What is the best food in the world? Italian, for sure; Italian food is simple, cheap and extremely varied.
That’s why one of the most fun and affordable ways to get into Italian culture is through food.
Milan is well known to be the finance and fashion capital of Italy, but if you know where to go, you’ll be able to taste delicious examples of street food from all over Italy without spending too much.
Since a lot of people from all over Italy, including the islands, move to Milan to study or work, the city is the place where you’ll get to try some of the most iconic and authentic foods from the North to the South of the “Bel Paese”, while walking around beautiful architecture and aesthetic neighbourhoods.
We recommend exploring the Navigli and Brera districts, since they are some of the most popular and energetic areas with lots of delicious eateries to try out.
We suggest you to avoid the “Duomo/Center area”, here the “tourist traps are ready just to offer you terrible food at a higher price… so please be wise, go a bit further from the famous main square and breathe the real Milan!
How to get there:
Navigli area is on the south part of Milano. There you can find 2 artificial historical canals (Naviglio Pavese and Naviglio Grande) and also the ancient port of Milano (Darsena).
To reach it you must use either the M2 green metro line to Porta Genova station, or get on tram number 3, who starts from Duomo (the main cathedral square).
What to get there:
The Navigli is the perfect place for a stroll and a quick bite. In this frenetic and timeless neighbourhood , you’ll see many people walking around while chatting and eating baked goods. It is the perfect place to discover lovely small shops and restaurants that serve street food from all over Italy.
Il Panzerotto di Ettore – Ripa di Porta Ticinese 13
Among one of the most popular snack places in the area, you’ll find many people going out of this small restaurant with a piping hot fried bread filled with salami, cheese and tomato sauce. This is the Panzerotto, typical savoury fried pastry from the southern part of Italy. A must-try if you come to Italy and haven’t had the chance to go to the South.
La Piadineria – many locations
The Piadina is a flat bread from Emilia-Romagna (central Italy) made with olive oil or lard, which makes it both crispy and soft, perfect to be folded in half to sandwich toppings of your choice. From savoury to sweet, the choices are infinite, but we suggest crudo (cured ham) and mozzarella or squacquerone (soft cheese), or nutella. It is better than the traditional sandwich since it has to be eaten hot, and it’s very convenient to eat on the go.
How to get there:
Brera district is really close to the right side of the Castello Sforzesco and Parco Sempione, some of the main attractions of the city.
To get there you can either walk from Duomo, or get on tram number 2, 4, 12, 14 or M2 green metro line to Lanza or Moscova station.
What to get there:
This northern district definitely has a much classier and more elegant vibe, maybe because of the prestigious Brera Academy of fine Arts and homonymous Art Gallery. During the colder months you’ll see lots and lots of lights hung out of the most popular eateries creating the perfect Christmas/holidays atmosphere.
Princi – via Ponte Vetero 10 and Piazza Moscova
In this bakery you’ll find every kind of pastry and baked goods. But we especially recommend the pizzas and Ligurian focaccias that you’ll see at the counter. Order here from the huge variety of toppings and pay at the register. You can have your order to go and continue your walking around or sit down and relax with a good cup of Italian coffee.
Ammu Caffè – corso Garibaldi 84
In this cafè you’ll feel like in Sicily. Here you can taste all year long the best cannoli in town, with original orange or pistachio or chocolate or cherries toppings. During summer the pastry masters will prepare also the famous Sicilian Granita, shaved ice with flavors. Don’t think this is the usual slurpee from the machine, this masterpiece of the Italian tradition will refresh you and give you an unique food experience.
Center- Near Duomo
Near the city center it’s hard to find still the authentic food, but for the real passionate of historical places and long lines we advise you:
Luini – Via Santa Radegonda 16
Historical bakery in the heart of Milan. Located between the Duomo and the Rinascente luxury mall, get in line for one of the most well-known panzerotto of the city. Everyone has been here at least once for a quick lunch or tasty snack. Fried or baked, choose the topping inside your panzerotto (tomato, ham or many others). If you have a sweet tooth get also the custard or chocolate filled pastries. It is very affordable, around three euros.
If you want to experience more in depth the Italian Street Food scene while exploring Milan, you might be interested in our Street Food Tour Milan, where we’ll bring you to some of the tastiest and most authentic eateries here, alone or in good company. Check out our website for more information.