The best gelato in Milan, Italy

Milan is one of the best cities in all of Italy for Gelato. It rivals even Florence for the number of high quality gelaterias. Artisan makers create classic flavors and new tastes using fresh ingredients.


Stracciatella, one of the most flavors of gelato, originated in the city of Bergamo, not far from Milan. In 1961, gelato maker Enrico Panattoni, owner of restaurante La Marianna got the idea for a Stracciatella gelato when his customers kept asking for a soup called Stracciatella which is made by incorporating strands of eggs into a broth.

Panattoni’s Stracciatella Gelato was made using a similar method. He drizzled melted chocolate into plain Fior di Latte Gelato near the end of the churning process. The chocolate would freeze immediately and the paddles of the machine would break it up into strands.

Today, Stracciatella is one of the most popular Gelato flavors in Italy.

The best gelato shops in Milan

There are literally dozens of world-class gelato shops in Milan. Here are a few of my favorites.

100% gelato concentration at Paganelli’s (photo: Karen L. Campopiano)

Gelateria Paganelli has been around since the 1930’s. The shop is in a residential neighborhood so it doesn’t get as crowded as some other places, but don’t be fooled, Paganelli is the real deal. They often have some unique flavors and their Stracciatella is amazing. But, for my money, the Pistacchio Gelato is some of the best on the planet. They also have a mind-blowing chocolate gelato.

Gelato from Sartori (photo: Brent Petersen)

One of the best located gelato spots in Milan is Antica Gelateria Sartori. They’re right outside the Milano Centrale train station in a cheerful little trailer. Nothing better after a long train ride or bus ride from the airport (buses from the airport drop you at Centrale). They’ve been around since 1937 and their gelato is tremendous. Plus, they’re open late.

Sampling Plum Sorbetto made with Champagne (photo: Karen L. Campopiano)

Cerdini & Quenardei dal 1906 has a unique take on Gelato, or, should I say, Sorbetto. Several of their flavors use Champagne as their base (Sorbetto is normally water based rather than milk based). The fresh fruit Pear Sorbetto is delicious, but the Plum Sorbetto is absolutely life changing.

About the Author

Brent Petersen is the Editor-in-Chief of Destination Eat Drink. He currently resides in Setubal, Portugal. Brent has written the novel “Truffle Hunt” (Eckhartz Press) and the short story collection “That Bird.” He’s also written dozens of foodie travel guides to cities around the world on Destination Eat Drink, including in-depth eating and drinking guides to the Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, Naples, Palermo, Turin, and Ortigia in Italy. Brent’s podcast, also called Destination Eat Drink, is available on all major podcasting platforms and is distributed by the Radio Misfits Podcast Network.

Author: Brent