A Milan Travelogue of Coffee And Tasty Delights
Milan is a city bathing in coffee culture. It is home to some of the most famous brands in the world of coffee, including Gaggia, Rancilio, La Pavoni and others. It makes sense that the city is also famous for […]
Milan is a city bathing in coffee culture. It is home to some of the most famous brands in the world of coffee, including Gaggia, Rancilio, La Pavoni and others. It makes sense that the city is also famous for its cafes.
On my last visit, I had the fortune to visit a few standouts.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II 20121 Milan (MI)
First on the list is the historic Pasticceria Marchesi. Located in the heart of the city in the world famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (the world’s first enclosed mall!), this cafe and pastry shop has been serving up delectable pastries and coffee since 1824. It may not be a third wave coffee place, but it is still a must visit in this city.
Family owned and run for nearly 170 years, this venerable Milano institution was sold to the Prada Group about 7 years ago, and now has three locations in Milan. All three are fantastic, but you must visit the original location.
From beautifully crafted cakes and pastries to delicious chocolates and gelato, there’s something to suit every taste bud at Pasticceria Marchesi. Everything is hand crafted, from some of the best ingredients that can be bought.
The interior of the pastry shop is equally impressive, with its elegant decor and cozy seating areas offering the perfect spot to indulge in a latte and pastry or two. Marble and chandeliers surround you as you sip on your morning cappuccino or afternoon cafe correcto.
It is an experience, not to be missed.
Gogol and Company
Via Savona, 101, 20144 Milano MI
Gogol and Company in Milan is a total delight! The atmosphere in this place is so warm and inviting – it’s like a big, cozy hug from your favorite aunt.
You’re surrounded by books (it is a bookstore as well as a cafe) with ample cozy spots to sit, enjoy your espresso and read away the hours. My favorite is grabbing a corner spot up on the interior balcony, and watching all the book browsing going on.
The staff are friendly and helpful without being overbearing, which is a breath of fresh air. And the food – oh my goodness, the food! It’s like a party in your mouth with every bite.
The espresso is very good, even by Milan standards. Being also a restaurant, you can have full meals here and your choice of alcoholic beverages as well. Indeed, trying to choose just one dish to recommend is a true challenge – everything looks and smells amazing.
I think the reason I like this place so much is that it completely suits my wants and desires in a multipurpose cafe, and there’s absolutely nothing like it in my home town. Definitely worth a visit, you won’t be disappointed!
Via Giuseppe Broggi, 15, 20129 Milano MI
As soon as you step into Orsonero, you’ll be greeted by the incredible aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans. The baristas are true artists, serving up a variety of coffee beverages with expert precision. Whether you’re in the mood for an espresso, cappuccino or a latte, they’ve got you covered.
The espresso there was the best I had in the city. The cafe is run by a Canadian-Italian couple who take third wave coffee very seriously. The bar features a La Marzocco machine (there’s surprisingly few of them visible in Milan!) with big Mahlkonig EK43 grinders on the back bar for one of the few places in Milan you can get a quality pour over coffee as well.
But coffee isn’t the only star of the show at Orsonero, the pastries are equally delightful.I recommend their signature brioche filled with Nutella. Yum!
The cafe is beautifully designed, and is a bit different from what you’d expect an Italian cafe to look like: it could easily be plopped down in Amsterdam or Oslo and be right at home. It is small though, and the three times I went there, there was a lineup out the door.
In a city known for its coffee culture, Orsonero shines bright. So, next time you’re in Milan, make sure to add this cafe to your list. You won’t be disappointed.
Via Felice Casati 27, Milano, MI
Enter this place, and you’ve died and gone to pastry heaven. Sure, Pasticceria Marchesi is a historical must stop, but Pavé is your gastronomic one, and one that won’t break the bank like Marchesi might do.
You’ll love the warm and welcoming interior that sets the tone for a fantastic experience. Cozy, quaint, but somehow a bit modern and quirky too.
With a range of freshly made pastries, cakes, and sandwiches, there’s something for everyone, whether you prefer traditional Italian cornetti and croissants or savory vegetarian sandwiches.
Be sure to try their signature “pavè al cioccolato” – a chocolate muffin with a dark chocolate center that I simply couldn’t resist!
But let’s now talk about their coffee menu – you’ll find well-prepared modern Italian espresso and cappuccino that ranks among the top in the city. I’m not quite sure what they do to their cappuccinos, but it was easily one of the best I’ve ever had. Perhaps it is because I was enjoying their outdoor seating area, taking in the sights and sounds of Milan while eating their circus tent shaped lemon meringue bruciata.
Via Francesco Guicciardini, 3, Milano MI
I may have saved the best for last.
Loste Cafe in Milan competes with Orsornero as the best espresso service in the city. The cafe opened at the height of the COVID pandemic, saw its way through that, and now has become a bit of a insider’s gem in the city.
The interior is very Scandinavian influenced, which makes sense since the owners were inspired by cafes in Copenhagen. A La Marzocco Linea machine is front and center, paired with a La Marzocco grinder. They use coffee from Denmark as well, which perhaps is a no-no in Italy and Milan, but the locals sure don’t mind it. There’s even pour over available, off menu (a wink and a nudge will do it).
Walk in, and all the best smells hit you – freshly ground coffee, freshly baked bread, and freshly made pastries. It’s sensory overload for your nose.
The coffee menu is first rate, and they’ll even offer you plant-based cappuccinos and lattes. My favorite thing is they won’t bat an eye if you order one after noon. I had the oat milk cappuccino, and it was simply amazing.
The pastries are equally amazing and the owners would go into good detail about what makes them unique. Unfortunately, I lost my written notes for the pastry I did have; I just remember being in a chocolate sugar coma afterwards, it was so stunningly good.
They also serve an excellent breakfast and lunch menu; my travel partner went by early for breakfast early in our Milan visit, without me, and raved about both the quality of the food and the service. This cafe can get busy, but we made it our morning stop for espresso every day we were in Milan.
Natia loves coffee and relishes at the chance to write about it. She’s competed in regional barista competitions in the past, and while no longer a Barista as a profession, she says espresso runs through her veins.