When the good weather starts everyone wants to go to eating outdoors in Milan and here is the search for the restaurant with the tables outside, possibly low cost. Here you will find a list of niches (trattorias, clubs, farmhouses, restaurants) with gardens where you can go without necessarily having to spend a fortune.
NOTE (JUNE 2021): due to Covid-19 and the new directives concerning catering, many restaurants / clubs operate by reservation only. Make sure you have checked the conditions before you go !!
12 (cheap) places to eat outdoors in Milan:
1) Balera dell'Ortica (Ortica-Lambrate area)
I could not start this article on places to eat outdoors in Milan with the Balera dell'Ortica! As you may have guessed, there is something tender between me and the Balera. It is an unmissable place, especially in summer, when the balera dell'Ortica is at its best, when you eat under the pergola of American vines or around the dance floor. The menu is traditional, you can usually choose between 3 first and 3 second courses, and there is never a shortage of Abruzzese arrosticini that Antonio gets to arrive directly from Roseto degli Abruzzi. A complete first-second-water-wine-coffee menu costs around 20-25 euros. See also the article
Via Amadeo 78
Phone +39 02 7012 8680
2) Circolino fighters (Moscova area)
If you don't know it, it's almost impossible to find. In one of the two ex-toll booths of Porta Volta, there is this recreational club for ex-combatants, with a secret garden where you can eat outdoors. Once you cross the threshold you will discover a beautiful wisteria pergola, a bar and internal rooms with billiards, tables for playing cards, table tennis, etc. During the day it is open only for veterans, but from the aperitif onwards it is open to everyone. You can dine with simple dishes, but more than acceptable, and above all at very honest prices. An amazing place to eat outside right in the heart of Milan!
Circolino of Porta Volta
Via A. Volta, 23
T + 39 02 6575872
3) Surfer's Den (Zona Morivone-Tibaldi)
This bar / club with a 50s USA surfing setting is located inside a sports center with ample parking (which is very rare in Milan!).
It has a fairly large outdoor area with a lawn, several tables and a bbq (you can't eat outside every day, but you can organize bbq by reservation), as well as a very nice indoor room with vintage furniture. If you can't organize yourself for a bbq… come any evening to have a great cocktail and listen to music (often there are DJ sets).
Piazza Caduti del Lavoro 5
T +39 338 591 6764
4) Frizzi and Lazzi (Navigli area)
Frizzi e Lazzi is the classic place to which you don't pay a penny from the outside. The entrance is that of a bar in old Milan, a cheap place with a few tables, but the surprise is the large internal courtyard overlooked by several railing houses. Sitting at the outdoor tables of this place in old Milan you can eat excellent sandwiches and excellent wraps and drink a beer, wine or a cocktail in an atmosphere that feels like a country. Always loved it !!
Frizzi and Lazzi
Via Evangelista Torricelli 5
T +39 02 2826059
5) Arci Martiri di Turro (Zona Turro)
The Arci Martiri di Turro club is a historic club in Milan. Various cultural activities take place every day (presentations of writers' books, cinema, live music with emerging groups, popular culture meetings, etc.), as well as themed dinners with songs and popular music (entitled “let's all return to the taverns”). From Thursday to Sunday you can eat outdoors in the inner courtyard where the "Creative Osteria" offers home cooking, traditional, with menus also for vegetarians and grills at super popular prices. You have to make the Arci card to enter.
Arci Martiri di Turro
Via Rovetta, 14
T +39 02 648 0983
6) Arci Bellezza (P.ta Romana-Bocconi area)
Another historic club in Milan, which serves as a dance hall, tango milonga, and recreational club. Here you can dine outdoors from Tuesday to Sunday (for lunch instead from Tuesday to Friday) and if you like the atmosphere of a village tavern you are in the right place! The menu changes often (both traditional home cooking and ethnic cuisine), the quality is good and the price is great. Obviously, even here you must first get the Arci annual card.
Via Bellezza 16
T +39 58319492
7) Cascina Martesana (Turro-Gorla area)
Cascina Martesana opened its doors in July 2014 and is a reference point for the eastern area of Milan. A farmhouse immersed in the Martesana park and overlooking the Naviglio Piccolo has become an Association that carries out various cultural activities (musical evenings, exhibitions, activities for children, etc.) and in which you can eat outdoors for both lunch and dinner.
