Parisian by birth, but Milanese at heart Chloe Souchaire gives the Insider readers her own local hit list in one of Italy’s most renowned cities.
Having pursued a bachelor degree in European School of Economics located Via Tortona, whilst working in a few local restaurants, Chloe now sees Milan through a connoisseur’s eyes. Milan might have been done and overdone, however this feature brings you a twist on one of the most touristic destinations, revealing the local that has been masked by the commercial.
Luca e Andrea:
Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 24, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
(02) 581 01142
Small but popular with locals by the canal side in Navigli, Luca e Andrea’s menu includes a variety of local dishes all fresh made and incredibly tasty. The menu provides a wide choice of dishes and caters to different needs and tastes of clients, from meat lovers, to vegetarians. It would even please the fussiest diner. The staff is amicable and attentive without being intrusive. Its perfect location on the canal is an essential asset, as it has an authentic picturesque backdrop that doesn't feel touristy in any way. The atmosphere is trendy and very relaxed. Clients feel like time is frozen in this gourmet Italian place. The risotto, Tagliatelle, and Angus filet are recommended. Luca e Andrea’s alcoholic beverage are also a must try. The house wine is fantastic, as well as the inspired cocktails. The Basicilo cocktail is a specialty. Not exactly affordable yet not outrageously expensive, this restaurant is worth every penny and promises you a mouthwatering evening.
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43 20143, Milano MI, Italy
+39 02 4548 9460
Those who are in the know have elected MAG as the best cocktails bar in Milan. On the Navigli, this hipster bar is always packed with local friendly Milanesi, whether it is during the day, for Apperitivo (really famous in Italy), or for late night drinks. The clientele is relatively young, rendering the atmosphere vibrant and lively. The staff is very friendly, and makes every client feel special. They are professional mixologists, who tell you the story behind each sophisticated cocktail, and put on a captivating show. The café is small, the interior cozy, with simple white walls and always changing art or photography on the wall. Lounge, piano or jazz music is playing in the background, creating a pleasant atmosphere. It feels like you are entering a Parisian café in Montmartre. The locale is beautifully decorated with antique cabinets filled with rare liquor bottles and at night is dimly lit, contributing in spreading an intimate and relaxing atmosphere in the bar. The gifted bartenders insist on delivering to their customers a multisensory experience, as the final product is a pleasure to drink, see, smell and touch.
The bar is busy during weekends, which means that you will either wait for a table or have your drinks at the bar, where you will be blown away by the skillful bartenders as you witness the art of bartending. During the week is more quiet and you can easily sit both inside and outside. Mag Café also has a nice brunch deal every week on Saturdays and Sundays. You get a list of juices, coffee, tea, desserts and sandwiches where you can check off your choice. The whole brunch costs 10 euros and is delicious. It is recommended coming here on the last Sunday of the month so that after you had your relaxing brunch here, you can literally walk out the door and you’re in the middle of the amazing Naviglio’s Antique Market!
Each bartender has a specialty.
Andrea: Ask for a One Piece, the cocktail with Olive Oil or the cinnamon-based cocktail.
Francesco: Old Fashioned or Metropole.
Marco: one of the MAG owners, possibly the best barman in Lombardy. Ask him for a Sicilian, a Disco Flow or a Manhattan.
Naviglio’s Antique Market:
Renowned as the most beautiful exposition on the Navigli, this vintage market is set up every last Sunday of the month from 9 am till 6 pm in this charming and traditional neighborhood. The market extends to an impressive 2 km path, starting from the famous Chiusa Della Conchetta, designed by Leonardo da Vinci, continuing in Alzaia Naviglio Pavese and in the Darsena, Alzaia Naviglio Grande.
This exposition hosts 380 carefully chosen stands among collectors and craftsmanship with toys, antique trade, food and Italian excellence. We guarantee that you will find amazing bargains, from vintage clothing, to designer pieces, to vinyl and furniture at unbeatable prices.
Gelateria della musica:
Via Giovanni Enrico Pestalozzi, 4, 20143 Milano, Italy
+39 02 3823 5911
A must taste, smoothest, densest, creamiest and most delicious ice cream in Milan. Fine quality gelato, with unique and original flavors named after famous musicians. We recommend you try as many flavors as you can. The fruit flavors feel like you are having real fruit, with an incomparable authentic taste. The creams: "biscottaccio", coffee, chocolate, Chiacherre (Italian Angel Winged cake), Pistachio Bronte (almost a salted pistachio flavour), cheesecake scomposto – don’t let them escape you! I guarantee that you will lick, slurp and crunch to your hearts content even though it could be pouring outside with a mere 4 degrees. Definitely worth cueing for more than twenty minutes. Another asset is that they are open late till 1 am or even later. So if you are fancying a late night snack, want to fulfill you sweet tooth cravings, or your dinner took longer than expected, this is definitely the place to go to.
Via Vigevano, 41, 20144 Milano, Italy
+39 02 839 4890
If you are into American brunch, this is definitely the place to try. Fresh eggs, bacon, toast, and other bits of goodness is what you need to kick start your day. Whether you just arrived in town and are fighting off jet lag, or have had a long night, indulge in a proper “doppio”, served by the friendly proprietor himself. The coffee is also amazing. The café ginseng is highly recommended. That’s Bakery is also a great place to lounge, or even to work. The vibes are relaxing, and the prices affordable. The cupcake display is captivating, and would make it impossible for you not to try at least delicacy. It would be a shame anyways. Cakes, cookies, cupcakes and all sweets are the eatery’s specialty. That’s Bakery is the best non-Italian food in Milan.
Via Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 46, 20144 Milano, Italy
+39 02 5811 8227
This is as American as it gets. Cold refreshing beers, onion flavoured fries, big and juicy burgers, and delicious milkshakes. The wait for the burgers might be long, but that’s because the place is always packed. Undoubtedly worthwhile, sit back and relax on a comfortable couch whilst listening to good music and conversing with the fluent English speaking and friendly waiters. The atmosphere is vibrant. The Gorgonzola burger is recommended. The brunch is equally as tasty. Tizzy’s is also a convenient meeting point to build your network.
Via Vigevano, 33, 20144 Milano, Italy
+39 02 5811 4363
Also known as meat lovers’ paradise. This is the place to go if you ever need a meat fix. Joe Cipolla has all sorts of very tasty meat. The menu has a long list of meat choices from steak sourced from the US to Argentina and so on. Portions are big and fulfilling, perfect to share. The sides are as tasty, especially the “frigirielli peppers”. Joe Cipolla is very popular with locals. The atmosphere is pleasant, and the service is good. When you come in, you see in special fridges several types of steaks at different "seasoning" (frollatura), up to several weeks. Decide the cut, the weight and the thickness. Serve with wine and voilà, magic starts...
Aptly named after the 1956 hit single by Chuck Berry, Roll Over Beethoven is the ticket to the best international house, disco and rock and roll parties. The lyrics of the song describe the desire for classical music to be replaced by rock and roll and blues music. Roll Over Beethoven throws every week a Milanese night, which is also the perfect meeting point of music lovers, edgy people and hipsters, also referred to as the ‘Rollovers’.
Via Gian Giacomo Mora, 4, 20123 Milano, Italy
+39 02 5810 8691
By far the best vintage and second hand shop in Milan. Don’t be put off by the amount of garments everywhere, patience and time is of essence. Take your time to look thoroughly and scrutinize the shop, you wouldn’t want to miss out on a hidden gem!