10 hidden gardens in Milan where you can eat or have an aperitif

May 30 2024, 14:51
Finding a green corner in Milan to eat or have a drink isn't that difficult. Here’s a list of places with gardens to note down

The gardens of Milan's restaurants, whether located in the courtyards of historic buildings, in the typical courtyards of Old Milan, or hidden behind establishments, are scattered in every corner of the city. From the Navigli to the southern outskirts, here’s a list of 10 places with green and blooming spaces where you can have lunch and dinner, brunch, or a drink.

Surfer’s Garden

Plants, flowers, rose gardens, and surfboards: seemingly unrelated elements that find harmony at Surfer’s Garden, the place for “budding surfers and gardeners riding the wave,” as the staff humorously explains in their Instagram bio. Surfer’s Garden is a cocktail bar where you can eat typical Milanese rosticceria like lasagna, fried snacks, meatballs in sauce, and more; have a Sunday brunch from 12 to 4 PM with croque madame, bagels, pavlova, and brownies, and drink excellent cocktails. The place is located inside a sports center and is inspired by small cafes on the Atlantic Coast frequented by surfers. The cocktails are made with seasonal ingredients. The core of this place is the garden: the lights create the welcoming atmosphere of a home garden, especially enjoyable on summer evenings.

Piazza dei Caduti del Lavoro, 5 - www.instagram.com @surfersgardenmilano


Tuscan cuisine in a hidden garden in Milan is found at Acquacheta. You can eat outside under a vine pergola or beneath fruit trees and olive trees. The bucolic setting is complemented by a large indoor room with a design reminiscent of old trattorias: wooden walls and ceilings with checkered tablecloths. The cuisine has a strong Tuscan imprint, specifically from the Montepulciano area: Pici with fava beans and pecorino or with ragù, Pappardelle with Fassona ragù, and the classic Fiorentina or Ribeye steak. The restaurant's menu also includes grilled dishes like beef fillet, mixed grill, and Fassona entrecote.

Via Erodoto, 2 - www.acquacheta-milano.com

Miro - Osteria del Cinema

A restaurant inside a cinema. It's not the title of a film, but what happens in Milan at the Anteo Palazzo Cinema. Miro – Osteria del cinema is a place where you can eat traditional Italian dishes and those featured in auteur films in a location where cinema is omnipresent. Eating in the outdoor garden means accessing a hidden place surrounded by plants, in the intimacy of a quiet courtyard of an old building. The menu names are inspired by cinema, with starters as the prologue, first courses as the first act, and main courses as the second act; there are also cameos and an epilogue crowned by desserts. Each dish is titled after a film and linked to an ingredient, like The Silence of the Lambs: farfalle, slow-cooked lamb, and pecorino; or Finding Dory: spaghettoni with rockfish sauce.

Via Milazzo, 9 al piano terra di Anteo Palazzo Cinema - www.mirosteria.com

Tommy Hilfiger Café

The place where fashion and food meet is Tommy Hilfiger Café. Opened in early 2023, today the establishment - the natural extension of the clothing store - has been revamped. The garden in the outer courtyard hosts a new bar and remains the place to eat in the greenery under the shade of plants. The location’s restyling matches the new food proposal that also nods to the healthy world: salads, Spanish tapas, oysters, raw fish, and shellfish. At Tommy Hilfiger Café, you can have breakfast, brunch, dinner, and a drink. The menu, besides focusing on fish, offers Patanegra sliced with a knife, Charred Friggitelli, a selection of Italian and French cheeses; but also BBQ Parmigiana, Panzanella, Beef Bun & Royal Chips.

Piazza Oberdan 2A - www.tommyscafe.exum.eu

Al Cortile

The neon sign at the garden entrance is iconic and makes the place instantly recognizable. Al Cortile is a hidden spot that hosts a hundred outdoor seats among climbing plants that soothe guests right away. The feeling is like sitting in the inner courtyard of an Old Milan building. The adjacent indoor space has a more industrial style. Al Cortile’s menu is thoughtful, offering three tasting routes (vegetable, meat, fish) and à la carte dishes, where first courses include Maltagliati - basil - potatoes – green beans, Risotto - saffron - preserved lemon, and among the main courses, Duck - oxheart tomato - Taggiasca olives with particular attention to the grill: Holy Cow aged ribeye and Fiorentina.

