Canederli at Forsterbrau in Trento Italy(1)

Trento Food Guide – The Best Trento Restaurants and Cafes

In Food Guides, Italy by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch1 Comment

Wondering where to eat when you visit Trento? Under the radar until now, this charming northern Italian city is ready to have its moment. Check out our picks for the best Trento restaurants to try when you visit Trentino’s capital city.

Trento Italy Landscape

Trento got under our skin.

Though we’ve been to Italy many times, we somehow never thought to visit Trento until a speaking engagement made the decision for us. Within minutes of our arrival, we were scratching our heads as to why we had had never previously visited the picture postcard city.

Perhaps we were unfamiliar with Trento since it doesn’t have a dedicated airport. Perhaps we were distracted by our obsession for pasta in Bologna and pizza in Naples.

Regardless of the reason, we quickly fell for the delightful Italian city at the foot of the Dolomite Alps. This may have been our first visit to Trento, but it surely won’t be our last.

Where Is Trento?

Trento on the River Adige

The River Adige flows through Trento. It’s the second longest river in Italy.

Located on the Adige River, the same waterway that flows through Verona, Trento is the capital of Trentino in northern Italy. And at just a short drive from both Lake Garda and the Dolomites, the location couldn’t get much better.

In many ways, Trento, filled with fairytale architecture and beer gardens, looks and feels like it’s in Austria instead of Italy. In fact, the city was part of the Austrian empire until the early 20th century. But Trento is definitely in Italy now, albeit in a unique part of the boot where pizza and bratwurst peacefully coexist.

Getting to Trento by train is easy – it’s just an hour from Verona and two and a half hours from Milan. The city’s rail station is adjacent to the center of town, only a 7-minute walk from lively Piazza Duomo.

Why Visit Trentino?

Buildings in Trento Italy

A walk through Trento reveals interesting architecture like these classic buildings in the center of town.

Many people start their Trentino travels in Trento before moving on to scenic destinations like previously mentioned Lake Garda and the Dolomites. Some hop off the train from Verona or Milan and immediately transfer to their final destination.

In our opinion, Trento is a destination in its own right that deserves a couple days of exploration. This city has it all from castles to cathedrals as well as glorious mountain views that made our hearts skip a beat for their pure beauty and majestic presence.

Piazza Duomo in Trento Italy

Neptune sits atop an ornate fountain in Trento’s Piazza Duomo. The classic Italian square is one of the most photographed spots in Trento.

You won’t be the first to visit Trento. The Catholic elite convened here in the 16th century for the famous Council of Trent. But you’ll find your own hidden treasures if you take the time to wander along Trento’s cobblestone streets and relax in its Piazza Duomo.

Be sure to sample Trento’s unique food culture with elements from both Italy and Austria. You’ll do a double-take when you walk into one of Trento’s German-style beer halls but that won’t stop you from enjoying a pint or two before your pasta dinner.

Check Trento Hotel Rates ➜

Trento Food Guide

Canederli at Forsterbrau in Trento Italy(1)

This plate of Canederli filled with cured and smoked Speck was utterly of place and tasted great.

Trento has a large number of restaurants considering its relatively small population of just over 100,000 people. Many of these restaurants serve simple, hearty Italian and Austrian food favorites for tourists who want to eat a meal or two as they breeze through town. But where are the best places to eat in Trento?

Read on – we’ve got you covered with some solid dining options.

Trento Restaurants

Pizza at Pizzeria al Duomo in Trento Italy

We ate more than just canederli in Trento. Trento is in Italy after all. We ate this Trentina pizza at Pizzeria Ristorante Duomo.

We tried a sampling of the best restaurants in Trento during our visit, making sure to order as much local food as possible. However, since we were in Italy, pizza had to happen at least once. Disclosure – we ate pizza three separate times in Trento.

But we didn’t just eat pizza in Trento. We also sampled local favorites like canederli (dumplings), carne salada (salted meat) and risotto.

The following Trento restaurants were our favorites:

Forsterbräu

Pretzel at Forsterbrau Trento in Trento Italy

Forsterbräu bakes their bretzels from scratch and serves them with mustard.

The concept of eating Austrian food in Italy seems counterintuitive except in Trento. But that’s what you’ll eat (with a slight Italian twist) at Forsterbräu, a local restaurant that’s been brewing beer and serving food since 1906.

