As some of you already know, I was born and raised in Milan so I have gotten to know multiple key places to eat and drink in the city over the years. I have noticed that a lot of new bars and restaurants have opened in the last period of time, which can sometimes make it difficult to choose; on the plus side, contrary to what people often think, there are many different options and venues to suit all kinds of budgets.
I decided to create a top five of places to eat and drink in Milan (in no particular order) which remain among my favorites in the city; the list includes both bars and restaurants, so in some places you can even have breakfast or enjoy a quick snack. However, I think I will update this top five in the future because I like to discover new food locations and add them to my lists, so you can consider this article as a first part of my eating recommendations.
Let’s get started!
1) Bar Luce (Fondazione Prada): This is one of the most iconic bars in Milan, and I often find myself stopping by Bar Luce whenever I visit Fondazione Prada, a cultural institution dedicated to contemporary exhibitions and art declined in different forms, such as cinema, music and photography (so you will not be surprised to know that Fondazione Prada is one of my favorite cultural places in the city and I will definitely include it when I recommend my favorite museums in Milan). Bar Luce is part of Fondazione Prada and was designed by American director Wes Anderson in 2015. It has a vintage feel and looks right out of a set of the director’s movies! Located inside the first building at the entrance of Fondazione Prada, the décor and color palette, including the wallpaper, are reminiscent of the aesthetics of post-World War II in Italy and the economic boom of the 1960s. The bar also contains notable retro elements, such as a huge pink jukebox and a couple of pinball machines. I found out that among Anderson’s sources of inspiration in designing the bar are two movies belonging to Italian Neorealism, namely Vittorio De Sica’s Miracle in Milan (1951) and Luchino Visconti’s Rocco and His Brothers (1960). I love taking pictures at Bar Luce because it is such a special location; although it is very popular for lunch, with a menu that includes a wide variety of sandwiches (including vegetarian options), I really like the desserts it offers, especially the cakes, in typical pastel colors.
Bar Luce, Largo Isarco, 2 – 20139, Milan. Open every day except Tuesday, 8.30 am -8.00 pm (Saturday and Sunday 9.00 am – 8.00 pm)
2) La Collina d’Oro (Asian Contemporary Food): This restaurant has been included in the list of the best Asian restaurants in Milan for many years, partly because it has been on the scene for 40 years (it opened in 1982). The restaurant has been renovated over the years and now has a distinctly modern feel. The ambiance is meticulous in every detail and offers a wide selection of dishes (always beautifully served, as you can see in the article I wrote about my five favorite foods, which includes photos of vegetable ravioli and California Maki I ate at La Collina d’Oro). I have often eaten at the restaurant with my family, especially with my father, who is a great lover of Asian cuisine. The products are very fresh and of high quality; the prices are perhaps a bit higher than average, but that is often the case, both for seafood restaurants and Asian food places. The atmosphere is very relaxed and the staff is friendly and efficient. The menu contains a wide selection of traditional products from different geographic areas of Asia, has vegan and gluten-free options and also includes a good selection of white, red, and French wines ( Terre di Franciacorta Bianco, Dolcetto d’Alba, and Chablis Vielles Vignes Venerables just to name a few). You can also order Japanese sake or choose from several varieties of tea. The desserts are very good, and I particularly enjoyed a typical Chinese dessert made with azuki and rice flour. It is also possible to benefit from delivery service (with a minimum order of €35).
La Collina d’Oro, Via Rubens, 24 – 20148 Milan, Italy. Open every day except Monday. Check out the official website for opening hours.
3) Marchesi 1824: Marchesi is one of the most elegant pastry bars in Milan and has several locations, in addition to the historic one on Via Santa Maria alla Porta (which I photographed here). I have also visited both the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and Via Montenapoleone locations (for breakfast and cocktail hour, respectively) and it is always a fantastic food experience (especially if you have a sweet tooth for cakes because Marchesi chocolate cake is delicious; you can see a picture of it on my Flickr). Marchesi is synonymous with excellence both in pastry production and in carrying on the Milanese tradition of Panettone (Christmas traditional bread). The “aperitivo” at Marchesi has been taking place since the early 1900s, when owner Angelo Marchesi began serving drinks at cocktail hour, accompanied by cakes and other desserts. Today Marchesi is owned by the Prada Group and, like the luxury fashion brand, has become one of Milan’s most iconic and recognizable symbols, attracting a cosmopolitan and elegant clientele (it also recently opened a location in Mayfair, in the heart of London). The pastry shop has remained true to old traditions, using high-quality ingredients and many handmade pastry products. Everything is taken care of down to the smallest detail, from the presentation of the pastries to the window displays and pastel-hued packaging; in addition to enjoying an excellent breakfast or aperitivo, you can also purchase a variety of products, including chocolate desserts, candies, and jams.
Marchesi 1824, Via S. Maria alla Porta 11/a – Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Via Montenapoleone, 9, Milan. Open daily. For opening times of the different locations check out the official website.READ MORE
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