Whether you’re heading to Milan for Design Week or just because, here are our picks for some of the city’s best restaurants.
As the days start getting warmer and the leaves begin to appear on the trees, there is one particular week in Milan that locals start gearing up for: Salone Mobile. This year’s edition of Design Week takes place from 17 to 22 April, attracting design-savvy cognoscenti eager to scour the fairgrounds and admire objects and furniture from all the new collections. During this time, Milan is also bustling with Fuori Salone events, most of which take place in the Tortona and Brera districts. Regardless of whether or not their Design Week dance card is full, they’re going to need to eat! So, in no particular order, here are eight of the best restaurants in Milan worth a visit.
Milanese by birth, chef Cesare Battisti serves Milanese cuisine with a contemporary flair. Don’t miss the mondeghili (fried meatballs) or the risotto alla milanese. However, pretty much anything you order is guaranteed to dazzle your taste buds. Plus, the wine list is exceptional with more than 600 bottles from Europe’s most interesting wine regions! (Via Gaetano de Castillia, 28’ 02 8712 8855, website)
This charming neo-trattoria serves simple yet flavorful fare prepared by chef Diego Rosso. With a name like trippa (Italian for tripe), it shouldn’t come as a surprise to know that there are plenty of scrumptious fifth quarter options for adventurous eaters. The menu changes frequently, but the vitello tonnato never goes out of style. (Via Giorgio Vasari 3, 327 668 7908, website)
At this one-star Michelin-rated restaurant, chef Matias Perdomo serves whimsical imaginative fare on the first floor of a nineteenth-century residential building. Contraste is a must for those gastronomically minded design lovers. Upon arrival, patrons may like they’ve stumbled upon a secret, a sentiment further enhanced by Matteo Pugliese’s Il Segreto bronze sculpture that greets you upon arrival. (Via Meda 2, + 39 02 4953 6597, website)
With a name like Pastamadre, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to know that this delightful restaurant in Porta Romana serves some of the Milan’s most crave-worthy pasta dishes. Chef Francesco Costanzo incorporates Sicilian influences into the flavorful trattoria fare. (Via Bernardino Corio 8, + 39 02 5519 002, no website)
The Aloe Brothers have two Milan outposts of their beloved pizzeria Berberè, where they adhere to their own pizza-making rules and do their thing. When you order your pie, you get to choose between three different doughs: Classic, a yeast-free dough and a special usually alternative dough. No matter what you choose, the crusts are so light that you hardly feel full after you leave. There are approximately 15 pizzas on the menu, all of which are always outstanding. Definitely opt for the margarita with buffalo mozzarella and then pick from one of the delightful seasonal specialties. (Via Sebenico 21, + 39 02 3670 7820; Via Vigevano 8, + 39 02 3675 8428, website)
6. Un Posto a Milano
Un Posto a Milano boasts one of Milan’s most special backdrops and April is a great month to experience the restaurant at its finest. Located in Cascina Cuccagna, a farmhouse that was once on Milan’s outskirts but eventually became part of the city proper as Milan grew outward. Here, chef Nicola Cavallaro serves solid farm-to-table fare and often incorporates ingredients grown onsite in the massive garden. We recommend sitting outside–weather permitting of course. (Via Cuccagna 2, + 39 02 545 7785, website)
7. Erba Brusca
Erba Brusca is an urban oasis situated in the southern part of the Naviglio district on the city’s outskirts. A large garden and outdoor pergola-covered outdoor dining area feel more like the country than the city! Chef Alice Delcourt contemporary seasonal fare is just simply delicious. (Alzaia Naviglio Pavese 286, + 39 02 87380711, website)
8. Mangiari di Strada
No one does street food quite like Giuseppe Zen! Located on MIlan’s outskirts in Lorenteggio, Mangiari di Strada is open for lunch from Monday through Saturday. Zen specializes in street food from all across the boot with a strong showing of the fifth quarter cuts. If Lorenteggio is too much of a schlep, Macelleria Popolare, Zen’s city center butcher shop/enoteca, specializes in bio grass-fed beef. (Via Lorrenteggio 269, + 39 02 4150556, website)