Credit

Courtesy of Ben Pipe Photography/Getty Images/Cultura RF

What to Eat in Milan

While in Milan, you'll no doubt find plenty of pasta, espresso, gelato and pizza, but you'll also want to sample Milanese cuisine. Similar to other regions in Italy, including the Amalfi Coast and Naples, Milan has its own culinary identity that features specialty dishes native to the region. You may be hard-pressed to find these dishes and drinks outside of Milan, but even if you do, they probably wouldn't be as good. The most important dish is Milanese risotto or risotto alla Milanese. It's unique primarily for one ingredient: saffron. It is said that the artist, not chef, who created it wanted to make his risotto more appealing to his guests, so he added the saffron to turn it yellow. 
Another must-try dish in Milan, which is often accompanied by saffron risotto, is the ossobuco, a flavorful veal shank. After being fried in onions and butter, the veal shank is left to marinate for hours in a simmering tomato broth accompanied by vegetables and white wine. Another popular veal dish to try is cotoletta. It may look a lot like Wiener schnitzel and that's because it might actually be. The history on whether it was invented by the Milanese or the Austrians isn't completely clear. Regardless, you can dig into this pan-fried, buttery- and bread crumbed-goodness most places in Milan. Those with a preference for the meatless will no doubt enjoy Milanese minestrone, which is comfort food to Milanese during the winter months. 
Whether you're an omnivore or carnivore, don't skimp on the bread or cheese here. The Lombardy region, for which Milan calls home, is known for its cheeses, specifically gorgonzola, mascarpone and Grana Padano, similar to parmesan. For breads, there is michetta, a star-shaped white bread often referred to by the Italians as the bread of the Milanese. There's also the panettone, a dessert bread made with candied fruits typically consumed during the holidays. And while here, don't forget to order a negroni cocktail. This famous gin-, Campari- and –vermouth cocktail, garnished with an orange peel, was invented in Milan, particularly at the Bar Basso. 

While in Milan, you'll no doubt find plenty of pasta, espresso, gelato and pizza, but you'll also want to sample Milanese cuisine. Similar to other regions in Italy, including the Amalfi Coast and Naples, Milan has its own culinary identity that features specialty dishes native to the region. You may be hard-pressed to find these dishes and drinks outside of Milan, but even if you do, they probably wouldn't be as good. The most important dish is Milanese risotto or risotto alla Milanese. It's unique primarily for one ingredient: saffron. It is said that the artist, not chef, who created it wanted to make his risotto more appealing to his guests, so he added the saffron to turn it yellow. 

Another must-try dish in Milan, which is often accompanied by saffron risotto, is the ossobuco, a flavorful veal shank. After being fried in onions and butter, the veal shank is left to marinate for hours in a simmering tomato broth accompanied by vegetables and white wine. Another popular veal dish to try is cotoletta. It may look a lot like Wiener schnitzel and that's because it might actually be. The history on whether it was invented by the Milanese or the Austrians isn't completely clear. Regardless, you can dig into this pan-fried, buttery- and bread crumbed-goodness most places in Milan. Those with a preference for the meatless will no doubt enjoy Milanese minestrone, which is comfort food to Milanese during the winter months. 

Whether you're an omnivore or carnivore, don't skimp on the bread or cheese here. The Lombardy region, for which Milan calls home, is known for its cheeses, specifically gorgonzola, mascarpone and Grana Padano, similar to parmesan. For breads, there is michetta, a star-shaped white bread often referred to by the Italians as the bread of the Milanese. There's also the panettone, a dessert bread made with candied fruits typically consumed during the holidays. And while here, don't forget to order a negroni cocktail. This famous gin-, Campari- and –vermouth cocktail, garnished with an orange peel, was invented in Milan, particularly at the Bar Basso. 

