Although pizza and pasta are the main protagonists of Italy’s cuisine, there are a number of authentic and exquisite dishes that we recommend you try on your way through this city. Take a good look at these cheap Milanese restaurants that we recommend you to enjoy for little money, but with good quality and better service.
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Italian cuisine is characterized by very intense colors and aromas, excellent wines and powerful cheeses, which have made it one of the main figures of Mediterranean cuisine. Polenta, osobuco, cotoletta or risotto a la milanesa with some of the specialties you should not miss if you want to feel like a real local.
Where can we eat in Milan without the bill making us choke on our dinner? Avoid the most touristy places and make a note of these places that will leave you with the best possible taste in your mouth.
Hot octopus with artichokes and leeks, prawns with butter and sage, cod with onions, oranges and aniseed, fusilli with herring ragout, noodles with prawns and pesto, ravioli with truffle and mushroom cream, risotto with pumpkin, gorgonzola and walnuts… Located next to the Chiesa di San Giorgio al Palazzo, eating in Milan is a pleasure thanks to ‘Nerino Dieci’ and his two midday menus: one for 9 euros, with first and dessert, and another for 12 euros, with ‘antipasto’ and second course. Both include drinks and coffee, being tiramisu the house’s sweet specialty.
La Prosciutteria Milano
Choose the size of your table and wait for it to be served full of sausages, cheeses, sauces, vegetables and bread. That’s how easy it is to find one of the places to eat in Milan in an atmosphere as informal as it is pleasant. They also offer carpaccios on their menu, a good handful of freshly prepared sandwiches and salads whose ingredients can be chosen by the customer himself. La Prosciutteria’ also serves free water for those who prefer to quench their thirst without scratching their pockets. And, if wine is your thing, you can choose from a wide variety of wines for between 2.5 and 9 euros per glass.
Osteria Alla Grande
As if anchored in time, the ‘Osteria Alla Grande’ is the perfect place to eat in Milan to try traditional and homemade dishes. Smilzo’ is in charge of the dining room and his wife, Elena, of the kitchen, where she prepares different risottos, tagliatelle with mushrooms, pappardelle with hare sauce, stewed ravioli and handmade gnocchis. And, if you’re a stranger and you’re not into pasta: tripe with beans, Milanese steak, osso buco with polenta and the famous carpaccio escaldado with Trevisan cheese. To close, chocolate, apple or peach cake. Ummm…
Trattoria Sabbioneda da Romolo
Good prices, very Italian decoration and dishes reminiscent of those prepared by grandmother are three of the characteristics of ‘Trattoria Sabbioneda da Romolo’, in the heart of the city. Stewed meatballs, stewed octopus, roast meat, breaded cotolletta, baked rice, pasta stuffed with cream of artichokes, cod with polenta or Milanese tripe are some of the specialties to eat in Milan without your budget getting out of hand. The atmosphere is familiar and many of the locals come to lunch or dinner, an unmistakable sign of the high quality of the food.
The panzerotto originates from the city of Bari, in the south-east of Italy. This kind of empanada is made of a dough made of wheat flour, salt, water and brewer’s yeast. Its traditional filling consists of natural tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Although it opened its doors in 2013, ‘Panzarotti’ is already one of the classics for eating cheaply in Milan. Choose how you want yours (fried or baked), select from 24 ingredients to put inside (mortadella, speck, turkey breast, bacon, salami, brie…), add different sauces and condiments, and voilà!
Another cheap restaurant in Milan preferred by the locals is this one in Via G.E. Pestalozzi, 2. Order a ‘capricciosa’, with ham, artichokes, olives, mushrooms, capers and anchovies. Do you prefer pasta? Linguine allo scoglio, with mussels, clams, prawns and squid. Do you fancy fish? Sesame crusted filleted tuna with a touch of citrus and pea cream. And, if you’re a meat fan, the grilled veal fillet with asparagus and potatoes has your name on it. Anyone else?
Are you a pizza lover looking for a cheap place to eat in Milan? Your space is at number 8 Piazza Tito Minniti. With an average price of 7 euros, it offers a variety of more than fifty pizzas, calzone and focaccia, all cooked in a wood-fired oven. Our favourite? Favorite’, with four types of cheese and raw ham; ‘Fiore’, with rocket, bresaola and fresh tomato; ‘Simone’, with spicy salami, artichokes, ham, olives and capers; and ‘Stefano’, with mushrooms, ham, onion and zucchini. Have you chosen yours yet?
This sandwich shop located near the Piazza del Duomo is perfect if you are looking for a cheap place to eat in Milan and you don’t have much time. As it closes at 6pm, we suggest you make it your choice for a quick lunch between visits to museums or fashion shops. Its wide variety of hot and cold paninis, priced at 5 euros, makes long queues of tourists and local workers looking for a bite to satisfy their appetite. If the weather is good, sit down on their flirty terrace with a cold beer, you won’t regret it!
Le Striatelle di nonna Mafalda
Eating in luxury in Milan with an average ticket of 15 euros per person? It is possible in an establishment that pays homage to Grandma Mafalda. Fresh pasta, such as papardelle, rigatoni, tagliolini al nero di seppia or pici (handmade spaghetti), is combined with various dishes based on polenta and others with rice or couscous. The sauces could not be more appealing: cacio e pepe, with cheese and black pepper; alla Sorrentina, with tomato juice and baked buffalo mozzarella; alla Barese, with turnip, anchovies and chilli; or alla Piacentina, with raw ham, pepper and olive oil.
Pioneers among the movement of artisan beers in this Italian town since 1996, they have a fixed menu of 13 beers that they produce throughout the year, as well as another that depends on each season. What started as a small bar to drink these homemade brews among friends is today a buoyant business with five partners that evolves day by day. To accompany them, a good variety of snacks to eat cheaply in Milan: cured beef, tuna, speck, brie, roast beef, roast pork… Which one do you take?