Joia Kitchen

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 16 reviews )

Via Panfilo Castaldi, 18 (at Corso Buenos Aires), Milan, Italy

Very high-end, mostly vegan menu with some lacto-vegetarian plates containing dairy. Also offers several tasting menu dishes. Haute cuisine in a nice, elegant atmosphere, modern decor; has been awarded one Michelin star. They may have a "bistro" menu available which is much less than the regular menu. Entrees average 30 euro. Open Mon-Fri 12:30pm-2:30pm, Mon-Fri 7:30pm-11:00pm, Sat 7:30pm-11:30pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Organic, Mediterranean, Beer/Wine

Reviews (16)

First Review by One Way Gone Cat

perfect - Edit

We went to joia for a romantic dinner with my boyfriend and everything was perfect...
we took the tasting menu which was divine !!

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Excellent fine dining experience - Edit

A fantastic experience. Living in Scotland the majority of vegetarian or vegan restaurants serve cheap, basic food so it was brilliant to find a place to go on a special occasion. Yes it's expensive and quite a formal atmosphere and I wouldn't eat here every week but the dishes were so original and interesting. I can promise they are unlike anything else you'll have had before.

Lunch was quite reasonable in the end, there were two options. One was 25 euros for a fixed menu with 5 small portions. There was also a 40 euro menu with amouse bouche, a starter then a choice of two mains and two deserts. There were various other costlier options but we went for the first two and were not disappointed.

The word I would always use with places like this is its an experience. I've had tastier and certainly cheaper meals but if you are interested in broadening your horizons and don't mind spending a bit of money then you won't be disappointed.

Pros: Unique dishes with great flavours, helpful staff w

Cons: Lunch with some wine and tip could easily set you

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The best vegetarian restaurant in Europe - Edit

Joia is definitely expensive, but well worth it. I have been there twice, and I have always been surprised and amazed by everything. The chef and owner, Pietro Leeman, is a wonderful person, very charming and easygoing, and if he is there will definitely come to your table and chat a little bit. A dinner here is a multi sensorial experience. I have tried both times the vegan version of the "Percorso Natura" (a set menu with their best dishes), and both the textures and flavours were amazing. Definitely to try once in a lifetime at least.

Pros: excellent food and flavour combinations, nice setting, professional service

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Incredibile - Edit

Un'esperienza sensoriale, non solo una cena. I prezzi sono elevati ma per le occasioni speciali è un ottimo investimento :)

Per il dessert dovete assaggiare il Gong!

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amazing food experience - Edit

Totally amazing! Worth the visit, worth the price. Can't wait to return!!

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Worth trying haute vegan cuisine - Edit

As first-timers, my boyfriend and I decided to order the ultimate tasting menu "Zenith"—his vegetarian, mine vegan. It was a non-stop 2.5 hours of eating, which might sound like a lot of food but actually not. Every course was miniscule, and you really only get to get a "taste".

The dishes were very creative and the presentation was beyond beautiful. I enjoyed most of what I had, and even wished that I had ordered the full portion of some of them. However, there were also a few weaker ones that were just okay. Thinking back, I'd say this particular tasting menu is only good for people like us—those who are here for the first time and aren't exactly sure what to expect. Yes, it was spendy at €110/person, but in my opinion worth it. If I come back, though, I'd order a la carte instead, where I'd get more of the good stuff at a lower total price.

As some pointed out below, the atmosphere left a little to be desired. I felt it was too"zen", too plain, too simple for this price point and could definitely use some fixing up. Service was prompt and polite. Staff looked dapper, except for the "sommelier" (who also took orders here), who appeared a bit unkempt in comparison and didn't look at all presentable in a suit jacket so tight that the one button (out of two) he managed to fasten was on the verge of snapping the whole time...

Pros: creative dishes, exquisite presentation

Cons: atmosphere, expensive

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Delicious and fancy vegan meal - Edit

My boyfriend and I decided to grab lunch here as soon as we arrived in Milan and did not regret it! Fantastic meal -- how someone could make grilled vegetables such an exciting entree is still beyond me, but it was fabulous. Like others, truly enjoyed the caramelized cabbage over vegan foie gras. Also got their Autumn plate. Everything was delicious. Highly recommend getting the wine flight -- a great deal for some really excellent wine pairings. Dessert was phenomenal. The chef came out to talk to us afterwards and both he and the servers were charming and kind. Definitely check this place out if you're in the neighborhood.

Pros: Lots of vegan options, Excellent food, Super friendly staff

Cons: Pricey, but worth it IMHO

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The best restaurant for me - Edit

I love this restaurant, I went there several times, each time it's a wonderful discovery.
I like recipes, ingredients, smell, taste and presentation.
It is an exceptional restaurant, refined and not for all the people. Deep research is a feature of the place.

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food but Too expensive - Edit

Pretty good experience, but the atmosphore is Too formal, a top class restaurant but nothing really tasty.
Don't ask for the tasting menù because it is a no stopping finger food jelly things, testless. Too expensive . 1 star Michelin is ridicoulos

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Amazing high level vegan food - Edit

I've recently returned to Joia with my partner. It was our anniversary and I was planning something special. And it definitely was.
The location is very convenient, and the place has a minimal look. I prefer warmer furniture and candles, but anyway.
Waiters were all really kind and the Chef took our order personally. Vegan food, as well as food for celiacs, is very well shown in the menu.
We had some appetizers while waiting, then moved to appetizers, ordering caramelized cabbage wich had a kind of vegan pate de fois gras and was delicious. Then we had an incredible risotto with artichokes, white beans and red beetroot.
As a second course I had a potato pie and my partner a "salad" made of season vegetables.
Then came the desserts: a chocolate cake and a raw vegan cake made of dried fruit and fresh fruit.
Everything was perfect, service great, lovely people and great food.
Overall, it is for sure expensive food, but once in a while definitely worth trying.

