Milan is at the top of the list of places to visit in 2015 according to the New York Times.
First place is, in part – and only in part – due to the globally-renowned EXPO 2015 event which will be taking place in Milan from this May until October and which will see the participation of approximately 130 countries.
Six months full of events and activities linked to the theme of food, nutrition and sustainability. A theme that finds the perfect home in Milan, considering its highly respected culinary tradition.
As the New York Times says, Milan during Expo is enjoying a period of renewal, characterised by a great energy and what the entire world recognises as Italian Style.
What better occasion, then, to enjoy the cosmopolitan charm of the liveliest of Italy’s cities, and home to fashion, design and food?
So let yourself be inspired by New York Times which presents exclusive and elegant corners of the city, loved by the locals but also by foreigners who live in Milan or visit frequently.
We would also like to play our part and offer an insider point of view, bringing to your attention some real treats among restaurants and places specialised in street food.
So let’s start with the street food.
If you find yourselves near Piazza Duomo and you want to try something simple but unforgettable, you absolutely must try Luini’s “panzerotti”. “Panzerotti” are delicious savoury fritters stuffed with cheeses, vegetables, ham, etc. and Luini (Via Santa Radegonda,16 ) is one of Milan’s institutions. Founded as a bakery in 1888, it was then transformed into a fried food shop and now, as well as their panzerotti, they also have on offer a range of street food that is so good they always have a queue of gluttons waiting.
Just a short walk from Luini, the take-away of the renowned Spontini pizzeria has just opened (Via Santa Radegonda, 11); another place that is much-loved by the Milanese locals, where you can taste an excellent slice of pizza that is also one of its kind, prepared with their secret recipe.
If, on the other hand, you like flavours from the mountains, you can find in the Porta Nuova district (where Expo is) Sciatt à Porter (Viale Monte Grappa, 18) which serves dishes taken from the poor cuisine of the Valtellina and given a street feel, for an out of this world experience. In fact, the décor is that of a mountain hut and the dishes served are wholesome and loyal to the original recipes.
For a quick lunch in elegant surroundings, we invite you to visit Il Salumaio di Via Montenapoleone (via Santo Spirito, 10) in the heart of the Fashion district. This restaurant-bistro-delicatessen is one of the chicest places in Milan, where you can sample delicacies fit for a king, including the best and tastiest Italian cold cuts. Paloma Picasso called it the best place in the world.
Even a simple sandwich in Milan is dressed to kill and you absolutely must try those created by chef Nino di Costanzo (2 Michelin Stars) at Sfilatino (via Paolo Sarpi, 53) in the heart of the Sarpi district, Milan’s Chinatown.
Or those of the Paninolab (via Montevideo, 8) in the Tortona district, nestled between the creative factories and the trendiest boutiques. At Paninolab, the sandwich is a form of art and is prepared with the best ingredients and accompanied by a glass of DOC wine.
If you’re looking for a longer, more filling meal, you could visit the romantic and lively Navigli district and enjoy a meal at Al Pont de Ferr (Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 55). Despite been awarded a Michelin star in 2012, this traditional yet modern osteria has a relaxed, comfortable environment, typical of the eateries in the area, at decent prices if you go for lunch and choose the fixed menu. The chef is Matias Perdomo, born in Buenos Aires, who is a lover of experimentation and imaginative presentation that will make your jaw drop.
Another special place for an important dinner is Boeucc, a legendary restaurant established in 1696, where you can sample typical Milanese cuisine. Boeucc (piazza Belgioioso, 2) is in the heart of the city centre, near Piazza della Scala, in the Belgioioso palace which was designed by the architect Piermarini (who also designed the Scala theatre). One room of this charming restaurant has been set aside for the bistro – separate from the actual restaurant – for a menu that is more limited and affordable, but with the same high quality.
Particularly appreciated by those of the fashion world is Giacomo Bistrot (image above) (via Pasquale Sottocorno, 6), a hybrid of a 19th century cafeteria and a French literary drawing room. It is one of the most fascinating places in the city where you can enjoy lunch or dinner in the subtly-lit intimacy surrounded by the most stylish Milanese. Here, even a simple spaghetti with tomato sauce becomes an unforgettable delicacy. Not to mention the desserts…
And then we come to Simposio (via Agnesi, 2), the perfect compromise between a trattoria and an award-winning restaurant, a true gourmet treat that stands out for its classic, but revamped recipes, and for the wine list that is certainly not run of the mill. An unpretentious, refined place that simply must be visited if you want to enjoy excellent cuisine without too many frills.
And finally, designer lovers should take a look at the way in which two of Italy’s most famous fashion designers have interpreted their idea of catering. We’re talking about Giorgio Armani’s Emporio Armani Caffè (via Manzoni, 31) and Gold by Dolce & Gabbana (via Carlo Poerio 2/A). Both places – patronised by an international clientele – serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, or an aperitif in perfect Milanese style.