fashion

Where to eat in Milan, according to fashion week regulars

Updated 19th September 2019
Credit: Franziska Barczyk
Where to eat in Milan, according to fashion week regulars
Written by CNN Staff
Milan doesn't always feature highly on lists of Italy's top culinary destinations, but this week the city's restaurants will be much busier as the fashion world descends for Milan Fashion Week.
CNN asked six models, bloggers and stylists for their recommendations on places to eat — and where to go should visitors find time to relax between the crush of castings, fittings and shows.

Greta Ferro

Italian model and actor Greta Ferro is the current face of Armani Beauty. She recently represented the brand at the Venice Film Festival and has appeared in Armani runway shows and campaigns. Ferro has been on the cover of Glamour Italia and inside the Italian editions of Grazia and Vanity Fair. Soon, she'll be seen on screen as the lead role in "Made in Italy," an upcoming Amazon Prime series set in 1970s Milan.
What's life like for you during fashion weeks? What's a typical day?
I get up quite early in order to be able to organize my day and fit all my castings in it. I have a good, energizing, healthy breakfast (usually with tea, biscuits, muesli, yogurt and honey). I choose my outfit, prepare my e-book and high heels in a bag and get ready to walk around the city all day long. Fashion week makes life chaotic and busy, and since everything is always so unexpected it's very difficult to plan your day, but it's exciting!
How important is good food for you during this time?
Good food gives you good energy while keeping you light. It's important to eat well and feed our body (my grandma would add "feed your mind" too!) not only during fashion week.
Where is your favorite place to eat in Milan and why?
Well, I have many places I truly adore, but among my favorites there's Poporoya, which was the first Sushi bar in Italy. I love its authenticity and the food is truly great. I also really like Potafiori, which I would say looks more like a house than a restaurant and is filled with flowers in every corner.
Do you have a favorite dish?
Let's say I love food in general, but if I have to choose it would definitely be ravioli.
Any other tips for the city?
Walk around and get lost. Milan has beautiful architecture, but the best parts of it cannot be seen easily. Apart from that, I love the city, and every day I get to know it a bit more.

Zoe Thaets

Belgian model Zoe Thaets walked her first catwalk for Schiaparelli in January 2018. Since then, she's shot campaigns and walked multiple shows for Miu Miu, as well as Dior, Moschino, Prabal Gurung, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs and Jacquemus. Thaets has also appeared in the Netherlands' editions of Vogue and Elle.
What's life like for you during fashion weeks? What's a typical day?
It's crazy! A typical day would consist of castings, fittings and shows (and lots of parties, especially in Milan and Paris). At the beginning of fashion month in New York, everything is at a slower pace so maybe there is time to fit in a yoga class or go for lunch with friends, but the deeper into fashion week, the more intense it gets.
How important is good food for you during this time?
Good food is a must! We are constantly running around, so I feel like it's so important to eat a healthy diet so that you stay energized and don't get sick. It's always smart to carry something with you in case you end up at a fitting for five hours.
Where is your favorite place to eat in Milan and why?
I've been a couple of times to PIZ and it's so good! They give you a glass of prosecco and a slice of pizza to welcome you. There are only three different pizzas on the menu, which is awesome because I hate when there are 30 different options. Then, to finish, they give you a little glass of limoncello.
Do you have a favorite dish?
I have so many! You can never go wrong with pizza -- Italian pizza, not New York pizza -- or pasta, but I also love a good curry, Lebanese food or ramen.
Any other tips for the city?
I would definitely recommend visiting the Fondazione Prada. Also, ask local people for places to go, because I feel like if you don't, you kind of get lost in Milan.

Aquaria

Drag artist and model Aquaria has become a familiar face since winning season 10 of RuPaul's Drag Race in 2018. Since then, she has signed with IMG Models, appeared in Vogue Italia and New York Magazine and modeled for Mac and H&M. This year, she brought drag to the red carpet at the 2019 Met Gala, wearing a black ribbon gown by John Galliano.
What's life like for you during fashion weeks? What's a typical day?
Life's really crazy. Some people have the pleasure of attending shows, and working behind the scenes or in front of the scenes, but for me, I've got to be my own hair, makeup and stylist, get to the shows and get to my performances at night time during fashion week. It's definitely super hectic for me. Not that I think I'm getting the least amount of sleep, but I'm not getting enough, just as much as the next person.
How important is good food for you during this time?
I love food. I'm a big foodie. I love traveling and eating fabulous things.
Where is your favorite place to eat in Milan and why?
I've only been to Milan once or twice, and both times I was there for too short of a time, but I'll be in Milan for fashion week this year. I'm really excited to explore the city more. I'm Italian, so I definitely love a good risotto or something fabulous.
Do you have a favorite dish?
I love sushi. Anything raw and fishy is definitely right up my alley.
Any other tips for the city?
Have a blast and soak it up. It's Italy, it's fabulous, and you might as well enjoy it.

