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Walkways and a bridge over a canal, with large buildings lit up along the water, and a stunning sunset in a cloudy sky above
Bridge across the Naviglio Grande canal in Milan
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The 38 Essential Milan Restaurants

Where to find saffron-infused risotto, prosciutto-stuffed fried pizza, anchovies in salsa verde, and ricotta gelato in Italy’s second largest city

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Bridge across the Naviglio Grande canal in Milan
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Milan may be Italy’s fashion and design capital, but the city known for creative style long played it a bit safe when it comes to food. Like others in much of Italy, Milanese restaurants often defaulted to local ingredients, rarely looking beyond Lombardy for flavors or inspiration. Many restaurateurs just stuck to aperitivo and pizza, reliably popular with tourists and hallmarks of Milan’s cultural history — as embedded as the Duomo or Last Supper.

But Milan’s culinary landscape has slowly begun to change. Thanks to the food-themed Expo 2015 world’s fair, the restaurant scene has gradually shed its classic veneer. A new generation is putting creative spins on cuisine steeped in tradition, and the city’s melting pot of food and cultures is thickening with new international restaurants and regional Italian dishes. New restaurants (many of them women-owned) have arrived, celebrating social inclusion and vegetable-forward menus, even while the city’s historic Chinatown, retro market food stalls, and traditional osterias continue to thrive.

You can (and should) still enjoy the Old World charms of glistening cotoletta Milanese, creamy risotto all’onda, and bubbly Campari soda, but Milan’s food scene is increasingly embracing the new, redefining another industry in the capital of avant-garde.

Prices per person, excluding alcohol

$ = Less than €15 (less than USD 16)
$$ = €16 - €39 (USD 18 to USD 44)
$$$ = €40 - €66 (USD 45 to USD 73)
$$$$ = More than €66 (more than USD 74)

Elizabeth Thacker Jones leads food and drink tours in Milan via Risotto & Steel. She writes about food and culture in northern Italy where she has lived since 2015.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Tipografia Alimentare

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Tipografia Alimentare joins a handful of new restaurants north of Loreto (NoLo), and it’s well positioned with outdoor tables along the Martesana canal. At breakfast, the counter-service cafeteria serves whole-grain pastries like cardamom buns with coffee from top Italian microroasters. Lunch and dinner bring table service, along with a menu of seasonal comfort food: warm root vegetable salads, slow-cooked bean soups, and charcuterie boards paired with natural Italian wines. On Fridays, their talented bakers flex their talents with sweet and savory maritozzi (sweet buns). [$$]

Pastries on individual trays with small chalk labels
Variety of pastries at Tipografia Alimentare
Tipografia Alimentare

Altatto

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Altatto’s ethereal spin on vegetarian fine dining is a pleasant break from Milan’s meaty fare, but don’t expect the highly conceptual menu to be a snooze. The two chef partners — Sara Nicolosi and Cinzia de Lauri — met at Joia, where they worked with Michelin-starred chef Pietro Leemann. In the warm, spartan interior or in the hidden outdoor courtyard, you’ll find a rotating vegetarian tasting menu with dishes like crispy porcino mushrooms with wild foraged herbs, or buckwheat gnocchetti with sweet potato slow-cooked in clay. The chefs deploy an element of surprise in every course, and pair meals with a selective list of natural wines. [$$-$$$]

A restaurant interior with light pink stone walls and a large wood-burning fireplace. Orb pendant lights hang above simple wood tables set for dinner
Inside Altatto
Laura Spinelli

Trattoria Mirta

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Uruguayan chef Juan Lema, who named Trattoria Mirta after his mother, puts his own spin on traditional northern Italian dishes. In winter, try the squash in saor, enriched with raisins and pine nuts. Better yet, stop by in warmer months for the cotolette in carpione, a vinegar-marinated variation on the cult classic Milanese. [$$]

Intricately braided tortelli pasta in a shallow bowl beside a small glass container of grated cheese
Tortelli Lombardo filled with taleggio and radicchio
Mita Guerra