Sure, Forsterbräu’s menu features pasta and risotto, but those dishes are available everywhere in Trento. This is a restaurant where eating dishes like schnitzel, bratwurst and canederli is the thing to do.

Canederli at Forsterbrau in Trento Italy

Forsterbräu’s canederli blends traditional Austrian cuisine and Italian products into one tasty ball.

Forsterbräu serves all manner of canederli, a Northern Italian variation on knödel, Austria’s ubiquitous bread dumplings. The historic restaurant even offers spinach canederli for vegetarian diners. Since we’re the opposite of vegetarian, we shared a plate of canederli made with sausage, cheese and speck, the region’s famous cured and smoked variation of prosciutto.

Swimming in a pool of melted butter and sage, these dumplings were the ultimate comfort food – more appropriate after an energetic day in the mountains than during a relaxing a day at the beach. As an option, Forsterbräu also serves these bready flavor bombs in Italian meat broth or brodo, a traditional preparation in the Trentino region.

Bratwurst at Forsterbrau Trento in Trento Italy

We didn’t expect to eat bratwurst in Trento but how could we resist these homemade Meraner links? The best part was the trio of farmhouse, fig and sweet (honey) mustards.

At first glance, Forsterbräu looks touristic. Once you order a fresh beer, chew into a bready canederli and bite into a salty bretzel, you won’t care.

Pro Tip: Buy a jar of mustard to enjoy later. It’s the real deal.

Forsterbräu is located at Via Paolo Oss-Mazzurana, 38, 38122 Trento TN, Italy.

Locanda Le Due Travi

Locanda Le Due Travi in Trento Italy

Locanda Le Due Travi is a great restaurant in Trento. The owners also operate an inn above the dining room.

Named after the Travaglia family, Locanda Le Due Travi is a comfortable Trento restaurant that serves a mix of local Trentino cuisine and Mediterranean tapas dishes. The menu changes regularly, allowing the chefs to take advantage of seasonal food available in the area.

Potato Pancake at Locanda Le Due Travi in Trento Italy

Generously topped with local cured beef called Carne Salada, this Tortel di Patate was similar to what we call Potato Latkes. Adding minerally, flavorful raw meat proved to be a unique way to eat potato pancakes.

First up during our meal was Tortel de Patate (potato pancakes) with Carne Salada (raw cured beef). A typical combination in Trentino, this dish pairs salty beef with crispy, fried potatoes.

As kids, we topped potato Latkes with apple sauce and sour cream. With mineral beefy flavors that contrast well with starchy, crunchy potatoes, this sophisticated pairing is more for grownups.

Risotto at Locanda Le Due Travi in Trento Italy

When in Trento expect to eat dishes like Risotto filled with local apples and Casolét cheese.

Continuing our exploration of local Trento cuisine, we moved on to risotto made with local apples and creamy Casolét cheese. Adding apples to risotto is common in Trento since nearby Val di Non produces some of the best apples in all of Europe.

Lush Casolét cheese, from the mountainous Peio Valley, is also local to Trentino. Mixing sweet fruit and local cheeses into risotto is obviously a thing in the Trentino region. It’s almost like combining pears and brie in a sandwich or adding raisins to a tagine.

Pro Tip: Buy an edible souvenir at La Dispensa, the restaurant’s on-site gourmet shop. Options include wine, olive oil, cheese and pasta.

Locanda Le Due Travi Trento is located at Via del Suffragio, 20, Via Torre Verde, 66, 38122 Trento TN, Italy.

Pizzeria Ristorante Duomo

Pizza Strudel at Pizzeria al Duomo in Trento Italy

This Gran Strudel reminded us more of stromboli than the Austrian dessert. In fact, there was nothing sweet about this rectangular pie topped with cheese, tomatoes and prosciutto.

Without enough time to linger over a proper meal at recommended Osteria a le Due Spade, we headed down the block to Pizzeria Ristorante Duomo in search of a speedy lunch. After snagging an outdoor table, we quickly ate dishes like Apple Gorgonzola Risotto and Dumpling Souufflé.

