Milan’s cafès are, quite rightly, ranked among the best in the world, and serve much more to their customers than just a caffeine fix. Coffee, which arrived in Italy in the 17th century, has become part of the country’s culture. The first coffee of the day is likely to be a speedy espresso alongside a pastry, but coffee shops are a cornerstone of Milanese society and throughout the day you will find locals lingering over a steaming brew, taking the time to relax, catch up with friends or indulge in a good book.
The options for enjoying fresh, tasty food while sipping are rich and varied. With indulgent breakfast options, both sweet and savoury, available in the morning and mouth-watering sandwiches and pasta dishes on the menu for lunch, there is never a wrong time of day to sit and enjoy Milan’s cafe culture.
Located in the Fondazione Prada art and culture complex, Bar Luce was designed by film director Wes Anderson. The striking interior design includes original architectural and decorative details such as a glass roof in the style of that of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. These traditional elements are creatively juxtaposed with colour-block seating and Formica tables. Anderson’s interior design is reminiscent of Italian popular culture and aesthetics from the 1950s and 1960s, echoing his earlier artistic work. Bar Luce, which offers an extensive sandwich menu, is not to be missed.
Bar Luce, Largo Isarco 2, 20139 Milan, +39 02 5666 2611
Founded in 1824 in the Corso Magenta neighbourhood, Marchesi is one of the oldest and finest pastry shops in Milan and has occupied the same location on Via Santa Maria alla Porta for almost 200 years. A new branch on Via Montenapoleone opened in September 2015, offering a larger, centrally located café, an expanded selection of the beautifully crafted pastries and chocolates that Pasticceria Marchesi is famed for, and new delicacies for the new venue. Bonbons and sugar-coated candies are beautifully displayed in glass cabinets on cherrywood counters typical of traditional Milanese interiors, in a nod to the existing historic location.
Pasticceria Marchesi, Via Montenapoleone 9, 20121 Milan, +39 02 7600 8238
10 Corso Como Cafè
This courtyard café is part of Carla Sozzani’s multifunctional arts complex 10 Corso Como. 10 Corso Como Café is hidden in a quiet courtyard, surrounded by lush greenery, and is a perfect place to relax and refuel during a day of shopping. It offers international and Italian cuisine, with seasonal products to suit all tastes served by friendly, attentive staff. Be sure to enjoy an espresso accompanied by beautifully decorated cookies to finish off your lunch.
10 Corso Como Café, Corso Como 10, 20154 Milan, +39 02 2901 3581
Taglio, small and informal, tucked away in the Navigli neighbourhood, is a hit with locals for its creative and inspiring menu based around fresh produce. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed; settle in at one of the small wooden tables to enjoy a charming Italian café experience. Staff are friendly, attentive and informative, and eager to share their knowledge of their food and processes. After enjoying your meal, you can also take away the delectable treats on offer, from preserves to pasta, as the café is a store as well as a place to eat.
Taglio, Via Vigevano 10, 20144 Milan, +39 02 3653 4294