Where and What to Eat in Milan

milan food guide

Milan food guide – a full guide to what to eat in Milan and where to find the best pasta, pizza and gelato.

milan food guide

If I have to be honest, the main reason for each of my trips to Italy is the food. I’m such a big pasta and gelato lover, that I can live on pasta every single day. And of course, not to forget the wine.

I tasted many local specialities searching for the best food in Milan. Luckily, my trip was a short one, so I didn’t gain too much weight.

Is Milan expensive for food and drink

Italy as a whole is a super cheap destination when it comes to food compared to Western Europe.

Here is what you’ll typically pay for:

  • coffee – 2 EUR
  • croissant – 2 EUR
  • sandwich – 3-4 EUR
  • gelato – 3 EUR
  • a glass of wine – 5 EUR
  • pasta and pizza – 10-15 EUR
  • meat dish – 15-20 EUR

Every restaurant charges coperto additionally to your bill. Coperto is a fee per person and it means cover charges. The fee is different in every restaurant and varies from 1 to 3 EUR.

If you struggle with how much to tip, the coperto solves this problem. In fact, it is a part of the tip. Overall, tipping is not a common thing in Italy. So just round the bill leaving few euros above.

My favourite thing in Italy is that you always get free bread and water before your meal.

Milan food guide – What to eat in Milan

The city is located in the Lombardy region of Italy. The region is known for its rice fields along the Ticino and Po river valleys. It is also one of the largest cheese-making regions in Italy. Having this in mind, it’s no wonder why meat, rice and cheese are featured heavily in the traditional Milan cuisine.

The best way to taste the most popular Milan specialities is by taking a food walking tour.

5 must eat food in Milan

Risotto alla Milanese

If you have to try one meal, it has to be Risotto alla Milanese. It is one of the most popular foods in Milan, Italy. Risotto alla Milanese is a creamy mix of rice, saffron, butter and white wine sprinkled heavily with cheese. Like most of the Italians meals, it’s a simple dish, yet very tasty. The rich flavour comes from the mouth-watering cheese and saffron, one of the most expensive ingredients in the world.

Risotto alla Milanese

Cotoletta alla Milanese

Cotoletta alla Milanese is another must eat in Milan. It’s a fried breaded veal cutlet, very similar to Wiener Schnitzel. Cotoletta is usually served with potatoes and tomatoes.

Orecchio di Elefante

Orecchio di Elefante is a variation of Cotoletta alla Milanese. The only difference is that the veal is much larger and thinner. In fact, the name of the dish means “elephant ear”.

Polenta

Polenta is a very simple cornmeal. It’s usually served as a side dish or topped with butter, gorgonzola, mushrooms or meat.

Panettone

Panettone is one of the most typical Milan dishes. It’s a sweet loaf of bread filled with raisins and candied fruits.

The best places to eat in Milan

Find here a map of all restaurants mentioned in this article.

Where to find the best brunch in Milan

Panini Durini

Panini Durini is my number one place for a brunch or early breakfast. The food is amazing and reasonably priced. They offer different types of coffee, many croissant variations and a lot of sandwiches. I just loved the pistachio croissants.

Panini Durini

Princi

The Italian breakfast typically consists of something sweet and a hot beverage. There is one place to go if you look for such traditional Italian breakfast – Princi. It’s one of the best bakeries. They offer a wide range of brioche pastries.

Princi

Luini

Luini serves the most delicious panzerotti. Panzerotto is very similar to the calzone. The main difference is that the panzerotto is fried. The filling varies from salami, eggplant to cheese, mozzarella and many more.

Luini

The best gelato in Milan near Duomo

Vanilla Gelati Italiani

Vanilla Gelati Italiani is the closest gelato shop to the Duomo. They sell one of the best vegan ice cream. The place is a hidden gem and it’s a must-stop for a true Italian experience.

CioccolatItaliani

CioccolatItaliani is one of the most unique gelato shops I’ve been to. The chocolate and gelato mixed together give a divine taste.

CioccolatItaliani

Grom Gelato

If you look for a more traditional gelato, go to Grom. They offer a wide range of heavenly flavours.

Grom Gelato

Where to find the best pizza in Milan, Italy

The pizza at Spontini was the best one that I’ve tried during my trip. However, it’s not the typical thin Italian pizza. It’s thicker with a lot of cheese. If this is your favourite kind, don’t miss to give Spontini a try.

Spontini

The best pasta in Milan

If you want to taste a real authentic Italian pasta, then go to De Pasajo Dal Marchigiano. It’s a fantastic small restaurant near Navigli area. Their pasta was not only the best one in Milan but also one of the best that I’ve tried in whole Italy.

De Pasajo Dal Marchigiano

They also have a little chihuahua, named Paco, that accompanied us during the whole dinner. It was a really lovely experience!

dog Paco

To learn how to cook traditional homemade pasta and lasagna, check out this pasta cooking experience.

Where to find the best risotto in Milan

If you look for some truly delicious risotto, Risoelatte is definitely a must go. It’s a charming restaurant with an exceptional interior in 1960 style. There are several types of tasty risotto to choose from.

More places to eat in Milan

Q.B. Gelato

Q.B. Gelato is a great gelato shop close to the Last Supper and Sant’Ambrogio Church. They offer amazing handcrafted gelato with local ingredients.

Q.B. Gelato

La Prosciutteria

La Prosciutteria is a great place to enjoy some salami and cheese over a glass of wine. They have a fabulous selection of wines and boards of cold meats, salami and cheese. Keep in mind that it’s not exactly a restaurant, you have to order your board at the counter. However, the food is fantastic and reasonably priced.

To try more wines from Lombardy region, take this wine tasting tour.

La Prosciutteria

Portobello

I found this restaurant while looking for some good places around Porta Venezia and the Central train station. I was staying in this area and I liked the restaurant so much that I ended having two dinners there. They serve incredibly tasty authentic Italian food.

Portobello

Ristorante Da Oscar

If you’re really hungry, go to Ristorante Da Oscar. I have never seen bigger portions in my life. I couldn’t finish my pasta, I even didn’t manage to eat half of it! It’s a family run restaurant with an excellent food. It is located between Porta Venezia and the Central train station.

Ristorante Da Oscar

Most popular activities in Milan

Explore the stunning Milan Duomo and climb to the Duomo Terraces for a panoramic city view.

Take a guided tour of Da Vinci’s “Last Supper”.

Take a day tour to the spectacular Lake Como, Italy’s famous lakeside resort.

Where to stay in Milan for sightseeing

Mid-ranged – The Square Duomo – a spotlessly clean hotel within a short walk to the Duomo.
9.1/10 Rating – See hotel images and 3,770+ guest reviews


Luxury option – Park Hyatt – the best 5-star hotel near the Duomo – just 230m away.
9.0/10 Rating – See hotel images and 400+ guest reviews


Apartment – Aparthotel Duomo – luxurious independent suites in the historic centre with a view of the Duomo.
9.4/10 Rating – See apartment images and 270+ guest reviews


If you don’t know in what area to choose a hotel, check out the best area to stay in Milan.

Further reading for your trip

Find self-guided walking tours and historical insights in DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Milan & the Lakes.

Check out these things to do in Milan in one day to plan your itinerary.

If you’re planning to rent a car, compare the car rental prices in Europe.

What is your favourite traditional Milanese food?
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About the author
Avatar Milena Yordanova
I'm a travel blogger based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Travelling has always been my passion and I love to discover new places and cultures. I want to show you how easy it is to organize your vacation all by yourself.

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