Don’t let the quaint size of this Café fool you, Barrati and Milano are taking the lead with bronze statues, gorgeously draped windows, setting the tone for the beautiful town of Torino, Italy. A reflection of Italian luxury and elite architecture from the 19th century, its pristine preservation of gilded upholstery, wooden panelling, and green marble counter tops and flooring are just part of the allure. The selling point? Velvety hot chocolate and pastries to die for.
Founded in 1874 by Ferdinando Baratti and Edoardi Milano, the café underwent much construction and enlargements on the corner of Torino’s Galleria Subalpina. The stroke of genius came from non-other than esteemed sculptor Giulio Casanova.
This beauty was also the film set of top Italian cinema hit “Preferisco il rumore del mare”. The allure is not only in the stylings of the crown mouldings and panelled mahogany, but the Italian version of a chocolate factory. It’s almost as if the panels are made of cocoa.
The founders established themselves as the primary chocolatiers for the royal family of Savoy over 160 years ago with a little bit of luck and good intentions. They were betrothed with well to-do ladies who paid some handsome dowries. Like many well-kept men of their generation, they decided to open a café with good service and chocolate.
Today, they have survived two great wars and continue to serve top quality chocolate. Caffé Barrati and Milano source their coffee by directly working with farmers from the most prominent cocoa producing countries including locally in Italy, Ecuador and Ghana. They are one of the only shops to produce their own cocoa mass and butter.
The best part is their takeaway chocolates and sweets. Their staple chocolate is the “cremino”, a delicious layered chocolate which is typically square. The gorgeous balance of chocolaty flavour and creamy texture is what sets this one apart. It is a pure reflection of the Piedmont confectionery tradition. This was the chocolate of choice for Italian royalty which is why it deserving of our top 5.