Dining and drinking in Milan







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Dining and drinking in Milan                   (Back to Milan main information page)

Milan may be famous for its shopping, trading, and amazing designers, but it is also a great place to enjoy a good meal. There are many ethnic restaurants, trattorias and pizzerias in the city, and during the summer months, it is not unusual to see groups of friends enjoying their pizza margherita as they sit outside under white parasols.

In the fifties, many people came to Milan from other regions in Italy, to escape unemployment in their cities. Some of them decided to open simple "trattorias" (traditional Italian restaurants), offering the cuisine of their home town, which was mainly Tuscan and Southern Italian. A number of these restaurants grew in quality over the years, transforming themselves into excellent and often outstanding restaurants: places such as Trattoria Toscana K2, which has now become so popular that you need to book in advance in order to sample their tasty pasta dishes or fresh fish recipes; or the mythical Antica Trattoria Milano which opened a few years after the end of the second world war and serves good, hearty food alla Milanese!

Pizzerias are popular in Milan (and everywhere else in Italy!!) Many restaurants serve traditional pizzas cooked in wood fuelled ovens, giving the dough a delicious smoked taste. Some of the pizzerias have traditional checked table clothes, some have outdoor seating, and some have 'cool' paper tablecloths and provide you with pencils so you can amuse yourself while you are waiting for your pizza or for your bill. Why not try the Grand'Italia, a pizzeria in the fashionable Brera district, or Pane e Farina, a restaurant popular with both young and old. If you want traditional Neapolitan-style pizza, then head for La Cuccuma, which will also serenade you with piano music on certain evenings.
A wonderful view of the city can be seen from Bistrot Duomo, this is a great place to try if you want a quick snack and cappuccino while shopping or a more substantial meal before going on to the cinema, it is located at the top of the glorious Rinascente department store, which gives you another reason to visit!! A special mention must also go to Savini, a restaurant situated close to Rinascente, in the breath-taking Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II galleria which is known as the best restaurant in Milan by people over a certain age. The prices are high, but it is worth a visit if only to enjoy an old-world charm and steep yourself in Milanese elegance.

In the eighties and nineties, a new wave of immigration brought thousands of people from the Third World; this led to the growth of the best ethnic restaurant network in Italy. In Milan you'll find restaurants serving delights from almost every country: from Sri Lanka to Brazil (excellent Brazilian cuisine is to be found in Porcao), Korea to Senegal. In the last couple of years Japanese cuisine has rocked the city, Yume is a testimony to this - it is the place to come to have a truly Japanese experience and to meet like minded individuals who probably have a passion for being glamorous and wearing black!! - Who knows what new food sensation the millennium will bring?

It may sound strange, but there is no better way to round off a meal than to stroll through the central streets of Milan eating ice cream and watching the world go by, especially if the evening is a warm summer's one; a personal favourite is Marghera delicious ice creams and desserts are sold here, and there are often long queues (always a good sign); or you could try the excellent Umberto where the ice cream is praised to the skies!!


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