10 Traditional Trattorias in Milan
If you're in search of authentic traditional Milanese cuisine, we can recommend some classic trattorias and osterias where you will be assured a real flavour of the city's best-loved dishes and its people.
Here are 10 typical Milanese restaurants in which to try the authentic cuisine of this northern Italian city.
Trattoria del Nuovo Macello
This family-run local trattoria has stood the test of time and remains one of the go-to places for Milanese and tourists in search of a relaxing evening of traditional food with a creative twist.
Popular antipasti dishes include a selection of cured meats as well as snails with anchovies and parsley. Among the first courses or 'primi', the golden risotto Milanese with saffron stigmas is a must, as is their famous thick 'Coteletta' served pink, with or without bone, as per tradition as a secondo. Leave space for dessert.
This typical Milanese trattoria serves all the traditional favourites, plus some soups, which change according to the season. Despite the many tables, the service is cheerful and attentive.
The menu includes ossobuco, meatballs, onion soups, the classic cotoletta and much more all at trattoria prices. The wine list also reserves some very pleasant surprises.
Bottiglieria Trattoria da Pino
The historic and endearing side of Milan awaits you in the Bottiglieria Trattoria da Pino, but only at lunch time.
The menu includes boiled meat with classic sauces, boiled chicken, nerves and risotto, along with savoury pies and sliced beef.
The welcome is brisk and informal, as you'd expect in full Lombardy fashion.
Cooperativa la Librazione
This cooperative was founded by the partisans in 1945, where customers today are still greeted by a slogan, "long live the rebels", that recalls the era.
Open from lunchtime to 1am, there's no better place to end the day, even just for a beer at the counter.
It's also perfect for a work break: the jovial and cheerful atmosphere is matched by a hearty menu of tripe, shin and cotechino, lentil and broccoli soups. Among the second courses there is stew with rice and other traditional Milanese dishes. The dessert department isn't neglected either, with homemade cakes that allow locals to reminisce about their childhood.
La Bettola di Piero
Furnished like a genuine and typical trattoria, the Bettola di Piero caters for those who are want to eat well and don't have much time.
The menu has a good selection of dishes that guarantee quality and freshness: from fried brains to risotto with ossobuco and braised ravioli or pumpkin amaretti, which literally melt in your mouth. The Milanese cotoletta, duck and veal kidneys are among the main dishes.
The desserts are excellent and the wine pairings are perfect. The kitchen follows the seasons and there's always room for an unmissable dish of the day, especially at lunchtime.
Osteria alla Grande
The slogan of this picturesque tavern is clearly written on its website, the "last stronghold against hamburgers, foods for vegetarians, barley coffee and for those on a diet!"
In the kitchen, there's Signora Elena, who captures the concept of good Milanese food with braised ravioli, homemade gnocchi, real Milanese tripe and baked shank cooked in beer. There's also the seared carpaccio with trevisana and fontina. Ah, and the cassoeula with cabbage and polenta, if you are in a group of at least ten. Very fair prices.
Osteria del Treno
Customers at the Osteria del Treno, might have the chance to experience the large Liberty Room of the restaurant, where they'll get to choose from everything on the menu: whether it's pappardelle, or vegetables with taleggio cream. Boiled meat, marinated rabbit with mint, snails or roast cockerel stuffed with plums, and sausage with apple sauce, onions and mustard might be just a few of the dishes on the changing menu. There are also desserts, including the ricotta sfogliatina with orange sauce. The carefully sourced cheese selection has few rivals in the city.
One of the oldest trattorias in the city is located in the Ticinese area. You can breathe the spartan air of Milan past, and taste the tradition of typical cuisine with cotoletta and potatoes, risotto Milanese and caseaoula. All simple, good, Milanese DOC dishes. In summer, you can stay under the pergola and in winter you might be cheered up by a small trumpet and accordion orchestra.
Trattoria Albero Fiorito
When you want to eat typical and inexpensive food in Milan, Trattoria Albero Fiorito in Via Pellizzone comes to mind. It's here that time seems to have stopped completely.
The environment is rustic, we warn those who seek glamour; no romantic lunches, then, but an honest Milanese meal with some northeastern influence to be exact.
Fried cheese, soups, boiled meats are accompanied by Friulian wine, checked tablecloths and 'brusque' hosts. Open only for lunch, but beware - you must arrive by 1.30pm.
The sign reads "from 1921", and it's since then that the Masuelli family have been serving good Milanese cuisine in Viale Umbria, south of the city.
Milanese and Piedmontese food feature on the menu and in the decor, with Giò Ponti furnishings and an attention to detail that is difficult to find in the new glossy restaurants of the city. The risotto with ossobuco is famous and obviously, the same goes for the cotoletta and polenta.