Davide Longoni

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Davide Longoni’s newest outpost is in the highly anticipated Mercato Centrale, a revitalized two-story wing of the train station that includes over 30 restaurants, bars, and shops, with ample space for eat-in customers. The master baker’s stall offers the best pizza al taglio (by the slice) in the city: a warm rectangle of anchovy, cucumber, and burrata topped with fresh sage out of the oven, or the gorgonzola DOP with radicchio. An extensive selection of daily breads and breakfast pastries don’t disappoint either. [$$]

A long rectangular slice of pizza topped with thick globs of sauce, endive, and other vegetables, on polka dot paper
Pizza al taglio
Elizabeth Jones

Berberé

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Berberè pizzeria prizes quality of ingredients over labels like “bio” (the EU-version of organic). The shop is known for letting guests choose from three different doughs: classic, a blend of einkorn and farro, or hydrolysis-based dough that doesn’t use yeast. The topping combinations are demure and elegant: Fried eggplant goes with smoked ricotta, basil, and tomato; coppa with stracciatella, fior di latte cheese, and orange-infused oil. The pizzas skew on the smaller side, so it’s best to order one and a half pies per person. [$-$$]

A sliced pizza topped with long wedges of bufala mozzarella and bits of basil on a tomato sauce base. The pizza sits on a platter on a table strewn with menus
Bufala pizza
Berberé

Ratanà

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The owners, including actor Antonio Albanese, opened Ratanà in a fin-de-siecle villa located in the middle of a once run-down neighborhood. Chef Cesare Battisti offers a creative spin on local cuisine, with a menu that changes seasonally: Think traditional northern Italian risotto, squash blossoms with basil pesto, and game hen accompanied by lemon-glazed scallions for summer. That said, if you are looking for pure Milanese fare, it has that too: The saffron-infused risotto and osso buco are available year round. Don’t forget to ask for mondeghili (Milanese meatballs) as an appetizer. [$$$]

A ceramic dish filled with shocking deep red soup topped with colorful vegetables
Red smoked pepper, stracciatella, wild herbs, and walnuts
Ratanà

Ristorante Ribot

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Located near both the soccer stadium and the racetracks, Ribot is an equestrian-themed restaurant located in a fin-de-siecle villa. The name Ribot itself comes from a champion horse, but the hues of the many horse racing-themed artworks and memorabilia are muted enough that they don’t make the overall decor look tacky. Don’t overdo it with the antipasti board; save some room for dishes coming from the grill, especially the steak fiorentina. Dinner grants you complimentary chocolate fondue with assorted fresh fruit. [$$$]

A restaurant interior with place settings on white tablecloths, cane chairs, various pendant lights, and a large wall covered in small pictures and art
Ristorante Ribot
Ristorante Ribot

Chef Andrea Berton trained under the revered founder of new Italian cuisine, Gualtiero Marchesi, before expanding his repertoire in London and then Monaco under the guidance of Alain Ducasse. At his own restaurant, Berton earned a Michelin star in 2014 after less than two years open, with gorgeous dishes, flawless technique, and minimal ingredients. The chef is known for his deep passion for brodo, or “broth,” so you can expect dishes like tender grilled beef sirloin and smoked potato cannoli paired with grappa-sprayed beef broth, and cod tripe with Trasimeno beans bathed in prosciutto broth. [$$$$]

From above, a circular lasagna with a strip of meat on top, on a large white plate with a honey stirrer
Lasagna piccione
Marco Scarpa

Cantine Isola

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This 126-year-old wine shop is located on Chinatown’s bustling main thoroughfare. Although Cantine Isola sells more than 1,500 wines by the bottle, it’s best to stop in and savor the by-the-glass selection while snacking on crostini, charcuterie, and aged cheese passed around by the friendly bar staff. Go early to guarantee a seat before the Milanese masses spill out of the bar into an entire sidewalk scene. Tuesdays are poetry nights. [$]

