Coffee Bar

[English version to follow shortly] Finalmente siamo andate a fare una visita alla Fondazione Prada, il nuovo spazio (dopo quello di Venezia) voluto da Miuccia Prada e Patrizio Bertelli, dedicato all'arte contemporanea, all'architettura, al cinema e alla danza.La Fondazione sorge negli spazi di una vecchia distilleria dei primi del 900 in una zona un pò decentrata, ma facilmente raggiungibile in macchina o con i mezzi pubblici. Il nuovo spazio ha la particolarità di far convivere gli edifici esistenti, sapientemente recuperati, ma innovati nelle forme con tre di nuova costruzione il Cinema, il Podium e la Torre, quest'ultima ancora in fase di completamento. Il risultato è una bellissima area di 19.000 mq2 in cui girovagare ammirando gli eleganti edifici e la pluralità di ambienti, perdersi alla scoperta di grandi opere, proposte e suggestioni, rilassarsi nei vari cortili che collegano tra di loro gli edifici. La Fondazione ospita installazioni permanenti pensate e realizzate specificamente per gli spazi dove sono esposte. Troviamo le opere di Robert Gober e Louise Bourgeois nell'edificio Haunted House (edificio di quattro piani esternamente rivestito di uno strato di foglia d'oro), con accesso limitato e solo su prenotazione sul posto,  l'opera Processo Grottesco di Thomas Demand, riproduzione 3D in cartone di una grotta dell'Isola di Maiorca e la bellissima mostra di John Baldessari dal titolo "John Baldessari. The Giacometti Variation. Si tratta di un omaggio a Giacometti, con colossali figure (sono alte quattro metri e mezzo) ispirate alle esili donne del grande scultore svizzero, ma dalle proporzioni ancora più allungate, vestite di abiti disegnati dallo stesso Baldessari che danno vita ad una sorta di sfilata di moda.Nella grande sala dell'ala nord troviamo pezzi della collezione privata dei coniugi Prada; la sala grande è sicuramente quella più notevole, con tantissimi lavori dei più noti e quotati artisti italiani ed internazionali che vanno dagli anni 60 del 900 ad oggi, da Fontana, alla Accardi, Castellani, Tancredi, Koons, appesi uno di fianco all'altro sulle tre gigantesche pareti.Non poteva mancare Damien Hirst (sempre discutibile), con la sua originale installazione dal titolo Lost Love, una vasca cubica piena di pesci vivi con dentro un lettino ambulatoriale e altri oggetti femminili e chirurgici. Diciamo che se non si è esperti, una guida è necessaria, anche perchè nessuna delle opere esposte è supportata da testi a lato che aiutano nella comprensione; in alternativa segnaliamo la disponibilità dei giovani in divisa rigorosamente scura che  che vigilano le opere d'arte, ma sono in grado di dare informazioni sulle medesime ai visitatori più curiosi, essendo laureati o studenti di beni culturali, archeologia, storia dell'arte. Molto piacevole la pausa al Bar Luce, caffè dal gusto retrò, ideato dal regista Wes Anderson (per chi l'ha visto è quello di Grand Hotel Budapest) che rende omaggio ad uno dei simboli di Milano, la Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, riprodotta nelle decorazioni di pareti e soffitti.Prada ha pensato anche ai bambini con il progetto Accademia dei Bambini, area dedicata al gioco, alla creatività e all'apprendimento con laboratori a tema che si tengono nel weekend.  Sicuramente un luogo da visitare con mente aperta, senza pregiudizi e senza schemi tradizionali!    