Find the Best Restaurants in Milan

  • #1
    Panzarotti
    #1 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 333 reviewsTripAdvisor (333)
    $ | Italian, Fast Food, Mediterranean, Deli, Gastropub, Street Food, Pub
    Viale Bligny 1, 20136 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #2
    Napiz
    #2 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 234 reviewsTripAdvisor (234)
    $ | Pizza
    Viale Vittorio Veneto 30, 20124 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #3
    VUN Andrea Aprea
    #3 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 785 reviewsTripAdvisor (785)
    $$ | Italian, Mediterranean, European, Contemporary
    Via Silvio Pellico 3, 20121 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #4
    BistroBio
    #4 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 279 reviewsTripAdvisor (279)
    $ - $$ | Italian, European
    Via Valtellina 10, 20159 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #5
    Terra Gelato
    #5 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 233 reviewsTripAdvisor (233)
    $ - $$ | Italian
    Via Vitruvio 38 Via Settembrini corner, 20124 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #6
    Shaolin State of Harmony - Raw Vegan
    #6 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 229 reviewsTripAdvisor (229)
    $ - $$ | Healthy, Soups
    Via Teglio 11 Centro Culturale Shaolin di Milano, 20158 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #7
    Maison Touareg
    #7 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 167 reviewsTripAdvisor (167)
    $ - $$ | Moroccan, Mediterranean, Contemporary, Arabic
    Via Varesina 77, 20156 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #8
    Gusto 17
    #8 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 438 reviewsTripAdvisor (438)
    $ | Italian
    Via Savona 17, 20144 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #9
    Piadineria Artigianale Pascoli
    #9 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 723 reviewsTripAdvisor (723)
    $ | Italian, Fast Food
    Via Nicolo' Paganini 2, 20131 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #10
    LUX Gourmet Social Club
    #10 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 148 reviewsTripAdvisor (148)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Pizza, Contemporary, Fusion
    Via Eugenio Carpi 5, 20131 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #11
    NoA - Modern Bistrot
    #11 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 154 reviewsTripAdvisor (154)
    $ - $$ | International, Mediterranean, Italian, Contemporary, Wine Bar, Street Food
    Via Andrea Solari 50, 20144 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #12
    TheLab - Unconventional Burger Experience
    #12 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 352 reviewsTripAdvisor (352)
    $ | Italian, American, Street Food
    Via Pasquale Sottocorno 5A, 20129 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #13
    Sapori Solari - Cocktail Bistrot
    #13 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 192 reviewsTripAdvisor (192)
    $ - $$ | Italian, European
    Via A. Stoppani, 11, 20129 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #14
    Sapori Stellari
    #14 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 312 reviewsTripAdvisor (312)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Mediterranean
    Via Savona 127A, 20144 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #15
    Sapori Solari - Salumeria Bistrot
    #15 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1495 reviewsTripAdvisor (1495)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Deli, Wine Bar, Mediterranean, European
    Via Sofonisba Anguissola 54, 20146 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #16
    Premiata Cremeria Rossi
    #16 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 408 reviewsTripAdvisor (408)
    $ | Italian
    Piazza Simone Bolivar n. 7, 20146 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #17
    AleXAmber Fish Cuisine
    #17 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 153 reviewsTripAdvisor (153)
    $$ | Seafood, Italian, Mediterranean
    Viale Pasubio Corner Via Bonnet, 20154 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #18
    POMET by Pasquale Pometto
    #18 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 677 reviewsTripAdvisor (677)
    $ | Italian, Pizza, Mediterranean, European
    Angolo Via torino Via Valpetrosa 1, 20123 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #19
    Drinc. Cocktail & Conversation
    #19 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 140 reviewsTripAdvisor (140)
    $ - $$ |
    Via Plinio 32, 20129 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #20
    Ristorante Yazawa Milano
    #20 of 9,668 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 217 reviewsTripAdvisor (217)
    $$ | Japanese, Barbecue, Asian
    Via San Fermo 1, 20121 Milan Italy
    Read More »

Explore More of Milan

Recommended

10 Amazing Montana Vacations

Breathtaking landscapes and year-round outdoor adventures will inspire you to visit Big Sky Country.

Gwen PratesiMay 20, 2019

The 13 Best Savannah Tours

Experience real southern hospitality when visiting Savannah with these top tours.

John RodwanMay 16, 2019

The 15 Best Boston Tours

Get to know one of America's most historic cities with these tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonMay 14, 2019

The 18 Best New Orleans Tours

With so much to see and do in New Orleans, these tours will help you maximize your time in the Big Easy.

Claire LawtonMay 10, 2019

The 7 Best Chicago Boat Tours

These low-key tours offer unique views of a city famed for its skyline.

Holly JohnsonMay 9, 2019

30 Cheap Weekend Getaways in the USA

From beach destinations to amusement parks, these vacations are perfect for an affordable and quick trip.

Holly JohnsonMay 9, 2019

The 15 Best Chicago Tours

Foodies, boat enthusiasts and historians alike will appreciate any one of these tours of the Windy City.

John RodwanMay 8, 2019

16 Incredible Midwest Vacations

See which outstanding escapes showcase some of Middle America's top destinations.

Lyn MettlerApril 29, 2019

The 21 Most Beautiful Waterfalls to See Around the World

Discover which stunning falls offer once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.

Kyle McCarthyApril 25, 2019

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019