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The 10 Best Restaurants in Milan in 2016 (and my 2017 Wishlist)

Here we are, like every year, with the list of my favourite restaurants in Milan from 2016 and my wishlist for 2017. Last year I wrote a similar article, and I managed to stick to my wishlist. 2016 was a year full of favourites, and 2017 is already very promising with many new places I’m eager to discover. Here are my favourite restaurants from this year and my wishlist for the year ahead!

I’d like to take a moment to wish each and everyone of you a wonderful new year, full of places that will warm your hearts.

FILIPPO LA MANTIA

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Filippo La Mantia Restaurant Milan A Place in Milan

The cannolo| © Caterina Zanzi

I LIKE IT BECAUSE: Because his restaurant is a wonder. Because the chef is one of the humblest and kindest I have ever met. Because his Sicilian specialties are a true gift to Milan: for lunch, dinner and even for brunch.

CONTRASTE

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Contraste Milan A Place in Milan

The Bolognese donut| © Caterina Zanzi

I LIKE IT BECAUSE: The most incredible “special” dinner of 2016 was at Contraste, the restaurant led by chef Matias Perdomo in the Navigli area. The highlight? Innovation in its purest state. Having dinner here, for me, was like having a (beautiful) dream.

NORDIC GRILL

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nordic-grill_milan_

I LIKE IT BECAUSE: Because the meat here is exceptional. Because the restaurant is gorgeous, perfect for dinner with your partner or with a group of friends. Because it is super central, in the Sant’Ambrogio area, where a place like this was truly needed.

GESTO

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Gesto Milan Tapas

The Tapas at Gesto | © Vittoria Magenes

I LIKE IT BECAUSE: Because the tapas here are to die for, and are incredibly original. Because this place in Porta Venezia is super nice and is great for an aperitivo, for dinner but also for after dinner. Because the drinks are excellent.

RUFUS COCKTAIL BAR

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Rufus Cocktail Bar Milan

The aperitivo at Rufus| © Caterina Zanzi

I LIKE IT BECAUSE: Because the place is gorgeous and was direly needed in the Conciliazione/Pagano area. Because the staff is super kind and makes incredible cocktails. Because between 6:00pm and 7:00pm is “happy hour”: for every drink you order, you get a second one for free!

MAO HUNAN

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Chinese dumplings Milan A Place in Milan

Dumplings with spinach | © Caterina Zanzi

I LIKE IT BECAUSE: Because in terms of Chinese restaurants, Mao Hunan is without a shadow of a doubt the discovery of 2016. Because I love characteristic places with little fluff and lots of substance. Because its clients are mostly oriental, making it a sure bet. Because its dumplings are to die for.

BRISCOLA PIZZA

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Briscola_Milan_A Place in Milan

The Margherita and Genovese “mini” pizzas | © Giorgia Ferrais

I LIKE IT BECAUSE: Because I don’t like pizza due to it being difficult for me to digest, yet I barely felt the one from Briscola. Because the ingredients with which they are garnished are often original – and delightfully juxtaposed. Because I love the “pizza sharing” formula.

BOTANICAL CLUB

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Botanical Club Milan

The salmon poke | © Caterina Zanzi

I LIKE IT BECAUSE: Because poke, a Hawaiian specialty that is delicious to say the least, was really needed in Milan. Because the Botanical Club brought it here and did well in doing so. Because this restaurant has locations in both the Isola district and Tortona district, which has beautiful restaurants and is full of plants. Because the gin here is strong stuff.

GAM BISTROT

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Gam Bistrot Korean Milan

The bulgoghi bibimbap | © Caterina Zanzi

I LIKE IT BECAUSE: Because if you’re looking for a delicious Korean restaurant, this place is for you. Because the atmosphere is nice without being too pretentious. Because the price to quality ratio is excellent, just like the bulgoghi and fritters.

SERENDIB

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Serendib Restaurant Indian Milan

The fish dishes | © Caterina Zanzi

I LIKE IT BECAUSE: Because if you like Indian cuisine you can’t miss it. Because it’s in the frilly Moscova area, yet serves up truly exceptional dishes at a fair price. Because if it’s your birthday you don’t pay.

And for the 10 restaurants I have fond memories of, here are five from my super personal wishlist for 2017!

El Porteno

I’ve had it on my list for ages and every time I pass in front of it I think to myself: “I really have to reserve”. Many have told me that for meat, El Porteno, with its locations in the Arena and Ticinese areas, is one of Milan’s best. Will I manage to try it in 2017?

Shannara

It has been said of Shannara that it is the El Porteno for fish. It has three locations and appears to have an excellent quality to price ratio. Have any of you tried it out and wish to share your opinion? I have a weakness for fish, but it’s often overpriced in Milan: is Shannara the perfect match?

Bussarakham

One of the ethnic restaurants that I still have to try is this beautiful restaurant in Porta Genova, which brings thai recipes to the table in a super chic environment. Will I manage to dine at one of its gorgeous tables?

Veranda

After my trip to Russia this summer, I’ve been dreaming about eating food from the Caucasus even in Milan. And I’ve read rave reviews about Veranda, a Russian restaurant in the XXII Marzo area. The highlights here are the borsch, the marinated herring and the Ukranian dumplings…I can’t wait!

Seta

The location is already promising, housed in the new and beautiful Hotel Mandarin Oriental behind via Montenapoleone. Its restaurant, Seta, even earned a Michelin star: for a truly special dinner, it could be the right place!

And now it’s your turn to leave a comment: let me know what your favourite places were in 2016 and which ones you have on your wishlist for the new year!

Read the original article on Conosco un Posto. This English version was translated by Kelsey Rivett.

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