Buongiorno, fans of good food and wine!

At Discover my Italy, it’s our great pleasure to share the very best of everything Italy has to offer. For your next visit to Milano, we streamline the process of exploring the city’s world-renowned culinary scene, with a shortlist of five of Giovanna’s own favorite restaurants.

Ristorante Bice

To start with, Ristorante Bice, a Milanese classic, will transport you to a world of cosmopolitan elegance and unforgettable flavors. From the iconic saffron-infused risotto alla Milanese to Bice’s silken ossobuco, each item you sample will redefine your understanding of the dish. With its upscale, yet welcoming decor, impeccable service, and elegant interpretations of authentic Northern Italian favorites, it’s no wonder Giovanna always makes this her first dining stop when returning home to Milan (and always invites her mamma to join her) for an unmatched celebration of local cuisine. And, with a wine list that’s as impressive as the food, the restaurant reliably recommends an ideal pairing for each course. Whether it’s your first visit or your fifteenth, a meal at Ristorante Bice embodies Milanese dedication to quality, aesthetics, and unwavering attention to every detail.

Ristorante La Langosteria

Looking for a polished, yet off-the-beaten-path dining experience? Ristorante La Langosteria, in Milan’s trendy Navigli district, delivers a buzzy atmosphere, rich, clubby decor and a menu showcasing epically fresh, premium seafood and shellfish. Start your deep dive beneath the waves with a poetic red prawn tartare and move on to King crab cooked to perfection on the robata grill. And, beyond the ample delights of the menu, a great joy of dining at La Langosteria is the Chef's Recommendation. Allow yourself to be guided toward the adventurous creations of the day and you will never be disappointed. That goes for the restaurant’s vast wine list as well, offering over 50 different labels of champagne and whites to complement its diverse seafood offerings. If you crave the delicacies of the ocean, artfully prepared, La Langosteria is not to be missed.

Paper Moon Giardino

Located in the heart of Milan’s fashion district, Paper Moon Giardino is treasured by locals and visitors alike for its masterful approach to fish and seafood. Specialties include a unique array of crudo and tartare dishes, and a seasonal roster of regional specialties with a contemporary twist. A must-visit destination for those whose aesthetic sensibilities are as finely developed as their palette, the restaurant is housed in a 19th-century palazzo, now combining airy, architecturally updated spaces with classic terrazzo floors and frescoed ceilings. The serenely elegant interior adjoins a charming, enclosed and much-coveted garden where guests linger in the chic, yet relaxed atmosphere. Although conveniently located in Milan’s bustling centro storico this charming venue feels like a private, little-known retreat on a side-street; the kind you are tempted to keep to yourself to ensure it remains unchanged. Yet, after years of repeat visits, we are pleased to affirm that Paper Moon Giardino remains reliably enchanting, down to the last, irresistible bite of its ethereal tiramisu. For a romantic date night, or a family highlight, this meal will become one for the memory book.

Trattoria La Torre di Pisa

Craving a taste of classic Tuscan comfort food? Your search ends at Trattoria La Torre di Pisa. This treasure nestled in the heart of the Brera district serves up the earthy, sincere flavors of Tuscan tradition, and is undoubtedly Giovanna’s favorite restaurant. As soon as you step in, the inviting simplicity of the décor will make you feel right at home. The sense of wellbeing deepens with every bite of fabulous house made meatballs, sausages, and beans, then swells to an aria with the taste of cantucci, the traditional Italian almond cookies, ideal for dipping into the aromatic sweetness of vin santo — Tuscany’s classic dessert wine. But there’s more to love — Trattoria La Torre di Pisa also serves stellar renditions of Milanese dishes, such as an amazing cotoletta alla Milanese (breaded veal cutlet). With over eighty well-regarded Italian wine labels, you’ll surely find the perfect match for your meal. And the best insider tip of all? Unlike many Milanese restaurants, La Torre di Pisa is open seven days a week, so Giovanna prefers to dine here on Monday evenings when most of the city’s other restaurants are closed. Do take a hint from Giovanna and pay a visit here. You won’t regret (or forget) this genuine experience of Italian cuisine or the welcoming atmosphere of Trattoria La Torre di Pisa, any day of the week.

Latteria di San Marco

Last, but in no way least, an inimitable gem of Milanese cuisine is La Latteria di San Marco (no website) also known simply as “La Latteria”. Tucked away in Via San Marco 24 in the Porta Nuova district, this tiny, unassuming former creamery evokes the cozy comforts of dining in your Nonna’s kitchen. With its focus on seasonal ingredients and superior quality, the menus change every day, prominently featuring fresh vegetables sourced from a garden just outside the city. Presided over by Chef Arturo and Maria Maggi since 1965, the decor has barely changed, enhancing La Latteria’s humble charm and outsized character. Not surprisingly, this distinctive, no-nonsense jewel attracts high-profile personalities in design, fashion, journalism, and art. However, with only eight tables and no reservations accepted, be prepared to wait, or go early. Giovanna suggests arriving at 12 noon for lunch and 7 pm for dinner (that’s early for Italians!). No matter how busy your schedule, do not overlook the opportunity to experience authentic Milanese cuisine at La Latteria.

And, there you have it. Five of the best restaurants in Milan, each one distinctive, delectable, and handpicked by Giovanna. Whether you’re a passionate foodie or a hungry traveler on the hunt for a reliably excellent meal, our list is sure to satisfy, and simplify your quest. The only challenging part is deciding where to start! Buon appetito!

Italy travel expert dedicated to opening the real doors to my native country, so that you may have a truly authentic experience… and fall in love with Italy as your own. In every corner of my Italy, I’ve sought out the beauty and the pleasures of its landscapes, cities, villages and people. Many are famous or popular, but many others remain undiscovered or rarely experienced. I know them all well though, and I’m eager to share my knowledge with you.

Contact me for more information about booking a spectacular and affordable small group tour or designing an affordable custom tour of your dream trip to Italy.

With love and gratitude,
Giovanna Chiti

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