What to eat in Milan and where: 10 typical dishes and the best restaurants

In Italy there is a city divided between tradition and innovation, where the flavors of the past blend with the new needs of consumers and innovations. We are talking about Milan and the dishes that you absolutely must taste if you are there.

The cuisine of Milan is definitely more “heavy” than you think: the dishes are hearty and tasty thanks to wise use of simple ingredients and spices, not to mention the different textures that feel with every bite. Here we give you some tips on traditional dishes to taste and where to do it. It is really worth it.

1 – Busecca

The first dish that you absolutely must try if you are in Milan is the Busecca . It is a hot dish prepared with tripe and beans . It is very tasty and will take you back in time. This dish, in fact, of poor origin, was originally consumed by the peasants on Christmas Eve. Today in Milan you can find it in different variations since each “family” had its own version, but the basic ingredients are always the same.

  • Recommended for: dinner
  • Average cost: € 10.00
  • Main ingredients: tripe, white beans, bacon, tomato

2 – Nerve salad (gnervitt)

It is perhaps one of the dishes that inspire the most fear to those who are not used to these dishes.

The nerves are nothing more than the cartilages of the bovine shin. They are found almost everywhere in Italy, cooked in every way and manner, but to have them in the form of a salad you have to go to Milan. Its ingredients are quite simple like its preparation, which however is a bit long.

  • Recommended for: always, as an appetizer
  • Average cost: € 8.50
  • Main ingredients: nerves, onion, bay leaf, white wine vinegar

3 – Milanese risotto

The risotto Milanese is undoubtedly the flag of Milan. Known all over the world thanks to its golden color, risotto is as easy as it is insidious to cook, so we recommend that you rely on expert Milanese hands to taste it in one of the many traditional restaurants in the city.

  • Recommended for: lunch and dinner
  • Average cost: € 14.00
  • Main ingredients: rice, ox marrow, saffron, butter

4 – Polenta

The polenta is one of those dishes that Milano declines in every way, you can find it also in the form of “sandwich” between the streets of the city. The most famous and traditional is undoubtedly polenta with cod , a typical dinner on Friday evening in Milan, but also with cheeses (absolutely to be tried with the local gorgonzola) and any other type of condiment.

  • Recommended for: dinner, in winter
  • Average cost: € 10.00
  • Main ingredients: yellow polenta, salt

5 – Milanese cutlet

The Milanese cutlet is one of those dishes that entered the Italian culinary tradition without effort. Its crunchy breading and tasty meat make it an excellent dish for adults and children. But if you want to taste the “real” Milanese cutlet, you can’t miss a trip to one of these places in Milan. Once you have tried the original version you will not be able to do without it:

  • Recommended for: lunch and dinner
  • Average cost: € 25.00
  • Main ingredients: veal cutlets, butter, flour, breadcrumbs

6 – Ossobuco

The ossobuco is never forgotten. Typical of Milanese cuisine, this type of meat is cooked in such a way as to keep the marrow inside, also used for Milanese risotto. It is no coincidence that many times these two dishes are served together. If you love meat, you cannot fail to taste it, already in 1700 it was considered a dish for connoisseurs.

  • Recommended for: lunch and dinner
  • Average cost: € 25.00
  • Main ingredients: beef, white wine vinegar, onions, flour

7 – Cassoeula

In winter in Milan, the Cassoeula is a must. It is a pork- based dish ( rinds , ears, legs, etc.) that has its roots in legend. Its origins are uncertain but it is a dish that has conquered the tastes of historical figures of every era. One of all, it seems that it was one of Toscanini’s favorite dishes.

  • Recommended for: dinner
  • Average cost: € 27.00
  • Main ingredients: pork (ribs, rinds, ears, legs), cabbage

8 – Minestron a la milanesa

In Milanese cuisine, soups cannot be missing. They are such an important part of Milan’s culinary tradition that they have specially dedicated restaurants. Here, whether they are hot or cold soups for summer days, you can savor the authentic flavor of the Lombard city that combines the flavor of vegetables with that of bacon or lard.

