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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 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 497 reviewsTripAdvisor (497)
    $ | Italian, Mediterranean, Deli, Gastropub, Street Food, Fast Food
    Viale Bligny 1, 20136 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #2
    Pizzium - Via Vigevano
    #2 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 416 reviewsTripAdvisor (416)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Pizza, Mediterranean, Neapolitan, Campania, Southern-Italian
    Via Vigevano 33, 20144 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #3
    Terra Gelato
    #3 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 335 reviewsTripAdvisor (335)
    $ - $$ | Italian
    Via Vitruvio 38 Via Settembrini corner, 20124 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #4
    Sapori Solari - Cocktail Bistrot
    #4 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 373 reviewsTripAdvisor (373)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean, Bar, Pub
    Via A. Stoppani, 11, 20129 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #5
    VUN Andrea Aprea
    #5 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 864 reviewsTripAdvisor (864)
    $$ | Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean, European, Contemporary
    Via Silvio Pellico 3, 20121 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #6
    Kate Away
    #6 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 180 reviewsTripAdvisor (180)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Cafe, European, Contemporary, Street Food
    Corso San Gottardo 29, 20136 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #7
    Piadineria Artigianale Pascoli
    #7 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 796 reviewsTripAdvisor (796)
    $ | Italian, Fast Food
    Via Nicolo' Paganini 2, 20131 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #8
    Tamo Mozzarella Bar
    #8 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 117 reviewsTripAdvisor (117)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Mediterranean, Neapolitan, Lombard, Northern-Italian, Campania, Southern-Italian
    Via Osti 3, 20122 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #9
    La TASTeria Gourmet Sicily Milano Brera
    #9 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 152 reviewsTripAdvisor (152)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean, European, Street Food, Sicilian, Southern-Italian
    Via San Fermo 1, 20121 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #10
    POMET by Pasquale Pometto
    #10 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 963 reviewsTripAdvisor (963)
    $ | Italian, Pizza, Mediterranean, European
    Angolo Via torino Via Valpetrosa 1, 20123 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #11
    Napiz
    #11 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 717 reviewsTripAdvisor (717)
    $ - $$ | Pizza, Italian, Neapolitan, Campania, Southern-Italian
    Viale Vittorio Veneto 30, 20124 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #12
    D.O.T. - Chianti Street Food
    #12 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 129 reviewsTripAdvisor (129)
    $ | Italian, Tuscan, Central-Italian, Street Food
    Via Orti 1, 20122 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #13
    Tram
    #13 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 293 reviewsTripAdvisor (293)
    $ | Italian, Street Food, Fast Food
    Via Rogoredo 113, 20138 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #14
    La Tienda de Juan
    #14 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 108 reviewsTripAdvisor (108)
    $ - $$ | Spanish, Catalan
    Via Alessandro Tadino 3, 20124 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #15
    Seta
    #15 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 914 reviewsTripAdvisor (914)
    $$ | Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean, European
    Via Andegari 9 Mandarin Oriental Milan, 20121 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #16
    BistroBio
    #16 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 340 reviewsTripAdvisor (340)
    $ - $$ | Italian, European, Mediterranean
    Via Valtellina 10, 20159 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #17
    Bosco Verticale Restaurant Milano
    #17 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 337 reviewsTripAdvisor (337)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Mediterranean, European, Seafood
    Via Federico Confalonieri 15 Angolo Via Volturno, 20124 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #18
    Maison Touareg
    #18 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 223 reviewsTripAdvisor (223)
    $ - $$ | Moroccan, Mediterranean, Contemporary
    Via Varesina 77, 20156 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #19
    Sapori Solari - Salumeria Bistrot
    #19 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1601 reviewsTripAdvisor (1601)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Deli, Wine Bar, Mediterranean, European
    Via Sofonisba Anguissola 54, 20146 Milan Italy
    Read More »
  • #20
    L'Immagine Ristorante Bistrot
    #20 of 10,221 Places to Eat in Milan
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2674 reviewsTripAdvisor (2674)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Mediterranean, European, Lombard, Northern-Italian, International
    Via Varesina 61, 20156 Milan Italy
    Read More »

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