If you want to uncover the Milanese culture, one way to do it is through the culinary experience, and as a local. Take interest in trying the local Milanese food in Milan and do not fall for the charade of eating randomly. One of the best places you can experience homemade unrefined Milanese dishes in Milan is at Trattorias.
Trattorias are often owned by Italian families who cherish the tradition of homemade meals. If you pay attention you will find a lot of these trattorias packed with locals and Italian families during lunch and dinner time. This is a good sign you are in the right place!
What is the Famous Food in Milan?
While Milan is celebrated for its high-end cuisine, it’s also famous for its hearty and comforting dishes. One of the most renowned Milanese dishes is “Risotto alla Milanese.” This creamy saffron-infused risotto is a culinary masterpiece that perfectly captures the essence of Milan. It’s often served with Osso Buco, a braised veal shank, for a truly authentic experience.
What Do the Locals Eat in Milan?
To truly immerse yourself in Milan’s culinary scene, it’s essential to try the dishes that the locals savor. “Panettone” is a sweet bread loaf filled with candied fruits and raisins, traditionally enjoyed during the holiday season. Locals also relish “Cotoletta alla Milanese,” a breaded and fried veal or chicken cutlet that’s a staple of Milanese cuisine.
Now let’s take a dive into the typical Milanese dishes you should relish in:
Risotto alla Milanese
Risotto alla Milanese is made from a plain special kind of rice and coloured yellow with “zafferano”, a special kind of spice typical of Marche, Abruzzo, and Sardegna. It is cooked in meat broth with other ingredients till very soft and marshy.
A ‘traditional Easter egg’ in Milan. Panettone can be found all year round at most pastry shops and supermarkets in Milan. It is customary to eat them during special times of the year like Easter, Christmas, and New Year. I recommend you enjoy a slice of sweetly flavoured panettone with coffee, warm milk, or as dessert.
Often called the main Milanese dish. A boneless turkey deep-fried in coated breadcrumbs is almost what the Cotoletta is all about. I have seen many Italian cooking sites describe the cooking difficulty as low, but the first few times I tried it, I created a very big mess. As simple as it may look, the crunchiness and the deliciousness you uncover as you bite it will leave you craving for more. Italians call it Orecchia di Elefante meaning Elephant ears.
Even though I am not a big fan of meat, any dish that has the Ossobuco in it is what I can never resist. I have tried it with Polenta. I recommend the risotto with Ossobuco (risotto con Ossobuco). You can also have it with vegetables.
Prepared with different parts of pork meat with cabbage and vegetables, it is very typical in the countryside. Many refer to the meal as poor because the leftovers of the pork are used. You should enjoy this meal with a fine bottle of Italian wine.
This is a beef stew that is slowly cooked over a low fire. It is very tasty and has a strong beefy aroma. You can also combine it with potatoes and peas.
Polenta with Gogonzola
Polenta is a cornmeal and gorgonzola is a type of cheese. The dish is plain and very filling. If you do not like really plain dishes like me, you can have a side (fish or beef) along with it.
Zuppa Inglese translated as “English soup” is ironically not a soup but a dessert similar to tiramisu. It is made up of a combination of custard, sponge cake, and toppings. Though it did not traditionally originate from Milan, it has become one of the favourite desserts you can easily find in Milan.
Pizzoccheri con Verdure Miste
Pizzoccheri, a very rich dish made with a mix of different vegetables is a type of pasta typical of the Lombardy region. You can find some really good trattorias to enjoy the homemade tasty version.
Risotto con Luganega
If you find yourself in Milan during the cold winter days, Risotto con Luganega is a good choice to keep you warm. Risotto con Luganega is the same as Risotto alla Monzese. I recommend complementing it with a glass of red wine.
You can also follow my Instagram page @girl.in.milan to discover other Milanese Food in Milan I recommend and try.