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Zàini – the historical chocolate shop in Milan

Zàini – the historical chocolate shop in Milan

If you are a chocolate lover and you don’t mind to spent time in an elegant but at the same time informal place, you can’t refuse a break at Zàini Milano. Go to this historical chocolate bar in Milan for a coffee in the morning, a sweet present or a refined aperitivo at the end of the day.

Zàini Milano Piave (Porta Venezia)
Viale Piave 17

Zàini Milano Cristoforis (Porta Garibaldi)
Via Carlo de Cristoforis 5

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Mo | 7.30-20.00, Tu-Fr | 7.30-21.30, Sa | 9.00 – 21.30,  Su | 9.00 – 19.00

Coffee 1€, Aperitivo from 12€, chocolate bars from 6€

Zàini, the place to be in Milan for chocolate lovers

I have to admit that I know Zàini Milano for quite some time. However, only when they recently opened the second location in Viale Piave, I decided to write about them on Le Strade di Milano. Zàini is a family owned and run company, founded in 1913 by Luigi and Olga. He however died way too young. Luckily Olga was a strong woman and decided to continue running their business. Even though at the time not many women had a role like hers being the head of a company. And even though only a few years later the Second World War started. A difficult period, especially for those who produced and sold luxury products. But Olga was strong and she and her company made it through the war. 


One hundred years of history. And it hasn’t finished yet

In 2013 Zàini celebrated the first century of the company. It is more or less the only chocolate factory in Milan that has such a long history. And it is still completely owned by the family that founded it in the beginning of the 20th century. The third generation of Zàini, that still runs the chocolate factory and both bars, decided it was the right time for a party and to make it a serious one. It was in September 2013 that Zàini opened its first and until the opening of the new location in Viale Piave, only chocolate store of Zàini Milano. 

Don’t imagine it is a store like others. Both locations are designed with attention and in line with the overall concept of the company. Both in Via de Cristoforis (Porta Garibaldi area) as well as in the new opening in Viale Piave (zona Porta Venezia) there is an area dedicated to the bar and another one dedicated to the shop. 

The bar is made of dark wood, a perfect remake of the classic bars. The pavement is like a chessboard of black and white marble that goes perfect with the classic bar but at the same time gives the interior a fresh and modern touch. 

In Spring this year (2020) in the Viale Piave establishment of Zàini Milano a dehors will open so that you can enjoy your breakfast or break also in the open. 

Zàini Milano for a delicious break or to buy some presents

Once you enter Zàini you feel like being in another world. The place breathes history, attention for the quality of the products and service. But it also brings you in a more relaxed mood. All this because they have really thought about everything: the music is in line with the interior, like is the case for the approach and the outfit of the staff. When you enter, they welcome you as it should be done. When you decide to order a coffee, this is automatically served with a glass of water.

I was in the Viale Piave location halfway through the morning and it was the right time for a sweet break. I choose the cannelé, a sweet that has its origin in France. But since it was one of the favourites of the founder Olga it is very important for the history of the company and thus part of the assortment. I could have opted also for a chocolate cake, made with a secret recipe that runs in the family for decades, or one of the other sweets with chocolate made by Zàini. 

Zàini Milano is well aware of the different seasons. In wintertime, you can drink here the best hot chocolate in Milan. You can choose between dark or milk chocolate. I can assure you that both are delicious! In the summer season there is a choice of ice creams available. Off-course with different chocolate options and some alternatives that go well with the chocolate flavors. 

Zàini is also the perfect place for buying presents, maybe to bring home after a weekend in Milan. All year long Zàini has chocolate bars in different flavors. And if you really have no idea what flavor to choose, you just have to choose the bar which you believe has the most attractive packaging. Zàini collaborates with different illustrators that create designs related to the season or big events. Here you find solutions for the most important festivities like Easter, Christmas and Valentine’s day. But also for special occasions like Halloween, women’s day and big sport events Zàini has the perfect (sweet) present. 

All images 2020 ©  Inge de Boer