~ Fabio G. Giotta                


Giovanni “Papa Gianni” Giotta

May 1, 1920 – June 11, 2016


The Patriarch of the Giotta Family was called Home by Our Lord last Saturday.  He was known as “The Espresso Pioneer of the West Coast” as founder of the Internationally known “Caffe Trieste” in San Francisco’s North Beach in 1956.  Papa Gianni opened the Caffe just over 60 years ago; it has been well chronicled for its unique blend Old World family atmosphere (the entire family worked there for decades), artistry (the Giotta Family members’ collective singing and instrumental careers started in the U.S. with a 1953 radio appearance) and quality coffee, the result of the family’s unique roasting and blending techniques.

Papa Gianni was born in Rovigno D’Istria, Italy, in the Northeastern sector that would become part of the newly formed Yugoslavia after WW II.  Papa Gianni and wife Ida, son Gianfranco and daughter Sonia left their native land as refugees, moving to nearby Monfalcone, Italy in 1947,  immigrating to the U.S. in 1951. On a handshake, fellow Italian immigrant Palladini loaned Gianni $7,000 for his purchase of Il Piccolo Caffe at 601 Vallejo Street, which wife Ida promptly renamed “Caffe Trieste”.

In 1971, singers Papa and son Gianfranco (1944-1999) found a way to combine their musical work with the Caffe, establishing the Longest Running Musical Show in the City of San Francisco-the Caffe Trieste Saturday Concert.  Mamma Ida (vocals) and son Fabio (vocals and accordion) joined the effort almost immediately, with daughter Sonia joining what had become an organized musical troop in the 1980’s.  Papa continued to perform in the Concert and elsewhere until recently.

Papa Gianni realized many of his dreams; two of the most notable were recording a live LP of the Concert and producing a video of the Caffe and Concert as well.  Additional video and audio pieces were later released under the Trieste Records label.  Papa also helped develop the company in to a small chain in the 2000’s.

Papa Gianni Giotta is survived by his wife of 76 years, Ida, his daughter Sonia, son Fabio, and granddaughters Nicole, Ida and Gianna.  Services on Friday, June 17, 2016: viewing at 10 a.m. followed by funeral mass at 10:30 a.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, 666 Filbert Street, San Francisco. Interment at St. Olivet Catholic Cemetery in San Rafael, CA.  A Celebration of Life will be held at Caffe Trieste-NorthBeach on Saturday, July 9, 2016 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.


Flowers may be sent to Halsted N. Gray, 1123 Sutter Street, San Francisco.
Papa Gianni had a special place in his heart for the vital help he got from the Franciscan Friars O.F.M. of Rovigno when he was a child, and as a young immigrant father, from the Salesians in North Beach and the Italian Welfare Agency in NorthBeach.  Accordingly, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Sts. Peter and Paul Church (Salesians), 666 Filbert Street, San Francisco, 94133,  Italian Community Services, 678 Green Street, San Francisco 94133 (www.italiancs.com) or the Knights of Saint Francis, 700 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, 94111 (www.knightsofsaintfrancis.org)


Dear Friends and Customers:
Papa Gianni and I have been in support of Piazza Saint Francis-The Poets Plaza since 2005, and its coming along nicely!  Please enjoy the press release below and go to www.piazzasf.org for more information or to donate; small or large, all donations are very much appreciated!
Grazie     ~ Fabio G. Giotta
April 14, 2016
Contact: Angela Alioto, Esq.
415 434-8700
On Wednesday evening, April 13th, the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee voted to endorse the Piazza Saint Francis / The Poets Plaza, in the heart of North Beach at Columbus and Vallejo streets.
The Piazza sponsors, the Piazzasf, a non-profit, is led by Angela Alioto, Esq and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Poet laureate.
Mr. Ferlinghetti wrote to the Committee members, “Please support the Piazza Saint Francis, The Poets Plaza in the heart of North beach! It is so important to create a new open space free of cars, in the face of the building boom that is transforming the City.”
After the vote was taken, Ms. Alioto said “Beauty, tranquility, open space and poetry won tonight as the DCCC voted to support the Piazza!  The City of San Francisco and our patron saint, Saint Francis are the big winners tonight.  Thank you DCCC.  We are delighted the San Francisco Democratic Party understood our plan to honor the Cities’ history of Poets, Peace and Italian Americans. The committee’s endorsement is absolutely wonderful.”
The planned Italian-style piazza is independently financed by the  Piazzasf, a non profit organization.  It will occupy the short stretch of Vallejo between Grant and Columbus Streets.  (Online at piazzasf.org)
Construction begins later in 2016.


Piazza-St.-Francis-Rendering-1000x288Piazza Saint Freancis

The Poet’s Plaza

In the mid 2000’s, Angela Alioto and Lawrence Ferlinghetti joined together to realize a vision. The vision immediately spread to all of San Francisco and far beyond; building a real Italian piazza in San Francisco’s historic North Beach district. Imagine “an oasis for San Franciscans and a national site for lovers of poetry, literature, music and art”, like the many storied piazzas of Italy, such as those in Orvieto, Firenze(Florence) and Siena. More…



We brought espresso to San Francisco over 50 years ago and still serve the finest in Italian Style coffee in North Beach. Come and visit!

As the first Espresso coffee house on the West Coast in 1956, Caffe Trieste has been serving up optimum quality Espresso coffee and fabulous music for well over a half century in San Francisco. The historic flagship location in North Beach hosts poets, writers, composers and artists, all enjoying the some the finest coffee in San Francisco and the World.

Founder “Papa Gianni” Giotta, Espresso Pioneer of the West Coast, says: “Brew each cup like its for you”. CAFFE TRIESTE – Coffee with Rhythm!


And while you are in the neighborhood, stop by and visit the new Francesco Rocks store on Grant. Italian ceramics, Fresco Art gifts, religious articles, books, cards, icons, non religious gifts.