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Photograph: Stella Bortoli

The 16 best restaurants in Milan

You need plenty of sustenance to look that stylish, and the best restaurants in Milan provide it in spades

Written by
Emma Harper
,
Michelle Schoenung
,
Laura Todd
&
Marianna Cerini
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The Milanese look pretty darn good, so it stands to reason that they all happen to be eating pretty well, right? Right. Few cities do good food like this stylish spot in the north of Italy, and gastronomic greatness is found across the city, from neighbourhood trattorias to high-end Michelin magic.

Eating a good meal is an integral part of the perfect day in Milan, every bit as important as checking out the famous attractions and indulging in some world-beating shopping. The city kitchens are Milan’s great equalizer, where the celebrity chefs rub shoulders with homely history, and the results are delicious. Here are the best restaurants in Milan. 

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This guide was last updated by Michelle Schoenung, a writer based in Milan. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines

Best restaurants in Milan

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood

Langosteria offers perhaps the city’s best fish and crustaceans in an upscale dining environment. But don’t expect stuffy formality here: the charming sea-inspired decorations give Langosteria a warmth not often found in high-end seafood restaurants. Try the Catalan-style main courses, out of which the Catalan-style king crab gets top marks. If you prefer your seafood raw, take your pick from the impressive oyster collection or order one of the raw-fish platters featuring delicacies like red shrimp fished from the deep Mediterranean waters off Sicily. Can’t snag a table at their original venue? Fret not: Langosteria counts two offshoots nearby – Langosteria Cucina and Langosteria Bistrot – as well as a Langosteria Cafe a stone’s throw away from the Duomo.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European

Erba Brusca is a rural-chic retreat alongside the Naviglio Pavese canal whose short and sweet menu features ingredients from the adjoining vegetable garden, tuning diners in with the land. This informal spot is particularly popular on weekends when the Milanese escape to the countryside and the mountains that ring the city. Although the menu by Chef Alice Delcourt changes regularly, a reliably delicious mainstay is the pasta with clams, truffles and wild sorrel (erba brusca). Pair it with a glass of natural wine from the expertly curated list.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian

One of the most popular chefs in town, Diego Rossi has set out to honour offal, creating unfussy renditions of tripe, kidneys, liver, heart, lung and sweetbreads; the menu changes daily depending on what’s at the market. The chef also caters to less-adventurous diners and vegetarians with more standard dishes. In addition to the bold interiors and flavours, what makes Trippa so special is a warm atmosphere cultivated by Rossi’s business partner and front-of-the-house expert, Pietro Caroli.

Ristorante Da Giacomo
Photograph: Michelle Schoenung for Time Out

4. Ristorante Da Giacomo

A real institution in the city, this old guard restaurant in Zona Risorgimento marries the simplicity of rustic Tuscan cuisine with the drama of classic Milanese interior design (the dining room, which features  ornate wall panelling and graniglia floors, was designed by the infamous architect Renzo Mongiardino back in 1989). The extensive menu skews towards seafood, serving dishes like paccheri with swordfish and eggplant, a large selection of raw carpaccio and tartare, plus market-fresh fish, which arrives at the table whole to be served with theatrical flair. But there are plenty of vegetarian options, too, with a focus on tradition and locally sourced ingredients. The Giacomo Pasticceria pastry shop is right around the corner serving up traditional Italian sweets with a modern twist in a refined setting.

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Gastronomia Yamamoto
Photograph: Courtesy Gastronomia Yamamoto

5. Gastronomia Yamamoto

Who would have thought that the best place to indulge in authentic Japanese home cooking would be in the centre of Milan? From the lunchtime takeaway counter selling pre-made bento boxes (sans sushi) to the full-service restaurant in the back, the Japanese staple just behind the Duomo covers all the bases. We recommend the richly flavoured curry, pillow-soft unagi eel donburi or any of the excellent side dishes, the stewed Hijiki and miso eggplant in particular. Yamamoto also wins points for the perfectly furnished interiors, which take a contemporary spin on the classic Japanese canteen style.

6. 28 Posti

Leading the pack with an inventive, contemporary approach to Italian cuisine, 28 Posti – named so for the 28 seats in this Navigli-side restaurant – serves dishes inspired by classic Mediterranean flavours, paired with precise service and lovingly curated natural wines. The constantly changing menu includes dishes like a burnt onion with fermented wild strawberries, rigatoni tossed in miso, and savoury desserts flavoured with bee pollen, coal and bottarga, wading into culinary waters less tested in Milan. The result is elevated, surprising, and never, ever boring. Our tip: go for the tasting menus.

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Il Kaimano
Photograph: Michelle Schoenung for Time Out

7. Il Kaimano

This bustling eatery is located right in the heart of the artsy cobblestoned Brera neighbourhood. Il Kaimano serves up a mix of northern and southern Italian specialties – everything from risotto alla Milanese to ricotta-stuffed zucchini blossoms to Sicilian swordfish to large, round thin-crust pizzas. Service is warm and welcoming. Don’t let the translated menu outside fool you; it sort of gives off ‘tourist trap’ vibes, but this spot is actually really popular with locals. Prices are in line with the city centre location but still quite reasonable. Oh, and if the staff are feeling extra nice, you might just be offered a free limoncello at the end of your meal. 

8. Propaganda Alimentare

A sleek-yet-friendly neighbourhood joint in Lambrate, Propaganda Alimentare markets itself as an ‘urban agriturismo’ – a place where the focus is on small producers, local ingredients and a zero-waste approach to food, which means using every single product in its entirety, both through dishes and preserves. The menu, predominantly vegetarian or vegetable-based, features appetisers like home-made pickled vegetables and raw cheese boards, as well as heftier dishes such as farinata (a chickpea flour pancake typical of Tuscany) with black cabbage, roasted beetroot, and ‘dim sum’ of potatoes, celeriac and goat cheese. But there are carnivore-centred options, too, from venison in dolceforte sauce to deer tartare. The wine list shares the same philosophy as the food, with a good selection of natural and artisanal tipples by the glass or bottle.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian

The best contemporary takes on traditional Milanese cuisine can be found at Ratanà, a restaurant in Isola owned by the imaginative chef Cesare Battisti. While the menu changes seasonally, his version of the classic risotto alla Milanese con ossobuco (saffron risotto with braised veal shank) is a fixture – and an absolute must-try. Silky smooth and vivid in both colour and flavour, it sees Battisti swapping Parmesan for the sweeter Lodigiano cheese, which gives this traditionally creamy dish an even richer taste. If you’re mainly craving pasta, try the recently opened Pastificio Ratanà, a five minute walk from the original. That’s all it serves – rigorously hand-made, of course.

Sidewalk Kitchens
Photograph: Sidewalk Kitchens

10. Sidewalk Kitchens

A ‘food collective’ consisting of four kitchens, a natural wine bar and one coffee shop, Sidewalk Kitchens is Milan’s hippest food hall. Located in Zona Risorgimento, it hosts a roster of innovative culinary outlets offering anything from sliced pizza to katsu sandwiches, Roman street food like supplì (deep fried, tomato-filled rice balls) and specialty coffee with freshly baked pastries – all courtesy of small, independent food businesses from the boot country. The aim is to showcase the city’s culinary range, support emerging cooks, and create a space that serves both an unfussy eatery and a community hub for the neighbourhood (and the rest of Milan, given its popularity). Food can be ordered as delivery, take-away, or eaten in the 80-place dining area.

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