21.6.11

Brunchin' around Milan

One of our (G, my lovely boyfriend, and me) passions is Sunday brunch, but not American style brunch (a plate of eggs, bloody mary, coffee and some fruit), we are talking about the Milanese style brunch: all-you-can-eat buffet (sweet and salty) + eggs or burger + coffee, and sometimes a glass of prosecco.
After some years in Milan, here's our top 5:
1. Le Biciclette (Near Porta Genova: Via Conca del Naviglio, 10 - 20123 Milan - Tel. 02 58104325)
For 18 20 Euro you get a mimosa (drink) on arrival, Nescafe coffee, buffet and a hot plate (eggs or burger). Buffet includes: cakes, fruit, salmon, cold cuts, pasta, salad, etc.
The place is very nice, spacious and with good music selection, the area is very quiet on a sunday morning. They have two turns: 12,00 or 14,00, the quality of the food is very good, it has been our favorite since the begining.
2. Doris Diner (Bicocca: Viale Sarca, 336/f - Milan 20126 - www.dorisdiner.net ) ***NOW CLOSED***
Being Bicoccans, we love to explore our modern and quiet neighborhood so Doris Diner is a must for those living in the area. For 18 Euro WOW they raised the price too much! I just checked and the brunch now costs 24 Euro! too much!!! you get a glass of prosecco on arrival, coffee, buffet and your choice of burger or hot dog (please, please, choose the burger!). Buffet includes: juices, cakes, pancakes, muffins, cold cuts, salad, etc. The place, that used to be an industrial loft, is a tribute to an American diner from the 50's, as if you were in Archie's favorite diner. The service is OK and the variety of the buffet is average, but the real deal here is the burger, delicious! big and tasty, with a side of french fries. (Warning: if you bring children, please, please keep an eye on them - that of course applies to every place you go!). We give it the 2nd place because of the delicious burger, because they include juice in the buffet and because we love their style. Try to go at 12,00 because it gets busy afterwards, since the buffet is in the upper floor you might want to be seated upstairs.
3. Crowne Plaza (San Donato: Via K. Adenauer 3 - Milan 20097 - Tel. 02 516001)
We've always liked the big hotel buffet breakfasts (who doesn't?) and this is certainly one of them.
For 27 Euro you get coffee and a huge buffet. Buffet includes: cakes, tiramisù, profiteroles, fruit, salmon, cold cuts, 2-3 different kinds pasta, salads, crépes, omelette station, roast beef, vegetables, etc.
The place is very spacious, since it is a typical business hotel the atmosphere is a bit formal. It is kids-friendly, they have staff for kids entertainment so you can eat in peace while kids have fun drawing or doing something else than smashing plates (kidding). Quality of the food is very good, variety is great. Not cheap but definitely worth it.
4. Globe (5 Giornate: 8th floor, COIN building - Piazza 5 giornate, 1, 20129 Milan - Tel. 02 5518 1969)
Perfect for a sunny spring/summer Sunday morning, since it is in the last floor of the Coin building, the view is nice, the air is a bit fresher. For 25 28 Euro you get water, a glass of juice, coffee and buffet. Buffet includes: omelettes, fish tartar, grilled vegetables, crepes, pasta salads, cous-cous, paella, pasta, meatballs, tiramisù, fruit, etc.
The place is very nice, better to go on a sunny day so you can seat outside and enjoy the view, tends to get quite busy, though. Quality of the food, average, but gets some points for including tuna tartar in the buffet.
5. Cantina della Vetra (Ticinese: Via Pio IV, 3 - 20123 Milan - Tel. 02 89403843)
For 27 30 Euro you get the buffet and one choice of main course.
Buffet includes: burrata, paella, pasta salad, desserts, fruit, etc. There are two turns, 12,30 and 14,30 - make sure you get there by 12,30, otherwise you'll get the leftovers. Maybe the variety of the food is not as great as the other places but the quality here is superb, the burrata is the best! The place is cozy, in a nice pedestrian area so make sure you walk around after your brunch.

There are many other places that didn't make it to our top 5, (like Dixieland and Julepp's) which are OK but nothing special; and there are other places we love but definitely shouldn't do brunch (like California Bakery: perfect for bagels, cheesecakes, etc- but not brunches - sorry but one dish with eggs is not enough); and others that are just lame and so not worth it (like T**lve and Lat****ino). We'll keep trying new places and maybe in the future we'll be writing about them.

*** Prices updated in February 2012