Milan Design Week kicks off this week, luring in the creative crowd from all corners of the globe. With exhibitions spread out in stores, galleries and palazzos across town, it’s important to take time out to refuel. Here are the 7 best Milan restaurants and cafés to visit for a restorative pitstop.
Though British architect David Chipperfield may have distanced himself from the Museo delle Culture di Milan (Mudec) project, the homely Art Deco feel of its Fabio Rotella–designed restaurant has inspired new confidence among the Milanese. Try the risotto with beetroot and gorgonzola.
Potafiori is part florist, part bar-cafe, with the look of a minimal spa. Designed by Storage Associati, the space is as unique as the woman that presides over it: jazz–crooning Rosalba Piccinni, who will likely serenade you while clipping at blooms. Food is traditional Italian, with modern touches. Try Fassone, superior beef from the nearby Piedmont region.
InGalera is set inside the Bollate medium security prison to the north of the city – ‘in galera’ is slang for ‘in prison.’ Almost entirely staffed by inmates (apart from the maître d’ and head chef Ivan Manzo), and with interiors by Augusta Comi, the Milan restaurant pairs bold meats and fish with fresh, zingy flavours.
D’O can be found some 20km to the west of Milan in Cornaredo, but is a worthy culinary pilgrimage. Here, Michelin–starred chef Davide Oldani practices his ‘Pop Cuisine’ philosophy in his newly relocated restaurant (only a few doors down from the original) designed by Piero Lissoni, which overlooks a tranquil square dotted with public sculpture.
Located just off the bustling Naviglio Grande, inside a former porcelain factory, Milan restaurant Lume is an oasis of calm away from the spritz–quaffing crowds (and the mosquitoes). Designer Monica Melotti’s whitewashed interiors and a clean, confident menu exude an almost zen–like quality. We recommend chef Luigi Taglienti’s roasted lamb fillet, with white melon and vermouth spring onion.
This renowned 200-year old Milanese patisserie – now owned by Prada Group – has just opened its third outlet in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the grand Giuseppe Mengoni shopping arcade opposite the Duomo. Nibble on delectable chocolates and pralines while taking in your pistachio green surroundings.
The Mandarin Oriental hotel – where the Michelin–starred restaurant Seta resides – is housed in four 19th–century buildings, recently restored by Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel in the heart of the city’s historical centre. The Milan restaurant boasts an elegant courtyard where diners can feast on chef Antonio Guida’s southern Italian, Tuscan and French–inspired cuisine.