If you’re a coffee lover visiting Milan, you’re in for a treat.
Here you’ll find a wide range of options to choose from, from classic Italian style coffee to innovative specialty brews.
The way italians drink coffee is to grab a quick shot of strong espresso at the counter – up until recent years (and in particular before Starbucks controversial opening in Italy), coffee was mainly a synonym of espresso (or moka).
Indeed, espresso is still the most common type of coffee in Italy, and it comes in almost endless variations. Some popular one include macchiato (with a small amount of foamy milk), corretto (with a touch of liquor), lungo, and corto.
But espresso is not just a standalone drink – it’s also the base for many milk-based beverages, such as cappuccino and latte macchiato.
Just be sure to stick to the menu to avoid surprises – if you just order “latte,” you’ll get a plain glass of milk! (latte is just the Italian word for milk, after all).
Milan is also home to a growing number of specialty coffee joints, offering unique options and different brewing methods such as filter, drip, aeropress, and more.
So whether you prefer a classic espresso or a more complex specialty brew, you’ll find something to suit your taste.
The best coffee in Milan
Via della Commenda, 25 (Porta Romana / Crocetta)
Via Felice Casati, 27 (Porta Venezia)
Pavè is a haven for foodies and coffee lovers alike. If you’re a returning reader, you already know that we hold this bakery, pastry shop, and bistro in high regard.
Now, we have yet another accolade to add to their list of achievements – Pavè makes the best coffee in Milan.
This is not just our own opinion, but a fact that has been acknowledged by none other than Gambero Rosso, the leading authority on Italian cuisine, wine, and travel.
They’ve bestowed upon Pavè the honor of being the place with the best coffee in Milan and the overall best offering in the city, so whether you’re looking for coffe, pastries, an amazing healthy brunch (or all of the above), you shouldn’t miss it!
See all their addresses here
Caffé Napoli is all about giving you the authentic Neapolitan coffee experience – think colorful majolica tiles, blue sea views, and a counter right on the street.
Here, coffee is a ritual, and the classic espresso is king. But don’t stop there – they’ve got all sorts of tasty variations like chocolate or hazelnut cream, pistachio, Nutella, and more. If you have a sweet tooth, this place will be your heaven.
Prices are fair and for this reason, the café is always packed.
They have 17 stores in Milan, so you’ll never have trouble locating one wherever you are.
Don’t expect a place to relax and unwind: this is not your usual cozy café, but that’s all part of the game – locals come here to sip coffee at the counter or grab a quick drink at one of the tall tables.
Via Piero della Francesca, 8 (Sempione)
Located in proximity to Parco Sempione and Arco della pace is Hodeidah, a café identified as a historic Milanese bottega, which has preserved its vintage charm. Even though the shop has maintained its classic appearance, it has much more to offer than the average café in the city.
They offer an extraordinary selection of coffee blends from all corners of the world, and the highlight is that all of them are roasted in-store. They offer a wide range of options, from bold blends to single-origin varieties. The café’s skilled baristas are always eager to assist and suggest the perfect brew for you.
For the coffee connoisseurs, the café offers freshly roasted coffee beans for you to brew at home.
Illy, the globally renowned Veronese brand, boasts a reputation that has reached every corner of the world.
As you wander through Milan, you’ll find several cafes strategically located in the vicinity of the most popular tourist attractions, making it easy to fuel up on a delicious coffee before diving back into your city exploration.
Not only will you find the classic espresso shot, but also an array of milk-based concoctions. One of our favorite among their unique creations, “onda al cioccolato” is a mouth-watering twist on the traditional espresso.
This delicious treat is made by infusing a small amount of hot chocolate into the coffee and is served with a cold-whipped milk. The interplay of hot and cold temperatures and flavors is a mind-blowing experience that will leave you wanting to come back and try the others!
Apart from the café located among the Gae Aulenti skyscrapers, Illy has other shops scattered around the city.
The cafe inside the Rinascente, near the cathedral, and the chic shop in the Montenapoleone district are worth checking out.
The best specialty coffee spots in Milan
Specialty coffee is slowly but surely making its way to Milan. If you want some, you should really visit these 5 places.
Specialty Coffee was born in America, but it soon spread to Europe—especially in Scandinavia. For some years now, however, Milan has been at the forefront of Italy’s Specialty Coffee movement.
The movement here is small but growing, and it has a lot to offer if you’re into great coffee.
But first, what is Specialty Coffee?
Specialty Coffee is a term used to describe coffee that has been roasted in a way that highlights the natural flavors of the beans. It’s made from high-quality beans and is often sold as “single origin,” meaning it comes from a specific place rather than being blended with beans from different regions.