Largo Isarco 2 20135 Milano
info@fondazioneprada.org
02 54670515
High above Milan overlooking Parco Sempione with a clear view of the Unicredit building in the distance, is Osteria con Vista at the Triennale - Milan's Contemporary Art Museum. This amazing restaurant located on the roof of the Triennale is a wonderous display of glass, wood, light and shade. Modern, sleek, with Central Park views and West Coast inspired decor, Osteria con Vista is a 'must' for lunch, dinner, an aperatif or Sunday brunch with friends and/or family. However, don't be fooled; getting a reservation can be almost as difficult as getting one at a top restaurant in London, especially during the weekend in the warmer months. As you walk into this glass walled restaurant you are greeted by a plethora of aromatic herbs which, along with wild grasses, form a wonderful backdrop to this elegant restaurant. During the warm weather the glass walls are opened up to allow guests to dine outside on the terrace, and a 400m2  awning is used to protect guests from the sun during the day and removed at night to allow them to gaze at the stars. If you don't want to stay for dinner why not simply sample one of Luis Hidalgo's famous cocktails and watch the sunset. Not only is the location unique, but the food is also delicious. The restaurant is run by Ugo Fava, whose aim was to recreate the 'osteria' concept of simple traditional Italian dishes and have Michelin star Chef Stefano Cerveni artfully give them a contemporary twist. Something the pair have expertly managed to carry off with mouthwatering success! The Osteria con Vista offers a great selection of vegetarian, meat and fish dishes as well as desserts, although the lunch menu offers a more limited choice (and only two desserts). Osteria con Vista also caters for little ones and offers tasty morsels that all children love especially for Sunday brunch. Parents will also be pleased that the restaurant also offers baby changing facilities, although you have to walk down several flights of stairs to access them. Osteria con Vista is open Mondays to Sundays from 11.30am to 12.30am.
Viale Alemagna, 6 Milano
info@terrazzatriennale.org
02 36644340
California Bakery has become something of an institution in Milan. Dotted around the city, these coffee shops cum restaurants offer consistently excellent homemade, locally sourced American food which appeals to all ages in a warm and relaxed environment. If we had to choose a favourite location, however,  it would have to be Piazza Sant'Eustorgio which gets its name from the beautfiul 13th century church located there. On request you can sit outside under enormous umbrellas and enjoy the hustle and bustle of this recently gentrified area bursting with cool bars and shops such as Clori and Laura Urbinati which are just next door (see our Home Decor and Fashion Shops sections).   As for the food, California Bakery offers: proper American breakfast (pancakes, waffles etc), delicious New York style bagels packed with fresh ingredients such as 'NY Style' (smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomatoes, capers, Tropea red onion); fish burgers, vegetarian burgers and hamburgers in a bun with numerous different toppings and in two different sizes: 100g or 180g; Club Sandwiches; salads; quiches: hand cut chips etc. Oh yes, and how could we forget: the desserts. Luckily for our waistlines California Bakery sells their desserts in two different sizes: regular (aka huge)  and slim (more than enough to finish off a meal). If you love American style cheesecake then you must try the blueberry cheesecake or strawberry and rasperry one, but make sure you get to taste the chocolate and walnut brownie and the tart tartin too. Simply delicious! California Bakery also offers a children's menu with child sized portions of their favourite food. California Bakery in Piazza Sant'Eustorgio also offers a picnic service during the warm weather weekends. Clients can buy a selection of bagels, sandwiches, salads or quiches together with dessert and drinks which are supplied in a gorgeous, wicker picnic basket together with floor cushions and a picnic blanket. What better way to spend an afternoon than in the Parco delle Basiliche just behind the church laid out on a picnic blanket. If you are too busy to pop by to one of their restaurants, then California Bakery is happy to deliver within the city (see www.californiabakery.it/food/take-away-delivery.html).  Or if you want to learn how to make your favourite California Bakery dishes, they also organise courses for adults and children (see www.californiabakery.it/cooking-lab.html for more details).California Bakery also has restaurants usually open from 8 to midnight Monday to Saturday and 9 to midnight on Sundays in :Corso Como, 5 (Porta Garibaldi area); Corso Garibaldi 89 (Moscova area): Piazza San Simpliciano 7 (Brera area) (Tuesday to Friday 8 to 18.30 and 9 to 20.00 on weekends);Via Larga, 19 (near Duomo);Viale Premuda 44 (Porta Venezia area) (open from 7.30 on weekdays);Via San Vittore 2 (Sant'Ambrogio area).If you want to go for brunch or dinner especially during the weekends we suggest you make a booking through the central switchboard number (02 39811750).  