Three bottles of red wine, in front of large shelves of more bottles
A selection of wine at Cantine Isola
Le Cantine Isola / Facebook

Ravioleria Sarpi

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Third-generation butcher Walter Sirtori and textile entrepreneur Hujian “Agie” Zhou joined forces to open this ravioleria (literally a “dumpling shop”) right next to Sirtori’s butcher shop. All of the Chinese dumplings are prepared on the premises, and come filled with whatever cuts of beef or pork Sirtori’s supplier has handy. Their version of jianbing is the ultimate snack after a few glasses of wine across the street at Cantine Isola. [$]

Two people hold up paper cups of dumplings, with small forks sticking out, in front of a street scene
Dumplings from Ravioleria Sarpi
Mita Guerra

Osteria del Treno

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Close to Milan’s Centrale train station, this historic family-run osteria serves traditional northern Italian fare and an exquisite selection of Lombard cheese. The lightly adorned dining rooms welcome workers during the week and families on the weekends, when groups line up for anchovies bathed in Italian salsa verde, risotto Milanese, and traditional cassoeula (pork and cabbage stew). Stay hungry for desserts made in-house, like pistachio and hot pepper gelato or mandarin sorbet. On your way out, try to peek into the elegant Liberty-style great hall next door, an iconic events space in the city since 1898. [$$]

From above, a glazed clay bowl containing bright caponata, with especially vibrant purple eggplant
Caponata
Elizabeth Jones

Il Mannarino

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Like other young Milanese refashioning the dining scene with tech, the team at Il Mannarino are redefining what “made in Italy” means with their digital-forward butcher shop. The shop offers rapid delivery around town alongside a restaurant focused on Puglian cuisine. Tempting starters include the bombetta (rolls of capocollo di maiale stuffed with artichokes, or whatever is in season, and baked to order), smashed broad beans and chicory smothered in extra-virgin olive oil, and slow-cooked meatballs (also available vacuum-packed). Locals pile into the four locations around the city for a momentary escape to Puglia. [$$-$$$]

Yoshinobu

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This high-end restaurant has a well-rounded menu of Japanese dishes, but is primarily known for its sushi and sashimi selection, which is best appreciated at the counter. There, chef Yoshinobu Kurio is happy to offer off-menu suggestions of nigiri or maki, such as langoustine tempura or temaki made with raw red shrimp and avocado. Yoshinobu’s fish-to-rice ratio in the nigiri deserves a mention, too: The fish always completely cloaks the rice base. [$$$]

Maki and nigiri, pictured from above on a slate
Sushi spread at Yoshinobu
Yoshinobu/Facebook

A popular lunch spot in Porta Venezia, Nún is a counter-service restaurant with customizable twists on Middle Eastern wraps and pitas, including sabich stuffed with fried eggplant, and 100 percent Italian chicken shawarma with pomegranate syrup and spicy harissa. Vegan and vegetarian options are high points, especially the falafel dishes, which are made from scratch and come with an array of add-ons like feta, kalamata olives, sliced beets, capers, and smoky tahini. A second location near Navigli is more convenient for the south side of the city. [$-$$]

A cafe interior with red metal stools along a light wood bar beneath pendant lights, two top wood tables with white chairs, and shelves lightly populated with goods for sale
Inside Nún
Nún

Bar Basso

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Anyone who’s enjoyed an aperitivo lately can thank Bar Basso, an institution that helped expand quality predinner cocktails beyond the walls of sophisticated international hotels. In 1967, Mirko Stocchetto, a barman who had worked at Harry’s Bar in Venice, took over the space, at that time a neighborhood haunt. A year later, while preparing a Negroni, he accidentally swapped gin with prosecco, unintentionally creating the Negroni Sbagliato (literally “wrong”), which soon became a classic cocktail and symbol of Milanese hedonism. Bar Basso remains popular with the art and fashion crowd (especially during fashion week and design week), as well as with local retirees enjoying a predinner drink. [$-$$]

A shiny metal table topped with multiple cocktails in shades of red and orange, alongside bowls of potato chips and olives
Drinks and snacks
Andrea Wyner

