Enjoy the best of Milan with expert tips and suggestions from expats living in this vibrant Italian city.
Off the Beaten Track
Nerys from the Welshie in Italy blog suggests heading to Milan’s Chinatown. ‘Food other than Italian isn’t as easy to come by in Italy, but recently in Milan ethnic food (especially sushi) has become more popular. One cheap and cheerful Chinese restaurant is on Via Giordano Bruno, Hua Cheng – it’s like eating in someone’s kitchen! Sarpi is also the area to go for accessories for your phone or to fix it, or if you ever need a wig!’
For a taste of Italy Nerys recommends trying the local pastime of enjoying aperitivo. ‘Milan’s famous for the aperitivo culture – cocktails (mostly, but also other alcoholic drinks) and snacks or a buffet. The Navigli area around the canals (Milan has canals, which can be quite pretty, as long as they’re actually filled with water!), Corso Sempione and Colonne di San Lorenzo are some of the most popular areas in the city for an aperitivo.’
Mar from the Travelling Foodie Blog suggests you sit back and watch the world go by at Marc Jacobs Café: ‘a very nice place to have a cocktail, shop for some Marc Jacobs clothes and people-watch in the nice church square.’
For Milanese cuisine at lunch she suggests Luini near the Duomo: ‘delicious and super famous panzerotti, long queue but worth the wait, you can’t say you’ve been to Milan if you haven’t queued for a panzerotto.’
Mar also recommends Obikà: ‘a mozzarella bar and restaurant, serving good quality cheese-based dishes. There’s also a branch in the top floor of the department store La Rinascente, next to the Duomo, with very nice views.’
At night, take Mar’s advice and head to Il Gattopardo: ‘a former church, great for a drink or dancing, especially for over-30s.’
Eat Like A Local
Heather Carlson from the Café Carlson blog loves visiting Trattoria Milanese for a true taste of Milanese cuisine: ‘Make sure you go to the one on Via S. Marta (less than 10 min walk from the Duomo). This Old historic restaurant is off the beaten path but still in the centre of the city, with fantastic traditional Milanese food.’
For great coffee Heather recommends 7′s Gio Bakery Café: ‘Cozy inside, beautiful brioche, panini, great macchiato – straight shot view across the square to the Duomo, friendly service. I was drawn to it immediately, and haven’t been disappointed once. I also love that they have an Instagram account and post pics of their beautiful food!’
To escape the hustle and bustle she suggests Al Fresco: ‘Delicious! Beautiful lunch and a lush garden in the centre of the city. I would love to go back in the evening for Aperitivo in the garden.’
The Radisson Blu Hotel, Milan makes an excellent base to explore these and many more enticing Milan restaurants and bars.
What’s the best restaurant a local expert ever recommended to you?