Pros: Great food, Fun: a gastronomic experience, Quick, attentive, kind service

Cons: Atmosphere is a little cold, Price: it's a once in a while meal

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Incredible food - Edit

I had the tasting menu at Joia when I was in Milan, and they were very happy to make everything vegan. It wasn't cheap, but the atmosphere was very nice and the service was impeccable yet friendly, and they spoke enough English that my lack of Italian was not an issue. Most importantly the food was amazing. Definitely one of the best meals I have had in my life. Eight courses plus amuse bouche and palate cleansers, and each of them inventive, simple, and yet with complex flavours.
Definitely a splurge and more of a special occasion thing (though I didn't go at lunch) it is well worth seeking out.

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Fabulous for foodies - Edit

Joia is unlike any vegetarian restaurant I have ever visited. At lunch, they have a buffet in their cafe area. Since I'm a vegan, the buffet wasn't the best choice for me, but the manager suggested I try the mushroom risotto -- it was heaven!! Risotto and a bottle of water were 10 euros. I then made dinner reservations for that evening. They have a sampler menu with five, eight or fourteen courses on the dinner menu. Since I was solo, I went with the five course meal. The sommelier helped select a wine that was fabulous and biodynamic. Each dish was a work of art. The sauces were amazing. They made each dish vegan, even though their specialty was vegetarian. I had an amuse bouche of avacado puree, a pasta dish, a coconut soup with tofu,and desert was an amazing chocolate fudge-like square. Words do not do the food justice. It was so good, I had dinner there the following evening. With the exception of one dish, I had a completely different sample. This restaurant is worthy of any foodie's attention. The service was fabulous and very friendly. So much goes into presentation that Joia needs to be experienced to be understood. I highly recommend this, especially since most of my vegan eating in Italy consisted of vegetable soups and pastas. Joia was a delight!!

Pros: Excellent food, Fabulous service, Great wine service

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Awesome Vegan Dinning Experience - Edit

An amazing dining experience -- taste, texture, presentation and creativity are all outstanding. We tried the innovative "zenith" price fixed menu (I had the Vegan version and my husband and our friend had the vegetarian version) and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. I am Vegan and my husband routine prepares gourmet Vegan food at home, and I have eaten Vegan food at some of the top non-vegetarian restaurants in the world, and the food a Joia was certainly worthy of its fine reputation and the price was on a par with the quality of food. The staff was friendly and took the time to explain the evolution and meaning of each course on the zenith menu in English for my husband and me and again in Italian for our friend. I was sorry we weren't spending more time in Milan to return to Joia to try other dishes. I highly recommend Joia for any Vegan or vegetarian who appreciates quality and creative food.

Pros: excellent, creative food, friendly & helpful staff, pleasant ambiance

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Vegetarian Haute Cuisine - Edit

While I lived in Milan I was a regular at this place (well, as much as my budget allowed me to be). Joia is definitely a different kind of vegetarian restaurant - the food is fancy, conceptual, creative, fun and delicious. Pricey but worth it if you're looking for an elegant evening out where you can enjoy course after course of vegetarian goodness. I'd recommend it as a splurge on any vacation to Milan.

Pros: creative cuisine, gourmet chef, welcoming, bi-lingual staff

Cons: expensive

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Just fine...but not great - Edit

I am just starting to explore vegetarian restaurants...On my usual visits to Milan I am used to eating at amazing places so I have to say that I was a bit dissappointed. The staff is nice, the chef is intent on presenting everything in an interesting way, but I was not impressed with the quality of the food. Italy has the most incredible vegetables and I was missing that sense when I ate here. Maybe they are trying too hard and not respecting what really is beautiful and natural about vegetarian food. All around pleasant but not amazing.

Pros: friendly waitstaff, clean, nice presentation

Cons: missing taste, very small portions, a bit too styled

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Unpleasantly Surprised - Edit

I read the other reviews for this restaurant and thought I would give it a go. I expected, with comments like I was reading here at happycow about them, I was in for a real treat. I couldn't have been more wrong. Being a vegetarian, and kind of an earthey type, I am used to vegetarian restaurants being ran by, and catering to, people like me. People you can picture actually growing a vegetable. When we were in Milan we phoned and made reservations, for the same night.
The settings and furniture in the restaurant seemed ok, but a little cold and unfriendly. It was certainly trying to be Milan-fashionable in an ultra-modern way. The food was boring, and so over priced that I was exceptionally taken aback. The real turn-off to this place was that it was like some weird performance to watch the wait staff. I guess to sum up my experience with Joia it is clearly and utterly style over substance. I can't imagine what it is about these types of restaurants that people are attracted to, but I suppose if you like to pay outrageously high prices for average food you may like it. It may be worth it just for the performance of the wait staff, but they didn't seem to enjoy what they're doing.

Pros: Hmm, seemed clean enough

Cons: Uptight staff, High prices, Overkill

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