Risotto at Pizzeria al Duomo in Trento Italy

Keeping it local, this Risotto included apple chunks as well as a healthy dose of pungent gorgonzola cheese

Curious to sample the restaurant’s pizza, we returned for a second lunch. This Trentino restaurant uses local products like Luganega salami and locally cured and smoked speck in pizzas like the Trentina pizza pictured above.

However, the Gran Strudel with tomato, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, raw cured ham and Trentingrana cheese may be the most interesting ‘pizza’ on the menu. More similar to stromboli than pizza, this doughy dish was a meal on a plate.

Pro Tip: Eat at Pizzeria Ristorante Duomo if you’re looking for a meal that’s both quick and enjoyable.

Pizzeria Ristorante Duomo is located at Via Giuseppe Verdi, 77, 38122 Trento TN, Italy.

Ristorante e Pizza Antico Pozzo

Pizza at Ristorante e Pizza Antico Pozzo in Trento Italy

The Antico Pozzo pizza pulls the stops with generous amounts of organic tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, prosciutto cotto, mushrooms, peppers, hot salami, egg and grana cheese.

We joined friends for a late lunch (or was it an early dinner?) at Antico Pozzo, a restaurant conveniently located on a secluded alley right near our hotel. The restaurant’s name literally translates to ancient well in tribute to the building’s centuries-old well.

As it turns out, this Trento restaurant is an ideal spot for a group of friends to enjoy the better things in life, i.e. pizza, pasta, wine and beer. Antico Pozzo’s menu has additional local food like carne salada and polenta for those looking for a multi-course dining experience.

Pasta at Ristorante e Pizza Antico Pozzo in Trento Italy

This homemade pappardelle was smothered in duck ragu and spring vegetables.

We stuck to pizza and pasta during our meal. Both were generously sized and big enough to share. We especially liked the soft cooked egg atop the Antico Pozzo pizza and the pappardelle with a rustic, homestyle ‘ragu’ featuring large chunks of carrot and sausage that tasted like it was made by an Italstrian grandma.

Overall, we found Antico Pozzo well-equipped for large groups thanks to its grand space and varied menu. Why not give it a try?

Pro Tip: Satisfy your late-night cravings at Antico Pozzo. This Trento restaurant stays open until midnight.

Ristorante e Pizza Antico Pozzo is located at Vicolo della Sat, 6, 38100 Trento TN, Italy.

Ristorante Patelli

Pasta at Patelli in Trento Italy

Bologna isn’t the only Italian city that excels at fresh pasta. We ate this plate of burrata-stuffed tortelli at Ristorante Patelli in Trento.

Open since 1990 in the center of Trento, Ristorante Patelli is a great spot to try Trento food favorites like spaetzle, canederli, pasta and risotto.

Our plate of Risotto al Tereoldego reminded us of the many plates of Risotto all’ Amarone we ate in Verona, but this local version incorporated Trentino’s signature DOC red wine, Grana Trentino cheese and Trentino Garda olive oil. Less intensely flavored than its Verona cousin, this dish nicely melds Trentino’s local ingredients into one tasty dish.

Pro Tip: Dine al fresco if the weather is pleasant.

Ristorante Patelli is located at Via Dietro le Mura B, A, 9, 38122 Trento TN, Italy.

Green Tower Ristorante Pizzeria

Speck Pizza at Green Tower in Trento Italy

We ate as much speck as possible in Trento since the cured, smoked meat is local to Alto Adige in Northern Italy. A highlight was this speck-topped pizza at Green Tower Ristorante Pizzeria.

Green Tower stands out in our minds as our introduction to the Trento restaurant scene and local Trentino cuisine. We literally met friends for lunch at the popular spot just hours after dropping off our luggage at our hotel.

Though we enjoyed our pizza, the standout dish was risotto with Vialone Nano rice, pears, Roquefort cheese and crispy speck. Far from our last pizza or risotto in Trento, these dishes provided a gateway to this new-to-us part of Italy.

Pro Tip: Wash your meal down with Trento DOC wine. Green Tower has an extensive wine menu featuring various local varietals as well as quaffable bottles from other parts of Italy.

Green Tower Ristorante Pizzeria is located at Via Torre Verde, 29, 38122 Trento TN, Italy.

Check Trento Hotel Rates ➜

Dessert

Pastry at Casa del Cioccolato in Trento Italy

We ate this small but mighty cassata at Casa del Cioccolato. The Trento pastry shop sells an excellent version of the Sicilian dessert classic.

