I think Turin was the first city where the Aperi culture was so prominent as almost every caffè offered an Aperi option. If you haven’t yet heard about the Italian Aperi then it is a wonderful thing. In its essence, it is a term that refers to the free buffet of appetizers that cafes offer in the early evening which you have access to with the purchase of an alcoholic beverage. They begin at different times depending on the café with most starting at 6 pm though some others begin at 5 and some even 7 so it’s good to wander past throughout your day or do your research and find out. Also sometimes known as Apericena due to the later times that some begin. For more info, check out A guide to Turin’s best Aperitivo bars from The Guardian.
This was our favorite caffè for Aperi, not because of the food but for the amazing classic space and history. Its location on the trendy Via Po makes it ideal for a stop after a day of exploring the center of Turin. We actually started here then made our way down the street to the next Aperi.
Caffè Università (Trip Advisor)
Università is a few doors down from Fiorio and has a more casual atmosphere and a better selection of appetizers. I loved all the images on the walls with famous people and their favorite drinks. This Aperi is definitely one you can substitute in for dinner (or a late lunch).
This spot seems more like a university student hang out but it was close to our AirBnB and when we looked up nearby Aperi it was one of the top recommendations so we gave it a go. The Aperi was really good with rotating items and we ordered some Negroni Sbagliato’s that were delicious.
Caffè Torino opened way back in 1903 and with its location in the middle of Piazza San Carlo the café has seen a lot of history pass it by. Thankfully, they renovated in 1998 and the café is back to its former glory and is a wonderful place to sit back and people watch from the seating in the Piazza. Their Aperi was really great and starts at 6 pm if you really want to make the most of it.
We typically skipped around to a few of the aforementioned Aperi (Apericena) throughout the evenings so the main meal for us in Turin (Torino) was lunch. This was a great way to keep our daily spend down while still enjoying the city to it’s fullest, especially the delicious food.
One of the more famous restaurants in Turin is Tre Galline, and I am sure it’s rendition of Torinese cuisine is fantastic, however, it is a dinner location that was a little out of our budget. Luckily there is a more affordable option for us just around the corner called Tre Galli, which offers a superb lunch in a great atmosphere with a nicer price tag. The food here was absolutely mouthwatering; we ordered the 2 dishes that were recommended by our waiter and shared them over a couple of glasses of wine. How else would you want to spend your afternoon?
Galleria Umberto I is such a beautiful arcade to walk through during the day and the surrounding area is a great place to spend some time just exploring. Litro Galleria is one of the venues you will find inside the wonderful building and is definitely worth at least an hour, though I’m sure we were here substantially longer. Luckily this spot can be a great place to get lunch or just something to drink. The food here is very traditional and is prepared by a local butcher who really knows what he’s doing. Of course, the drawcard is the wine on tap, which is both delicious and really cheap. We also grabbed some bottles to-go as they were something like $4 or $5 each and we gave one to our AirBnB host and drank the other.
Sapori (Via S. Tommaso, 12, 10122 Torino TO, Italy)
I have included the address to Sapori as I couldn’t find this little fresh pasta shop anywhere online, which to me, indicates that it is a true gem. This little restaurant only seats 8 people as it is primarily a shop for locals to come and get fresh pasta to go but we decided we wanted to sit down and have it right there. We ended up sharing our table (there are 2 tables that seat 4 people) with a nice Italian couple and had a great afternoon enjoying wine and pasta. I recommend getting 3 plates here, as they are not large portions, and they are really delicious.
I Tartufi is one of the best places in Turin to try out some delicious Italian dishes prepared with truffles and we just had to check it out. Actually, this was our first meal after we arrived, because Natalie was obsessed. They do daily lunch specials where they prepare one of their dishes with an assortment of different accompaniments. This was delicious but they are better known for their risotto so we split both options and were really happy. This place is open for dinner also.
This place is pretty awesome and also completely unassuming, at least it was to us. We entered looking for a nice bottle of wine to take home for the evening and once we were inside we heard a bit of noise coming from the back, so of course, we had to investigate. Once we stumbled into the restaurant we were sucked in and had to sit down at the bar and enjoy our wine there instead of taking it home. Unfortunately, we had already eaten before finding this gem because the food coming out looked absolutely delicious. Their wine list at the bar is mostly by the glass but our server told us to pick any bottle in the shop and he could serve it to us there so we found some delicious bubbles and let the evening roll on.
Coffee and Cocktails:
Turin isn’t a place that is saturated with cocktail culture but there are some great places if you want to go looking for them. I know it’s not like us but we didn’t do a lot of drinking in Turin unless it was a cocktail or glass of wine with our dinner or for Aperi.
This was the one bar we did make an effort to visit as we are always intrigued to see different speakeasies around the globe. Mad Dog was a lot of fun, the staff were really friendly and spoke excellent English, which really helps. The regular cocktail menu was delicious, but I highly recommend checking out the barrel-aged cocktail list that boasts 30 different options all tapped straight from full-size barrels.
Cafeteria Vermoutheria Barolino Cocchi (Facebook)
While exploring the area around Tre Galli we stumbled across a small door with flags on either side signifying Cocchi Vermouths so we wanted to check out what was going on. We are glad we did because they not only have coffee for 1 euro but they do a vermouth service with different cocktails for $5 each. If I lived in Turin you would find me here very often.
On our first morning in Turin we went searching for coffee, as we do in every city, and as we were about to give up we came across Orso Laboratorio right on the edge of town. I don’t know what it is but sometimes the best coffee is in the most unexpected places. The staff here were amazing, and the coffee was somehow even better! We ended up here every morning before we set out to explore Turin because it is by far the best coffee in Turin.