After an afternoon spent exploring Isola, be sure to make a pit stop at Artico Gelateria. Here, handmade ice cream has become something of an art form, with high-quality raw ingredients used to make natural gelato with no artificial colours or flavours. Options range from classic chocolate to Sicilian almond, liquorice, pear, fig and banana. Be sure to try the walnut, made with nuts grown on the slopes of Mount Etna.
Artico Gelateria, Via Porro Lambertenghi 15, 20159 Milan, +39 02 4549 4698
Those looking for top traditional Milanese cooking in Isola should make a beeline for Ratana. Specialising in Milanese and Lombardy cuisine, Ratana revisits the culinary traditions of the region with a contemporary touch. The eatery uses small artisanal producers and all ingredients are of the highest quality, ensuring incredible flavours. While the menu changes regularly, according to which produce is in season, current dishes include freshwater asparagus pasta soup, brown trout fillet and beef carpaccio. Be sure to save room for pudding as the dessert menu is equally as impressive.
Ratana, Via Gaetano de Castillia 28, 20124 Milan, +39 02 8712 8855
Situated behind a graffiti-covered wall, Frida is a hidden gem in the Isola neighbourhood. The alternative shop and bar attracts the area’s cool crowd, with locals flocking to take advantage of its vintage boutique and delicious aperitivos. The buzzing atmosphere makes it a great place to enjoy a healthy brunch, or come along in the evening and sit out on the terrace – perfect for sipping an Aperol drink or two.
Frida, Via Pollaiuolo 3, 20159 Milan, +39 02 680260
A neighbourhood favourite, Il Pesciolone is a must-visit in Milan. The speciality fish restaurant not only looks beautifully quaint, with its bare brick walls and vibrant wall hangings, it also serves some of the best quality fish in the area. Each day the freshest fish is selected to create top dishes such as salmon steak, fried codfish, chargrilled octopus and Catalonian-style lobster. The menu is a seafood lover’s dream and, with home-made tagliolino pasta also on offer, there are so many options you may want to come back more than once.
Il Pesciolone, Via Pietro Borsieri 27, 20159 Milan, +39 02 3956 6010
Live in Vintage
Milan may be best known for its luxury shopping and top international labels but it is also home to plenty of great vintage stores. In Isola, be sure to head to Via Thaon di Revel and make a beeline for Live in Vintage. This cool vintage store is a must-visit for those looking for unique, one-of-a kind items, with designer and couture labels as well as stylish pieces from lesser-known brands. From 1950s-style dresses to rare accessories and handbags, this is a great place to shop, away from the centre of Milan.
Live in Vintage, Via Thaon di Revel 4, 20159 Milan, +39 02 8537 2421