HostelsClub's suggestions for cheap eats in Milan.
Milan is known to be a pricey place for a tourist – and it could be, if you end up in the “wrong” neighbourhood or just in the wrong place.
But the city is scattered with low-cost, nice joints both for drinking and eating: you just may not know them yet!
Let’s start with what is probably the most famous (and most central) cheap eat in town: Luini, in Via Santa Radegonda, just off Duomo square. It has been there since 1949, baking delicious panzerotti (small rolled pizzas) at cheap prices. Don’t the long lines scare you - the service is incredibly fast, and you can eat your panzerotto nearby in some of the most scenic places in town, from Piazza Duomo to the Scala square. Locals, students and tourists line up here every day – Luini has recently added sweet panzerotti with Nutella that sell like crazy!
Milan is the symbol of hustle and bustle, a city known to be always on the run, always in a hurry. People who like to think they have no time to lose usually eat just a sandwich (“panino”) for lunch, without even sitting. But the “Milanesi” also like to enjoy themselves: many bars started serving “gourmet sandwiches”, with creative combinations of high-quality ingredients such as the many Italian kinds of cheese, salame or ham, mixed with fruits or weird sauces… and they let you seat to eat it!
You can taste these delicacies at Bar della Crocetta (if you can get through their full menu - with more than 100 different sandwiches), located near the university, at the Crocetta underground stop: it’s so good that some people claim the underground stop was named after the bar, and not the other way around (HostelsClub.com declines to confirm this)! Try also one of the many “Panino Giusto” in town – a small chain of restaurants serving only sandwiches!
An historical landmark of Milan is the red bricks kiosk from which, in 1967, Dorando Giannasi started serving roasted chicken to the workers of nearby factories, in piazza Buozzi. Today the area, between the underground stops Porta Romana and Piazza Lodi, has gentrified, but Giannasi’s kiosk is still there, still serving roasted chicken (the best in town, they claim) and an array of appetizers from rice arancini to croquettes, or fried mozzarella balls – so good and popular that some customers don’t even buy chicken anymore! Be ready for a long line - especially on Saturdays. But we can guarantee it’s well worth the wait, especially if you take your lunch to one of the nearby parks (sunny weather may or may not be included, it’s still Milan after all)!
If you are more into drinking, try the happy hour of the local bars, where you can eat as much as you want from the buffet, as long as you purchase a drink. The pioneer of the happy hour was the cuban-themed “Hora Feliz” (which, unsurprisingly, means “Happy Hour” in Spanish), located near the Duomo, the via Torino shopping area and the porta Ticinese nightlife. Try one of their drinks, in normal or XXL size, and shamelessly assault the buffet, which usually offers pretty much everything from salads to pasta, from chips to sausages, from fish to meat, to desserts and pastries.
Finally, if you’re into quality drinking, one of the best cocktail bars in the world is located in Milan. It’s the “Nottingham Forest” of famous barman “Maestro” Dario Comini, who travels the world and brings back exotic spices, recipes and ideas for his never-heard-before cocktails. The list has hundreds of choices, more than half being Martinis (served, for example, with wasabi and nori algae, or with small balls of alcoholic jellies, or with Dario’s own bitter just to name a few). Surprisingly, drinks will set you back less than 10 euros, and they are even cheaper if you drink at the bar (which is advised, since the line for the tables can be pretty long). You’ll find this small, cozy and oddly decorated bar in Piazza Tricolore, near the Porta Venezia underground stop. A perfect stop after an afternoon of shopping in the nearby Corso Buenos Aires!
Gelato may be a southern-Italy treat, but you can find some delicious ice cream shops in Milan as well. We suggest the typical Sicilian ice cream and granita of “Vasa vasa”, which you can find in via Spartaco and in via Canonica. Also the “Gelateria della Musica”, alongside the Navigli, has a very wide and sometimes surprising selection of ice-cream, such as chocolate with Himalayan pink salt, or peanut butter, or “bread and Nutella” (we suggest a combination of the 3)…
Follow these tips to eat and drink in Milan, while saving money for your nights out: here’s our guide to nightlife in Milan!
If if want to save money on your accommodation as well, check out HostelsClub.com' accommodations in Milan: