The number one request I get on Insta and otherwise is where to drink natural wine in Milan, so I thought I’d put together this natural wine list/map. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Milan is the most overlooked and unsung food city in Italy, and that also stands true on the natural wine front–there’s loads to uncork here.
If you’re interested in a bit of a natural-wine-in-Milan backgrounder, read on. If you just want to know where to drink natural wine in Milan, scroll down to the map then check out the list that follows. Though if opting for the latter, maybe just read the last paragraph to understand how I classified the list.
So, I officially moved to Milan in 2014, but I visited here regularly during 2013 (the year I lived in Rome). While a handful of wine bars such as La Cieca and Cantine Isola served natural wine (and they still do!), the only natural-dedicated spot (that I knew of at least) was Vinoir on the Navigli. The enoteca con cucina (wine bar with a kitchen) opened in 2012 and is still going strong today! It’s just as good as, if not better than, ever.
Restaurants like Ratanà, Pasta Madre, and Un Posto a Milano have been carrying natural wines for as long as I can remember. Diego Rossi and Pietro Caroli opened Trippa in 2015, and Caroli curated an all-natural wine list to complement Rossi’s unbelievably inventive rustic fare, inspiring other restaurants to follow suit. In addition, Rossi’s clever approach to the menu paved the path for several neo-trattorias with a philosophy akin to that of Parsian bistronomy. Instead of chasing Michelin stars, these spots focused on excellent food at accessible prices points and all-natural wine lists. And they’re still some of my favorite places to eat.
In 2017, natural wine bars began popping up all around town and with them, enoteche naturale con cucine (natural wine bars with kitchens) in the style of Vinoir, also began to arrive. Most recently, multi-concept establishments bakeries/cafes open for lunch, dinner, and aperitivo, serving only natural wines. I think it’s safe to say that Tipografia Alimentare, which opened in 2018, was the first of this ilk.
And what’s most fascinating to me is how these natural wine bars have shifted Milan’s aperitivo culture. Don’t get me wrong–the traditional aperitivo we know and love is still alive and kicking. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Even before the pandemic, the Milanesi were “whetting” their appetites with natural wine and accompanying it with non-complimentary food– as opposed to the traditional cocktail and complimentary copious food buffet (which is now plated and served by the staff due to Covid).
I also want to clarify that natural wine is nothing “new” in Milan. I had only learned about natural wine in 2012, the year before I moved to Italy. When I lived in Rome, my friends were super into natural wine and I drank lots of it there, but it had already been going strong for at least a decade.
I spent 2014 Ferragosto at Cascina degli Ulivi, Stefano Bellotti’s biodyanmic farm in Novi Ligure (southern Piedmont). The late natural wine pioneer is pretty much considered the godfather of natural wine in Italy. He began making it in 1977 and converted his farm to completely biodynamic in 1984. Obviously, the adoration for his cascina long predates my first visit.
Earlier that same year, I had attended Vini di Vignaioli at Cascina Cuccagna, the predecessor of sorts to the Live Wine natural wine expo at Palazzo del Ghiaccio–I try to go every year if I’m in town. In fact, I just attended the 2022 edition.
In my research, I also learned that a few years before my time in the Lombard capital, Bar à Vin – Sarfati Vini Naturali, a natural wine bar, opened in 2010 on Via della Moscova. Sadly, it closed in 2012 – I’m not sure why, but perhaps the proprietor was ahead of his time? Though he does still seem to be distributing and/or importing, and that’s pretty darn cool. Also, another shop that came and went was Mio Bio. This organic shop with various products, natural wines being one of them, opened in 2011. Alas, it closed a few years ago.
Anyhoo, my point is that natural wine is by no means “new” in Milan (or in Italy, for that matter) and I didn’t even wanna say it’s “all the rage” because it’s been raging for decades. I wouldn’t say that Milan was slow to catch on. I think there was a need for it and now the Milanesi can pick from myriad establishments to indulge the urge to go on a natural wine tear.
So, my map currently has 72 places, and I’ll be updating it ongoingly. I’ve organized the list as such; natural wine bars, enoteche con cucine; multi-concept establishments; standard wine bars with ample natural wine selections; restaurants with natural wine lists; and retail. I’ve also included the neighborhoods/metro stops alongside the places and any pertinent info when necessary.
This list is by no means exhaustive. I’ll keep updating it as necessary, and please feel free to hit me up if you know of anywhere I missed. (Last updated: June 1, 2022)
Natural wine bars
While these wine bars might not have a proper kitchen, they all serve food, such as crostini, cheese, and salami.
Champagne Socialist (Porta Venezia) 2017
Cru Arco (Arco della Pace) 2021 – I love the Isola location, but this one is even closer to home. I can get there on foot and it brings me so much joy to know it’s so easily reachable.
