5 Noteworthy February Meals

Restaurants in Milan February 2024

Here, in no particular order, are five memorable meals from restaurants in Millan and beyond that I enjoyed in February. If you know me, the first three spots will come as no surprise. They’re three of my favorite restaurants in Milan, and I couldn’t wait to get to them as soon as I got back here after the holidays – two months was too long to be without them! And if you’re curious about some wines I loved in February, you can read about them here.


This epic gastronomia contemporanea is always spot on. So much so that I’m constantly craving it. For better or worse, there’s usually just one pasta on the menu. If you’re a pasta devotee like me, you might initially feel limited, but it’s actually a blessing that chef Aldo Ritrovato makes the pasta choice for you–it’s always so nuanced and flavorful that you’ll crave a second helping. On this visit, my pasta mista was swimming with meaty mussels, ribbons of kale, and plump white beans – a gratifyingly dazzling antidote to the February chill. It’s sacrilegious not to end any meal with tiramisu (one of the best in town!) or pastiera – or both, which we did. website

Restaurants in Milan February 2024 Stadera copy
Pasta mista, mussels, kale, and white beans at Stadera

Osteria alla Concorrenza

This wine bar, lodged on Milan’s buzziest restaurant street, is just a ten-minute walk from casa mia. When I lived in northwest Milan, I always wished I’d lived closer to it. Now that I do, I definitely visit more often, but nowhere near as frequently as I would like. In February, I headed to Osteria alla Concorrenza for some pre-Festival (the Sanremo Italian Song Festival, that is) bubbles and eats. I ordered two of my usuals: the crostone coated in a glossy layer of melted taleggio delicately embellished with orange mostarda and the focaccia di Recco, or cheese focaccia, that’s rolled into a wrap stuffed with mortadella. I even got one of the former to take home and enjoy during Sanremo. Instagram

Restaurants in Milan February 2024 Osteria alla Concorrenza
Crostone with Taleggio and orange mostarda at Osteria alla Concorrenza – the focaccia di Recco with mortadella is in the background


I always say this Japanese restaurant offers the best business lunch in town, and here’s why: when you order one item from the lunch menu, say my go-to, the salmon roll, it costs about 17 euros and comes with a miso soup, fried rice, a salad (a choice of their house salad or seaweed salad), and an amuse bouche. I love it so much, and I was craving it like crazy when I was in the U.S. The lunch was as satiating as ever, and, as always, my next lunch there can’t come quickly enough. Local tip: Nishiki’s close proximity to Fondazione Prada makes it an excellent spot for lunch before or after visiting the museum. website

Restaurants in Milan February 2024 Nishiki
My beloved salmon roll at Nishiki

Macelleria Popolare

When I first moved to Milan, I lived for Saturday afternoons at Mangiari di Strada, Giuseppe Zen’s street food joint in Lorenteggio on Milan’s outskirts. The meat-forward eatery had specialized in all ilks of Italian street food, showcasing plenty of fifth-quarter deliciousness. As much as I loved availing myself of the daring eats like the fried brain, tongue, or nervetti, I always found the polpette e puree (metaballs with mashed potatoes) tremendously comforting. It’s also worth noting that the preferences of non-carnivores were never overlooked, and there were always plenty of options for vegetarians and pescatarians.

Restaurant in Milan February 2024 Macelleria Popolare
Mondeghili, or Milanese meatballs, at Macelleria Popolare

Alas, flooding damage prompted Mangiari di Strada to shut its doors in 2017, but thankfully, Zen has been present at the Darsena, the refurbished Navigli harbor, since its 2015 inauguration. His menu, while a tad slimmed down, is more carnivorous than ever–and still displayed on a chalkboard. My February lunch there ruled! It included some of the finest mondeghili (Milanese meatballs) in town. I’ve seen them in various shapes and sizes, but never before formed into mini hockey pucks. The textured, crispy outside encased a luscious tender beef filling, and they were glorious.

Restaurants in Milan February 2024 Macelleria Popolare 2
Diaframma, or skirt steak, at Macelleria Popolare

We also enjoyed juicy slices of grilled skirt steak (diaframma); stigghiola, a Palermitano street food comprising lamb intestine skewered around a leek; melt-in-your-mouth braised tongue over pillowy toasted bread, and a delightful tiramisu cleverly concocted on the spot. While it’s nice to know that Zen’s food is in Milano centro and, therefore, closer to home, I’ll always wax nostalgic for the feels-like-home vibes of Mangiari di Strada and its backyard. Admittedly, I don’t get there often enough, but that’s about to change. no website

BirraTrovo Como

As small as the city of Como is, it’s always chock full of unexpected treasures. A beer pub modeled after an English football pub might seem like an unlikely place to enjoy local specialties, but the menu features them alongside some pub staples. My February lunch there started with agone (the fish used for missoltini) in carpione and a selection of local cured meats like slinzega, a beef typical of Valtellina, and celtico di chianina (smoked beef) carpaccio from Marco d’Oggiono, a local purveyor. The main course: fresh tagliolini with sour butter and river shrimp gently doused in bisque with a touch of lime (pictured above). Unfortunately, I can’t remember the beer I drank, but I loved it–the pub proffers 400 labels on rotation. Facebook

Restaurants in Milan February 2024 Birratrovo Como
Agone in carpione (an old-school Lake Como preparation) at BirraTrovo in Como


0 replies on “5 Noteworthy February Meals”