You can sample delicious Milanese culinary delights on a guided food tour of the city as part of Culture Trip’s 10-day small-group Northern Italy trip – led by our Local Insider.
Tram Laboratorio del Tramezzino Veneziano, on Via Rogoredo – a few kilometres outside the city centre – serves the Venetian speciality called tramezzini. Akin to an Italian version of British tea sandwiches made using soft, white bread with the crusts removed, the emphasis with tramezzini is on the volume and freshness of the fillings, which makes them much heftier than your usual sandwich. At Tram, they come in a wide variety of flavour combinations, such as La Paz (salmon, tomatoes, rocket and avocado), Venezia (tuna, potatoes, egg, lettuce and mayonnaise) and Maracaibo (chicken, courgette and herb cream). Fancy something sweet? Try the tiramisu or Nutella-flavoured tramezzini for dessert.
If you love cheese, you’ll be in your element at Bufalatte. On Via Pavia, outside the most crowded central area, it offers a menu based around simple, fresh, high-quality ingredients from across Italy. Think generous slabs of buffalo mozzarella and burrata, sumptuous slices of parma ham and salami, crusty white bread, delicious salads and a handful of home-made pasta dishes. Tables are available inside, but it’s a small place that tends to get very busy – particularly at lunch and on weekends – so be prepared to wait or avoid peak times.
Just around the corner from the church of San Carlo al Lazzaretto, V3Raw is an ideal lunch spot for vegans and vegetarians, offering a wide range of wholesome, plant-based options. Here, in stark contrast to your typical Milanese eatery, you’ll find yoghurts, juices, smoothies and salads aplenty, plus falafel wraps and wholemeal toasts topped with avocado, spinach, tomatoes, nuts, seeds and all kinds of other uber-healthy ingredients. With sleek, Scandi-style minimalist decor, it’s a pleasant place to eat in, with ample seating available both inside and outside.
With two branches in Milan – one central and another slightly farther out – Trapizzino specialises in stuffed pocket pizzas, which are a traditional Roman speciality enjoyed throughout Italy. Ideal for a quick yet substantial takeaway bite, the trapizzini come with all kinds of different fillings, including polpetta al sugo (meatballs in tomato sauce), parmigiana di melanzane (eggplant with tomato sauce and mozzarella), doppia panna e alici (burrata and anchovies) and plenty more. It also serves supplì (stuffed rice balls, coated in breadcrumbs and fried until crisp and golden – similar to Sicilian arancine). Trapizzino Milano doubles as a laid-back wine bar and cafe, so if you’re not in a rush, linger a while to enjoy a more relaxed dining experience.
On the scruffy Piazza Buozzi, in the now upmarket neighbourhood of Porta Romana, the Giannasi kiosk is renowned for its roast chicken. The birds are soaked for 24 hours in a marinade of salt, thyme, oregano, marjoram and other herbs – it took Giannasi years to find the perfect balance – before being slowly roasted on a spit. You can order a chicken whole or in slices and choose from a variety of accompaniments – try the potato croquettes. You can’t miss the kiosk with its red-and-white striped awnings and retro bright-green typography.
La Ravioleria Sarpi, founded by Agie Hujian Zhou, is a small counter that opens onto the main pedestrianised street in Milan’s discreet Chinatown, serving a unique hybrid of traditional Italian ravioli and Chinese dumplings. It’s proved a winning combination – there’s always a queue. The “ravioli” are prepared on the spot; the fresh pasta parcels are stuffed with typically Eastern ingredients, such as spiced beef, pork and cabbage or ginger tofu, before being steamed rather than boiled. It also offers a type of crêpe typical in northern China, with both meat and vegetarian fillings. La Ravioleria Sarpi sits opposite the best wine bar in Chinatown, Cantine Isola, so it’s the perfect place for a pre- or post-drink snack.
TestaMi is a small Italian deli specialising in Lunigiana Italian artisanal products – mainly meat- and cheese-based – and offers a compact menu highlighting those ingredients. The menu centres around two dishes: sgabei (a fried bread roll with indulgent fillings such as Lunigiana lard and Valle del Lucido honey or raw sausage) and testaroli (a type of Tuscan pasta resembling a thin, square crumpet). This pasta dish is finished with sauces such as ragout, classic tomato sauce and burrata stracciatella, or a refreshing pesto made using 24-month-old parmesan and Genoese basil. The steak tartare mixed with capers and whisky is also exceptional. You can find TestaMi in the fashionable Tortona district on Via Andrea Solaris. It has a small decked area on the pavement with bar stools and high tables, so you can eat on the street in comfort. A handful of wines and craft beers are on offer to accompany your meal.
Find this small bakery on a street just behind the Duomo – you’ll likely find a queue out the door. It was established in 1888, but it wasn’t until 1949, when Signora Giuseppina Luini from Puglia took over, that it started producing the delicious panzerotti for which it is now famous. Panzerotti (called calzoni by Sicilians) are a traditional Puglia baked good – pizza dough stuffed with any number of delicious fresh ingredients, folded into a shape that resembles a Cornish pasty and then quickly deep-fried. The special Luini panzerotti recipe is closely guarded by Giuseppina’s son and grandchildren, who run the bakery today.
Joel Rabinowitz provided additional reporting to this article.
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