Finding a cheap restaurant in Milan could be a hard job, it’s known that as the main city of Lombardy and one of the most expensive cities in Italy. Closer to the city center more expensive will be even a cup of coffee, about two euro, a bottle of water three, and a sandwich ten. But don’t worry. In the northern capital is still possible to find places where is not requested to spend all your money for eating something good.
Have a look to our advices that you can find also in our guide to Milan areas and we promise you’ll never have to spend more than 10 euro for a complete meal from breakfast to dinner.
Breakfast low-cost in pastry
First of all, if you want to have breakfast in a bar you must remember that the classic couple cappuccino-and-brioche will cost much less if you stay standing at the counter. One of our favorite bakeries is Marchesi’s, that exists since 1824. Standing in front of it you will be asking yourself if you are in the right place: it’s very elegant, with decorated coffered ceilings, large mirrors, elegant chandeliers and a long bar made of steel and brass.
Because of interior design it looks like fancy restaurant, but trust me, this is not the case. Order a coffee, that costs only a one euro and it’s one of the best in Milan: even sweet tooth are avoiding to put their usual two sugars because for some magic this coffee is naturally sweet and creamy. During Christmas and Easter, the bakery offers a slice of “panettone” or “colomba” for the price of one euro. As alternative, you can take a croissant or some cookies: an explosion of butter at moderate prices.
For all those who are in the need to sit down, neither it’s laziness or because they staid up till 4 am and can’t remain in the upright position, there is a solution and it’s called Pavè. Recently opened, the bistrot has a casual decor and the atmosphere is intimate and cozy. Upon entering the attention is immediately drawn to the open kitchen where very young and smiling employees are working always intent to knead butter and eggs. The counter shows cakes and pastries, all that waking up your hunger. We advise you to take one of their shortcake, which costs around 3 euro: there is one with lemon and meringue or another with raspberry jam, both are tasty and you’ll be satiated until lunch!
Via S. Maria alla Porta 11/a
Tel: 02 862770/ o2 876730
Via Felice Casati 27
Tel: 02 94392259
Economic lunch with huge sandwiches and delightful vegetarian dishes.
Bar Magenta is one of the oldest institutes in Milan. For more then hundred years it’s a shelter for students of Catholic University that is situated near by. And also for people who are passing by Cadorna railway station and willing to eat something on the way.
There are people who are complaining that bar lost its old charm. Years ago it was a place where models on high hills meeting up. Give up with nostalgia and believe us: if you wish to have an economic lunch there is no better place. For five euro you’ll be served with huge sandwich, bottle of water and coffee. The bread is super fresh and warmed up to perfection, though its crusty and soft in the mean time.
There are thousand ways to stuff it. We are suggesting the one with four different types of cheese. It’s a calorie booster but it will leave you extremely satisfied. Attention: if you have a will for bruschetta but after you have a date don’t forget to ask waiter to put less garlic. If not, forget about the date and start looking for Dracula because you’ll be able to kill him with only one breath.
If you don’t want a sandwich and prefer hot dishes so “Latteria La cicala” is the perfect place for you. The owner Anna is lovely and sweet woman who is personally taking care of each guest. ”La latteria” made in country side style; couple of long tables covered by red and white squared tablecloths and the counter with exposed pastas, vegetables and salty cakes. The most part of dishes are vegetarian but there is also in offer for “predators”: among them are parmigiana, lasagna and roasts. All are delicious and all under 7 euro. On the tables you’ll always find bottle of water and homemade bread. And if you wish to have a glass of wine you must know it’s only 1.50€!
Via Giosué Carducci 13
Tel: 02 8053808
Latteria La cicala
Via Bellotti, 13
Tel: 02 295243467
Aperitivo non stop for a good price
Once upon a time it was possible to have an “aperitivo” in Milan with only 5 euro drinking an awesome Spritz and eating like if tomorrow never comes. Actually it’s difficult to disprove the gossips: in the most part of places in Milan “aperitivo” will cost you around 10 euro, cocktails will be watery and portions of food are appropriate for Lilliputians. But in the heart of Isola is still possible to find a place where the legend of abundant “aperitivo” becomes reality. This place named Frida.
Don’t be afraid of the walls missing plaster or hordes of people staying with overflowing glasses of beer. Enter to the court, decide if you’ll stay in openspace warmed up by space heater in the winter time, or turn to the right and stay inside. In both cases you wont regret. Opening hours from 6 pm to 9 pm. Un counter you’ll find trays with pizzas, vegetables, meats and cheeses. On a modest price of 6 euro you can fill your plate how many times as you want and mean while enjoying your cocktail or glass of vine.
Via Pollaiuolo, 3
Tel: 02 680260
Dinner in trattoria with fixed price and homemade pasta
So we’re at the dinner time where the prices are getting higher and portions becoming dramatically small. The closer your are to city center the more your wallet will wish to commit a suicide immediately after asking “The bill, please!”. But there is a place just ten minutes far from Corso Venezia which makes this myth to disappear. “Crono” is a trattoria very special and authentic. Owners Roberto and Massimo originally from Caserta, are taking care of clients in very gentle and personal way creating intimate and family atmosphere. Dinner menu is fixed but dishes are changing day by day. Be ready to be surprised once you will ask for a bill: first, second courses, water or ¼ of wine and coffee will cost you only 10 euro!
If you have a will to eat a perfect fresh pasta we are suggesting to go to Alzaia Naviglio Grande and immerse yourself to alley Elia Lombardini. On the number 14 there is “trattoria bolognese da Mauro” the real gem among Milan’s restaurants.
Trattoria was found in ‘70s when Mauro and his wife moved from Bolognia to Milan looking for a job. Today their sons Daniele and Ruggero are managing the place. But every morning Mauro is still taking care of fresh pasta. First courses are only 8 euro an it’s very delicious.
Via Pascoli 15
Tel: 02 29400839
Trattoria bolognese da Mauro
Via Elia Lombradini 14
Tel: 02 8372866