Piazza Sant'Eustorgio, 4
customercare@californiabakery.it
02 39811750
What's not to love about L'Ov Milano! This little corner of New York with its sage green walls, marble top bar and wooden furniture reminiscent of a Pottery Barn catalogue, is a great place for a relaxed American or Italian breakfast, lunch or dinner with friends.L'Ov's signature dish is eggs (uova) which you can have nine different ways, such as Eggs Benedict, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon or in an omelette with various fillings. If eggs are not your thing, then for lunch why not try L'Ov's delicious hamburger with all the trimmings or the Club Sandwich, and one of the more substantial dishes on offer during the evening such as the New York Strip Steak, Milanese cotoletta or ostrich egg omelettes! To follow L'Ov offers a selection of homemade desserts, we particularly liked the fruits of the forest cheese cake served in  a jam jar which we had one Sunday brunch. Open Monday to Wednesday from 8am until 7pm and Thursday to Sunday from 8am until midnight, L'Ov offers good simple fare at great prices (we spent €36 for a two course meal for two on Sunday at lunchtime without wine). Word of warning: if you want to go for Sunday brunch make sure you book as early as possible by phone or email as it is always packed. 
Viale Premuda, 14 Milan
prenotazioni@lovmilano.com
02 3663 8692
If you haven't heard of Eataly yet, well what can we say, you must be one of the few that hasn't. This international phenomenon has catapulted Italian food into the 21st century. Gone is the image of straw covered bottles of Chianti and red and white chequered tablecloths. Eataly is modern, sleek and very contemporary, while ensuring that traditional food manufacturing processes are strictly adhered to, so that you - the customer - are guaranteed the genuine article! The former Teatro Smeraldo has been transformed into a mecca for food lovers. Here under one roof you can buy: fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables from Northern Italy; cakes; biscuits; chocolates; jams; biscuits; honey; coffee; milk; butter; yoghurt; cooked meats; cheese (watch in awe as whole rounds of Parmesan are opened and divided); mozzerella; ricotta; water; soft drinks; fruit juices; wine; beer; meat (both raw and cooked ready to be taken away); fish from Liguria, the Adriatic and Tirrenio; 14 different types of organic bread; foccaccia; pasta; rice; cereals, oil and vinegar. Everything you could possibly need, including a whole section of kitchen equipment and tableware on the ground floor. Oh, and we forgot to mention, you can purchase everything online and have it delivered to your door. If you are feeling peckish as you walk around the store there are a series of small restaurants that offer delicious freshly cooked dishes. Each restaurant specialises in something different, whether it be soups and salads, freshly roasted meat, pasta, pizza, pastries or fried fish, meat, cheese and vegetables. You will just have to keep going back to try them all! Eataly maintains that its main goal is to "demonstrate that high-quality products can be made available to everyone: easy to find and at affordable prices" as well as communicating "faces, production methods and stories of people and companies who make the best Italian high quality food and wine." So far it seems to being a good job. To celebrate the history of this wonderful building, ex Teatro Smeraldo, a central stage hosts live musical performances, reading and performances by established and emerging artists. If you want to try simply send an email to palcosmeraldo@eataly.it.Enjoy!  
Piazza XXV Aprile, 10 20124 Milan
eatalysmeraldo@eataly.it
02 49497301
Pan Brioche has given a new lease of life to the traditional Milanese clothing store Ravizza, famous for its hunting, shooting and fishing clothing and accessories. Half of this historic store has been converted into a fantastic coffee bar with seating both indoors and outdoors underneath the loggia which is heated during the colder months. The great thing about Pan Brioche is the quality and selection of Sicilian inspired street food that is made and prepared on the premises in the open-planned kitchen - including the bread, croissants, muffins, desserts and savoury Palermitan mignon. Open from 7.30am until 11.00pm, Pan Brioche offers its clientele delicious food and snacks at any time of day. If you want to go to Pan Brioche at lunchtime, however, we suggest you get there early if you want to find a seat as it is usually packed. We love the buffalo mozzerella, ham and tomato mignons as well as the salmon and rocket in a brioche bread roll with seed toppings: all freshly made every day. Pan Brioche also offers a good selection of savoury dishes if you aren't tempted by the mignon or sandwiches.  
