The Best Food Experiences, Tours and Local Delicacies in Milan
Get ready for all of the suppers, in the home of The Last Supper
Ahhhh Milan, the home of The Last Supper. Lucky for you, this isn’t your last supper (we hope). In fact a culinary holiday in Milan is your opportunity to have all of the suppers. And believe us, you’ll want to. If there’s anything worshipped and respected in Italy second to religion, it’s food. Consider this a necessary pilgrimage in honour of gastronomy. We’re no scientists (our expertise lies in selecting incredible homes around the world), but scientifically speaking, a food tour trip to Italy could actually make you happier.
The fats in cheese encourage our brains to produce dopamine, a natural feel-good chemical that’s released in our brains’ ‘reward centres’. Win, win. As far as cheese goes, Milan is up there with the places to visit for it. It’s the home of one of the most delicious blue cheeses in the world in gorgonzola. Other traditional dishes include Risotto de Milanese and Veal Milanese, and here at Plum Guide, we have done all the hard work for you, so you don't have to worry about trying to find the best places to indulge in these dishes. Follow in our foodie footsteps for the ultimate Milan food tour and pay respects to all that is Italian food. Prego.
Explore the best neighbourhoods
If Milan is chic, financial and sleek, Isola could be described as the opposite. More colourful and quirky, it’s like the hippyish sister to Milan’s refined sibling. It’s still considered a relatively hidden gem in the city and the ‘new’ bohemian district. Once you’ve had a walk around and tried some local delicacies along the way (we’re giving you the perfect tour to try mondeghili aka deep-fried meatballs further on below) head to Ratanà. Michelin Guide listed restaurant restaurant is in a converted building that was formerly a cinema. The chef’s version of the classic risotto alla Milanese con ossobuco (saffron risotto with braised veal shank) is worth the visit alone. It offers up a modern take on classic Italian food.
Head down to Brera
The artsy district of the city, Brera, is often compared to Paris’ Montmartre. The cobbled streets are laden with opportunities to dine al fresco, so you can feast on the sights and sounds of the district too, firmly cementing its place on your Milan food tour itinerary. Make sure you dine at local Trattoria Il Cestino for fresh seafood, and give the two Michelin-starred restaurant Seta a visit for delightful courtyard dining and delicacies such as blue lobster. There’s also several fortune teller’s booths dotted around this area, to give you an insight into your future - if you ask the right questions perhaps they’ll enlighten you on what to eat next too.
Take a trip to Duomo
You’ll want to head this way to marvel at the majestic Duomo, the cathedral church of Milan that took nearly six centuries to complete. An excellent spot to take in the building's glory while simultaneously taking in a lot of delicious Italian food would be Obicà Mozzarella Bar. Fancy more traditional heart-warming grub? Head to A Santa Lucia. Dating back to 1929, it was famously favoured by Frank Sinatra, so technically you’ll be doing Milan his way.
Try traditional Italian dishes
Enjoy the Risotto de Milanese
The edible equivalent to receiving a warm hug while you’re feeling a bit tipsy. Packed with cheese, doused with wine, it's the most sumptuous comforting rice dish. Especially when cooked authentically and the risotto rice has a slight bite to it. Classic Italian flavours include mushroom or courgette, but you should only have eyes for one version on your Milan food tour, Risotto de Milanese. The Milan staple gets its vivid colour and flavour from saffron. It also features heaps of parmesan, chicken stock, and often most traditionally, beef bone marrow.
Indulge in Gorgonzola
Three words. Soft. Blue. Cheesy. No, we aren’t referencing the time you were really sad watching the Notebook, we are of course talking about one of Milan’s finest creations. Gorgonzola. This delicious blue cheese is exclusively made from cow’s milk, often boasting milder flavours than those of other blue cheeses. Eat it on its own, smother in on a cracker, try it on a steak. The main takeaway here is that you should eat it in its birthplace.
Order the Veal Milanese
Danke! Don’t mind us, we’re just thanking the Austrian for their part in influencing this delicious dish. Don’t tell the Italians we said that though, there’s a longstanding argument over which came first. The last thing you want to do on your cooking holiday in Milan is bring up an old disagreement. This isn’t a Christmas Day family meal you know. Why the beef? Or more appropriately ‘why the veal’? Well the dish closely resembles Wiener Schnitzel - the key difference being the Italian version has a bone-in cutlet.
Embark on exciting food tours
Enjoy the historical Gorgonzola tour
Do you like a bit of drama with your evening meal? No we don’t mean watching Ozark while you chow down, or hearing gossip about the neighbour. We’re talking a la carte with actors. If so, this Milan food tour with an immersive twist is perfect. The theme of the tour is to ‘help the chef of the Marquise Serbelloni and her maid Ginevra to prepare a magnificent banquet’. It also promises lots of Gorgonzola blue cheese specialties, included as part of the food tasting and three-course dinner and wine tasting.
Discover Brera's seasonal delicacies
Get a taster of all the classics on this snack-packed food tour, and tuck into saffron-flavored risotto, cured meats and breaded veal. Brera is brimming with markets, and streets lined with restaurants providing ample eating ground. Keep those hungry eyes wide open for mondeghili (deep-fried meatballs). Just like life is a box of chocolates, and you never know what you’re gonna get, so is the food on this tour. Food included naturally changes seasonally.
Explore Milan's food with New Meets Old Cuisines
The organisers of this tour consider Milan to be a city of two souls: one very traditional, the other hectic and full of energy. Kind of like what we’re like before and after two glasses of white wine. Walking Palates strive to show you both. Your licensed guide, dubbed a ‘Food Ambassador’ walks you through recipes, dishes, and history in the Porta Romana area, bustling Darsena area, and the San Lorenzo area. Hidden gems you’ll be shown include the only cheese shop in Italy that sells cheeses made only with unpasteurized milk, and an Italian reworking of the fashion set’s favourite dish, sushi.