Like most people, I start my morning with coffee, having recently made a major change at home in honor of my four-year expat anniversary. When I’m out (especially when I’m traveling), there’s one sign in particular that I look for to know I’m going to be starting my day off with a proper cappuccino (or in Paris, a cafe crème): a red square with the word “illy” in a white font.
The ever reliable coffee brand was founded in 1933 in Trieste. I know that no matter where I am, even if the barrista botches the foam, I’ll be able to start my day on the proper caffeinated foot (and therefore don’t have to worry about a headache). The brand itself was founded in 1933 in Trieste, and despite my aforementioned routine change, I always keep illy moka grinds in my fridge for the mornings when I’m in an old-school mood.
So, needless to say, I was thrilled to know that the fashion-forward Via Montenapoleone, part of the Quadrilatro d’Oro (Golden Rectangle), just upped its ante when the illy Caffé flagship opened last week. Sadly, something came up last minute and I couldn’t attend the inauguration, but I swung by to check it out in person for some Italian style breakfast.
I walked through a grand entryway toward a typical Milanese hidden courtyard interior complete with a tree in the center. And the light! So much light! The coffee bar was on the left, bedecked with various illy ceramics designed in collaboration with while in front lay an airy oasis of a dining space. Beloved local chefs Luigi Taglienti (one-star Michelin rated Lume) and Claudio Sadler (two-star Michelin rated Sadler) have consulted on the menu, which is offically overseen by in-house chef Luca Mussa. Kind of cool, no? Hoping to make it in for a proper meal one of these days.
For breakfast I had (what else?) a cappuccino served in a cup designed by art icon Gillo Dorfles accompanied by an integrale con miele brioche.
Have to say, why not drop in before or after a visit to Il Museo Bagatti Valsecchi? Go, go, go here!
Illy Caffè Flagship; Via Montenapoleone, 19; +39 02 8354 9386; website)
Open 7 days: 8am – 11pm