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Pizza in Milan is serious business, often with a cool twist on the classic. Here you can eat it with a cocktail, choose the dough and top it with luxury ingredients... but also have it in the streets, fried or as take away. Nowadays, the Milanese pizza can satisfy a variety of palates.
It might seem strange, but pizza in Milan wasn’t always the scene it is today. It was once dominated by Egyptian pizza makers until Chinese ones moved in later and it was limited to places offering pizza by the slice or Neapolitan style. Deep pan pizza by the slice from the iconic Spontini or Cerro Ardente can still be found today, along with other pizza joints like Maruzzella, Piccola Ischia or Il Tegamino, or the extra-large thin pizzas from Big Pizza – some of these places have even expanded with more branches or have become franchises. But, the best pizzas can be found elsewhere, in newer restaurants based on a new philosophy: total quality.
Simply making a good pizza is not enough in today’s world; everyone wants to know how the dough is made, how long is it left to leaven, the type of tomato sauce, mozzarella, olive oil, etc. Thus, the quality of all the ingredients and the craftsmanship of pizza makers has progressed immensely and brought excellent results. Whether it’s Neapolitan inspired, with a thick crust or gourmet-style, divided into slices with the condiments manically divided, each bite is a perfect bite. It’s safe to say that pizza in Milan has gotten much better and perhaps a bit more expensive: between €4 for a basic Margherita and at least double for a gourmet one. But the beauty is that for only €10 you can eat a truly delicious and haute cuisine product.
Here are the ideal locations to try, offering different styles and drink combinations (yes, even for pizza!) and one location with a view of the Duomo.
Eating on an outdoor roof terrace, almost touching the Duomo with a finger? Yes, it is possible at Obicà, on the top floor of Rinascente. Famous for its Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, it is a restaurant-bar where mozzarella is served on refined platters and on pasta or pizza. At lunch it is always packed, but the kitchen stays open longer than at other restaurants in Milan. The ideal time to go is around happy hour – order the aperitif, which includes a drink with both mini pizza bites and other specialties.
Folded over, stuffed with goodness and fried: a huge Neapolitan Mezzaluna for €3.50. Gino Sorbillo is Italy’s most famous pizza chef, part of a dynasty of Neapolitan pizza makers of via dei Tribunali who brought his Esterina Pizza Fritta to Milan, without changing either the recipe or price. The dough is stuffed with one of the seven available ingredients and fried in a large pan with oil. Try it with “the secret”, or with ingredients especially chosen for you by the pizza chef.
Dry Milano: One of the best cocktails in town with a pizza or focaccia. Dry are the inventors of a new combination that is working really well, for an original drink or dinner, with two locations in the city. Our favourite is the original site in via Solferino (but there is a new one in via Vittorio Veneto, around Porta Venezia, also open for lunch) and the best seat is at the counter opposite the busy barman. Try the focaccia with veal in tuna sauce, and a vintage drink like the Milano-Torino.
Taverna Gourmet offers Neapolitan pizza with a gourmet twist, with refined ingredients, specially selected and “cooked” innovatively. Truffles, shrimp, caviar, Cetara anchovy sauce, Amalfi lemons, Iberico pork plumas: this is not a place for a quick dinner, but for a true tasting with a nice bottle of wine. Pizza prices are among the highest in the city, depending on the toppings, which allow for some creativity. A unique address for pizza fine dining.
Berberè started in Bologna and was brought all the way to Milan where they found immediate success in two locations. An alternative, minimal ambience (i.e. a bit hipster, with exposed bricks), but the pizzas are excellent, with carefully considered ingredients and dough. If there are at least two of you, they’ll serve the pizzas in 8 slices, so you can share different types. The perfect starting point for a night in the Isola district or a shelter from the Navigli where the cuisine is often poor.
Classic, spelt, gluten-free, rice and buckwheat dough… oh! And the special dough of the week, every weekend. At Bioesserì, you can customize your pizza however you’d like. The spelt dough calzone is delicious.