Being a big, international city, Milan has by far one of the most eclectic and interesting food scenes in Italy, mixing the local cult for quality with the multicultural ethnic trends and latest gastronomic currents.
From gourmet burgers made with delicacies of the Italian tradition to Sri Lankan food made with locally sourced ingredients and extravagant molecular cuisine, Milan has it all. And healthy food has recently become a big hit as well, with chia puddings being sold at the train station and green juices being offered as a pre dinner aperitivo!
Radicetonda: Beside having some awesome vegan food and many gluten friendly options (even though they are not suitable for celiacs as they are made in a gluten contaminated facility), this place offers an eclectic array of options for your plant based cappuccino! My favorite is made with rice milk, but the oat milk one is amazing as well!!
Juice & Co.
Pandemus: If you are on a green juice crave (and in Italy this happens quite often as green juice is not so easy to find), definitely head to one of their locations. This place is open from breakfast until late at night, changing its flair from quiet coffee shop to hip aperitivo bar throughout the day. I love their juice because they have eclectic ingredients such as fennel, zucchini, basil and parsley.
Bistrot at Stazione Centrale: I know, being located at the main Central Train Station, you might assume this place is some kind of tourist trap. That couldn’t be more wrong. Not only there’s an amazing atmosphere that’s very conducive to working on your computer while sipping on a rice milk cappuccino or a fresh squeezed juice… At the Bistro, right after the jawdropping bakery display, they have a great restaurant that makes truly amazing pastas, great salads and lots of vegetarian dishes as well.
For Lunch or a Delicious Snack
Mens@Sana: This amazing Milanese healthy chain has a few locations around the city and I love to hop in there for a quick snack or an informal lunch. They are a fully vegan place that has lots of gluten free options. Most of their food changes daily and you can chose what you want from the display that offers eclectic hot veggie dishes, casseroles and soups. The food is sold by weight and you end up saving a lot, especially because you have free water and unlimited freshly brewed herbal tea that’s constantly refilled on your table.
Ottimo Massimo: If you are in the Duomo area and feel like relaxing in a cozy place while eating something healthy, this is the perfect spot. They make fresh juice (NOTE: the literal translation of juice – “succo” – in Italian is only referred to fruit juices. Veggie juices are called “centrifugati”) and they a very good squash and bean soup on the menu that’s the perfect comfort food for the cold winter days.
Eataly Smeraldo: One of my favorite Eataly stores in the world. This 3 story gourmet store features all the best of Italian food and several restaurants, coffees hops, bakeries and pastry store that bet everything on quality. You can stay there for hours.
Ciacco: one of my favorite gelaterias in Italy. The guys that opened it studied Gastronomic Science at the University of Parma (where they opened the first 2 spots) and they developed a very cool concept of organic gelato with lots of gluten and diary free options!
Their flavor called “Principe” is a salty coconut cream variegated with an espresso sauce that is absolutely outstanding. And their pear sorbet is so creamy that it tastes like whipped cream! Definitely give it a try!
Out of Gluten: This full on gluten free bakery is a real paradise for all those with gluten allergies. No traces of gluten in the whole store, where they sell all kind of packaged products from various brands and where they have an epic bakery that also accepts private orders. So for example, if you can’t try their normal gluten free croissants because you are intolerant to dairy, you can call ahead and have one custom made dairy free!
Glu Free: Another very cool gluten free bakery that features “pizza al taglio” (pizza by the slice) and several kinds of Italian pastries. The display is not as impressive at the one at Out of Gluten, but if you are in the area this place is definitely worth trying!
Osteria del Corso: Everytime I have dinner there I am impressed but the amazing nuances of flavor they can give to the most simple dishes. Their brown risotto with shallot and prawns is to die for and yet so clean. And their baked branzino deserves an applause for the complexity of flavor white and peppercorn can establish. Plus the atmosphere is hip and classy. Definitely one of the coolest spots to hang out on a Friday night after enjoying an epic aperitivo in Corso Como.
Serendib Ristorante Indiano e Sri Lankese: What an incredible place this is!! My husband and I are faithfully devoted to Indian food, and this place is one of the best we have ever found in the world!! Seriously, I had Indian in some of the best restaurants in California, New York, Hong Kong and London… but this one beat them all. Their Dhal is outstanding. I ordered 2. Their curries have all different nuances of flavors that make them super particular and the Italian squash cooked in coconut milk is one of the best side dishes i have ever tried! And did I mention the ambiance is incredibly charming? Red walls, golden decor, candle light… and you feel like you are in Sri Lanka!
Ristorante Langosteria 10 Bistrot: Modern and trendy while still maintaining a very typical Italian attitude. At the Langosteria the staff will make sure you have an amazing meal and they’ll be happy to cater any dish you want according to any possible food allergies (they can make any pasta dish gluten free using corn or rice pasta). They are big on fish and have amazing wine, and you can’t go wrong with anything you find on the menu. Every time I have dinner there, we end up leaving the restaurant at 1 am!
Il Piccolo Padre: The gluten free pizza crust in this restaurant looks and tastes as amazing as the traditional one! The staff is very accommodating and, if you bring your own dairy free cheese, they are happy to use it to season your pizza. The gluten free menu is very extensive: there are so many different kinds of pizza and “primi” (pasta dishes) that it will take you 20 minutes to get ready to order!
I hope you enjoyed this guide, and if you want to read more about my adventures in Milan, check out this other post about why I love this city and a sneak peak into the awesome penthouse we rented: a stunning place overflowing with light and with a wonderful roof terrace overlooking Milan!