The city of Milano is, of course, a famous hot spot in cycling history. The frequent finish city for the Giro d’ Italia over the years, it is also home to some of Italy’s most important bike brands. Of them all, the most famous got its start in a small shop located at 7 via Nirone back in 1885. The young proprietor who opened the doors was Edoardo Bianchi and his bike building efforts live on as the eponymous brand remains the oldest bicycle company still in existence today.
As you walk the streets of the well known fashion capital, you will regularly see many old Bianchi city bikes circulating the streets that act as a reminder of Edoardo’s legacy. However, more than the random bikes seen, a true testimony to all that Edoardo and his Milanese background represents is best found in the Bianchi Café which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Located within short walking distance of the world famous Milano Cathedral and Duomo, the Bianchi Café is simply a must-visit attraction for any cycling fan looking for a bike friendly place to eat. Of course, that’s what we did on a recent visit and the following photo gallery will hopefully act as further enticement. Btw, the Milano location is only one of a handful of Bianchi Cafés located worldwide.
The front room of the Bianchi Café is dedicated to the all important coffee and sandwich bar.
Thanks to an interesting multi-leveled layout, the café invites you to walk through all the different areas, including this mezzanine that overlooks the coffee bar.
Few brands elicit as much passion for their history as Bianchi and much of that is due to the racing exploits of the great Fausto Coppi.
It is impossible to have a meal at the café and not be reminded of what the place is all about.
Head downstairs and you’ll find a fully stocked shop chock full of bikes, accessories and schwag.
Like the rest of the café, the kitchen is kept meticulously clean and it is visible not only from the dining room, but also from overhead at street level.
By 1:00 inn the afternoon the (non-cyclist) lunch crowd shows-up and the café is buzzing with conversation and laughter. The melding of non-cyclists with so much cycling lore and atmosphere can only be a good thing.
No really, at just around $15, the all-you-can-eat salad bar is probably one of the best lunch deals in the city. The food is fresh and delicious. (not the bicycle motif circling the plate – sweet!)
Don’t go to the Bianchi Café expecting some grungy place catering to bedraggled, fixed-gear bike messengers….it’s a classy joint from top to bottom.
Luckily, there is no shortage of old and new Bianchi heritage to go around.