It's Valentine's Day, and that's great. Restaurants will be thriving with happy couples celebrating. But what about singles, who want to eat alone - not only then, but all-year-round - without feeling uncomfortable?
We have all gone through that awful moment when, getting in a restaurant to eat alone, the hostess looks at us and asks - not seemingly noticing there is only you in front of her - "How many?" and at your firm answer "one" a look of pity instantaneously comes up on her face. Isn't it frustrating?
In Milan, mostly a business city, you see many people wondering the streets alone. They'll all need to eat, at some point. But even here, you need to fight prejudice and convenience (for a restaurant it's always better to have a table occupied by two or more than by one, for obvious reasons) and it can be hard to find a place where feeling at ease.
Don't worry, though, because Swide picked for you five lovely spots in Milan where you will be able to eat alone without feeling lonely. Cosy and charming, these cafés and restaurants will make your day (yes, you can still be single and be happy, I swear).
Caffè della Pusterla
Almost hidden in vegetation, Caffè della Pusterla is a landmark for all locals. In the Ticinese area, it's a spot you can enjoy at any point of the day: the kitchen is always open (very rare in Milan), it has Wi-Fi, and feels cosy and homely. Choose at the entrance from newspapers from all over the world and enjoy your meal.
Caffè della Pusterla, Via Edmondo de Amicis 24, tel. (0039) 02 89402146
MUD Art Cafè
A Swedish café and restaurant with an Italian mood: wooden tables, little candles and art - that changes every month, often by artists from the neighbourhood - but most importantly super fresh, delicious food handmade by the Swedish owners. And don't worry about the language: always kind, they already spent years in Italy and speak better Italian than some native speakers I know...(and let's not even talk about their English).
MUD Art Café, Via Bligny 42, tel. (0039) 0297696832
In a beautiful setting just near one of the most beautiful churches in Milan, Sant'Eustorgio, this American Bakery has become a meeting point for real Milanese. Sit alone enjoying the quiet atmosphere and reading their newspapers. And don't worry about opening times: the kitchen is always open. They also organise cooking classes and jazz concerts.
California Bakery, Piazza Sant'Eustorgio 4, tel. (0039) 0239811538
Tapa’n Kitchen Bar
Tapas at their best in an informal setting that has a real Spanish (read: home-party) feel, this place offers also great Spanish wines (by the glass! Another rarity in Milan) and great sangria, of course. The Kitchen is always open and the service is nice. The perfect place to go eat if you want to enjoy a festive mood even if you are alone.
Tapa' n kitchen Bar, Via Burlamacchi 7, tel. (0039) 025462621
Hidden in a beautiful courtyard in the centre of the city, Bar Martini serves restaurant-quality dishes - together with probably one of the best sandwiches in town (the Martini Club with roast beef, tomato confit, salad, red chicory, green pepper cheese and chips) – in a Sicilian-style interior garden. And if you fancy the perfect drink, to enjoy alone, you are in the right place: the barman knows what he is doing.
Written by Elisa della Barba