feedfeed visits Milan

by Kevin Masse

As a cultural epicenter on food, history and fashion, Milan is the perfect city to experience an incredible cross section of what makes Italy a must-visit destination for food lovers around the world. From the markets, to the cheese shops, to the impeccably executed aperitivo (read Happy Hour) - the city of Milan blends old world charm with modern amenities. The metro is very easy to navigate (the machines to buy tickets, not so much!) so although the city is quite expansive, it’s easy to explore the different parts of the city.

The perception of Italian cuisine from our side of the pond is extra virgin olive oil, fish, tomatoes & pasta. Milan, however, became, over the years, a playground for the wealthy and bourgeois class - reflecting heavily in the cuisine that is popular today - heavy with butter, cream and spices such as saffron - their staple dishes are Saffron Risotto (Risotto Milanese) & Vitello Milanese - (a thinly pounded and pan fried cutlet of veal). Italian cuisine, in large part, reflects the ‘eat local’ mantra - the closer you get to the mountains, you will find cuisine that uses more butter than olive oil and celebrates high quality meat from the cattle grazing the Northern Italian countryside.

We kicked off our stay in Milan with a #feedfeed Meet-Up
Interested in hosting a Meet-Up in your city? Get in touch with us.

FOUR THINGS NOT TO MISS WHILE IN MILAN

1 FRIED PIZZA AT SORBILLO DUOMO
2 GELATO AT CIACCO. GELATO SENZ’ALTRO
3 PECK
A historical prepared food market
located a few blocks from the Duomo
4 TRADITIONAL APERITIVO
Milan’s version of Happy Hour - typically includes
lite bites such as potato chips, crackers and olives -
the traditional drink to order is a Campari Spritz

RECOMMENDED PLACE TO STAY

Excelsior Hotel Gallia (Piazza Duca D'Aosta 9, Milan, 20124, Italy)
Located conveniently across from the Centrale Train Station - this hotel exudes Italian luxury. The rooms are gorgeously appointed, the staff is top notch and the Terazza Gallia is the perfect spot for an outdoor drink and/or dinner. They also offer an incredible breakfast spread - the perfect fueling station for a busy day of activities!

48 HOURS IN MILAN: A FOOD LOVER’S GUIDE

Day 1
BREAKFAST PASTRY & COFFEE AT SO NATURAL
20123, Piazza Sant'Agostino, 16, 20123 Milano, Italy
MORNING WALK OF MERCATO PAPINIANO
Viale Papiniano, 44, 20144 Milano, Italy

Located in the bustling neighborhood of San Vittore, this market offers a wide selection of some of the freshest produce, top quality cheese, fish & meat and offers an all around great local experience. It is important to note that when at the market, it is not customary to touch the produce or product - the vendor will handle your items for you and package them up.
MIRACOLO A MILANO
Via Stendhal, 47, 20144 Milano, Italy
Just a short walk from the market is a fantastic cheese shop that has gained a local cult following for their fresh, made in house Mozzarella, Burrata and Stracciatella. The shop has a great modern feel and they have a very well curated selection of high end Italian food such as dried pasta, sauces & olive oils. A great spot to grab a few gifts to take home.
LUNCH AT TAGLIO
Via Vigevano, 10, 20144 Milano, Italy
Lunch hour starts around 12:30 in Milan and Taglio has a great, homemade offering of salads, cheeses, meats and pastas - all served up in an eclectic, record filled dining space. The stracciatella and tomatoes are not to be missed.
POST LUNCH WALKING OF THE CANAL DISTRICT
Navigli

The area located just around the canals, populated by both locals and tourists alike, is a great area to take in the sights and do a little shopping. A few of our favorite shops, located just a few blocks from the Canal are Acqua Distillata (offering an array of contemporary ceramics and sculptural pieces) & the flower shop directly next door Clori Home and Flowers which stocks gorgeous table linen and table wares.

Note if you are traveling during the summer months, we’d recommend bringing sunscreen as this area is limited in shade.
APERITIVO
Cassina Cuccagna

An historical farmhouse located within the city of Milan, this space has been converted to a community center that has the perfect outdoor patio for enjoying an early summer spritz - the bar can be a bit confusing - but head inside to the counter to order your drinks and some light bites - and then take them with you to find a communal spot outside.

DINNER WITHLOCALS

Dining in someone's home is a great way to learn more about the local culture of a city & make new friends. Withlocals is a great resource for connecting travelers with locals in a city and provide a truly genuine experience. Marco, who is a brand strategist by day & home cooking enthusiast by night, is a terrific host and a wealth of knowledge about local food. He expertly prepared a 4 course meal for us, infusing it with the local flavors of Milanese cuisine - Dinner was €30/pp and included wine and after dinner drinks.

COURSE 1 Chilled Parmesan Pudding

COURSE 2 Sous Vide Egg with crispy ham

COURSE 3 Polenta 3-ways - Spinach - Taleggio - Bolognese

DESSERT Gluten Free Cake (upon request) and fresh fruit

Day 2

DUOMO A MILANO
20122 Milano, Italy

Taking more than 600 years to complete (started in 1345 and completed in 1963) the Duomo is a breathtaking example of Italian architecture and design. The area around the Duomo is pretty heavily saturated with tourists - we’d recommend going early for the best photo opportunities & tour options. Note - proper attire is required to enter the Duomo, be sure to check their website to learn more.