Eating so much pasta and pizza presents a challenge – leaving room for dessert. Though we often failed at this challenge in Trento due to full bellies and expanding waistlines, we made sure to sample various local sweet treats.

This is an Italian city where apple strudel and Sacher tortes are as easy to find as gelato. Based on our tireless research, these are our favorite Trento desserts:

Gelato

Gelato at Gelateria Cherry in Trento Italy

Three scoops of gelato are better than one at Gelateria Cherry in Trento. Pictured here are cups of Monalisa, Cherry Fondant and Mint Licorice gelato.

Trento’s Gelateria Cherry serves an incredibly creamy product that compares favorably to the best gelato we’ve eaten in Italy. To be sure, we taste-tested several flavors including Amarena, Pistachio and Stracciatella.

We shared a cone stacked high with scoops of Cherry Fondant (Cherry’s sensational version of dark chocolate) and Monalisa gelato during our first visit.

Dark and rich, the fondant scoop was one of the best chocolate gelatos we’ve ever licked into oblivion. Just as tasty, the Monalisa scoop blended yogurt with marzipan and orange to create a luxurious flavor sensation rivaling the best gelatos in Bologna and other Italian cities.

Despite the gelateria’s numerous options, we ordered the same flavors during our second visit, a decision for which we have no regrets. Why mess with success when it comes to gelato?!

Pro Tip: Don’t feel left out if you have dietary restrictions Gelateria Cherry has lactose-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan flavors.

Gelateria Cherry is located at Via Paolo Oss-Mazzurana, 41, 38100 Trento TN, Italy. Their original location is in Revoreto.

Pastries

Sacher Torte at Casa del Cioccolato in Trento Italy

Eating a Sacher Torte makes perfect sense in Trento – especially when you eat it at Casa del Cioccolato.

Making Trento sweeter since the 1960’s, Casa del Cioccolato is more than your typical Italian pasticceria. This Trento chocolate shop serves a wide selection of Austrian and Italian delicacies, with many Sicilian favorites in the mix.

We were initially perplexed by the shop’s authentic cassatas and cannolis despite the vast distance between Trento and Sicily. Seriously, they’re at opposite ends of the boot. However, we later learned that Casa del Cioccolato’s owner hails from Sicily.

Pro Tip: Stop by for a pastry and coffee when you’re touring Trento. The sugar and caffeine will give you a necessary energy boost so you can see all the sites.

Casa del Cioccolato is located at Via Rodolfo Belenzani, 21, 38122 Trento TN, Italy.

Check Trento Hotel Rates ➜

Drinks

Cappuccino at Panificio Moderno in Trento Italy

Dreams do come true! We found excellent specialty coffee in Trento.

Whether you’re looking for a coffee to start your day or drinks to accompany your late afternoon aperitivo session, Trento has excellent drink options to satisfy thirsty visitors. We recommend the following spots when you want to whet your whistle in Trento:

Specialty Coffee

Panificio Moderno Baristas in Trento Italy

Baristas Stefano Nardon and Natalia Popov smile as they serve Trento’s best specialty coffee.

Specialty coffee is our blessing and our curse. We love the stuff so much that we often have difficulty enjoying mainstream coffee shops. This is especially a problem in Italy where third wave coffee is still a bit of a unicorn concept.

In dire need of a good cup of coffee after a week drinking over-roasted coffee in Verona, we were guardedly optimistic to give Panificio Moderno a try. Our advance reconnaissance indicated that the modern bakery serves specialty coffee in addition to freshly baked breads, pizzas and pastries. But we’ve been disappointed before.

We’re pleased to report that Panificio Moderno exceeded our expectations. Not only does the cafe serve excellent specialty coffee, but it also has free Wi-Fi and comfortable seating. Needless to say, this cafe quickly became our happy place in Trento.

Pro Tip: Not a coffee fan? You can drink wine or beer at Panificio Moderno instead.

Panificio Moderno is located at Piazza Lodron, 21, 38122 Trento TN, Italy.

Trentodoc

Trentodoc

Drink Trentodoc as often as possible when you visit Trento. It’s that good.