Latteria San Marco

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This Brera neighborhood mainstay doesn’t take reservations for its eight tables set among kitschy decor, so diners compete for a spot to sample the daily menu, which is heavy on vegetable sides. If you’re lucky enough to find a seat, look for the crudaiola, a cold vegetable soup, or focus your meal on primi courses, like testaroli (triangular-shaped pasta) with zucchini, eggplant, and salted ricotta. Chef Arturo Maggi, who has owned the place since 1965, claims to cook a good portion of his dishes in a silver pan, which he alleges makes the food particularly digestible. [$$]

A restaurant interior with high ceilings, walls decorated with prints, a counter decorated on the side with illustrated tiles, a customer sitting in a wooden chair at a small table, and kitchen equipment around
Inside Latteria
Elizabeth Jones

Adulis Restaurant

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Porta Venezia has multiple well-established Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurants, but Adulis is a local favorite for its dark, ornate interior, music, and small selection of Champagne. Choose between injera plates of lamb, beef, chicken, or fish with spicy berbere seasoning. The mixed vegetables are also served on spongy injera pancakes, hearty with cabbage, chickpeas, lentils and cooked greens. [$$]

The children of whimsical designer Luisa Beccaria started Lùbar as a simple food cart, but today the business occupies the portico area of the Villa Reale estate. Overlooking Milan’s public gardens, Lùbar serves as the cafe of Milan’s GAM (Modern Art Gallery). The fin-de-siecle decor, reminiscent of a winter garden, pairs well with the neoclassical structure of the villa. Dishes served in Sicilian ceramic bowls — like chickpea-flour flatbread paired with avocado, downsized arancine, and pistachio-speckled shrimp — blend Sicilian tradition with modern trends. The dessert selection is more traditional. Get the cannoli, which are filled on the premises. [$-$$]

A sugar-dusted pastry and a coffee mug on a marble table in a large-windowed green tinted space
Coffee and pastries at bar
Lùbar/Facebook

Rovello 18

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Third-generation chef Michele De Liguoro named Rovello 18 after the address of his family’s fine dining restaurant Da Pierino, a Michelin-starred destination in the 1950s. De Liguoro isn’t chasing a star at Rovello 18, instead offering a more casual answer to Da Pierino. The homey yet upscale osteria fare includes pasta paired with creamy broccoli rabe, clams, and bottarga, as well as crispy risotto al salto topped with Lombard taleggio. At lunch, shoppers along Via Garibaldi and nearby office workers crowd in to enjoy seasonal antipasti, including sauteed artichokes, puntarelle salad, and grilled peppers tonnati (caper-spiked tuna sauce). Rovello 18 is also a wine destination: Its collection of over 800 bottles is replete with microproducers and crucial bottles from Italy and France. [$$$]

Noodles in a deep green sauce on a plate with a decorative border
Fettuccine with creamy broccoli rabe, clams, and bottarga
Elizabeth Jones

Pasticceria Sissi

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Owned by husband-and-wife duo Sissi and Zig Faye, Pasticceria Sissi is an old-school Milanese bakery with pink walls and a well-balanced selection of sweet and savory pastries. The staff fills croissants with custard right on site, and if the weather allows, you should enjoy your sweet snack in the backyard. That said, Sissi is at its best during Carnevale, when the Fayes make holiday-specific treats like chiacchiere, crunchy rectangles of fried dough doused in powdered sugar. [$]

A yellow cream-stuffed croissant on a branded napkin
A pastry at Sissi
Sissi / Facebook

Zia Esterina Sorbillo

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Among Milan’s melting pot of regional Italian dishes, check out the superlative Neapolitan pizza fritta (fried pizza) at Zia Esterina Sorbillo, the ultimate cheap eat just a few minutes from Piazza Duomo. The puffy, long-fermented, fried-to-order dough is best filled with meats like salami, cicoli (fried pork fat), or prosciutto. For purists, there’s tomato, cheese, and black pepper, with the simple combination of ricotta and provola di bufala that will more than satisfy. Rip off the top of the glossy pocket and squeeze up the gooey, cheesy center. Extra napkins are vital. [$]