Via Giovenale, 7 - alcortile.com


The place for wisteria lovers. The Green House at Motelombroso is always open for a drink (with a large outdoor bar area) or dinner. You can eat surrounded by the greenery and purple flowers that create a natural roof over diners' heads. The garden at Motelombroso sets the stage for a cuisine that spans vegetables, meat, and fish, offered in a balance of dishes to try either with two tasting routes or à la carte. Among the first courses, Tagliatelle with bird ragù, or an alternative of Pastina with cheese; among the main courses, there’s a vegetable dish (Grilled Asparagus), a fish dish (Grilled Turbot Rib), and a meat dish (Fassona Skirt Steak).

Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, 256 - motelombroso.it

Giardini & co. Zelo at Four Seasons Hotel Milan

In the Cloister of the Four Seasons Hotel Milan, a former 15th-century convent, there’s the urban garden of the Zelo restaurant, a place to retreat for a meal or a drink in tranquility near the city's cultural and fashion landmarks, like the Quadrilatero, the Duomo, and Brera. The setting includes plants, flowers, and trees. The lunch menu pays great attention to salads and caviar, offering a selection of sturgeon roe with blinis and condiments for enthusiasts. The dinner menu features oysters and raw fish. Among the first courses, traditional dishes like Risotto alla Milanese or Ravioli del Plin are available, and among the main courses, Seared Octopus, Potato Foam, Friggitelli with Arrabbiata Sauce, Eggplant Parmigiana with crunchy tempeh and basil pesto, but also “Damini” Grilled Beef Fillet, roasted endive, and Jerusalem artichokes.

Via Gesù, 6-8 - www.zelorestaurant.com

Al Fresco

Al Fresco. As the name suggests, you can dine in a garden shaded by trees and plants like wisteria, ivy, and cherry trees, all adorned with hedges. The venue on Via Savona stands out for its outdoor green space, visible from inside thanks to the large windows, and its cuisine. Known in the city, Al Fresco offers a menu with a wide selection of classic or regionally and nationally influenced starters (Tuscan Pappa al Pomodoro with small squid stew, Tempura Zucchini Flowers stuffed with whipped cod), classic but revisited first courses (Rigatoni with Roman Pecorino, Indian pepper and crispy guanciale, Spaghettini Verrigni with small squid and Cabras bottarga) and main courses (Veal Milanese Cutlet cooked in clarified butter with chips, Milanese Monkfish with garlic, oil, chili, and pea coulis).

Via Savona, 50 - alfrescomilano.it

Erba Brusca

A garden with a kitchen on the Naviglio Pavese. That’s how Erba Brusca defines itself, a 4,000 square meter garden with a restaurant 50 meters away that offers a cuisine featuring aromatic herbs and vegetable ingredients straight from the garden, a zero-kilometer cuisine that relies on local producers. A place where you can truly say you ate in a garden. The menu is flexible and follows the customer’s preferences: for the tasting menu, diners order the combination of dishes that suit them best from the menu. Dishes that change less frequently include: Maltagliati with chamomile butter, Monte Veronese cheese, sunflower seeds; Zivieri Mortadella with cabbage leaf kimchi.

Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, 286 - erbabrusca.it

Al Garghet

Al Garghet is located in the southern outskirts of Milan in a 13th-century building. The garden welcomes diners among hyacinths, azaleas, tulips, maple leaves, and the croaking of frogs in the summer. Here, you can access nature through the lawn, the shed, and the woods. At Al Garghet, you can enjoy typical Lombard cuisine with a focus on Milanese dishes: saffron risotto, ossobuco, and even casseuola and cotoletta.

Via Selvanesco, 36 - www.algarghet.it

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