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Better yet, locals take the Milan dining scene as seriously as fashion and football – which means, extremely seriously!
Language: Italian | Currency: Euros (€) | Local time: CEST | Avg. Flight time: 1.45 hrs
With so many Michelin stars on offer, deciding where to eat in Milan is tough. The true standouts, however, are those who take mamma’s centuries-old cookbook, glance through it politely and then chuck it defiantly out of the window.
Take for example the two Michelin-starred Cracco (Via Victor Hugo 4), an airport-lounge-like space close to the Duomo, where proprietor Carlo Cracco serves spaghetti with sea urchins and coffee.
At an equally acclaimed Milan restaurant, the wonderful DA NOI IN (Via Forcella 6) in further-flung Forcella, chef Fulvio Siccardi’s signature is uovo in gabbia (egg in a cage), a hanging, truffled confection served with parmesan cheese.
Like all Italian cities, restaurants in Milan include hidden-treasure type establishments; the sort of plain-fronted establishments that chefs like Antonio Carluccio or Giorgio Locatelli will suddenly name-drop.
Or indeed, Giorgio Armani, as the designer has previously raved about Antica Trattoria della Pesa (Viale Pasubio 10). Terrazzo floors, wood-panelled walls and plates such as cotoletta alla Milanese (breaded veal cutlet) create a timeless vibe.
The Trattoria Masuelli San Marco (Viale Umbria 80), east of Milan’s centre, is a similarly classic establishment and the best place to sample a Milan foodstuff that has legendary status: the saffron risotto, made using a yummy five-meat broth.
A less obvious choice is Fonderie Milanesi (Via Giovenale 7). A restored 19th-century factory behind gates near the tram depot, it’s famed in Milan dining circles for decadent brunches and a tastefully dilapidated courtyard.
At the oh-so-chic Le Biciclette (Via Giovanni Battista Torti 2), fairy lights enshroud bikes hung on the walls and the mismatched furniture. Foodies come for lunch, and specifically for the gourmet pork burgers with horseradish mayonnaise.
But where to eat cheap pizza in Milan? Rather conveniently, two of the best places to try this Italian staple are hidden in the trendy Porta Romana district, southeast of the centre.
Run by a former punk-band guitarist, bargain-priced Super Pizza (Viale Sabotino 4) ticks every hyphenated buzzword – locally-sourced, gluten-free, all-organic – while there are refreshingly only seven options of topping available at the revered Pizza AM (Corso di Porta Romana 83).
The truth is, however, that superb pizzerias exist across all of Milan. Just follow your nose – and the locals.
Locals are also the best guide to the hottest bars, clubs and music venues, though you can get an initial steer on our Milan nightlife page.