Address: Via Savona, 101, 20144 Milano MI
Milan has been, for the longest time, one of the most significant and influential cities in all of Europe. As a design capital of the world, fashion is a big part of this Italian state, situated in the Lombardy region. Its label as the primary financial hub of Italy gives it an air of money and economic importance.
Culturally, the presence of the Duomo and Da Vinci's The Last Supper makes it a prominent sight in the art and architectural circles. However, like any other place in Italy, Milan has a strong culinary culture, and its cafe scene is second to none.
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There are a few bookshop-cafes in Milan, but Gogol and Company take the cake for being the most happening and eventful one. The atmosphere inside is bookish in every sense, with the cafe being an integral part of the bookshop experience and not the other way around.
The menu here is typical cafe-like with cheese boards, bagels, sandwiches, and coffee, tempting guests to stick around for a little longer. A selection of beers and cocktails further gives the cafe a classy vibe. It is the idyllic place to spend an entire day reading the latest bestseller while sipping on wine. However, it is the variety of events that Gogol and Company host, from wine tastings to jazz evenings, that makes it a must-visit cafe in Milan.
Address: Via Savona, 101, 20144 Milano MI
A bike-themed cafe that encourages its customers to mingle while sitting on large community tables, Upcycle, is amongst the best places in Milan to grab an espresso or a refreshing aperitif. Inside, there is an industrial meets vintage vibe that reflects through the furniture and fittings, giving the decor a distinct appeal.
The coffee shop hosts several bike-related events weekly, which are especially popular with the local biking community. The food here features North European classics, served throughout the day, in a pleasant and warm environment. A few of the must-try items on the menu are meatballs, a variety of smørrebrøds, soups, and the veggie and cheesy burger.
Address: Via Andrea Maria Ampère, 59, 20131 Milano MI
StrEat might be a bit unconventional when it comes to picking a cafe in Milan, but that is precisely why it needs a mention. The bare-brick walls, tight space, almost forcing you to chat with the stranger next to you, and the funky art has the makings of a hipster cafe, which StrEat is surprisingly not.
It's more a neighborhood burger joint where you can come in at any time and dig into a comforting cake, drink up a cappuccino, devour a juicy burger, or relish a well-prepared sandwich. While you can pick any of the burgers on the menu, all of which are tasty, don't miss out on their homemade fries. The best way to end any meal at StrEat is by washing it down with a bottle of chilled beer.
Address: Via Sebastiano del Piombo 12, 20149 Milan, Italy
In a country that is exceptionally proud of its gastronomic heritage, Milan seems to be one of the few cities where you'll likely find an abundance of international eating options. Fancytoast, for example, is all about "Californian open toasts," pancakes, and that all-American breakfast experience you’ll hardly ever find in Europe, unless visiting a run-of-the-mill fast-food chain.
The interiors of Fanytoast aren't anything to write home about. It's pretty standard with the occasional furniture piece standing out for its appearance or vintage appeal. The food, though, is healthy, fresh, and colorful. Equally popular with the local crowd and tourists, stick with their open toasts that come with toppings like crispy bacon, fried egg, beetroot hummus, and pulled pork for a satisfying meal.
Address: Via Vittor Pisani, 13, 20124 Milano MI
The cat-cafe craze seems to have finally hit Milan, with what is the first of its kind in the region. Situated near the central station, the cafe adopted nine cats from a shelter, who now have a permanent home in the establishment. Customers visiting Crazy Cat Cafe can order a cup of coffee and play with the cats to their heart's content, provided the felines are in the mood.
Open from breakfast till late evening, the menu at the cafe has a variety of meaty and vegan options. Coffee aficionados can choose between a flavored filter coffee, a pumpkin spiced latte, or a hot mocha. For everyone else, there are infused teas, juice, and homemade hot chocolate. The food is limited but equally diverse with lasagne, vegetable bowls, and the must-have, seared octopus.
Address: Via Napo Torriani, 5, 20124 Milano MI
Pasticceria Cucchi is an old-world cafe in the heart of Milan that has been in existence since 1936. Known for serving a collection of freshly made cakes and pastries, it demands a visit both for its food and ambiance. Customers do pay a little extra to sit and enjoy their coffee in the restaurant, but it is worth the spend just to enjoy their offerings leisurely while watching the world go by.
Although there is an abundance of mouth-watering items on display in the glass cases, the one thing to definitely have here is the world-famous panettone. A 15th-century creation, panettone was first made in Milan, and Pasticceria Cucchi serves the very best version of the dry cake in the city.
Address: Corso Genova, 1, 20123 Milano MI
Situated near Cattolica university, Scriptorium is a favorite haunt of students living and studying in the area. The petite eatery has lots of books all around for customers to pick and read while they have their food. The interiors are divided into three parts. There is outside seating in the summertime, a small area on the first floor, and moderate space in the main room. Overall, it's still a homey coffee shop that serves delicious snacks, perfectly made drinks, and gelato when the weather is hot.
Address: Via Sant'Agnese, 12, 20123 Milano
Cafes in Milan, including the slightly quirky and hipster ones, have a ubiquitous finesse about them. As a result, they are great spaces to enjoy freshly baked goods and a warm cup of coffee, but are perfect for all occasions, be it a quick chat with a friend, a romantic date, or a family brunch.