The Barbajada, Milan’s elusive caffeinated (and, at times, spiked) hot chocolate dates back to the early 19th century and holds De.Co (Demonizione Comunale), a status bestowed upon gastronomic products that characterize a city’s history. You can learn all about the beverage on the latest episode of my podcast The Milanophiles—it’s just a mere five minutes long, so why not give it a listen? You can download the episode here, or find it on all major streaming platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon Music, and more.
The Milanesi take a lot of pride in the Barbajada. Yet despite the beverage’s strong association with the city, the places that offer the Barbajada are few and far between. Thankfully, I can find it at my local coffee haunt, Torrefazione Hodeidah—they spike the drink (pictured above) with rum, and it’s just an ever-so-satisfying antidote to those chilly Milanese winter afternoons. The Lombard capital doesn’t usually get a lot of snow, but the winter air packs the kind of cold that simply chills you right to the bone.
In case you’d like to try the Barbajada when you’re visiting Milan, here’s a list of some places that offer it. I should mention that this list is by no means exhaustive! I always keep my eyes out for one, so I’ll be adding to this list as I come across more places that serve it. In the meantime, if I missed somewhere that you know, please do let me know and I’ll update the list.
1. Torrefazione Hodeidah Via Piero della Francesca, 8; +39 02 342472; Monday – Friday 7am – 7pm; Saturday 8am – 7pm, closed Sunday; website
2. Vergani Via Saverio Mercadante 17; +39 02 4549 7606; Monday – Saturday, 7am – 7pm; Sunday, 7:30am to 1:30pm / Corso di Porta Romana, 51; +39 02 3651 8871; Monday – Saturady 7am to 7:30pm; Sunday 7:30am to 7pm website