To smoothly transition from my previous Milan post, I thought it would be terribly rude not to share with you some of the food and drink places that were tried over the Italian weekend. Of course, much was consumed over the four days, but these particular places would be the first I would recommend to anyone visiting the wonderful city of Milan. This may be followed by cravings for summer and travelling abroad. Apologies.
Two Aperol Spritz, Please
Piazza del Duomo, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
We were immediately distracted by a flash of orange whilst taking in the beauty of Milan’s cathedral… low and behold, it was the Terrazza Aperol. Aperol? Aperol Spritz? It was like seeing a mirage in the desert of tourists and Italian sun! We immediately began the hunt for the entrance and made our way up. I Googled it to find out more information (and partly because we couldn’t find the ridiculously obvious entrance, which is directly below it, by the way), and I scrolled across many complaints of people having to queue for ages. I was hesitant as we walked up a few flight of stairs, but we were immediately welcomed to seats on the edge of the terrace, with one of the best bar-views in Europe.
I suspect that crowds would flock to this terrace in Summer and on weekends, but we had a lucky edge as it was only 11.30am on a February Friday (don’t judge, it’s never too early). Aside from the dazzling terrace, the interior has plenty of seating and funky decor. The music was also brilliant, setting the ambience and making me feel in complete ‘holiday mode’. The perfect place to have our first drink of the trip!
The Aperol terrace is also a wonderful sun trap, it felt incredibly warm and I imagine it would be the perfect place to drink and tan in summer. A dreamy combination! The Aperol Spritz was, of course, delicious. If you decide to scout this place out (which I highly recommend that you do), head to the Duomo, look to your left, and there you go. You can’t miss the flash of orange!
10 Corso Como
Corso Como, 10, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
There are a few things that I’m a huge sucker for, and fashion and wine are certainly among them. You can therefore imagine my excitement when I found a place that combined them both! To explore a different side of Milan, we ventured to 10 Corso Como. This trendy hotspot is home to a gallery, bookshop, and high-end fashion boutique. It’s creator, Carla Sozzani, is sister to the Editor in Chief at Vogue Italia, and the whole establishment is an ode to high-end fashion. This hip hub also has a much less touristy-vibe than central Milan, which can be refreshing after some hardcore touristing!
The Corso Como café was a must for me, it was too photogenic for us not to venture inside. With an outdoor terrace that would be divine during summer (plenty of seating, plants, and lovely music), I can imagine it to be a busy space in the warmer months. The inside, however, is just as beautiful. Filled with trees and small birds, the interior is like a huge orangery lit with bohemian fairy lights and overhead leaves. It was the perfect Instagram opportunity…
The bar is a little pricier than most places we had tried, but it didn’t help that we were coming to the end of our spend-happy weekend. It was certainly worth staying for one! The Mojito and wine that we ordered were wonderfully refreshing and delicious, and I would definitely recommend a visit if you have time to venture away from the main tourist spots in the centre of Milan.
Viale Piave, 1, 20129 Milano MI, Italy
Saving the best to last…
Just in case visiting one of the world’s top 50 bars wasn’t enough, we decided to visit our second. A caribbean-inspired bar in Milan, named Nottingham Forest. We came here off of a recommendation that we were given, and after being promised amazing cocktails that were, “like the Alchemist but cooler”, it was a no-brainer.
It doesn’t look like much when you first arrive. We were given prior warning of long queues, and so we rocked up half an hour before it opened to prevent any disappointment. However, this meant that we turned up to a shut door and no seating or outdoor umbrellas. Slightly disheartening but, luckily, the door sign informed us that we were definitely in the right place! We were second in the queue at this point, but this soon changed. Within 10 minutes the queue had more than tripled and we were at the front of a long line!
When it officially opened and we were let in (hallelujah for getting there early), we couldn’t believe how small it was! We now understand why the Nottingham Forest bar is so notorious for queues. There are bar stools running the length of the bar, and only a handful of tables and sofa elsewhere. What was brilliant and really stood out was that they only let in as many people as can be seated. This means that you aren’t sitting within a sea of people or fighting through the crowds just to get to the toilet. And as it is all table service, you needn’t worry about losing the seat you are shown to. Stress-free drinking!
