Milan Nightlife, Restaurants and Cafes


 

Milan Restaurants and Cafes

Turin may wear Italy’s “Slow Food” crown, but don’t let that convince you that the Milan dining scene isn’t up to snuff. The city has several notable eateries, the most famous of which is the exquisite Cracco, which, with two Michelin stars, can boldly compete with nearly any city on earth for culinary excellence.

The cuisine of Lombardy is generally hardier than other regional Italian cuisines, and is rich in grains, meats and cheeses. Most reputable restaurants have excellent risottos on their menu, and look out for some regionalisms, such as “gorgonzola” cheese always being listed on Milanese menus simply as “zola.”

For an afternoon snack or breakfast, it’s hard to beat Princi (Piazzale Istria 1; +39 (0)2 606854; www.princi.it), an excellent bakery chain with superb coffee, breads and pastries with several locations in the city. California Bakery (Piazza Sant’Eustorgio 4; +39 (0)2 39811538; www.californiabakery.it), an American-style cafe with two locations, serves bagel sandwiches, real cheesecake and other excellent lunchtime fare along with pretty convincing filter coffee for those occasions on which a comforting cup of joe is preferred over one of the city’s hundreds of espresso bars. Lattughino (Via Lodovico il Moro 3; +39 (0)2 87280181; www.lattughino.com), in a decidedly non-touristic area in the city’s southwest, offers some of Milan’s best “Slow Food” light fare and delivers to most neighborhoods.

For aperitivo, the drink break just before dinner, the Design Library (Via Savona 11; +39 (0)2 89421225; www.designlibrary.it) in Zona Tortona is nearly always empty but serves excellent, generous drinks and good snacks. Also, try one of the many excellent bars in the Via Porta Ticenese neighborhood such as Le Biciclette (Via Conca del Naviglio 10; +39 (0)2 58104325; www.lebiciclette.com) or any of the cafe bars on the mostly pedestrian streets between the Moscova stop (red line) and Corso Como.

Dinner choices are copious, but notables include the aforementioned Cracco (Via Victor Hugo 4; +39 (0)2 876774; www.ristorantecracco.it), and don’t miss Pizzeria Spontini (Corso Buenos Aires 60; +39 (0)2 2047444; www.pizzeriaspontini.it) for a simple slice of pizza and a beer at least once while you’re in the city.

Night life can range from the subdued and relaxed to the bombastic and extreme. Fashionistas and beautiful people come out on the weekends and take over much of Milan’s nightlife scene. For them, Magazzini Generali (Via Pietrasanta 14; +39 (0)2 5393948; www.magazzinigenerali.it) is a trendsetter, with some of the world’s hippest make it their home for experimental looks and new music for its three club nights a week. Armani Privé (Via Pisoni 1; +39 (0)2 62312655), actually owned and run by clothing icon Giorgio Armani, is the destination of the wealthy and, of course, well-dressed and unless you happen to be a VIP, comes with a queue and picky doormen.

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