FOOD TOUR WITH SARA PORRO

A 3.5 hour tour-de-force of food, taking a tour with Sara is having the opportunity to visit some of the best food offerings of Milan while learning about the history behind each of the establishments - recommend that you book well in advance of your trip.

PASTICCERIA MARCHESI
Via Santa Maria alla Porta, 11/a, 20123 Milano, Italy

Founded in the mid 1824’s, this small cafe is well known in Milan for producing top quality pastries, cookies and is a hot spot for a quick lunch or after work cocktails - the interior of the space is fairly unchanged from when it opened and is a great way to see ‘old Milan’ style - grab a few cookies/petit fours from the bakery counter and then grab an espresso at the bar. Marchesi was recently acquired by the fashion label Prada.

PECK
Via Spadari, 9, 20123 Milano, Italy

Founded in 1883 as a shop selling German style sausages, Peck quickly evolved into a place that was ‘see and be seen’ for those who were part of the elite class of Milan. As business expanded, Peck became the official supplier of the Royal Household in the early 1900’s and was acquired by a new owner in 1912 - it was this new owner, Eliseo Magnaghi, that they introduced ready made food. Peck gained a cult following of Milan’s elite & intellectual class - propelling them to expand their operations to what they are today.

APERITIVO AT THE CAMPARINO GALLERY
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Piazza del Duomo, 21, 20121 Milano, Italy

Campari, which was produced in Milan for many years, is pretty much celebrated as a national treasure - a bitter orange liqueur, it makes the perfect spritz which is Campari, sparkling wine, and club soda (2 oz. Campari & 2 oz. Prosecco +1 oz. Club Soda - garnish with an orange slice) & the space is a prime example of old Milan - soaring ceilings, glistening hardwood bar & open air feeling - it is the perfect space to stand at the bar and enjoy a quick drink before lunch.

SORBILLO DUOMO
Via Agnello, 19, 20121 Milan, Italy

A local favorite, Sorbillo serves up Pizza Fritte, which are fried dough triangles that are stuffed with ricotta, herbs, sauce and meat (optional) - then served wrapped in butcher paper and ready to take on the go. PRO TIP they are served piping hot, be prepared for lava-like filing. As you enjoy your Pizza Fritte, gently squeeze the filling up from the bottom so that each bite has a nice ratio of filling to dough.

CIACCO. GELATO SENZ’ALTRO
Via Spadari, 13, 20123 Milano, Italy

Considered one of the best Gelato Shops (in Sara’s opinion), this small, but busy shop offers a huge variety of traditional gelato flavors as well as some unique, non dairy options. Lighter in butter fat than traditional Ice Cream - Gelato is sometimes a daily ritual for locals during the hot summer weather.

DINNER AT DELL’ERBA BRUSCA
Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, 286, 20142 Milano, Italia

Located a little bit outside of the city limits of Milan, dell’Erba Brusca is worth the taxi ride. Chef Alice, the founder of dell’Erba Brusca was born in France, but raised in Chicago and North Carolina (and is now a mom of twins!) - her food (some of which is sourced directly from the garden behind the restaurant) is a tour de force of modern Italian cuisine that is inspired by Alice’s upbringing - in a casual environment. We recommend the tasting menu, which she will gladly work to accommodate dietary restrictions. Reservations recommended (can be made online) - in the summer months, request to sit out on the patio. On Wednesday nights they have a Blue Grass band. Reservations Here

A special thanks to these wonderful #feedfeed community members who were instrumental in helping plan our stay in Milan!

LAUREL EVANS
@laurelevans

Texas born and raised has been living in Milan for more than a decade - she now spends her time raising her family while writing cookbooks (in Italian) and runs a blog called Americana en Cucina. Laurel was a tremendous resource for us with planning a market trip, making a few dinner reservations and overall terrific tour guide while we were in town.

ELIZABETH THACKER JONES
@elizabethtjones

Also an American living abroad, was the founder of the Food Book Fair in Brooklyn - after visiting Milan, she fell in love with the city and decided to move there permanently more than three years ago. Elizabeth has spent the past three years in Milan getting to know the food scene and working for the U.S Pavilion at the World’s Fair.

SARA PORRO

A local food historian & food writer - widely published, Sara is a treasure trove of local knowledge and food tour guide in Milan - she can cater them to your liking - for us, she gave us a ‘Not to be Missed’ tour showcasing the local gems directly around the Duomo - perfect for those who want to see where the locals go in a tourist saturated section of the city.

MICHAEL GARDENIA
@lammaigal

The creative force behind Fusilo Lab, we met Michael in person through our #feedfeed Instameet Milan. Michael, through dedication and hard work, has become a key part of the creative & Instagram community in Milan - building out a workshop space where he hosts events, creates custom content for his clients and runs workshops & dinners.

A few more photos from Michael's inspiring space....

Thank you Starwood Hotels for welcoming us to stay at Excelsior Hotel Gallia during our stay.