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“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. As we are reminded by our doctor, nutritionist, mother, grandmother, TV commercials, and even by the package of biscuits we buy – the same ones we fix in the morning with a lost look as we reflect on how to tackle yet another week of work.
It is still unclear whether it is more like an axiom, a warning, a council, a mantra, a veiled moral order or all things together. The fact is that this kind of nursery rhyme, a little lame without any rhymes, persecutes us nicely from nighttime, and is as redundant in life as the sound of church bells on Sundays.
Whether you come from the north, the south, the east or the west, nothing changes: the ritual of breakfast is well shared at any latitude-longitude, albeit with different nuances. There are those who prefer it sweet, savoury, or who never speak of eating and prefer an espresso on the fly. No matter what your “party” is, in this ranking there is something for everyone. Places that, although different, are united by the same denominator: quality at all costs.
So here are our 15 favorite places for breakfast in Milan. Enjoy!
Corso Genova, 1
Established in 1936, declared a historical shop of Italy, this kingdom of sweets has filled the Ticinese district with delights for almost a century. A location that calls to mind a fascination of vintage films and has seen three generations pass through for a total of many hands, ideas, and creations that followed over time. At Cucchi Pastry Shop, also famous for the panettone (available all year) and the dove, you can discover the real treasures of pastry: from bignolata to El Meneghin, passing through great classics like Amor Polenta, Pan Meino and brioche. Take a moment to rediscover the little things. Cucchi pastry is perfect stop for a coffee and croissant at the counter during the week and also to enjoy a prolonged breakfast at one of the tables on the pretty terrace. Here you can watch as people come and go listenging to the hustle and bustle of your own thoughts.
Corso Matteotti, 7
The Sant’Ambroeus confectionery is set like a jewel in a picturesque palace in the center of Milan. If you want to start your morning with good energy before entering the office for work or starting your shopping trip in the Fashion District, inevitably you must stop here. The atmosphere is cozy and refined and envelops you in a warm embrace, while the sweets and the scent of coffee entice your palate. Everyday you can indulge yourself, choosing from a wide selection of sweets – rigorously handmade – such as fruit tarts, cannoncini, mignon, pralines, brioche, or, alternatively, some cake. Simplicity, passion and refinement are the ingredients that Sant’Ambroeus has used since 1936.
Via Santa Maria alla Porta, 11/A
Via Monte Napoleone, 9
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The entrance and the sign are unmistakable. The Marchesi pastry shop seems to have been born together with the first Celtic settlement that would then lead to the foundation of Milan. Established in 1824, in an elegant 18th century building. The brand is currently part of the Prada Group and if the touch of Miuccia in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele shop is a bit ‘felt, that of Via Santa Maria alla Porta still fully embodies the old spirit of the capital of Milan, remaining immune to fads and maintaining its original atmosphere. Here, more than ever, a story is told through recipes only known through tradition and family secrets. A breakfast by Marchesi is a must in order to discover the charm of this timeless place.
Via Montenapoleone, 8
Antonio Cova opened his Café in 1817, right next to the Teatro alla Scala, and its rooms immediately became a meeting place for the beautiful world of time, filling daily with a patriotic spirit and anti-Austrian fervor. Destroyed during the bombings of the Second World War, it reopened in Via Montenapoleone, and the Pasticceria Cova hasn’t moved since. Now part of the LVMH Group, the brand boasts offices scattered in various countries and an unstoppable reputation. While immersed in a unique atmosphere, the selection of a creamy espresso, fruit special, selected Arabian blends, accompanied by a soft brioche, or a spicy, exotic tea with some pastries is the perfect way to start the day.
Piazza Risorgimento, 6
The Queen of Piazza Risorgimento is the pastry shop Sissi. Small, intimate with the color pink dominating a few wooden tables,an external pergola and furniture provided by a well-known bohemian. Sissi is known and appreciated throughout Milan for its croissants prepared by expert hands in the adjoining bakery, both desserts sweet and salty, are an explosion of taste to be enjoyed while breathing in the fairytale air. Other specialties include pralines, Babacar cake, baked pies, strudel, pastiere and cassate.
Piazzale di Porta Lodovica, 2
Croissants and pastries from Gattullo have an almost poetic flavor. The pastry shop, which for more than fifty years has been located at Piazzale di Porta Lodovica, is another historical place in the city, frequented by students who are looking for a moment of pause and pleasure. From decade to decade, it has pushed more and more towards avant-garde fields – without ever forgetting tradition. Recently, with a new specialization in cake design and even more creative packaging. The mix of craftsmanship and imagination is manifested by Gattullo in the form of colorful delicacies: pies, chocolates, cakes, mignon, sweet and savory pastries and brioche. Elegance and quality are the hallmarks of this place, where one always feels at home.
Via Carlo Tenca, 5
The floor is decorated with majolica, succulent plants and prickly pears scattered here and there, wrought iron tables and chairs, wallpaper and light bulbs hanging from the ceiling, pleasantly illuminating the entire room. Gelsomina, despite having been inaugurated not long ago in the Repubblica area, definitely deserves a mention in this ranking studded with the “colossi” of sweets. A pretty pastry shop; a real refuge for those who want to escape the frenzy and the metropolitan chaos, relaxing between the poetry of a welcoming environment and good food of the South. Brioches, cassata and maritozzi are just some of the specialties that are served in porcelain dishes, alluding to delicate motifs reminiscent of those “belonging to grandma.”
