I think I may be the first to actually write a review of this café, located in the center of Milan yet tucked away – a little secret that the patrons have held tight. I must admit that when I was a university student, I took only a lucky few of my fellow students to Bar Anny.
We actually never use the name ‘Bar Anny’ to refer to this restaurant. For us, it has always been ‘Da Damiano‘, because in addition to the amazing sandwiches it is to Damiano that you go. Damiano with his long mustache and glasses resting on his nose would have been loved by Pirandello. He seems like a modern Zi’ Dima (from the novella La Giara). He has this great ability to connect with all the people at the bar, between a sneer and a joke.
Who visits Bar Anny? Businessmen, office workers, university students, families (especially on weekends) and couples. The atmosphere seems to have remained intact from the 70s, a period when Marco, the owner, emigrated from Calabria, and decided to open the bar.
The dominant color is burgundy and the main material is wood. If you are looking for a fancy modern bar to spice up your Instagram feed, this is not it. But if you are like me, looking for those increasingly rare authentic places where you can sit and talk for hours with friends, where it’s possible to talk to your neighboring table, then venture out in this alle near Sant Ambrogio.
The prices of the sandwiches are more than fair, and you can also choose to have them as a focaccia. The options are many and the combinations (which are sometimes risky) never disappoint. The only problem is that you might not be able to stop yourself ordering seconds. My favorite sandwiches are the Quattro Formaggi, the Spcial, the Neruda and the Dorringo – but its best to just try and discover.
In addition to the sandwiches, Bar Anny also offers salads and other different dishes. After satisfying your palate, you must have one of the great coffees here. Bar Anny is definitely one of the places that always touches my heart. When I told Damiano I would write an article about the restaurant, he just smiled and said, “Just don’t talk about me”.
Try to keep the secret to yourself.