Hands holding up a pizza frita, which sticks out of a branded paper sleeve, in front of an ornate shopping arcade
Pizza frita
Elizabeth Jones

Camparino in Galleria

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In 2021, the iconic Camparino in Galleria bar ranked on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. The Milanese aperitivo establishment sits within the historic Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele, facing Piazza Duomo, and it boasts over 100 years of history. (Rumor has it Davide Campari was born upstairs.) Hungry aperitivo enthusiasts can reserve upstairs tables to taste morsels of squash, balsamic vinegar, and Grana Padano cheese, stracciatella and figs with port, and octopus and lime panella (chickpea fritters). [$$-$$$]

Bartenders in white tuxedo jackets shake cocktail shakers in front of a backbar full of Campari bottles
Shake shake shake
Camparino in Galleria

Pizzeria Da Zero

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Pizzerias are leading Milan’s steady flow of new restaurant openings, expanding the city’s offerings to include the full spectrum of regional Italian styles, most notably Neapolitan. At Da Zero, a transplant from Cilento, locals line up for Neapolitan pies set apart with high-quality ingredients from southern Campania: menaica anchovies, cacioricotta goat cheese, Palinuro tuna, and ammaccata olives. Long-fermented dough baked in a wood-burning dome results in thin, puffy-edged pies that beg to be consumed on the spot. Da Zero opened a second location in Brera after sustained success at the original spot tucked away on Via Bernardino Luini. [$$]

Three pizzas with various toppings in bright colors on a table beside glasses of red wine
Pizzas from Da Zero
Elizabeth Jones

Pavé Gelati

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Across town from its 10-year-old all-day cafe-cum-bakery/laboratory, Pavé’s gelateria churns some of the most exquisite gelato in Italy. The shop is committed to seasonal, meticulous sourcing, and sugar is applied lightly in the classic cream- and fruit-based varieties of gelato and granita. The sleek, minimal shop design matches the small-batch philosophy, too. Intense Piedmont hazelnut, fair-trade chocolate, and Bronte pistachio are among the traditional options, but experimental flavors, including ricotta, limone with olive, and white chocolate with lime and salt, rotate in and out. [$]

A hand holds a cone with two flavors of gelato
Gelato from Pavé
Pavé Gelati

Gastronomia Yamamoto

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Aya Yamamoto, born in Tokyo and raised in Milan, opened this homey Japanese restaurant to serve “Grandma’s vegetables.” That broadly translates into a focus on items not normally seen at the city’s roughly 400 Japanese restaurants, which mostly stick to maki and California rolls. There’s lots of meat, from ka-ree (Japanese pork curry) to donburi steak, and salmon, both grilled and in sashimi. The vegetarian options are many, rich, and the most unique for Milan; try the seaweed salad and potato salad with Japanese mayonnaise. [$$]

From above, a table full of dishes, including a katsu sandwich, curry with rice, pickled vegetables, eel, and topping-heavy rice bowl
A range of dishes from Gastronomia Yamamoto
Gastronomia Yamamoto

Bentoteca

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Japanese-born chef Yoji Tokuyoshi was ready to reopen his Michelin-starred Ristorante Tokuyoshi after an extensive renovation. Then COVID-19 hit. After delivering bento boxes to front-line workers in the first days of the pandemic, he renamed the restaurant Bentoteca and catered to locked-down Milanese eager for his playful and innovative, yet casual izakaya dishes. Now residents are flocking to the restaurant in person to try the chef’s rotating menu paired with natural wines. Tokuyoshi showcases his experience as the longtime right-hand man to revered chef Massimo Bottura in dishes like grilled eel glazed with soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, fried veal tongue katsu sandwiches with cappuccio cabbage, and frog leg karaage. [$$$]

