Pizza, Pasta and Gelato – Can you imagine a country that would be a better destination for food lovers like you and me? I felt like I was in heaven after eating my way through typical Milan Food. Not fitting into my pants anymore is a sacrifice I’m willing to make anytime again. 😉
Giacomo from Milano Arte was so kind to take me on a fabulous tour to check out some of the best places to eat in Milan (and street art, but that will be a different article). I was in heaven. Follow our footsteps through this article, because you’re gonna need to put these places on your “To-Eat List” for your next Milan Trip! If you’re interested in the best sightseeing spots in Milan, check out this article about the 17 Best Things To Do in Milan written by the experts over at The Crazy Tourist.
In general, there are 4 famous Milanese dishes: Risotto Alla Milanese, Osso Buco (braised veal shanks) and La Cassouela (a meat and vegetable stew) and Cotoletta (veal breaded cutlet). Since I’m vegetarian, I didn’t try the meat options for you, but there’s plenty of other fabulous things to eat, trust me. All of you fellow vegetarians will be happy to know you don’t need to be worried about having too few choices. Andiamo e buon appetito, let’s dive in:
Risotto Milanese @El Barbapedana
El Barbapedana – Best Risotto in #Milan #Italy #Europe #theta360 #theta360de – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
This place offers amazing traditional Milan Food and was my personal favorite among the best places to eat in Milan. As I mentioned, one of the typical Milanese dishes is the Risotto Alla Milanese. El Barbapedana, a really cozy and charming little restaurant is the place to go for this! Giacomo promised they have the best and although I haven’t had many Milan Risotto alternatives to compare it to, he must be right – it was easily one of the best dishes I had in my entire life. And I had A LOT!
I love that the Milanese style doesn’t’ have meat and contains just really tasty key ingredients like cheese (Parmigiano Regiano) and saffron. It’s simple, decadent and so delizioso! I wouldn’t think twice about having seconds if it weren’t for the fact that I already had trouble closing my jeans! Eat it with some good Italian white wine (they have a really good selection) and you have yourself a fabulous Milanese dinner.
Pizza @Piz Milano
If you’re still hungry and looking for recommendations on where to eat in Milan, then a pizza place is and SHOULD be next on your list. Piz is considered by many to be the best pizza in Milan. There are only 3 different kinds of pizza on the menu: The Margherita, The Delicata Bianca (the white pizza with cheese) and the Marinara. I think that the place only has three kinds because of The Neopoletana, which originated from Naples. It is the type of pizza that only has really basic ingredients like tomato sauce and cheese. It can also contain a Margherita or Marinara Topping and cheese like mozzarella and Fior Di Latte (White cheese). It was absolutely mouthwatering despite the simplicity.
Though there are only three kinds of pizza, the variety of alcohol served is a BIG. After (almost) finishing my huge pizza, I was immediately served lots of free shots with yummy flavors like melon and chocolate by the “Pizza Man” himself. He was actually born in Hürth, a town close to Cologne (Germany), where I used to live. The whole ambiance was really fun with entertaining staff and lots of young people. That, the excellent pizza and the buzz from all the free alcohol made the whole experience really unique and made me fall in love with Italy even more. Mille Grazie, Pizza Man!
Gelato @Ciacco. Gelato Senz’Altro
Located at the Via Spadari, Ciacco, is an ice cream place that not only has delicious and traditional flavors (like chocolate and tiramisu) but also many interesting and really unusual flavors. How unusual you wonder? My absolute favorite was the Pineapple and Rosemary. It may sound like a rather weird combination but it is unbelievably good, trust me. You might also want to try Oriental Night which consists of Mango and Cardamom. Other offbeat flavors, which vary from time to time, include mushroom, fish and pumpkin. It’s important that ice cream is not on a big pile – gelato is just no good this way as the consistency and quality of ice cream doesn’t allow to pile it, although it looks pretty. The best part is they use all natural ingredients and have vegan and gluten free options! You definitely have to come here for your Gelato Fix!
Create your own Ice Cream @Magnum Pleasure Store
If you still haven’t reached your sweet and sugar quota – you must make some room for another sweet spot: The Magnum Pleasure Store in Milan’s city centre – the first contemporary ice cream shop in Italy. I mean who doesn’t love Magnum, right? This iconic ice cream brand takes it to the next level by creating a place where you can customize your own ice cream bar. The ice cream itself is already delicious but here you can choose from 21 varieties of sprinkles for just €4! It was so much fun watching the handsome Ice Cream Wizzard (not, that’s not an official name ;)) creating my personal favorite right in front of me. Asides from gelato they also serve coffee and hot drinks and the ambiance inside is really nice. It’s a perfect place for a quick stop in the middle of sightseeing in the city as it’s very close to the Duomo.
