Milan isn’t really at the top of most people’s list of vacation destinations. It’s a city. A working city. The financial capital of Italy. Of course, it’s also a fashion city. But I don’t work in fashion. I work in finance. Sort of.
Hence every so often, I get to go to Milan for work. Where my awesome colleagues make sure I am very well fed and watered. How much do I love the fact that when we moved into our new office in Milan, my Italian colleagues made it a specific mission to eat in every restaurant nearby and REPORT BACK to management on the results of their search so they could collectively decide on their favorite places? Also, our Italian CEO won’t let anyone eat at their desks in the office. The team has to eat in the lunchroom OR go out to lunch together. Savoring the moment.
I don’t like to play favorites, but I will anyhow: my Italian colleagues are my favorite colleagues worldwide.
Unfortunately, our new office in Milan is in a bit of a wasteland. The Central Station wasteland. I wouldn’t really recommend this part of town. And truth be told, I wouldn’t really recommend that you make it a specific point to seek out any of these restaurants. They’re good. But I think there is far better to be had across Milan.
Frijenno Maganno, Via Benedetto Marcello, 93. Specializing in the food of Napoli. Busy little restaurant and cafe with a huge pizza oven. I had the fresh and light spaghetti vongole, and afterwards, my colleagues ordered up multiple orders of Fritto Misto. Heaven.
Pizzeria Gaffurio, Via Gaffurio. Very congenial family run place. At the front of the restaurant, next to do the counter, they have all the daily specials arranged. Pick what you’d like, and a few minutes later, they’ll bring it to you. I had the seafood spaghetti. (Predictable, aren’t I?) I liked it here because it was just so neighborhood-y and friendly. Some Google-ing after the fact turned up rave reviews for the pizza, necessitating a second visit.
Art Factory, Via Andrea Doria: One of my favorite things to do in Milan is head out for apertivos in the evening. Who doesn’t love free food with their drinks? Art Factory had a pretty extensive buffet (photos on their Web site here), although sadly not all of it was good. They also played very loud music. This annoyed me. But again, with free food, it was all okay. If I lived in Milan, I would do nothing but blog about apertivos.