Via Hoepli, 3 20121 Milano
02 87072630
Did you know that Piazza Gae Aulenti has become the favourite tourist destination in MIlan? Unique, futuristic, innovative, relaxing, simply lovely! Shop after shop are opening up on this square, and the latest is Illy Caffè - its latest flagship store after London and Paris. Here you can have breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, Sunday brunch and buy Illy products. You may think this is your usual coffee chain store but.... it is quite the opposite and could be classed as a contemporary artistic coffee bar.  Inside the coffee bar Lia Rumma's contemporary art gallery hangs works by different modern artists which reflect Illy's latest artistic projects. Currently works by the South African artist William Kentridge are being shown. The most striking element as you walk through the door, however, are the two enormous chandeliers made from 200 Illy Art Collection espresso cups decorated by some of the greatest contemporary artists over the last 20 years.   
Piazza Gae Aulenti Milano
Situated on the corner of via Francesco Sforza and largo Augusto is L'Arabesque Cafè. This great place reflects the style of its founder, Chichi Meroni, who also owns the Arabesque vintage clothes and design store next door. Arabesque Café offers clients a delightful location where they can enjoy a coffee or a sophisticated meal, or simply browse and/or purchase the fashion, photography, design, interior design, lifestyle and cookery books on display in the corner store.The restaurant offers typical Milanese cuisine with a modern twist. We haven't had dinner here yet, although it is next on our "to do list". We did, however, enjoy a particularly relaxing late morning coffee break at Arabesque Café! Well worth it. 
Largo Augusto, 10 Milan
02 76341477
Tabaccheria Giacomo has recently re-opened next door to Giacomo Pasticceria and in front of Giacomo and Giacomo Bistrot - a string of eateries owned by Giacomo Bulleri, a well known Tuscan chef, who has monopolised Via Sotto Corno to the extent that it has been nick-named "Giacomo's Kingdom (il regno di Giacomo). Although called Tabaccheria Giacomo, this eatery is so much more than a cigarette shop (which can be found on a small stand in the corner of this tiny store).Open from  8 until 24, Tabaccheria Giacomo is a small eatery which has a distinct "old Milan" atmosphere where you can have breakfast (supplied by Giacomo's cake shop next door), or enjoy brunch, a quick lunch, an aperatif or after dinner drinks together with "bocconi" (morsels of food) specially prepared every day. You can eat in at one of the three small tables or at the bar which seats 4 or take your delightful morsels home with you. Tabaccheria Giacomo also sells own brand high quality food, most of which comes from the South of Italy; such as :  passata di pomodoro di Cesarano, colatura di Alici Giordano di Cetaro,  pasta di Cesarano di Gragnano, caviale Adamas di Pandino, pecorino Bagnolese and much more. Tabaccheria Giacomo is a great place to go at off-peak times so that you can enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of  by-gone days! 
Via Pasquale Sottocorno 5 Milano
02 76009410
Biancolatte in Via Turati 30 is one of those places that puts you in a good mood as soon as you walk through the door. Biancolatte offers customers breakfast, afternoon tea, lunch, icecream, dinner, dessert, savoury snacks, food, fashion and home decor all under one roof!Biancolatte is the perfect place to take a break at any time of day or night as it's warm, inviting and expertly decorated. When it opened in 2008 it became "the" meeting place for the "Milanese" and it has livened up the end of Via Turati that leads into Piazza della Repubblica. Seven years on it's still packed at  lunch time and during the afternoon; while its difficult to get a table for brunch on Sundays so make sure you book in advance. The food is simple and seasonal, while the ingredients are super fresh and the desserts delicious. It's definitely worth a visit, even if you just want to window shop or take a look at the objects on sale: plateware, costume jewellery, candles, Biancolatte's signature white metal houses and so much more,  
Via Turati 30 20121 Milan
02 62086177

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