Via Felice Casati, 27
At Pavé you are greeted by the aromas of an on sight bakery and a retro atmosphere, made lively from the background music. The living room of Porta Venezia is, in fact, almost branded in fire by a vintage style that manifests itself in the form of furniture and solid wood, recalling the nostalgia of times gone by. Forget for a moment the frantic urban rhythms and relax. Your only problem is having to choose among the wide selection of desserts displayed at the counter, which will you choose to accompany one of the best cappuccinos in Milan. It is lost in classic and special brioches (with revised dough), bundles, fresh pastries and baked goods all prepared using ancient mother yeast.
Via Guglielmo Marconi, 4
The ideal breakfast near the Duomo can only be Iginio Massari, the Master of Italian Pasticcieri Masters, a winner of 64 of over 300 competitions, national and international prizes and awards. Only open for less than a year, he has struck the Milanese capital with sweetness and skillful craftsmanship creating pastries with irresistible taste and beauty. Once inside, your eyes are captivated by the colors and shapes that the central counter holds behind a glass case, as if it were a real display of jewels. The single-portion cakes, pastries and macarons are a perfect (in every sense) to the day.
Via Cagliero, 14
Via Sarpi, 62
Piazza Agostino, 7
Martesana Milano, led by Vincenzo Santoro and represented by the pastry chef Alessandro Comaschi, is a pastry shop whose history began in 1966 and over time, has established itself among the most appreciated in Italy and abroad. The products are fresh, quality and do not hide a lively creativity at the base with refined attention to aesthetic detail. Breakfast here is a sacred moment, every day you can indulge in croissants, krapfen, girelle and kipfer, served with an espresso or a fruit juice. Lovers of simplicity can opt for the “Gli Amici” biscuits, without butter and in four variants (cafferino, cioccolino, nocciolino and citrus), which evoke childhood memories.
Via Turati, 30
Biancolatte is one of those places so full of sweet and savory treats that you want to taste everything. Halfway between a French bistro, an American-style Manhattan chain and Grandma’s cooking. In the morning you will find muffins, homemade cakes, freshly baked croissants, biscuits kneaded in front of your eyes, homemade bread to be with butter and jam (produced by Biancolatte), and fruit salad with fresh seasonal fruit and yogurt to be accompanied with orange juice – which is always a must. On the weekend you can also enjoy brunch, comfortably seated in the inner room with a magical atmosphere: take note and mark crepes and cheesecake on your list of things to try.
Via Archimede, 59
Marotin is a piece of Paris materialized in a corner of Milan; a pastry-cafe with riveting combinations of butter, sugar and colors. The showcases and shop windows are filled with sweet treasures, ranging from plain croissants or those filled with cream prepared on site, to pastries, and cold pies (simple and multi-tiered). Once in front Marotin you can drown your worries, anxieties and stress in creamy cappuccinos or hot chocolates, garnished with cream, cinnamon and chilli powder; all while sitting comfortably around marble tables in iron chairs. Despite its popularity among the fanatics of delicious breakfasts, Marotin retains its vintage and collected atmosphere.
Via Broletto, 26
Local comfort sweets, surrounded and protected by the palaces of the historic city center. Baunilla (from the Portuguese, literally vanilla – as you can guess) is the result between the passion for pastry and it’s owner love for the design. The young pastry chef Barbara Vidal, with this eccentric bakery, wanted to tell her Brazilian origins by mixing them with Italian spirit, establishing the link between different traditions and flavors in 50 square meters of papaya color and taste. Its sweetness, therefore, is a feast of mixed smells and tastes, as well as looking like small works of art. The single-portion cakes and the cannoncini filled with cream are noteworthy; the queen, however, is the Baunilla cake.
Via Uberto Visconti di Modrone, 2
Time flows and Milan changes, but Taleggia preserves its period charm. Born in 1909, the chic living room in the heart of the capital of Menghino is for the melancholy who want to take a break from the world that travels under the sign of speed and relive the past days. Elegant and welcoming, the pastry delight with mignon, fruit pies, pralines, kranz and delicacies to gianduia and its tea room is perfect for discovering the typical atmosphere of the 50s. Forget about phones, messages, emails, calls and work on your pc for a few moments. Take a break in a place that is teeming with history and traditions.
Via Vincenzo Monti, 26
The white signs in the elegant Via Vincenzo Monti are unmistakable. Reference point of Italian excellence in terms of sweets, the Sugar pastry shop is a volcano of delights that overflow from the counters, prepared by the skilled hands of the four pastry chefs, who use as their base for their creations their workshop of over 100 square meters. At number 26 you get lost among tasty brioche, small pastry and chocolate treats; but the cakes, then, divided into Cremose, Baked and Decorated, are the real protagonists of the place: made in various forms, sizes, tastes and patterns, strictly respecting the seasonality of some ingredients and raw materials. When its beautiful outside, take advantage of having breakfast in the charming outdoor terrace, enjoying the rays of the sun.