A small bowl of wagyu beef strips curled around a bold egg yolk in the center garnished with chopped herbs
Mini wagyu don
Bentoteca

Langosteria

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Langosteria is a temple to seafood, especially crustaceans. Since the first location opened in 2007, followed by a bistro nearby in 2012 and a cafe in the city center in 2016, Langosteria has established itself as a stronghold in the Milanese seafood scene, and rightfully so. With raw fish platters (make sure you choose the one with shrimp from Mazara del Vallo), seafood-topped pastas, and Catalan-style main courses, Langosteria manages to deliver an upscale experience without the cold formality usually associated with high-end seafood restaurants. [$$$]

A long restaurant interior, with a large seafood counter to one side with bar seating beneath pendant orbs. Across the aisle from the bar are four top tables set with tablecloths and red chairs between large ferns. In the far back are a large chalkboard menu and other art
Inside Langosteria
Langosteria

Enoteca Naturale

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Tucked away behind Basilica de Sant’Eustorgio, Enoteca Naturale’s large outdoor yard is full of Milanese drinking natural wine and snacking on house-made focaccia or small plates of lamb, artichoke, and creamy cicerchie beans. With over 300 labels, their natural wine collection is the largest in the city. If you need a good reason to drink more great wine, the bar donates some of its profits to its garden space cohabitant, a nonprofit organization that offers free high-quality medical treatment to the poor. Reserve online for a table at aperitivo or dinner. [$$]

A bartender pours wine into one of two glasses in front of a light wood backbar lined with bottles
Pouring some of Enoteca Naturale’s 300 bottles
Enoteca Naturale

Macelleria Popolare

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Macelleria Popolare’s counter is a top destination for chefs and diners searching for Italian street foods of yesteryear. Tongue, spleen, tripe, lampredotto (the cow’s fourth stomach), chopped heart, and fried brains are paired with prodigal butcher Giuseppe Zen’s daily choice of wines. Picky eaters can stick to meatballs fried in gargantuan breadcrumbs or select some cheeses from the stall in the Darsena market nearby. Order and sit outside at the picnic tables overlooking the canal. [$$-$$$]

Li-Sei Deli

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Husband-and-wife duo Okhee Lee and Kihyuk Jung opened Li-Sei Deli during Italy’s COVID-19 lockdown, starting off with delivery. The colorful, healthy menu pulls from their shared Korean and her Japanese backgrounds: bibimbap with black rice, orzo, farro with beef, shokupan sandwiches, and onigiri. Korean fried chicken is a must. Arrive early and order at the counter for a chance to sit inside and admire the Nordic design vibes, put together by Jung, who studied set design at Milan’s prestigious Brera Academy. [$-$$]

A butcher paper-lined bowl filled with popcorn fried chicken topped with chopped nuts and sauce
Fried chicken
Li-Sei Deli

28 Posti

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28 Posti is a respite from the young crowds that gather on the cobblestones outside bars along the canals in Navigli. Owner Silvia Orazi’s mother welcomes guests to the small restaurant, with a delightful interior that allows the modern food and natural wines to shine. Young chef Marco Ambrosino works in the windowed kitchen in full view, as he aims to celebrate multiculturalism, biodiversity, and Mediterranean gastronomy. Inspired by his hometown, chiajozza — canocchia raw shrimp, red cabbage salad, sea urchin ice cream, and pine oil — won Identità Golose’s dish of the year in 2016 and remains a menu signature. [$$$]

Three dishes — a fish wrapped in a green wrap, a skewered fish dish topped with pickled vegetables, and dumplings with dollops of dark sauce — on a wooden plank with rope handles
Dishes from 28 Posti
28 Posti

Trattoria Trippa

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Trippa (tripe) comes up a lot on the menu by chef Diego Rossi, who trained with Dolomites-based chef Norbert Niederkofler. The menu changes according to availability, but, as a general rule, the chef repurposes “peasant” cuisine: a risotto comes topped with silene, an herb known for its sweet and mild flavor, or a soup with nettle and cicerchia (a local legume that used to be a pantry staple but fell out of favor). Simplicity is key: Rossi never uses more than four ingredients for a dish. Trippa may be the hardest reservation to get in town, though, and online reservations open at midnight CET a week in advance. Set your alarm. [$$$]