Specialty coffee is rated by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), which uses an evaluation index called “cup score”. The cup score ranges from 1 to 100—with standards for specialty coffee being extremely high: 85 points or higher!
Now back to our list: here you can find the best specialty coffee shops in Milan.
Via Broggi 15 (Porta Venezia)
Orsonero is the trailblazer of specialty coffee in Milan, bringing a new level of sophistication to the coffee scene. This family-owned cafe has set the bar high for other coffee shops in Milan to follow in its footsteps.
Not only do they offer traditional espresso beverages, but their menu also features a rotating selection of single-origin filter coffees that are sure to impress even the most discerning coffee connoisseur.
They are devoted to bringing unconventional coffee preparation techniques in Italy, such as cold brew, aeropress, and American filter, to the forefront in a country where these methods have yet to gain widespread popularity.
Located on a quiet side street of the Porta Venezia district, Orsonero provides a tranquil setting for sipping on your coffee, perfect for a break from shopping and sightseeing.
Cafezal is one of the best coffee you can find in Brera.
Located near the Pinacoteca di Brera, this popular micro-roastery is particularly known for the quality of its specialty coffee. Recently, they opened a second shop near Piazza Cinque Giornate, in the elegant Risorgimento District.
At Cafezal, you can choose from a selection of bean options, starting with the “basic” Brazilian Espresso Cafezal Garibaldi and three single origin options at progressively higher prices.
The café’s dedication to high-quality coffee is evident in their roasting equipment, placed in plain sight behind the counter, which can only handle a small batch beans at a time.
All of their coffee is made with beans roasted on-site, including traditional espresso drinks, pour over drip coffees, and cold brews.
The full, robust flavor of their espresso works well in classic milk-based drinks like latte macchiato and cappuccino. Plus, you can indulge in delicious homemade pastries and cakes to accompany your coffee.
Moreover, with its postmodern aesthetic featuring black marble flooring and deep blue walls, Cafezal is the perfect place to relax with a cup of coffee and watch Brera fashionable crowd.
Via Guicciardini, 3 (Cinque Giornate / Porta Venezia)
Loste is a café located midway between Porta Venezia and Piazza Cinque Giornate, known for serving some of the best coffee in Milan.
Despite being located in a mostly residential area, a little removed from tourist attractions, Loste is a popular and always busy spot for locals willing to enjoy a cup of coffee and fragrant pastries (and it’s just a short walk from the Porta Venezia metro station and shopping streets).
Here you will find all the traditional italian coffee preparation, such as espresso, cappuccino and more, made with coffee sourced from the best independent Italian roasters.
In addition to this, Loste also offers some more unique options that you won’t find in most Milanese cafes, such as flat white, cortado, and filtered coffee.
And when you’re here, you should’t miss the opportunity to try their great creations: everyday you’ll find a variety of amazing pastries with a Scandinavian twist, including flaky croissants, cruffins (a delicious combination of a croissant and a muffin), cinnamon buns, and buttery brioches.
If you’re in the mood for a café with great coffee and pastries, be sure to check them out.
Do you need more breakfast ideas? These places make the best pastries in town.
The Pure café
Via Alessandro Volta 16 (Brera)
The Brera neighborhood of Milan is home to the newest addition to the city’s burgeoning collection of independent coffee shops: the Pure café.
One of their house specialties is called “Pure Blend”, and is made up of 65% Brazilian and 35% Ethiopian washed beans. Milk chocolate, brown sugar, and candied orange come together harmoniously in this coffee. Alternatively, there’s the single-origin “Kaffa Ethiopia Natural” coffee from that region: flavors of berries up front give way to a honey caramel finish.
In addition to its own beans, it also serves coffee from other roasteries, including His Majesty the Coffee House, LotZero, and Methods Coffee.
If you can’t get enough of the coffee here, you can take some of the beans home and brew them yourself. The Pure café wants to be known as a showcase for speciality roasters, particularly Italian ones. Each month, a new company will be featured, giving you the opportunity to not only sample but also buy some of these exceptional coffees.
NOWHERE – Coffee & Community
Via Caminadella, 15 (Sant’Ambrogio / Last Supper)
Nowhere Coffee & Community is a coffee shop with an edgy design—its pink-walled interior and art collection were inspired by the owner’s time spent in Australia.
Their single-origin, specialty coffee comes from the “D612 Coffee Roaster,” a Florentine roastery dedicated to specialties, as well as Spain’s Right Side Coffee Roasters.
Their beans are perfect for espresso, of course, but also make a delicious cup when brewed in the filter method with V60 or aeropress. They’re especially good as cold brews.
Nowhere is a colorful and airy place where you can sip an excellent coffee, enjoy homemade pastries—not to mention avocado toast or chia bowl.
Featured photo by pariwat pannium