Milan Fashion Week is in full flow, luring in the creative crowd from all corners of the globe. With shows spread in palazzos across the city, it’s important to take time out to refuel. Here are the 7 best Milan restaurants and cafés to visit for a restorative pitstop.
A defunct 1930s sawmill has been transformed into an industrial-style restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Carlo Cracco and art director Tanja Solci, who crafted its pared-back interiors. Carlo e Camilla’s exposed pillars, raw ceilings and brick walls contrast with pieces by Ron Arad and Ross Lovegrove, vintage chandeliers and a cross-shaped table designed for communal dining. Cracco’s team serves up seasonal Italian fare from the kitchen as well as off-menu daily dishes…
This winter-garden bistro takes over the 18th-century former orangerie and carriage portico of the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Via Palestro. LùBar’s simple space is light-filled thanks to oversized arched windows, and decked in pot plants and palms that add burst of colour to the otherwise understated interiors. Traditional Sicilian street food staples such as arancini and cannoli feature on the menu, while more substantial offerings include baked panelle palermitane, eggplant balls, and pasta with bottarga.
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.
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