Sweets @Pasticceria Giovanni Galli
For those of you who have a sweet tooth – a visit to Milan’s oldest Pasticceria is a must. This place has been here since 1911! The specialty of this historic shop are the Marron Glacés – chestnuts covered in sugar or chocolate. Delizioso! It is the most famous product of Giovanni Galli and well known both in Italy and abroad.
Asides from that, a wide array of sweets abound to satisfy your sweet palate. They have different kinds of chocolate pralines, almond paste, cakes, biscuits and also seasonal cakes like Panettone (Christmas cake) and Colomba (a dove shaped Easter cake) You might have to watch your blood sugar levels here but I must tell you, it is so worth it! Everything is made fresh and free from preservatives. You can even take home the Marron Glacés in nice gift boxes and bring a piece of Milan to your special someone back home.
One of Milan’s MUST TRY is Camparino in Galleria next to the Duomo. Camparino is traditionally associated with the Campari, which is an Italian Aperitif and a symbol of Milan and the aperitif world. It is here where you can experience a true, original Campari.
After a long and hard day of sightseeing and sampling all the great Italian food, make sure to stop by Camparino. The Milano da Bere attitude (Drinking Milan-style) is a Milanese tradition that became world-famous. Starting from 6pm, thousands and thousands of people hit the bars to have their aperitif and fill up on snacks before having dinner late at night. There are little buffets set up on all bar counters with appetizers, pasta and rice salads, hot dishes, cold cuts and cheeses, pizza, sauces of all types, olives, pickles – basically everything you can snack on.
Camparino is the origin of this tradition and therefore the most authentic place to hang around during happy hour. Of course the view on the Duomo doesn’t hurt either.
Negroni Sbagliato @Bar Basso
Bar Basso is the place to get the best Negroni Sbagliato – since this is where the cocktail was born! This drink is a spin on the classic Negroni – made with prosecco instead of gin. This happened at bar Basso in 1968 and was actually an accident. The bartender who created this version was still serving at the bar until he passed away in 2016. The place doesn’t offer much food although they serve up some really good antipasti. Stepping in the bar is like stepping back in time. It has this ambiance of old world glamour and is a great place to catch up with old friends or even have a romantic date.
Fine Food @Peck
Another historic place for Milan food is Peck – The Italian Temple of Gastronomical Delights, a store that has been around since 1883! It has a very long history where the ownership of the place changed hands quite a few times – yet it still remained and lasted all this time, with branches opening up in other parts of the world as well. This store offers a mind-boggling selection of cheeses, meat and countless other treasures like chocolates, pralinés, pastries and freshly made gelato.
Peck started out as a deli shop by Franz Peck, a salami maker from Prague, who wanted to open a German-style cured and smoked meats workshop. It eventually became one of the city’s cult locations and a supplier for many prestigious customers in the country, including the Italian Royal household. After a few years, the business was sold. It started growing and many things were added to the deli. Alongside the cured meats, ready-made dishes, fresh and stuffed pasta were also introduced.
Adding to that, the place became THE place to be in the 30s with the prestigious and the who’s who of Milan dropping by. After World War II, the place still endured and even evolved to one that introduced hot meals, take away delicatessen and gourmet sandwiches.
In the 70s, the owners at that time expanded Peck and included many other items like deli specialties, cured meats, cheese, and added on a patisserie and wine shop. Their sales area quadrupled in size to accommodate all their new offerings, including a tea room.
Nowadays, Peck offers everything from Breakfast to Dinner. They are renowned for the quality of their coffee and baked goods. It is also a destination for business lunches of many professionals in the area. At night, it’s a great place for drinks. Their extensive wine cellar is a dream for many and they also offer fancy takeaway and their version of street food.
Their online shop is also amazing – with a huge selection of wines, decadent sweets, pasta makers, a smatter of gourmet delights and posh looking grocery items. If you’re looking for what to eat in Milan, then I definitely recommend Peck as it has the most variety!
Writing about all the great food that Milan had to offer is making my mouth water again. I still can’t stop thinking about that Risotto! You must try at least some of these places if ever you find your way to Milan – you won’t regret it, I promise! I think that the perfect combination of great meals, drinks and the most delectable desserts ever are what made my whole Milan experience one of the best ones yet. Everything was definitely molto delizioso! Buon Appetito!
Would you like to eat your way through Milan as well? Here’s the MilanoArte food tour! Also, if you like to have any custom tour in Milan, make sure you contact Giacomo – whatever your interests are, they will put together the perfect tour for you. Next time I will write about our Street Art Tour, so stay tuned 🙂
Looking for an affordable place to stay in the city centre? Check in at Ostello Bello, Milan’s hippest hostel! They offer not only super comfy dorms and private rooms, but also free breakfast & dinner + free WiFi-modems and power banks that you can take on your sightseeing tour so you always stay connected. At night, this place becomes a bar and Milan’s cool crowd hangs out here together with you travelers. How awesome is that?