Where to Drink Hot Chocolate in Milan

Where to drink Hot chocolate in Milan 2023
Photo by Jonny Caspari on Unsplash

These frigid New York temperatures have brought a particular winter beverage to mind: hot chocolate. So, I thought I’d share some of the best spots in Milan to sip a cup of this cozy winter drink.

Italian-style hot chocolate, or cioccolata calda, differs a bit from what might come to mind when one thinks of hot chocolate—it’s definitely creamier (as opposed to milky), denser, richer, more opaque, and oh-so chocolatey. So, here are three places in Milan to drink hot chocolate this winter, followed by some honorable mentions. (I thought a shortlist with three guaranteed great locations would be better than a laundry list of every place that serves it.)

1. Marchesi 1824

This pasticceria is one of my all-time favorite spots in Milan—we have a long history that predates my expatriation. I’m rather fond of the original location on Corso Magenta, but if you’re a visitor, head to the outpost on the second floor of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (it’s just above the Prada menswear shop) and enjoy a cupful.  Park yourself at a table with a view of the galleria in action and keep an eye out for those taking a spin on the bull of Turin. There are too many good eats here, but I highly recommend the mini sbrisolona. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, open seven days, website

2. Torrefazione Hodeidah

This glorious bottega, founded in 1946, just happens to be my neighborhood coffee haunt, except for Sunday mornings when closed. It doesn’t have indoor seating, so it’s not a place to go and sip and linger, but it’s definitely worth popping for old-school Milan vibes coupled with just the right amount of contemporary flair without comprising integrity.  It’s also one of the places to sip a rum-spiked version of the elusive Barbajada. Via Piero della Francesca, 8; +39 02 342472; Monday – Friday 7am – 7pm; Saturday 8am – 7pm, closed Sunday; website

3. Pavé

Pavé makes my heart sing! I visited it for the first time in February 2013, and it’s still one of my favorite places in the city for breakfast. And if I’m in the neighborhood for lunch, I also like to pop in. But anyway, the hot chocolate! It’s dreamy—just like everything else. It’s made from 46% Bahibé Dominican Republic chocolate and milk—if you really feel like doubling up on chocolate, couple it with a single portion of the exquisite sachertorte. Also, like Torrefazione Hodeidah, Pavé is one of the few places in town where you can find the Barbajada. Via Felice Casati, 27; +39 02 3790 5491; Wednesday – Monday 8am-7pm; closed Tuesday  website

4. Zaini Milano

I love Zaini and everything it stands for! The brand is Milanese to the core, born and bred in the Lombard capital in 1913. Today, it’s an excellent artisan chocolate shop with some of the city’s most delicious treats and clever packaging. Drop into the charming boutique, take a seat at the bar, and enjoy a cup. Pick up a tavoletta (chocolate bar) or as a souvenir or gift. I’m particularly fond of the Love bar (dark chocolate embedded with red candy hearts) and Caramel Dorè San’Honore Coccinella (I can’t resist any packaging embossed with a ladybug!). Via de Cristoforis, 5; open seven days, website

5. Loste Café

So, I haven’t tasted Loste Café’s hot chocolate yet, but I did spot it on Instagram stories a couple of months ago. Honestly, judging by everything else on offer at this year-old bakery/specialty coffee shop/lunch spot/ natural wine enoteca, I have no doubt the hot chocolate is excellent. I can’t wait to hit it up again as soon as I’m back in Milan—fingers crossed the La Salata breakfast brioche is still on offer! Also, the cinnamon buns are not to be missed. Via Francesco Guicciardini, 3, closed Monday website

You can also find decent hot chocolate at Milan outposts of chocolate shops founded in different cities like Gay Odin (Naples), Venchi (Torino), and Guido Gubino (Torino).

Photo by Jonny Caspari on Unsplash

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