Caffé del Doge

If you want to experience authentic Venetian lifestyle, Caffé del Doge on University Avenue in downtown is a place to be. Three months after its grand opening, Caffé del Doge has not only brought the culinary traditions of Venice, but also a quality lifestyle to Palo Alto.

When I first visited Caffé del Doge, I was immediately attracted by its exquisite art deco with an European flavor. The romantic Italian music mixed with smooth Jazz made me feel relaxing and reviving. With the posters of and art of coffee-making on the wall, the place was filled with charming ambience. I instantly fell in love with it!

Being a non-expert coffee drinker, I ordered “decaf mocha” by default. The barrista, who is from Venice and spoke with strong Italian accent, said to me amusingly: “mocha is an American thing.” It is not even on the menu. Nevertheless, he made me a cup of mocha using his artisan methods. I had never seen such an intricate stir of chocolate and deliberate pouring of milk into coffee before! And, I was amazingly enchanted by the richness of aroma and unparallel taste of the mocha.

This experience led me venturing into a world of espresso. Going through Caffé del Doge’s coffee menu was quite an education. I learned different varieties of coffee beans and featured local and imported organic products. Not only that, I learned the art of drinking coffee and indulged in rich espresso drinks that I had never tasted elsewhere.

Among many exotic drinks, my favorite is Cremino, a Caffé del Doge original with a layer of vanilla or chocolate followed by a shot of espresso and finished off with light whipped cream. Another absolute indulging drink is Giacometto. It’s an espresso served in a martini cup lined with chocolate hazelnut-spread, topped with a dusting of cocoa and ground hazelnuts. It creates a taste that is so remarkably unique and you would never want to have coffee anywhere else any more!

According to Bernardo della Mea, Caffé del Doge principal, the mission of Caffé del Doge is to introduce the Venetian tradition to America. Caffé del Doge in Palo Alto is the first and only Venetian coffee bar opened in the United States. Recently named as one of the best Café in Italy, the Caffé del Doge is described as a place where “coffee is worshiped with reverence joy.”

Sitting in the upstairs of the Caffé del Doge and sipping a cup of decorated cappuccino prepared with unique style and elegant design, I taste “a taste for good life.”

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15 thoughts on “Caffé del Doge

  1. Thanks for this tip…I may one day return to California…if so…I’ll make a point to find this place.

  2. Helen, It sounds wonderful. I only wish they had one in Boston. But, sadly I feel if it were here… it may lose it’s charm & uniqueness.They, may be tempted to go on to be another Starbucks! I think like Robert…I rather wait until my next visit to California. Cheers, M.

  3. Thanks, Stephen, Robert and Maureen! Actually, Caffe del Doge is planning to open in other locations. I have the same concern as Maureen that the quality may dilute. But the cafe manager said it’s their goal to control the quality. They have program to exchange the barristas between the US and Italy. It’s really cool the barristas there hardly speak fluent English – making it a more authentic and exotic feeling!

  4. I’m going right out to the kitchen, get out the expresso pot and improvise something like what you describe. it’s over 2000 miles to CA and 20 miles to the nearest coffee shop around here. But I’ll let you know how it goes.

  5. oh, just got back from the cottage. I took the stove top espresso pot and some espresso beans and the Nutella. No water running this early and the lake still frozen. But electricity and a good fire. We made the espresso on the stove. I took Nutella and spread it on the inside of each cup and poured in the espresso. We did without the whipped cream. Just drank it straight., but it was so good! That was at 4 pm and I’m still wired. (The cups were mismatch mugs like you always have at the cottage. It was so good.

  6. let’s see I came in the US 30 years ago and I had to wait at least 20 years before the Americans discovered a civilized way to drink coffee!
    fortunately I had my expresso coffee maker when I felt the need. I got used to drink american coffee and now everyone is going for the expresso…:} enjoy Helen!

  7. Helen, this sounds so good and I don’t even drink coffee. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like a unique place and I hope they do keep true to it if they expand.

  8. This sounds like a great place. Look forward to going there if I’m ever in the area.

  9. Helen, as a lover of fine coffees, I can only hope Caffe del Doge is going to open up here, in Sacramento, or online. Thank you!

  10. What a wonderful review. It sounds like a wonderful place and makes me miss Venice so much!

  11. “Caffe del Doge” sounds like a great place to visit. (not to mention a coffee mans dream) Who needs pubs if you can get it online with out a muse. Opps!

  12. The sepia photo is of Portofino, not Venice. Also, you swiped it from my website, It’s licensed image, for which I paid. The white fade was done by a graphic artist for me so I know where it came from.

  13. Helen, Caffe del Doge has plenty of sepia photos of Venice. If you need one for your website, you can use one of ours. Just let me know, Claudia

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