Milan, one of the most fashionable and artistic cities in the world, is also a centre of culinary creativity. Home to a wealth of excellent restaurants, it boasts more than its fair share of venues with coveted Michelin stars. We’ve selected four of our favourites in the city
Milan, rich in fashion, art and culture, is one of the world’s most exciting and expressive cities. It is perhaps thus no surprise that it also offers a dynamic culinary scene, with a roster of world-class eateries dotted around the city. One of the highest accolades such restaurants can achieve is a coveted Michelin star rating, recognised around the world as an indicator of excellence. Milan is home to a wide variety of establishments that have made the grade, offering a choice that will delight even the most discerning gourmets.
Here we’ve picked four of the best restaurants that shouldn’t be missed during a trip to Milan, each serving its own contemporary take on classic Italian food.
Even for those whose Italian language skills are basic, upon entering Lume the translation becomes clear. The name is the Italian word for light, reflecting the bright, white space – a former porcelain factory, beautifully redesigned by architect Monica Melotti, which is the perfect backdrop to encourage a focus on the food. The restaurant opened in June 2016, and was awarded a Michelin star a mere five months later. Lume’s kitchen in the middle of the restaurant is partly hidden in a lace-like box structure where, under the leadership of executive chef Luigi Taglienti, the staff create what is described as a ‘holistic dining experience’. Menus combine classic and contemporary cuisine, and dishes pay homage to Milan’s gastronomic culture – examples include Milanese-style veal with salt-baked Jerusalem artichokes, seafood salad and black truffle. For those seeking an al fresco dining experience, the restaurant opened Orto di Lume, an outside dining area, last year, making it the perfect place to spend an Italian summer evening.
Lume, Via Giacomo Watt 37, 20143 Milan, +39 02 8088 8624
D’O has been leading the Milanese culinary scene for 15 years, earning its Michelin star a year after opening in 2003 and proving that quality food that sometimes verges on the experimental needn’t cost a fortune. D’O is in Cornaredo, to the northwest of Milan. While it is slightly off the beaten track, it is well worth seeking out, as one of the region’s best-quality restaurants. The affordable menu follows head chef Davide Oldani’s ‘pop cuisine’ philosophy of accessible fine dining, and consistently delights local foodies and visitors alike with its contemporary twists on traditional Italian dishes.
D’O, Piazza della Chiesa 14, 20010 San Pietro all’Olmo, Cornaredo, Milan, +39 02 936 2209
When Andrea Berton opened his eponymous restaurant in 2013, it was awarded a Michelin star in less than a year. Berton has over 30 years’ experience of some of the best kitchens in the world. His wealth of knowledge of Italian cuisine and ingredients has resulted in Ristorante Berton becoming one of the most respected gastronomic institutions in Milan. Housed in a soaring glass tower in the central financial district of Porta Nuova Varesine, the restaurant’s contemporary, minimalist design matches the beautiful simplicity of its dishes. Menus are designed to make the most of fresh, locally sourced ingredients, with a strong focus on flavour and texture. The 10-course tasting menu, for example, features crispy suckling pig with pear, mustard, roasted leek and coffee sauce; other flavourful plates include caviar with liquorice and lemon. Ristorante Berton’s wine list is widely regarded as one of the best curated in Milan, with expert pairings for each of its gastronomic triumphs.
Ristorante Berton, Via Mike Bongiorno 13, 20124 Milan, +39 02 6707 5801
The philosophy behind Yoji Tokuyoshi’s eponymous restaurant is simple; to respect his ingredients and to pay tribute to his own Japanese culture and the Italian culinary culture in which he was trained. The result is one of the city’s most innovative eateries, which gained a Michelin star within months of opening in 2015. There are two tasting menus – one of six courses, offering dishes each inspired by a different colour, and the surprise omakase menu, designed to fully represent the restaurant’s concept. These are served alongside a comprehensive à la carte menu and the inspired Italy Meets Japan selection. Dishes on the latter menu range from a traditional aubergine, tomato and parmesan tartlet to an experimental pizza broth that promises the taste of the classic pizza, eaten with a spoon. Whichever menu you choose, a meal at Tokuyoshi is guaranteed to be one to remember.
Tokuyoshi, Via San Calocero 3, 20123 Milan, +39 02 8425 4626