Seafood in the city: Low-priced ocean grub at Trattoria il Marinaio

It’s low fat and incredibly tasty, but finding fresh seafood when you don’t live near the ocean can be a struggle – and even when you do find it, the prices are often so outrageous that you end up settling for land-based cuisine. However, that struggle is now over for anyone living in Milan.

A little place in Isola called Trattoria il Marinaio has changed the game for seafood in the city – and you’ll be thanking them for it.


The restaurant focuses on cuisine from the southern Italian region of Puglia, which boasts hundreds of miles of Mediterranean coastline.

The atmosphere is cozy, with wine bottles lining the walls, and the service is just as good as you’d get at an upscale restaurant. But this isn’t actually an upscale restaurant at all – unless you consider €5 mussels to be pricey.

You heard that right: €5 mussels. It’s listed on the starter menu, but it’s just about the size of a main course. The menu gives three flavoring options, but you should definitely go with the chili peppers…they’re outstanding, and potentially the best in the entire world. Not an exaggeration.

Some of you are likely thinking the seafood can’t possibly be fresh for those prices, and must come from a freezer in the back of the restaurant. But you’re wrong. You can peer straight into the kitchen, where the assortment is laid out for all to see. The mussels are freshly netted, straight from the fisherman’s boat.


For mains, the swordfish and grilled octopus are both highly recommended. A variety of pasta dishes are available beforehand, but you’ll be forgiven if you find yourself wanting to dig into the Mediterranean cuisine as soon as possible.


This is one of the few restaurants that really goes the extra mile for customer service, and you’ll notice it right away. This, combined with the prices and healthy cuisine, will be calling you back before you know it. Just be sure to make a booking…this place gets full about five minutes after the doors open.

Address: Via Vincenzo Civerchio, 9

Lynsey Free

Lynsey Free is founder and editor of Postcards from Milan. As a freelance journalist and copywriter, her work has been published on, RT television, Sky News, News Corp sites, and MyFox channels. She is based in Milan, Italy.

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