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City Breaks

Where To Eat During Milan Fashion Week

It’s no secret that fashion month is the busiest period on international fashion calendars. With Milan Fashion Week following both New York and London, how does one stay energised for countless shows, fittings, showroom appointments and afterparties a day? It all rests on the food.

Heels meet the cobblestone streets as the day’s runway shows conclude and models, creative directors and press flock to their favourite haunts before heading back out to the city’s hottest afterparty. And seeing as Milan, Italy’s fashion capital, brings the same creative expertise to its food as it does to its clothing, there is no limit on delicious places to eat. Here are the top Milanese locales loved by fashion professionals.


Da Giacomo

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Situated in the heart of Milan a short stretch from the six-century old Duomo, Da Giacomo offers a historic dining experience in more ways than one. Founded in 1958, Da Giacomo was relocated in 1989 to the historical Via Sottocorno, a street designed for al fresco dining which, when paired with the bustle of Fashion Week and Giacamo’s delicate antipasti, offers the most enviable place for an aperitivo. The catch of the day is displayed over ice at the restaurant’s entrance, highlighting the trattoria’s championing of fresh fish dishes including the famous vongole. The artisanal refinery of each dish is mirrored in the refined architectural decor which, led by Renzo Mongiardino, adorns the antique building with regal boiseries, stuccoes and arches in a signature pistachio and dulled caramel colour palette. Also in Milan, the Giacomo restaurant group offers two other authentically Milanese osterias worth visiting, the bistro known for its meat-led dishes and rosticceria bringing a less formal, typical trattoria-like atmosphere with typically local cuisine.


Bice Milano 

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Elegance, tradition and grandeur all play a part in the 1926 restaurant Bice Milano. Guided by Chef Vincenzo Mazzone since 1982, the restaurant has kept a grasp of its heritage through shifting food trends in all the right ways. Travel almost one hundred years back in time within minutes by entering the dimly-lit, intimate space to taste and experience the Milan known by the early twentieth century. The dark oak bistro chairs, framings and interior detailing, as well as the soft watercolour wall prints, all add to the restaurant’s classic allure. The authentic menu draws an A-list clientele including Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, making Bice the heartbeat of Milan Fashion Week off the runway.


La Specialità 

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La Specialità restaurant is one for the crowds with its extensive pizza menu. From innumerable toppings to choose from to the pizza margherita with buffalo mozzarella that Milan-native fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni claims to be “the best in Milan” the restaurant-pizzeria is not one to miss. White-clothed round tables, vintage wines and chandeliers contrast the restaurant’s wood-fired pizza oven in a charming, unpretentious flourish. It’s no surprise that this restaurant is loved by fashion front row frequenter’s like Jenny Walton. With ample space outside for courtyard dining, sit and watch the fashion crowds flit by while slicing up your focaccia ligure to the sounds of the animated Via Pietro Calvi next to you.


Ceresio 7

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Boasting panoramic views of the modern skyline in Varseine, Milan’s corporate centre, with an open air terrace overlooking two pools, the new Ceresio restaurant lies atop the historic Enel building that is now the Ceresio 7 hotel. Founded by Dsquared2 duo Dan and Dean Caten, the monument forms the fashion house’s headquarters as well as a working hotel and restaurant. The fashion industry therefore lies at the core of this restaurant and oozes out in every corner from the interior to menu to guest list. Glass panelled room dividers, tall windows (showing Milan’s mountainous surrounds) and geometric styling in primary hues seem a world away from the small osterias of Milan’s centre, yet retain the same fervour, especially during fashion week. 


Bistro Aimo e Nadia

 

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Iconic designer gallerist, and fabric consultant Rossana Orlandi inspired the avant-garde Bistro Aimo e Nadia, and undoubtedly so. Characterised by a turn towards non-conventionality, rich tones and fabrics with prints layered on top of contrasting prints define the maximalist interior which was co-designed with Italian family-owned fashion house Etro. To match, the menu is created by double Michelin-star chefs Alessandro Negrini and Fabio Pisani (founders of Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia) but headed up by chef Sabrina Macri and serves innovative blends of flavour amalgamating in dishes as vibrant as the setting itself.


Cittamani

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Italian cuisine is not the only genre on the menu in Milan. If, by day four of fashion week, you are craving a break from traditional pasta and pizza (or just fancy top-class Indian food), try Cittamani, the contemporary restaurant bringing traditional Indian food to the city. Cittamani is chef Ritu Dalmia’s first restaurant in Milan and has quickly made a lasting mark on the food scene with its small tasting plates decked with spice and colour. The warmth of the neutral, earthy palette that makes the minimalist interior forms a pleasant atmosphere to take an hour or two respite from a busy schedule.


LùBar

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Through the Sicilian romance of the glasshouse restaurant you can almost hear the whistling salty breeze swirl around the decadent, domed-ceiling building. To dine surrounded by classical statues and marble etchings is one only made better at Lùbar by the food. Mediterranean restaurant founded by brothers Lucilla, Lucrezia and Ludovico brings Sicilian flavours to mainland Italy in a superbly green and light space. To profit from the streams of natural light, Lùbar is perfect for a lunchtime rendezvous with the fried polpette with eggplant and pecorino on the menu (alongside all the Milanese fashion locals of course).


Langosteria Cucina

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Langosteria Cucina is Milan’s trendiest fish restaurant by ‘fashion’s favourite restaurateur’ Enrico Buonocore who owns restaurants in Europe’s other fashion capital Paris, namely in the Cheval Blanc hotel. The luxury haven for creative directors is preferred for its discrete, private dining experience and fuses international modern dining through long marbled bars and glass cabinets with the traditional etiquette of Italian lunch spots. The 40-seat restaurant with its 70s-inspired colouring and fabrics serves up two different menus for lunch and dinner sittings, both of which foreground fresh fish dishes.


Paper Moon Giardino 

An outdoor oasis in the fast-paced fashion city, Paper Moon Giardino shepherds ivy-covered walls and al fresco dining. The dreamy lunch spot offers a sleek, contemporary interior with hints to Italian antiquity through corinthian columns lining the garden pergola and the alfrescoed domed ceiling. But the simplicity of the whitened, modern inside bistro space is not mirrored in the menu, with delicious flavour combinations of monkfish served with Jerusalem artichokes and shrimp and burrata stuffed homemade ravioli. The menu also changes seasonally to assure its freshness.


Rovello 18

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Dine amongst a rich array of Italy’s finest aged wines in the small underground trattoria Rovello 18. Born from founder Pierno’s family tradition of warm hospitality serving a simple menu of regional dishes using seasonal ingredients, the restaurant is now known to be more than a family favourite. Loved by Vogue’s Global Contributing Fashion Editor at Large Gabriella Karefa-Johnson among others, Rovello 18 won a Michelin star earlier this year all while retaining its intimate vibe. With the familiar charm of Chef Michele De Liguoro’s dishes including rich chocolate desserts, Rovello 18 is the ideal Milanese spot to plan the next day’s schedule over a piping-hot bowl of tagliatelle.

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