Via Borgospesso 12, Quadrilatero della moda
Off of Via Montenapoleone, the city’s high-end shopping street, Bice is the style world’s cantina during fashion week. A block from the Four Seasons Hotel Milan, it’s our go-to for old-school, perfectly executed Tuscan dishes (ribollita, pasta e fagioli, risotto, you name it). It also has a martini that would make James Bond proud.
Latteria San Marco
Via S. Marco, 24, Porta Nuova
An eight-table restaurant in Porta Nuova, Latteria San Marco is a casual locals' spot to dig into fresh caprese salads, polenta with porcini, octopus risotto, and carafes of the house red wine. (Take note: There’s an excellent chocolate torta for dessert.) It’s often crowded, sometimes with a long wait, but if you have a leisurely evening to spare, it’s a truly authentic Milanese restaurant experience.
Antica Trattoria della Pesa
Viale Pasubio, 10, Porta Nuova
Since 1880, Antica Trattoria della Pesa has served regional classics like osso bucco, riso al salto, and a rich, saffron-infused risotto alla Milanese. But the other reason to come here is the setting. Full of antique furniture, paintings, and decorative plates, the atmosphere gives off such an old-world, nineteenth-century vibe that you’ll forget what century it is.
Via Panfilo Castaldi, 18, Lazzaretto
Milan’s best restaurants tend to be meat-heavy, so it was a nice surprise to discover Joia, which is chef Pietro Leeman’s ode to vegetables. Focusing on seasonal produce, Leeman doesn’t mess too much with nature, letting the freshness of the finest organic market ingredients shine through. Simple dishes are strongest, like a porcini and pumpkin salad with cumin-dusted polenta or an Indian-style vegetable soup with creamy coconut and Himalayan curry, avocado, and lovage.
Carlo e Camilla in Segheria
Via Giuseppe Meda, 24, Navigli
An old brick-and-cement sawmill with soaring ceilings makes a pretty cool industrial setting for this restaurant in the hip Porta Romana neighborhood. The handmade pastas and plates of risotto are great, but the cocktails are the real stars here. Helmed by Filippo Sisti (a big deal in the cocktail world), the wild creations incorporate rarely seen drink ingredients like green cardamom and apricot marmalade. Pieces from the owners’ own art collection (by the likes of Ron Arad and Ross Lovegrove) and huge crystal chandeliers add to the dramatic atmosphere.
Via Pasquale Sottocorno, 6, Zona Risorgimento
The setting of Da Giacomo couldn’t be more old-school Milan—the colorful graniglia floors, the pistachio-painted walls, the embossed-silk wallpaper, and the formal white tablecloths all create a throwback to the 1950s, when the trattoria first opened. But the food is just as good—especially the grilled fish dishes—and its location (in the Piazza Duomo, within the Museo del Novecentro) is convenient for a break in between sightseeing.
Via Gaetano de Castillia, 28, Centro Direzionale
Milan excels at beautifully repurposed restaurants. Case in point: Ratanà, which occupies an old Art Nouveau railway warehouse in the fast-changing neighborhood around the Porto Garibaldi train station. The setting is matched by the food, and the menu is full of artfully plated seasonal dishes that might include white asparagus served with a breaded poached egg and fresh thyme or trout with blood orange and fennel. In warm weather, ask for a table outside, so you can enjoy the whole meal next to a vegetable garden.
Via Lazzaro Palazzi, 19, Porta Nuova
Near the Milano Centrale train station, Il Carpaccio is one of those simple, no-frills trattorias that serve deeply satisfying plates of prosciutto with melon, white truffle risotto, and seafood soups. There are also plentiful veggie options, our favorite being the puntarelle (aka chicory, a super bitter green vegetable stalk) dressed with the best-quality olive oil and Parmesan, as well as asparagus and porcini.
La Ravioleria Sarpi
Via Paolo Sarpi 27, Chinatown
In Milan’s Chinatown, you’ll find some pretty amazing ravioli (a reason for the long line in which you’ll mostly likely be standing). It’s also surprisingly cheap, considering the high quality of the ingredients and the fact that they’re made by hand while you wait. It’s more of a takeaway joint than a proper restaurant, and be sure to take your order to a nearby bench to eat—chances are high you’ll want to return for seconds.
Via Clerici 1, Centro Storico
Known mostly as one of Milan’s premiere artisanal chocolate shops, T’a now has a popular (and usually packed) bistro in the 17th-century Palazzo Clerici that’s especially popular for aperitivo hour. Part of the reason is the restaurant’s striking interior, created by architect Vincenzo de Cotiis. The slabs of marble, velvet banquettes, and cool, contemporary lighting make for a delightfully swanky spot to sip a cocktail and snack on olives, tuna tartare and pumpkin tarts.
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