With an illustrious history dating back to 1840 that includes Austrian Empress Sissi hosting Christmas here, and more recently HRH Queen Elizabeth II buying its prize-winning marrons glacés, it’s unsurprising that Taveggia is even the subject of some BA student’s dissertation.
All in grand Art Deco marble, tall ceilings and Rolls-Royce-like walnut panelling, it is quite unlike many of Milan’s other traditional, more sugary cafés. Little has changed since coming to this address in 1907, although it is no longer run by the Taveggias but Lebanese brothers Roland and Simon.
Bestsellers are still the budini de riso (rice-pudding pastry ‘bombs’) that historically lured Maria Callas to her regular table, and panettone as light as candy-floss; white tuxedo-ed waiters still serve old-fashioned cocktails in coupes de champagnes with sophisticated aperitivo of queen olives, parmesan hunks, salami and tartini. All that has been added is a bouncer on the door (Taveggia’s stock is quite coveted) and a basement lounge bar called 909 (open till 2am), all bright and golden with mosaics, pillars and Versace furniture.