  • Recommended for: lunch and dinner
  • Average cost: € 18.00
  • Main ingredients: beans, cabbage, bacon or lard

9 – Barbajada

The Barbajada is a typical sweet of the city of Milan . Great at any time of day, it is a blend of chocolate, coffee and milk that dates back more than two centuries. In the 1800s it was a very popular drink but even now it’s not joking at all. To taste it you will have to go to one of the typical places of the city, maybe they will even reveal their secret to prepare it.

  • Recommended for: always
  • Average cost: € 7.00
  • Main ingredients chocolate, coffee, milk, sugar

10 – Panettone

If you are in Milan you already know coast I am thinking to complete this meal: the panettone. Typical dessert of Milanese origin has become the symbol of Christmas throughout Italy. Between those who want it traditional with candied fruit and those who prefer its more alternative and modern versions, it is a must for a gastronomic holiday in Milan.

  • Recommended for: always, especially in winter
  • Average cost: € 15 / Kg
  • Main ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, candied fruit, raisins

Where to eat in Milan: cheap restaurants, typical bars and street food

If there is a city that can satisfy everyone’s tastes and needs, it’s Milan! Risotto and Milanese cutlets are just the two most popular dishes all over Italy now, but in reality the culinary tradition of Milan goes far beyond. As for the locations, it goes without saying that the hub of life in Milan is the Navigli area with their thousands of clubs of various kinds, from pizzerias to ethnic clubs, from typical clubs to pubs, passing through historic cafes and fast food. Here are the best places to eat in Milan .

1 – 10 Hops

  • Description : brewery with gourmet sandwiches and 10 different beers paired with appetizer tasting
  • Specialty : Aramis sandwich
  • Average price : from € 12.00 per person
  • Address : Naviglio Grande towpath, 4 – 

2 – Langosteria Bistrot

  • Description : modern and elegant restaurant with a gourmet menu based on fish
  • Specialty : bigoli with anchovies
  • Average price : from € 45.00 per person
  • Address : via Privata Bobbio, 2 – 

3 – Concordia Winery

  • Description : vintage-style wine bar with a large selection of wines and traditional cuisine
  • Specialty : risotto with white truffle
  • Average price : from € 35.00 per person
  • Address : ripa di Porta Ticinese, 61 – 

4 – Contraste

  • Description : starred restaurant with white furnishings, excellent service and gourmet cuisine with fresh pasta
  • Specialty : egg with undergrowth and truffle
  • Average price : from € 80.00 per person
  • Address : via Giuseppe Meda, 2 – 

5 – Osteria del Binari

  • Description : colorful elegant restaurant with covered internal veranda and typical Milanese cuisine
  • Specialty : gross spoja in meat broth
  • Average price : from € 20.00 per person
  • Address : via Tortona, 3 – 

6 – Roast-Eat

  • Description : located in the Navigli, the Movida area par excellence. This Abruzzo restaurant offers few seats, but a wide choice of menus, including the classic arrosticini. It is open until 2 am.
  • Specialty : arrosticini
  • Average price : € 10.00 per person
  • Address : via Vigevano, 14

7 – Crota Piemunteisa

  • Description : Very familiar trattoria, with the menu handwritten on sheets. Among the dishes we find different types of soups, gnocchi, ravioli, scallops, stew, braised meat and other traditional dishes.
  • Specialty : braised
  • Average price : € 15.00 per person
  • Address : Via Gian Giacomo Mora 9 – 

8 – Once upon a time there was a piada

  • Description : offers giant piade stuffed with genuine ingredients and cut at the moment, in front of customers. Great organization and quick service, but beware: long queues can occur during the lunch break.
  • Specialty : Piada “Piperita” (spicy salami, smoked scamorza cheese, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes)
  • Average price : € 8.00 per person
  • Address : Viale Coni Zugna, 37 –

9 – All fried

  • Description : We are now in another crucial area of ​​the Milanese nightlife, that of the famous Columns of San Lorenzo. This place offers all kinds of fried foods: fish, vegetables, arancini, chips, mini cutlets.
  • Specialty : frying mini cutlets
  • Average price : € 7.00 per person
  • Address : corso di porta Ticinese, 18 – 

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