Milan in January: Gray, foggy, cold, maybe snowy. And dark at 3 p.m. But instead of dreading their bi-seasonal — or perhaps monthly — visits to the northern Italian city, those heading to Milan Men’s Fashion Week should perhaps appreciate the location’s understated charms, with enough hidden gems to satisfy anyone’s needs and requests — especially the demanding fashion flock, which is always desperate to find the newest “in” spot, store, gallery or great restaurant that no one else knows. Why? So they can loudly brag about it to their peers.
Ah, but how to find them? Here, WWD asks six local connoisseurs to share their favorite spots to experience Milan at its best.
Founder, conoscounposto.com, and food lover
Pavé: A great place to kick off your day with a cappuccino and homemade croissants.
Via Felice Casati, 27. 02-9439-2259
Lacerba: My favorite cocktail bar in Milan. The barmen are fun and the Bloody Mary list is out of this world.
Via Orti, 4. 02-545-5475
Gorille: Treat yourself with a tea or hot chocolate in the up-and-coming Isola district.
Via Gaetano de Castillia, 20. 02-688-7627
The Botanical Club: If you’re looking for a light dinner, order one of the fantastic poke bowls. The drinks made with their homemade gin are fabulous.
Via Tortona, 33. 02-423-2890
Ofelè: Ideal for brunch. Cozy location, impeccable service and yummy salmon pancakes.
Via Savona, 2. 02-4950-0096
Flower designer and beauty addict
Fioraio Bianchi Caffè: Flowers are my passion and here you can order beautiful bouquets with a romantic feel while sipping a drink…very Milanese!
Via Montebello, 7. 02-2901-4390
Spazio Rossana Orlandi: Here you can always find a special object to give or buy for yourself. Try to be in Milan at the end of March — its courtyard will be filled with tulips.
Via Matteo Bandello, 14/16. 02-467-4471
Kiosk Piazzale Susa: Great vintage books at good prices.
Wait and See: It’s a unique, unconventional fashion boutique with cute things.
Via Santa Marta, 14. 02-7208-0195
Alan Journo: A last-minute invite to a costume party? No worries…here you can find the most beautiful and extravagant masks and hair accessories.
Via della Spiga, 36. 02-7600-1309
Gioielli di Santo Spirito 13: Artisanal jewels, festive and sophisticated. There is also a nice selection of lucky charms.
Via Santo Spirito, 13. 02-7602-5859
Antiquities and art enthusiast
Antik Arte & Scienza: A wunderkammer of antique nautical items and scientific instruments.
Via S. Giovanni sul Muro, 10. 02-8646-1448
Il Trovatore: Precious antique objects are combined with special sweets and niche fashion accessories in an eclectic, sophisticated concept store.
Via Ansperto, 7. 02-7210-5946
Longari Arte: A traditional high-end antique dealer. The family’s newest generation recently added furniture and design pieces for a more modern offering.
Via Bigli, 12. 02-8969-7848
Robertaebasta: With four locations in the Brera district, this gallery offers a wide range of products, from more commercial options to niche, extremely precious items.
Via Fiori Chiari, 2. 02-861593
Mercatone dell’Antiquariato: Every last Sunday of the month, Milan’s signature Naviglio Grande hosts this flea market where you can find art and design pieces, as well as antiquities.
Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 158. 02-8940-9971
Creative director, DJ and nightlife connoisseur
Volt: Milan’s newest nightclub is definitely the number-one place in the city to listen to the best electronic music from the most cutting-edge DJs from around the world.
Via Molino delle Armi, 16. 345-228-5157
Strainer: Love the old-book style cocktail menu.
Via Cardinale Ascanio Sforza 11. 338-169-2182
Otto: I love the food here and the ambience.
Via Paolo Sarpi, 8. 02-8341-7249
The Yard: I love the decor in this place and they make a mean Bloody Mary.
Piazza Ventiquattro Maggio, 8. 02-8941-5901
Il Morgante: For the cocktails and the jazz music.
Vicolo Privato Lavandai, 2. 02-3594-0879
Shiseido Spa Milano: The best spa in town. They offer couple’s treatments and there is a salt room, which is extremely energizing.
Piazza Duca d’Aosta, 9. 02-67851
Studio Estetico 11: André Malbert, who was Grace Kelly’s beautician, offers interesting and effective facial treatments.
Via Fratelli Ruffini, 11. 02-4851-3621
Alberto Corda: Alberto has been Marta Marzotto’s hairdresser for decades. They are amazing with blondes. It’s a tiny, cozy salon and the plus is that there is no mobile coverage so you can have a real break.
Vicolo Giardino, 3. 02-8646-1933
Bullfrog: A traditional barber shop with a modern twist. They offer impeccable cuts, hair and beard treatments, as well as specific products.
Via Dante, 4. 02-8909-6163
Milanomakeup: This store carries a selection of under-the-radar fragrances and makeup products.
Via Santa Margherita, 10. 02-8646-0126
Mazzolari: Here you can find everything you need for your body, face and hair. I suggest you ask for products that aren’t on display. For example, they have drawers filled with products from Indio, an Italian makeup brand that still produces the foundation used by Elizabeth Taylor in the “Cleopatra” movie.
Corso Monforte, 2-02-7600-0063
Photographer and outspoken vegetarian
Joia: Michelin starred chef Pietro Leemann is a real genius. Here you can taste excellent vegetarian and vegan dishes. A real experience.
Via Panfilo Castaldi, 18. 02-204-9244
Vegan World: Yummy vegan dishes from around the world, which you can also take away.
Viale Monte Nero, 34. 02-5501-6505
La Vecchia Latteria: It’s ideal for a quick, healthy vegetarian or vegan meal.
Via dell’Unione, 6. 02-874-401
Mantra Raw Vegan: Probably the only place in Milan where everything is both vegan and raw. Great.
Via Panfilo Castaldi, 21. 02-8905-8575
La Colubrina: The vegan menu is wide — their vegan pizzoccheri are great — but there is also a traditional menu with fish and meat. A secluded room is perfect for private dinners and events.
Via Felice Casati, 5. 02-2951-8427