Here you will find sandwiches and platters of cold cuts and cheeses, but above all the grills! You can bring the meat from outside (paying a fee ranging from 1 to 2,5 euros per person for wood / condiments / table cleaning, depending on the number of people) directly there; at this link you will find the complete regulation. The farmhouse normally opens in April and you have to get a membership card to enter (5-6 euros, valid for the whole season).
Via Bertelli 44
Tel + 39 389 582 0695
8) Urban Cultural Sea (Zona S.Siro)
The Urban Cultural Sea was the "novelty" of the summer a few years ago and develops in two spaces close to each other: Cascina Torrette and via Novara 75. They are about 7700 square meters open 365 days a year, 7 days a week, from 7 am to 8 am, which include: cinemas, theatrical and concert halls, coworking, recording studios and music rehearsal rooms, ateliers and rehearsal and training spaces, community spaces, a courtyard and a large green. To eat there is: 2) a cafeteria-brewery on the ground floor (offering snacks, cutting boards, fried potatoes and craft beers) open from 1 or 9 until 12 or 24 depending on the day; 2) the Cucina Mare restaurant on the first floor, which offers first courses (around 2 euros), second courses (from 10 to 12 euros) and desserts (from 20 to 3 euros). It should be noted that more than 5 girls and boys from the neighborhood and their first experience in catering are employed on the staff, so do not expect a starred restaurant service. The environment is truly beautiful, rustic and informal. Also perfect for an aperitif. Every Sunday there is also the “Sunday lunch”, a special menu that changes every week and follows the regional traditions and the inspiration of the popular Italian cuisine.
Urban Cultural Sea
Via Giuseppe Gabetti 15
T + 39 331 813 4754
9) Circolo San Filippo Neri (Precotto Area)
Among the places to eat outdoors in Milan, the Circolo San Filippo Neri could not be missed. From the outside it is not even clear that there is a restaurant inside! You enter from a small bar (it looks like the classic bar for the elderly), then you cross the room and discover the internal courtyard where you can eat outside under the cool American vine pergola. It is a free-range place, without too many pretensions, frequented by the workers who work in the area and by the inhabitants of the neighborhood. It's nice, good and you spend less than 15 euros each. Sore point: it is only open for lunch. Let's make a petition !!!
Circolo San Filippo Neri
Viale Monza 220
10) Out of the way OTB (Bicocca area)
Fuorimano OTB is a fairly new place on the Milanese scene (it opened in 2016) and is, in fact, slightly out of the way (but not too much at the end). It is in a converted (hipster-style) former industrial warehouse near the Bicocca University and has a very nice outdoor space, well furnished and full of plants, where you can drink and eat. Fuorimano is a gourmet pizzeria (pizzas from 8 to 12 euros), burger bar (from 10/11 to 16/18 euros), cocktail bar, teerìa, bookshop, patisserie and literary café and is open 7 days a week from 7 to 10 a.m. night. On Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 12 there is brunch (15 euros) with 19 different menus. A great discovery!
Via Roberto Cozzi 3
T + 39 02 3652 3460
11) Trams (Turro-Gorla Zone)
This place (or perhaps it would be better to talk about a kiosk) opened in 2018 whose counter is located inside an old disused tram (1522 to be exact). It is a good place but it is very nice and welcoming, surrounded by greenery and with outdoor tables. Perfect for an aperitif with cold cuts and cheeses, but you can also find classic sandwiches, toast and hamburgers. To reach it you can get there on foot from Martesana or via Zuretti (passing in front of the murals). It is open Monday to Thursday from 17pm to 02am and from Friday to Sunday from 11am to 2am.
T 392 571 5378
Cover photo @ Luca Chiaudano
12) Hidden farmhouse (Sempione area)
I close this article on places to eat in Milan without spending too much with my latest beautiful discovery, this hidden farmhouse, in fact, inside the Sempione Park. Inside there is The Dairy, or the space dedicated to food, a corner surrounded by greenery where you can enjoy dishes and recipes that interpret the link between the city and the nearby countryside. A place open from breakfast to dinner, with seasonal, healthy and transversal proposals, attentive to the needs of all diets. Really very nice!
Via Emilio Alemagna 14 (it is right under the Torre Branca)
T 340 675 5196