Hayett Belarbi McCarthy

Born in France, Hayett Belarbi McCarthy moved to London where she was scouted in a pub. In 2015, she became a face of Burberry and has also shot campaigns for Gucci, Coach and Ellery. McCarthy has walked for Hermés, Louis Vuitton, Givency, Vetements, Marni and Jil Sander, among others. She is also a professional chef who loves experimenting in the kitchen.
What's life like for you during fashion weeks? What's a typical day?
There are no typical days -- times change, castings pop up and confirmations get canceled. I have to be alert and on the go, always.
How important is good food for you during this time?
Food is important all day, every day. It's not a fuel, it's a pleasurable necessity. As well as being a home cook for years, I got pulled into cooking professionally last year. As a chef de partie, I'm always cooking, assembling, improvising with restricted ingredients and giving advice to friends. My French upbringing and passion mean I'm never off duty.
Where is your favorite place to eat in Milan and why?
I rarely eat out, but had a very decent low-key Sicilian meal at I Pupari on Viale Monza. I honestly prefer eating with friends, gathering food from the market and coming up with something.
Do you have a favorite dish?
I love caponata -- I love making it. Or a crispy carciofi alla giudia.
Any other tips for the city?
Visit the Duomo on a Saturday. Kidding! Go check out the free exhibitions at the Hangar Bicocca -- even the trashcans outside are funky.

Jenny Walton

Based in New York City, Jenny Walton is a fashion blogger, illustrator and creative director of street style blog, "The Sartorialist." A fashion month mainstay, she's worked with brands including Carolina Herrera, Miu Miu, Zara, Simone Rocha, J. Crew and Moda Operandi. She's also appeared in Vogue, Glamour, Elle, Coveteur and Harper's Bazaar. Walton has a degree in fashion design from New York's Parsons School of Design.
What's life like for you during fashion weeks? What's a typical day?
I love life during fashion week! You get to travel to different cities, see beautiful new clothes and meet new people. It's a really eye-opening experience.
How important is good food for you during this time?
For me, it's important to try and eat like the locals, so when I'm in England I try to go to a pub or two. In Paris, I always try to have lunch at a café. And in Milan, I try to have as many caffè macchiatos as humanly possible.
Where is your favorite place to eat in Milan and why?
On my last trip to Milan I had pizza at Le Specialità and it was absolutely fantastic. A friend had mentioned it and it happened to be a few blocks from our last show that day, so we happily ran in for a quick pizza (or two!)
Do you have a favorite dish?
The pizza! I love pizza with eggplant on it personally. We actually have a rule in our house that you can't say the "P" word because the moment someone says it we have to have it. We try to bring it up only when we really want it, otherwise we'd be eating pizza every day.
Any other tips for Milan?
I would say definitely visit either the original Marchesi or one of the new ones on Via Monte Napoleone or in the Galleria. I love to have a caffè macchiato and a brioche there in the morning, and to stop back in for an aperitivo before dinner (Campari all the way!)

Estelle Chemouny

French stylist and influencer Estelle Chemouny documents her style and daily life to over 100,000 Instagram followers. Represented by Elite, she's a fixture of fashion week front rows. She's also a favorite of street style photographers, thanks to her relaxed yet eclectic take on prints.
What's life like for you during fashion weeks? What's a typical day?
I wake up quite early and drink a glass of warm water with lemon. Then a cold shower, a strong coffee and the day can start!
Each day is different -- there is not really a typical day, but I usually have at least a show per day, so I quickly get ready for it, try to shoot it on the way and make a post later on.
I have to admit, I spend most of my day in a taxi to go from shows to presentations, and while I'm stuck in traffic I do my stories and answer my emails. I never stop working!
How important is good food for you during this time?
Well, it should be important, but I eat on the run. At night I always try to have a proper dinner, and of course a big breakfast! After a month of fashion week, I do a detox and only eat vegetables, something I definitely forget to eat during show season.
Where is your favorite place to eat in Milan and why?
La Latteria in the Brera district! It's a tiny and cute place with a vintage vibe, where they only serve grandma dishes. It is simply delicious!
Do you have a favorite dish?
Pizza and pasta. I am half Italian, so tomato sauce is flowing in my veins!
Any other tips for Milan?
Get a driver -- it is a nightmare to get a taxi!