Cru Isola (Isola) 2018
Enoteca Surli (Sempione – closest metro is Gerusalamme) 2017 – This spot is the closest to home for me.
Palinurobar (Città Studi) 2021 – More than 500 labels of natural wine.
Vinello a Milano (De’ Angeli – closest metro is Gambara) This place is super special! Owner Alessandro Ambrosi had worked at Vinoir and opened Vinello in 2013. It originally specialized in vini sfusi (wine on tap) and in 2018, he made the shift to natural and biodynamic wines. He currently counts around 220-250 labels on offer. Yes, they still have vini sfusi, but, in keeping with the theme, they’re all natural and/or biodynamic.
Vineria Eretica (Porta Venezia) 2019
Enoteche con cucine
These natural wine bars are equipped with a kitchen so they serve cooked food In addition to options found at the above places. Some menus feature a traditional structure (antipasti, primi, secondi) while others just list a bunch of piatti unici (single dishes) that guests can order as many or as little as they wish.
Associazione Salumi E Vini Naturali (Brera, Corso Garibaldi) 2020
e/n Enoteca Naturale (Ticinese) 2019
Flor. | born to be wine (Navigli) 2019
Hic Enoteche Cucina (Porta Romana) 2022
La Sala del Vino (Ortica) 2018
La Sala Bistrot (Sempione) 2021
Linearetta — So, the website says “non siamo enoteca, non siamo pub, non siamo ristorante” but I’m classifying it here because I think it’s the most appropriate spot (Sant’Agostino) 2018
Mestè (Bocconi) 2019
Vinoir (Navigli) 2012
These places all serve breakfast and bake on-premises, and they’re also open for lunch and at least an aperitivo (if not dinner) and serve natural wine.
Crosta — It’s a pasticceria, panetteria, and pizzeria all rolled into one (Porta Venezia) 2018
Loste Café (Zona Risorgimento) 2021
O|NEST (Dateo) 2019
Tipogragia Alimentare (Naviglio Martesana/Nolo) 2018
Tone Bread Lab (Città Studi) 2021
Wine bars with an ample selection of natural wine
Bicerin (Porta Venezia)
Ca’ de Vin — This place is currently temporarily closed, but I’m hoping it reopens very soon! It’s all specialties from my beloved Lombardia. (Piazza Firenze)
Cantina Urbana This is a tricky one to classify, but I’m putting it here. In short, Cantina Urbana is a winery in the city. It produces its own wines and there are some naturals among them. There are also some good eats. (Navigli)
Cantine Isola (Chinatown)
Enoteca Escobrillo (Città Studi)
Enoteca Vino (Porta Romana)
Il Cavallante (Porta Romana)
La Cieca (Bocconi)
N’Ombra de Vin (Brera)
Tannico Winebar (Navigli)
Vino al Vino (Lima)
Vinodromo (Between Bocconi and Porta Romana)
These restaurants all serve natural wine. Some have wines lists entirely dedicated to it while others have a strong showing.
28 Posti (Navigli)
Atempo Bistrot (Porta Venezia)
Baratie (Zona Solari-the closest metro is Sant’Agostino) This restaurant and cocktail bar also has a vibrant nightlife scene.
Ciciarà (Piazza Santa Stefano; very close to the Duomo/Historic Center)
Ciz Cantina e Cucina – This is a tricky one to classify as Ciz refers to itself as an “osteria winebar.” The wine list here is epic! They have 1700 labels, of which 700 are biodynamic/natural. While I haven’t personally vetted this, I think it just might be the largest natural wine collection in the city. If it’s not, it’s one of the largest! (Zona Risorgimento)
Da Martino (Monumentale)
Gerli del 1870 (Buoanarotti)
Erba Brusca (Navigli)
Exit Gastronomia Urbana (Missori)
Exit Pastificio (Crocetta)
Frangente (Between Repubblica and Porta Venezia)
FUD Bodega Sicula (Navigli)
Hic Enoteche Bistrot (Porta Vittoria)
Immorale (Porta Venezia)
Immorale Osé (Porta Venezia/Lima)
Kanpei (Porta Venezia)
Mater Bistrot (Zona Risorgimento)
Mezè (Zona Risorgimento)
Moebius (Porta Venezia/Repubblica)
Osteria alla Concorrenza (Porta Venezia)
Osteria del Portone (Southeast of the city center in the comune of Melegnano)
Ottocene (Porta Venezia)
Pasta Madre (Porta Romana)
Røst (Porta Venezia)
Rovello 18 (Brera)
Trattoria del Gallo (Southeast of the city center in the comune of Gaggiano.)
Trattoria del Nuovo Macello (Porta Vittoria)
Trippa (Porta Romana)
Ugo Bar (Cocktail bar and bistrot)
Hic Enoteche Boutique (Porta Venezia)
Hic Enoteche Lab (Tortona) Temporarily closed
Terroir (Zona Risorgimento)