The style of the bar is very Caribbean; if someone told me it was filled with props from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, I wouldn’t think twice, but it’s brilliant. There is so much to see and take in, and it certainly isn’t like anywhere else I have visited. The setting is marvellous and to top it off, the waiters are all extremely on the ball and friendly. The cocktails also come out ridiculously quickly considering how complex each of them is!
From cocktails served in Sephora bathtubs, a smoking skull (fake, don’t worry… I think), test tubes, messages in bottles, and more – the menu takes mixology to a whole new level. The flavours are all brilliant and each cocktail is more entertaining than the last. They even have movie and television-themed drinks, including a Dexter cocktail that involves putting on surgeon gloves, opening up a plastic bag with a knife (safe?), and releasing ‘blood’ into the cocktail. Genius! A must for any cocktail-lovers in Milan, just make sure you get there early or you could be waiting all night for a table.
FOOD IN MILAN
(Do not read if hungry)
Mint Garden Café
Via Felice Casati, 12, 20146 Milano MI, Italy
I had this cafe on my must-visit-in-Milan list ever since setting my eyes on its Instagrammable interior online, and luckily, it was only a 15-minute walk from our hotel. As you can probably tell from the name of the café and the above photo, they specialise in food and flowers! A wonderful combination. The premises is quite big and filled with so many colours and plants. The tables and chairs are mismatched and the lighting is funky. What more could you want?
We went for breakfast, of which there were various options. Naturally, I wanted a bit of everything so I literally had a breakfast starter of toast and muffins, and moved onto egg, sausage, bacon, potatoes, and veg. Wonderful!
Pizza at Gino’s 1928
Giovanni Berchet, 44, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
It goes without saying that the best part of our trip to Milan was the food. As a massive foodie and Italian-lover, there couldn’t be a better combination than food in Italy. The beauty of wandering around the wonderful city centre is that you don’t have to pre-plan your food at all. You are constantly stumbling across cafés and restaurants, walking through various aromas of freshly cooked pizza. This is particularly the case for many of the streets leading away from the Cathedral! So it’s most certainly worth having a wander.
The only downside is that many of the restaurants have what I can only refer to as a sales person stood outside, trying to lure you in. This makes it hard to fully read the menu without being put off. However, we did get successfully persuaded into one pizza restaurant (a little shocking seeing as though all of the ‘selling’ was being done in Italian?), and I’m glad we did. It was called Gino’s 1928 and was full to the brim of happy eaters, which I always like to take as a good sign. Despite being busy, we were immediately sat by the window.
This is far from everything fancy shmancy, but instead focuses on wholesome Italian food at fair prices. The interior is somewhat industrial and slightly funky with well-placed neon lighting. They do a fantastic lunch time offer that includes a pizza and soft drink for €10 (but we opted for an alcoholic beverage because… holiday). I hadn’t expected anything special from the pizza, particularly as it arrived so quickly, but oh how wrong I was. This is, and probably will always be, the best pizza I have tasted. As a classic margherita, you might think it to be boring, but the fresh Italian dough, incredible tomato base, and wonderful Italian mozzarella really put all other pizzas to shame. I thought I had tasted fresh pizzas before, but this took it to a whole new level. If you are passing by Ginos, perhaps after taking all of the steps up to the cathedral (well done), I recommend that you give it a try.
Emporio Armani Caffè
Croce Rossa, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The fact that there is an Armani Café is so Milan. We decided to pop in for breakfast and tuck into their continental offerings. This consisted of 6 wonderful fresh pastries. I’m wondering if Italians don’t usually indulge in big breakfasts as the waiter responded with, “are you sure? It contains six pastries?” … Yes Mr waiter, that’s why we’ve chosen it!
As with all of the food on this trip, the pastries were delicious. Plain croissants, filled croissants, pain au chocolate. Yum. I tried the Armani coffee which was an espresso mixed with milk and some deliciously rich chocolate. I would confidently award it with the best coffee I have tasted to date. A lovely spot for a croissant (or 6) for breakfast!
And this concludes my Milano adventures! And oh what a wonderful adventure it has been. I just love a city break, a weekend of exploring and fitting in as much as you possibly can (both in terms of food and tourist spots). Thanks so much for reading, I hope you have enjoyed!
Please do check out my Instagram for many (many) more food and drink-related posts.