Typical Milanese Dishes
Here is a list of some of the most typical Milanese dishes. We have put the names in Italian so that if you happen to go to a restaurant that doesn’t have a menu in English, you can manage and order one of Milan’s traditional dishes without worrying about what the dish includes.
- Carpaccio: Thinly sliced meat or fish served with olive oil and lemon.
- Caprese Salad: Tomato, mozzarella and basil leaf salad.
- Frutti di mare: Seafood.
- Arancini: Stuffed rice or pasta balls.
- Vitello tonnato: Cold veal covered with a creamy egg sauce and tuna.
- Bresaola: Aged, salted beef
- Prosciutto: Italian dry-cured ham
- Gnocchi: Soft dough dumplings made from potato.
- Risotto: Rice cooked slowly in broth.
- Calamari: Fried battered squid rings.
- Cotoletta alla Milanese: Breaded veal cutlet.
- Ossobuco alla Milanese: Cross-cut veal shanks with vegetable and wine.
- Zabaione: A dessert made of egg yolks, sugar and sweet wine.
- Panna Cotta: Thick sweet cream.
- Tiramisu: Italy’s most famous dessert.
- Babà: A small rum-based cake.
- Amaretti: Almond biscuits
- Limoncello: Lemon liquor
- Amaretto: Almond liquor
- Sambuca: Strong anise-flavoured liquor.
- Campari: Bitter-tasting red alcoholic beverage
- Caffè corretto: Coffee with a dash of liquor.
- Caffè macchiato: Espresso
- Latte macchiato: A bit of coffee with a lot of milk.
During your stay, don’t forget to try the renowned and mouth-watering Italian ice-cream. You won’t try better ice-cream anywhere else in the world.
You will find normally priced restaurants in Milan, but be careful! In some of the city centre restaurants the drinks are extremely expensive. The prices of the drinks are never shown on the menus; therefore, make sure to ask for the beverage menu before sitting down and ordering, since a glass of wine or beer can sometimes cost more than a main course.
If you do not want to spend a lot of money or time for lunch, we suggest eating one of Milan’s great paninis (sandwiches), which normally cost around €4 and are served hot. You will find these types of sandwiches in most restaurants.
After a long day of sightseeing and exploring the city’s shops and museums, the most appealing plan is to find a good restaurant and have a heavenly dinner. Depending on the type of restaurant, the pizzas usually cost between €6 and €10, the starters are between 5 and 10 euros and a pasta dish costs between 8 and 15 euros.
Service tax and cover charges
In most parts of Italy, including Milan, the restaurants usually charge a fixed service tax per person called “coperto” in Italian. This includes, for example, the bread and other aperitifs, which are usually served while you look at the menu.
This cover charge is between € 1.50 (US$ 1.80) and € 6 (US$ 7.30) per person depending on how expensive the restaurant is. Some restaurants do not charge this extra tax and normally have it written at the end of the menu “No Cover Charge”.
As well as this extra, sometimes you will also be charged further service tax.
Lunch is served in Italy between 1 pm and 2:30 pm and dinner is served between 8 pm and 11 pm. Nevertheless, you will not find it difficult to find restaurants that are open longer hours.
Areas to eat out in Milan
Most areas of Milan have a large selection of restaurants, although in our opinion, the best are restaurants are located in Via Dente. This street has many charming terraces that also serve great typical Milanese food. Via Dente is located just in front of the Castello Sforzesco. If not, another great area is all around the Piazza del Duomo.
One of the best restaurants
Very close to the Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the restaurant Luini (Via Santa Radegonda, 16), a favourite among the Milanese. Its panzerotto, a semi-circular turnover stuffed with tomato and mozzarella are one of the best in the city. Well worth trying.