A large white plate with the center filled with thick soup, large chunks of bread, bits of basil, and a large dollop of dairy
Pappa al Pomodoro at Trippa
Trattoria Trippa / Instagram

Enrico Bartolini

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In 2019, Enrico Bartolini’s restaurant at the MUDEC museum became the first in the city to achieve three Michelin stars. Bartolini first made his mark abroad, in the kitchens of Paolo Petrini in Paris and Mark Page in London, before returning to work in Italy at Le Robinie restaurant, where he was awarded his first Michelin star at 29. Fresh spaghetti, toasted lemon, squid, whiskey, caviar, grilled artichoke, black garlic, and beef marrow are some of the highlights on the nine-course tasting menu, which will set you back 550 euros, including wine pairings. [$$$$]

A hand spoons sauce from a copper pot onto an ornate dish
The finishing touch
Enrico Bartolini/Facebook

Un Posto a Milano

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Set in an 18th-century cascina (an old farmhouse typical of northern Italy), chef Nicola Cavallaro offers high-quality dishes celebrating farms just outside Milan (the cascina even hosts a farmers market on Wednesday afternoons). Pasta is made on the premises, then paired with bufala cream and confit green tomatoes, while a bavette steak made with Fassona beef comes garnished with a sauce of plums, peaches, and cilantro. Interestingly, the menu also includes options for babies, including the smoothest polenta combined with 24-month shaved Parmesan. If you’re in a hurry, order from the to-go menu of sandwiches and street food at the bar counter. [$$]

A pile of spaghetti topped with multiple shaved ingredients in shades of red and pink
Fresh pasta
Un Posto a Milano

People have been flocking to Rita for craft cocktails since 2002, way before mixology was common parlance in urban areas. While most Milanese bars try to cash in with lackluster happy hour deals, Rita concocts creative drinks, such as the Saffron Bastard, a vodka sour variation enriched by cardamom tincture and saffron sugar. The bar’s signature cocktail, Cazzi Tuoi (which translates to something like, “That’s your fucking business, not mine”) comes with vodka, lemon juice, lychee liqueur, and a dash of cranberry-vanilla liqueur. The complimentary small bites (common currency in Italian bars) include a selection of healthyish tartines and crudites. [$$]

Two colorful drinks, one orange topped with a cucumber slice, the other in a large jar topped with a bouquet of mint
Cocktails at Rita
Angelica Frey

In 2015, the Prada family opened the Fondazione Prada museum to showcase the family’s extensive art collection. The multibuilding complex became a contemporary art destination, attracting visitors to a former gin distillery on the southern edge of the city. Diners came too for the celebrated Bar Luce, designed by Wes Anderson with trompe-l’oeil wall decorations and pinball machines. But head for the bar’s more mature sibling, its upscale restaurant. Torre (“tower”) opened in 2018 on the sixth floor of the newest building. The restaurant boasts one of the city’s most stunning dining spaces, decorated with works by Lucio Fontana and John Baldessari, as well as an expansive triangular terrace ideal for sunset aperitivi. Young Livorno-born chef Lorenzo Lunghi serves modern Milanese fare and seafood dishes influenced by Tuscan coastal cuisine. Freshly baked bread and sweets come from Marchesi, Milan’s most celebrated antica pasticceria, which the Prada family purchased in 2015 and expanded into a mini-franchise. [$$$]

A restaurant interior. One wall is entirely glass looking out over the city. Another long wall is wood with various art. Four and six top tables are set for dinner on white tablecloths. Blue suede chairs surround the tables
Inside Torre
Torre

