I would be lying if I said the food wasn’t a large deciding factor in my decision to study in Milan. Besides being obsessed with Italian culture my entire life, I also happen to be a major foodie and Italian food is my absolute favorite. And trust me, Milan has NOT let me down. One of the best things about the Milanese food scene (and in other parts of Italy as well) is the aperitivo. Aperitivo is basically a happy hour where you pay for one drink, and a whole entire buffet spread is included. This buffet spread differs from place to place, but generally always includes a variety of solid pasta dishes, meat and cheese plates, salads, and some restaurant specialties. Oh, and don’t forget dessert! Some of my best times have been over (or have started with) aperitivo with friends. They are always super laid back, and are the perfect environment to indulge yourself in good company. My favorite places in Milan are Mayflower Cafe and La Fonderie Milanesi, but you are bound to find your own favorites as aperitivo can be found literally around any corner.
You really cannot go wrong with pizza, pasta, or gelato in Italy, as they are always amazing. And while I have surely loved trying pasta specialities at a number of restaurants in Milan, introducing myself to the native Milanese cuisine (one that is completely different from our stereotypical views of what Italian food is) has truly made my food experience special here. Milan s in the Northern part of Italy, so meat is a central part of their dishes. Their most famous being Ossobucco with Risotto Milanese and Veal Cotoletta.
I have had the pleasure of having both at multiple locations in Milan and have nothing but glowing reviews about both. Risotto Milanese has quickly become of of my favorite dishes, and paired with slow cooked, fall-off-the-bone Ossobucco it is unbelievably delicious. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to study in Milan, and to be introduced to a hidden gem of the Italian cuisine. I have had hands down some of my best meals in this city and my stomach could not be more grateful. This semester will definitely not be my last time indulging myself in Milanese aperitivo or Risotto Milanese, I will be back Milan.