Gran Caffè Grambrinus

Overall Rating: 8.300

Address: Via Chiaia, 1
Cross Street(s): Piazza Trieste e Trento
City, State ZIP: Napoli, 80121
Neighborhood: Toledo
Phone: +39.081.417582
Hours: Su-Sa 7am-2am
Type of Establishment: Cafe
Cafe Rating: 8.50
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 9
Presentation: 9
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La San Marco
Coffee Rating: 8.10
Aroma: 7
Body: 8
Brightness: 8
Crema: 9
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 0.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Caffè Moreno
Cup Manufacturer: Manifattura Porcellana Alberghiera Napoletana (M.P.A.N.)
Price: $1.35
Last Update: 10/16/2013
First Reviewed: 10/16/2013
Notes: Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

Without question, this gran caffè is a city institution. It's long been considered a gathering place for intellectuals, thinkers, poets, foreigners and locals alike. Opening in 1860 as Il Gran Caffè, it started as a Parisian-styled singing cafè before adopting its current name in 1870. Outside there are often crowds of tourists gathering for tours of the Napoli underground. There's outdoor seating in front under parasols against Piazza Trieste e Trento, which very much feels like the heart of the city given nearby Piazza del Plebescito, Palazzo Reale, and the San Carlo theater. Inside, there are many rooms of slightly fading glory: stucco, marble, grande chandeliers, ornate detailing, antique woodwork. The place feels almost Torinese in its classic style and sophistication. There are books on coffee making from 1836 for sale. And many of the interior rooms feel like capelle - small chapels as if in a cathedral - dedicated to the art of pastries, gelato, a grand tea salon, etc. The often brusque baristi here can be older veterans, but there are some newer faces in the lot. Together they might linger longer on the orders of the locals regulars while speeding up for the tourists. They will preheat their ornate, Gambrinus-detailed MPAN cups, pulling shots from their manual four-group lever La San Marco machine with a striped dark and medium brown crema. It's a solid effort with Caffè Moreno coffee: a pungent Napoli-friendly flavor that just edges shy of a tobacco edge. A mere ?1 at the bar. Be on the lookout for their specialty drink, the Caffè Gambrinus, consisting of espresso, cacao powder, milk foam, whipping cream, and chocolate sprinkles.