The places listed in our post on restaurants in Milan are neither expensive nor too formal but, if you’re looking for a quicker and cheaper meal, a diner where you can (when possible) sit a few moments for a bite, here’s some suggestions for you.
- Luini (panzerotti)
- C’era una volta una piada (piadine)
- Spontini (pizza al trancio, by the slice)
- La pizza dal 1964 (pizza al trancio, by the slice)
- Giannasi (fried and roasted goodies)
(MM1-3 Duomo, MM1 San Babila, and any of the other lines going to Duomo)
Opening hours: Monday 10-15 / From Tuesday To Saturday 10-20
Mentioning the word “Luini” is enough to make my mouth water, any time of the day. One of the most legendary fast food parlours in Milan, it remained nearly unchanged for 50 odd years and made its way to the main tourist guides. Hidden in a short alley beside the Duomo it’s ideal if you’re visiting the city centre. As a bakery they offer a wide range of products, both sweet and savoury, but there is one reason to go there: the famous panzerotto. Shaped like a hand-size calzone, its soft fried dough is filled with tomato sauce and mozzarella. They have other fillings but the original one is undoubtedly the best. Try to avoid it around lunch time even though observing the diverse crowd might be interesting: students with rucksacks, traders in suit and tie, tourist holding maps and cameras.
Viale Coni Zugna, 37 (MM2 Sant’Agostino) Mon-Fri 10-15/19:30-23; Sat 10 – 23; Sun 19-23
Piazza San Gioachimo, 5 (MM repubblica) Mon-Fri 10:00-16:00 / 19:00-23:00
This place is worth visiting even if you’re not hungry, it’s not far from Porta Genova and it’s worth a 15 minutes walk from the Navigli. It’s like walking in a spooky kitchen designed by Tim Burton in a pastel pink overdose. It’s a small place and you need to find your space at the bar, behind which the piadina is prepared. In case you didn’t know, piadina is tipical of Bologna region, is a round flat pita-like bread folded and filled with…whatever. Take your time to go through the long list of options hung on the wall and order at the till. My favourite one is with Bresaola (dry cured beef meat) but tf you’re really hungry you should go for a piadina with prosciutto cotto (cooked ham) and you probably won’t need a second round.
There’s also another one near Repubblica / Central Station, it’s got a nice upper floor but not as charming as the one in Coni Zugna. To be avoided lunch time during the week.
Via Gaspare Spontini, 4 (MM1-2 Loreto, MM1 Lima)
tel. 02 2047444; web: www.pizzeriaspontini.it
Lunch: Mon-Sun 11,45-14,30; Dinner: Mon-Fri 18-23,30; Sat 18-24, Sun & Bank Holiday 18-23
This is a pizza institution in Milan and one of the greasiest pizzas you’ll ever have. Pizza al trancio is one of the most popular snacks in Italy, spongier than the classic one served in pizzeria, it’s sold in squares or slices. The one you’ll eat here is baked following the same receipt since the 60s and you’ll only get the classic margherita: tomato sauce and an abundant layer of melted mozzarella cheese. You only have to choose between regular or large, considering that there’s only 50 cent difference it’s really a no-brainer isn’t it? You can find the original Spontini in Corso Buenos Aires, close to Loreto but they recently opened other three stores for your convenience:
- Via Santa Radegonda, 11 (MM1-3 Duomo)
- Viale Papiniano, 43 (MM2 Sant’Agostino)
- Via Marghera, 3 (MM1 Wagner)
- Via Cenisio, 37 (corner with Piazza Diocleziano)
- Piazza 5 Giornate, 6
Via Casoretto, 44 (Bus 55, 62, 81)
tel. 02 2846659; web: www.lapizzadal1964.com
Tue-Sat 12.00-14.30/18.30-22.30; Sun 18-23; Closed Monday
As it can be easily guessed by the name it’s all about pizza here. Like Spontini this is one of the first pizza al trancio parlour in town, just a little less greasy. Also here the pizza margherita are baked in enormous round pans and served in slices. You can ask for regular or large size, and the slice is paid by the weight. In addition you can top it up with some simple and classic ingredients. The basic margherita is still the best choice for me but if you really can’t help asking for a topping, go for a salame piccante (it’s spicy pepperoni but do never ask for “pepperoni” in italy or you’ll get your pizza covered in peppers!)
It’s not central, ideal if you live in the Lambrate area (like at the Hostel Colors for instance). If you show up late you might have to wait for a table and the take away queue is always painfully long. Good sign isn’t it?
Piazza Buozzi (MM3 Porta Romana, Bus 62)
Forget about your diet and cholesterol levels the king of fries is awaiting for you! A nice kiosk placed in Piazza Buozzi, a stone throw from Porta Romana, Giannasi can be easily spotted by the inviting smell even before you see it. Like a market stall you can find anything here from roast chicken, tasty take-away dishes and the magnificent choice of fried snacks. Which is the best one? You’ll have to try them all to find out!
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