In Italy, breakfast is not even remotely the most important meal of the day, but you can still eat well if you know the best breakfast places in Milan.
Most of the time, breakfast in Milan is a matter to be taken care of quickly: just a sip of Espresso coffee (remember, this is what you get when you order “un caffè” in Italy) and a “brioche” – yes, in Milan we use the French word for it, although it is more bread-like and less buttery than a proper French croissant. A “brioche” becomes a “cornetto” in Rome.
Most Milanese people have their breakfast while standing. Reason for this is that first, we are always hurrying and saying “I’m late” just like Alice in Wonderland’s white rabbit; second: we like our coffee hot and the shorter the way from the coffee machine to our extended arm, the better.
Let’s now take a look together at the best breakfast places in Milan for a quick morning stop or for a long, leisurely vacation day colazione. – Sara Porro
The unpretentious Marotin sounds French, but the name is actually the nickname of lovely Mariangela, owner and pastry chef. And one must admit it looks French as well – like the ideal corner spot in Paris.
The cappuccino is a personal favorite: foamy, rich but not overly so, served at the perfect temperature. Quick detour to help you recognize a proper cappuccino: Cappuccino does not *have* milk foam on top – Cappuccino *is* foam. If yours has milk foam on top and plain caffe latte underneath, it’s a no-no. The only milk to use is full-fat, fresh: the use of long shelf life milk will infuriate the moody and hyper caffeinated gods of cappuccino. Marotin also makes nice, crispy brioche, freshly squeezed orange juice, lovely pastafrolla biscuits. A cappuccino costs 1,40€.
Via Archimede 59; +39 02 7395 7790
Open daily from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm, only in the morning on Sunday
This delightful pasticceria is dolce (sweet) starting from the pastel rose of the walls and the cute lacy bonnets the ladies are wearing. Stopping there for breakfast on a Thursday morning – market day in the neighborhood – is a lovely way to start of the day. I always go for cappuccino and a huge bignè alla crema chantilly (beignet filled with 50% whipped cream, 50% vanilla custard), incredibly rich and satisfying.
Bear in mind that in Italy it is entirely common to pay differently for the same order based on whether you’re standing (or taking away) or sitting at a table, and taking a seat at Sissi is a particularly pricey privilege – we’re talking almost 10€ for a small breakfast.
Piazza Risorgimento 6; +39 (0)2 7601 4664
Wednesday-Saturday: 6.30am to 8.00pm
Closes at 12pm on Monday
Closed on Tuesday
Pavè, we said it before, is one of the best pastry shops in Milan. It is also one of the most pleasant places for the kind of weekend breakfast that starts with cappuccino and brioche – stuff your face with the apricot marmelade-filled 160, be prepared to spill some on your chin / clothes – and move straight on to aperitivo: Pavè has a quirky little list of old school Milanese cocktails. This place is a great choice if you’re going to devote more than the average Milanese time for breakfast – that is, more than 3 minutes.
Via Felice Casati 27; +39 02 94392259
Monday-Friday:8am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday: 8.30am-7pm
Now you know everything about traditional Milanese breakfast. But maybe, despite what they say about being in Rome etc etc, you wake up with a dead-set motivation to get a savory breakfast instead. No judgement! (Full disclosure: it also happens to us when we are badly hungover). The laid-back Taglio, on the Navigli, is the perfect place for you: every morning they have amazing pour-over coffee and a variety of dishes: scrambled eggs (plain, with vegetables, bacon, or salmon & eggs) plus pancakes, omelettes and crepes. They don’t come particularly cheap though: expect to pay around 14-17€ for a plate of eggs, well within the range of Milan pricing, but easily some of the best in the city.
Via Vigevano 10; +39 02 36534294
Saturday and Sunday: 9am-11:45pm