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Restaurants in Navigli
A Milanese staple that's built a loyal following by coming through on its boast that it serves the biggest pizzas in town. There are now 10 Da Willy venues to choose from, three in the Navigli neighborhood. Thin-crust pizzas with dozens of toppings are big enough to split, maybe sharing a large salad on the side. The Da Willy 2, on the Naviglio Pavese, has outdoor dining along the canal in the hot months. Bring your own mosquito repellent. (The chain also has outlets in Jordan and Cyprus.) — Elisabetta Povoledo
Conveniently located trattoria on the outer edge of the Navigli (making parking only semi-impossible), this traditional Milanese eatery props up classic dishes with experimental flair that is almost always tasty and never over-the-top. (See the penne with brie and blueberry mustard for a start.) For dessert, the chocolate soufflé is stellar. — Aaron Maines
Limited menu, two rooms not crammed to bursting (and open only three nights a week, daily for lunch) make this trattoria less-is-more favorite among Milanese patrons. In line with its "The Way We Were" decor, the cuisine rides the local battle horses, including risotto alla Milanese (with saffron), ossobuco or cotoletta Milanese (breaded veal cutlet). About €30 a head. — Elisabetta Povoledo
Old-fashioned decor with long wooden tables and delicious pizzas offset the ear-splitting din made by dozens of yappy locals sitting side-by-side in what amounts to a glorified echo chamber. What makes Premiata particularly appealing in Milan's early-to-bed context are the hours. It's one of the few central places (Navigli) that's open late — although don't expect anything but pizza after 10:30 p.m.
Seating is a free-for-all, service about the same, and prices low. The pizza variety worth the madness. Favorites: "Prosciuto e arugula" (raw ham and rocket), "Viennese" (tomato, mozzarella, sausage), "Messicana" (tomato, mozzarella, white beans, peppers, oregano, hot sausage, "Pesto" (mozzarella and pesto sauce) and "Tirolese" (mozzarella, fontina cheese from valdostana, Belgian salad, and speck). Bottled beers include Beck's, Bud, Ceres and Corona.
If pizza isn't your wish, there are the usual pastas and meat course to choose from, as well as salads and cheese or salumi platters made for two.
Expect lines. At least they bring you wine while you're waiting. A pizza meal runs about €20-25 per person. You can also book a paella by calling two days ahead. — Elisabetta Povoledo
Tano Passami l'Olio
Home of some of the most innovative home cooking in Milan, Tano is small, with a romantic atmosphere, and noteworthy for offering a choice of 40 varieties of olive oil. Reservations strongly advised. Not cheap: €60-80 per person. The name essentially means "Pass me the olive oil." The chef, meanwhile, is Gaetano Simonato, nicknamed "Tano". Invention is the name of the game here. Consider Riso Carnaroli cotto nel latte con cioccolato bianco, fave, crema nera di melanzana e tortino bianco di melanzana — Organic Canaroli rice cooked in milk with white chocolate, lima beans, black eggplant sauce with white eggplant cake. — Suzanne Bush
Not a UN agency but short for Unconventional Restaurant, this new eatery brings Catalan-style tapas to Milan’s fashionable Navigli neighborhood. The fixed menus accent the restaurant’s underlying fusion philosophy; falafel, sushi, nachos, samosas and pâtè. Expensive, around €45 per person, but there’s always a price to pay when you’re pasta-ed out. Lunch menu €15. — Elisabetta Povoledo