Trentodoc is serious. We’ve imbibed great sparklers in Spain, France and even Southern England. With subtle, mouth-tingling bubbles, a funky nose that almost reminded us of reblochon cheese and a subtle, dry finish, this Northern Italian appellation is not to be missed.

Using the same classic method as Champagne, Trentino wineries like Altemasi, Ferrari, Maso Miri and Rotari produce Trentodoc with just four grapes – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Meunier and Pinot Blanc. In fact, DOC regulations stipulate the use of these grapes only.

Why is Trentodoc so good? It probably has something to do with the area’s mountain terrain and a climate that’s not so different from France’s Champagne. Regardless of the reason, Trentodoc is our wine of choice in Trento.

Pro Tip: Order Maso Miri’s Trentodoc if you see it on a Trento menu. We couldn’t get enough of the stuff.

Trentodoc is located everywhere in Trento.

Craft Beer

Brewer at Birrificio Rethia in Trento Italy

When he’s not brewing craft beer, Birricio Rethia’s Luciano Faes enjoys drinking the brewery’s liquid gold.

While Trentodoc is arguably the best wine to drink in Trento, Rethia holds a similar status in regards to craft beer. Just a 15-minute drive from the city center, this craft brewery has been producing quality ales since 2014.

Head brewer Luciano Faes guided us around the Italian craft beer facility before leading us through a tasting. Under his tutelage, we tried six beers – Magnolia, Lisep, Mariamata, Jet Lag, Guna and Wild Side.

All were excellent but the Wild Side brew stood out for its unique flavor profile and 7% ABV. Considering Faes’ background as a winemaker and sommelier, this sour beer made with locally grown Sauvignon grapes makes perfect sense.

Pro Tip: Contact Rethia in advance to schedule a brewery visit. You can taste beer and buy bottles after you finish your tour.

Birrificio Rethia is located at Via ai Fossadi, 21, 38096 Vallelaghi TN, Italy.

Brewpub

Birreria Padavena in Trento Italy

Beer and pizza live in harmony at Antico Bierreria Padavena in Trento.

Antica Birreria Pedavena is the kind of beer hall we’d expect to find in Germany. Despite the geographical surprise, this Trento pub brews its own beers and serves them in a cavernous space filled with large tables of festive drinkers.

Dating back to 1921, the ‘antique’ brewery offers a range of local food specialties as well as dozens of pizza options. Beer, comfort food and pizza – what else do you need at a brewpub?

Pro Tip: Try a seasonal beer if you want something other than standard brews like lager and weizen.

Antica Birreria Pedavena is located at Piazza di Fiera, 13, 38122 Trento TN, Italy.


Hungry for more? Check out our comprehensive food guides for Bologna and Verona.


Book a Hotel Room

Lobby at Grand Hotel in Trento Italy

The Grand Hotel’s lobby manages to be simultaneously stylish and comfortable.

We enjoyed our stay at the Grand Hotel Trento. Not only does this hotel have a prime location across from Piazza Dante, but it’s also accessible to the city’s train station and the best Trento sites.

Hotel services include 24/7 desk reception, free Wi-Fi and daily breakfast. We especially enjoyed the hotel’s morning buffet with items like local meat, cheese and pastries.

Room at Grand Hotel Trento in Trento Italy

Green was the new black in our Grand Hotel room in Trento.

Our comfortable Trento hotel room featured a large window with a mountain view. Other highlights were a comfortable bed, effective shower and mini-fridge for chilling water and the occasional bottle of Trentodoc.

Pro Tip: Click here to search for the best rates at this recommended hotel.

Grand Hotel Trento is located at Piazza Dante, 20, 38122 Trento TN, Italy.

Book a Tour

Mountain View in Trento Italy

Take time to visit the sites in Trento. We shot this scenic photo while touring the city’s Buonconsiglio Castle Museum.

There’s more to do in Trento than eating great food. Start your exploration by securing a Trentino Guest Card. Then click here to book a two-hour guided walking tour of the city or consider booking a tour outside the city:

Buy a Travel Guide

Pin It for Later

Trento Restaurants Pin

We thank Visit Trentino and their partners for sponsoring our stay to facilitate our participation in the Traverse conference.

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About the Author

Saveur Magazine's BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Comments

  1. I was in Trento for Traverse too and I actually thought of you guys and wished you had a guide out already for places to eat!

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