Unchanged since opening in 1961, Gattullo was the height of modernity in terms of Milan’s cafés at the time. Now it has segued into one of Milan’s finest traditional spots – albeit with quirky 1960s frosted glass chandeliers and retro sculpted wall-to-wall walnut panels. It is still run by Domenico Gattullo and his wife and son – Domenico is mostly in the on-site laboratorio harvesting the panettone (in fact he now has his own ‘pane-tummy’).
The L-shaped café is half bar, half tea salon: here just five small sugar-pink tables are lined up along the length of a glass counter filled with hand-made chocolates, marrons glacés, candied fruit and cream cakes. There’s no menu but most demands can be obliged, from prize-winning panini to foïe gras and Iranian caviar. At the walnutty bar, its loyal locals revere its aperitivo snacks and toast the bow-tied waiters with the house cocktail of gin, vodka, Campari and Aperol, aptly named the ‘Domenichino’