Where to Eat in Milan

4 Via Borromei
Tucked in an alley near the historic downtown you’ll find this small restaurant serving traditional, regional dishes (at a great price especially for the area). With open-air courtyard seating surrounded by vines, it makes for a relaxing lunch. For the best and freshest thing on the menu, take advantage of the friendly staff and ask for a recommendation– they’ll point you in the right direction. If you’re like me and spend the entire day walking until you’re ravenous, this is a great place close to the Duomo. Try the stuffed zucchini flowers (one of my favorites in any Italian restaurant)!
Via Privata Cuccagna, 2, 20135 Milano MI, Italy
Country kitchen and slow food oasis in the middle of Milan. This is the place where you will want to have your Sunday, especially if the weather is good and you can get an outdoor table. Cuisine plays homage to Lombardy’s best and favorites, using only locally sourced products.
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 55, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
Matias Perdomo is an Argentinian with a preference for Molecular Gastronomy, influenced by such greats as the Roca Brothers and Ferran Adrià, running a kitchen and a dining room overflowing till late into the night in an unusual part of Milan. Far from the Duomo and the fashion boutiques of Milan’s trendier areas, Matias has instead chosen to inhabit a former trattoria along the canals in the Navigli District. So far, he has one Michelin Star that’s more than deserved. Could he get more? It isn’t likely. Adorably, Matias doesn’t play the game that so many chefs do in pursuit of Michelin’s good graces. The restroom is out back (as in, next to the deep freeze and where the employees wash their hands), the chairs are uncomfortable, the tables are often shared with fellow patrons you’ve never met, the kitchen itself might be too small to ever meet the full demand of another star or two. Yet Matias is a Michelin Man. He’s creating the kind of food that people will wait any amount of time for, return over and over to enjoy and tell their friends about for weeks, months, maybe even years after. He’s friendly, making his rounds through the dining room and resting a hand on the shoulder of a pretty Italian woman in a way that’s not unwelcome, smiling with a grin that can’t be anything but disarming and generally making friends with any patron who enters his door. Al Pont de Ferr is a place where everyone saves room for dessert and everyone leaves happy.
Largo Antonio Ghiringhelli, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
La Scala, the world’s most famous opera house, is also home to an elegant restaurant, bar, and tea room. Modern but informal, the traditional dishes are unusually light, delicious, and beautifully prepared. The romantic atmosphere is set by a quiet room and minimalist classic style (think red velvet and high ceilings).
Via Ponte Vetero, 21, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Every city has an eatery that’s a mainstay for shoppers, and in Milan, it’s the tony Brera neighborhood restaurant Convivium. House specialties include complimentary rosemary flatbread, four-cheese pizza, and sea salt−encrusted sea bass for two. Via Ponte Vetero 21, 39/02-8646-3708.
Via Spadari, 9, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Before taking the train to Rome, we picked up a spread of antipasti at Peck, a vast and pristine food shop in Milan. In addition to a huge selection of cheeses, fruit, salumi, and bread, Peck sells prepared specialties like meatballs, potato croquettes, and caprese salad.
Viale Monte Nero, 46, 20135 Milano MI, Italy
We finally found it! Officine Del Gelato Milano; a modern, absolutely delicious gelato parlor. They had us coming back (three times in one day) until we had tried every flavor—including every kind of gelato popsicle. It was a guilt-free treat and every flavor was uniquely refreshing. We discovered this place, not from a guidebook but from the back of a streetcar. One evening we decided to let serendipity lead us, so we hopped on the first streetcar we saw. As we skidded past a gelato shop, we snapped a photo of a long and disorderly line of chatty Italians. The next morning, our last day in Italy, we made it our mission to find this place. Without knowing the tram line we had taken, we used our photos and collective memories to retrace our steps. While traveling, look for lines of locals because if they’re willing to wait, it’s bound to be good. I also learned that you can never have too much gelato. In the years since I’ve been back a few times and they’ve lived up to the memory—they even have new flavors. Mmm.
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