Cantina Urbana

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While many Italian drinkers steadfastly adhere to terroir and agrarian tradition, Cantina Urbana’s microwinery just outside Milan’s center is successfully pushing against those boundaries. Taking inspiration from New York’s Brooklyn Winery, lively entrepreneur and founder Michele Rimpici caters to a new crop of drinkers with an alternative space for winemaking and tasting in an urban setting. With grapes from the regions of Oltrepò Pavese, Valpolicella, and the slopes of Mount Etna, Cantina Urbana ages wines in steel, amphorae, and wooden barrels. Along with bottles for purchase, the winery offers visitor tastings and tours. There are also hyperlocal aperitivo snacks, charcuterie boards abundant with Lombard cheeses and salumi, and no-frills cicchetti that make for a filling aperitivo to stave off hunger before dinner. [$$]

A sleek winery interior with concrete floors and counters, exposed bulb pendant lights, patio tables and chairs, and large metal wine vats in the back
Inside Cantina Urbana
Cantina Urbana

Erba Brusca

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You’ll find Erba Brusca alongside the Naviglio Pavese canal, where the city begins to blend with smaller towns. The restaurant has an expansive on-site vegetable garden and an overall radical-chic vibe to go with the hyperlocal, seasonal tasting menu that changes weekly. Chef Alice Delcourt takes influence from her youth, split among France, the U.K., and the U.S. before she moved to Italy 20 years ago. Options might include braised octopus with preserved sweet peppers, olives, capers, and fresh chickpea pancake, or kale risotto with sun-dried tomato pesto, sunflower seeds, and lemon. [$$-$$$]

Erba Brusca
Photo: Erba Brusca / Facebook

Tipografia Alimentare

Pastries on individual trays with small chalk labels
Variety of pastries at Tipografia Alimentare
Tipografia Alimentare

Tipografia Alimentare joins a handful of new restaurants north of Loreto (NoLo), and it’s well positioned with outdoor tables along the Martesana canal. At breakfast, the counter-service cafeteria serves whole-grain pastries like cardamom buns with coffee from top Italian microroasters. Lunch and dinner bring table service, along with a menu of seasonal comfort food: warm root vegetable salads, slow-cooked bean soups, and charcuterie boards paired with natural Italian wines. On Fridays, their talented bakers flex their talents with sweet and savory maritozzi (sweet buns). [$$]

Pastries on individual trays with small chalk labels
Variety of pastries at Tipografia Alimentare
Tipografia Alimentare

Altatto

A restaurant interior with light pink stone walls and a large wood-burning fireplace. Orb pendant lights hang above simple wood tables set for dinner
Inside Altatto
Laura Spinelli

Altatto’s ethereal spin on vegetarian fine dining is a pleasant break from Milan’s meaty fare, but don’t expect the highly conceptual menu to be a snooze. The two chef partners — Sara Nicolosi and Cinzia de Lauri — met at Joia, where they worked with Michelin-starred chef Pietro Leemann. In the warm, spartan interior or in the hidden outdoor courtyard, you’ll find a rotating vegetarian tasting menu with dishes like crispy porcino mushrooms with wild foraged herbs, or buckwheat gnocchetti with sweet potato slow-cooked in clay. The chefs deploy an element of surprise in every course, and pair meals with a selective list of natural wines. [$$-$$$]

A restaurant interior with light pink stone walls and a large wood-burning fireplace. Orb pendant lights hang above simple wood tables set for dinner
Inside Altatto
Laura Spinelli

Trattoria Mirta

Intricately braided tortelli pasta in a shallow bowl beside a small glass container of grated cheese
Tortelli Lombardo filled with taleggio and radicchio
Mita Guerra

Uruguayan chef Juan Lema, who named Trattoria Mirta after his mother, puts his own spin on traditional northern Italian dishes. In winter, try the squash in saor, enriched with raisins and pine nuts. Better yet, stop by in warmer months for the cotolette in carpione, a vinegar-marinated variation on the cult classic Milanese. [$$]

Intricately braided tortelli pasta in a shallow bowl beside a small glass container of grated cheese
Tortelli Lombardo filled with taleggio and radicchio
Mita Guerra

Davide Longoni