The best Roman cuisine restaurants in Milan

Nov 9 2023, 21:07
There has been a true roman invasion in Milan. Even in the kitchen: here's where to find carbonara and amatriciana in Milan

The Madonnina is being Romanised, the waters of the Navigli are mixing with those of the “blond  Tiber” and a growing number of restaurateurs from the capital are also choosing to open in Milan. Putting aside an old rivalry.

Rome – Milan, never been so close.

Cornetto or brioche? Rome and Milan are divided in everything, starting with linguistic particularities, yet they are less distant than we like to consider them. The new generation of Romans willingly emigrated to Milan, a city that offers a lot in terms of work and study (albeit at a high price, but that's another matter) and no longer thinks that the beauty of Milan is only found on the train headed to Rome, as was said a few years ago.

Roman cuisine in Milan

So Milan is full of Roman restaurants. Some are “historic”, others - the vast majority - are spin-offs of Rome brands that have sniffed the air and decided to open a branch under the Madonnina. Romans living in Milan believe that in most cases they are the result of a gentrification of the parent company, with a refined and less rough cuisine than the original, less generous portions, a more lickety ambience and a heavier bill. But there is no denying that some do a good job of being good ambassadors of Romanity at the table. Here are the best addresses.

The best restaurants of Roman cuisine in Milan


Jewish. It offers Jewish-Roman cuisine, the most authentically of the Italian capitol, at the bourgeois Via Sardegna, number 45. The menu, which respects kosher dictates, offers, among other things, courgette conch, cod fillet, a pork-less version of traditional pasta dishes (with dried beef) and lamb with baked potatoes. And a uniquely take-away menu for Shabbat.

Ba’Ghetto – via Sardegna, 45 – 02 4694643 –

Ai Balestrari

Trattoria. In Rome it has been feeding the people at Campo de' Fiori since 1862 and also boasts premises at Porta Pia and in Prati. Here in Milan it has for some years now had an oversized establishment at the Navigli that perhaps indulges too much in Roman oleography, but offers probably the best amatriciana in the city.

Ai Balestrari – via Cardinale Ascanio Sforza, 13/15 - 02 84934534 –

Dal Cordaro

Trattoria. A recent opening (it was last May) that has given itself a venue in the shadow of City Life for its 100th anniversary. The kitchen, entrusted to Maurizio Villa, Anna De Muzio and Luca Colafrancesco, has its strong point in the Roman-style “business lunch”, a traditional first or second course with two side dishes. The highlight is gnocchi, but they also make pizza.

Dar Cordaro – l.go Domodossola, 2 - 02 34531149 –

Felice a Testaccio

Trattoria. Among the most successful is one of Rome's best-loved trattorias, which in 2017 opened its Milanese branch in the very central Carrobbio area, less than a kilometre from the Duomo. Here, Giulia, the owner's granddaughter, leads a brigade that offers a cacio e pepe of absolute orthodoxy, and excellent saltimbocca, a Roman speciality that is itself a victim in the north of many profanations that go more under the radar than others. The ambience is gastro-trattoria, the tables always full, and reservations are compulsory. Onwards and upwards.

Felice a Testaccio – via del Torchio, 4 – 02 80506690 –

Giulio Pane e Ojo

Trattoria. Before this invasion, the best known Capitoline restaurant in Milan was Giulio Pane e Ojo, a Roman osteria opened in 1999 by David Ranucci. A place that mimics a tavern, with rough walls and a somewhat lugubrious atmosphere, and offers a classic menu with Lazio excursions that many love and some find a bit fake. In any case, worth a try. Ranucci has also doubled up in the brighter Abbottega, also on Via Muratori but at number 11, opposite Giulio, an eatery that mixes Romanity with touches of regionality from all over Italy.

Giulio Pane e Ojo – via L. Muratori, 10 – 02 5456189 –

Maurino Osteria Romana

Trattoria. Self-proclaimed “authentic Roman osteria” (and in terms of toponymy, the Roman spirit is present), is an authentic and relatively intimate trattoria (it seats about fifty) whose main courses are its strong point (the tripe is remarkable).

Maurino Osteria Romana – via Giulio Romano, 15 – 02 49693625 –

Osteria delle Coppelle

Restaurant. This is the Milan branch of the Osteria at number 54 in Piazza delle Coppelle in Rome, opening in October 2022 in a 350-square-metre venue with an internal garden and shop selling typical products. The menu here is a little more “combed”, ranging from Rome to the world with creative touches and a search for elegance that is convincing. Less so does the oversized menu.

Osteria delle Coppelle - via Solferino, 34 – 02 36584443 –

Cover photo courtesy of Osteria delle Coppelle


Restaurant.  Meals start with grigia, meatballs with “Sora Lella” sauce and mash, pappardelle alla vaccinara, tonnarelli “alla Checca” (in summer). All generous, well seasoned and duly washed down with the right wines. Atmospheric room and outdoor seating, close to the Colonne di San Lorenzo.

Rugantino - via dei Fabbri, 1 - 02 89421404 –


Street Food. Three venues (the others in Corso Lodi 1 and Ripa di Porta Ticinese 2) divulge Stefano Callegari's ingenious invention, a corner of pizza transformed into a bag to hold highlights of edible Romanity, from meatballs in sauce to tongue in green sauce to aubergine parmigiana.

Trapizzino – via Marghera, 12 – 02 4693265 –

Velavevodetto Milano

Trattoria. Another successful spin-off is this restaurant, which brings Flavio De Maio's (self-appointed king of Carbonara) solid cuisine to Milan, and which in Rome boasts two locations in Testaccio and Piazza dei Quiriti, and to which a book has also been dedicated, ”L'Oste della Porta accanto”.

Velavevodetto Milano – via Festa del Perdono, 1 – 02 55189027 –

Volemose Bene

Trattoria. Here pirouette Luca “er ciccio” and Willy “er secco” (but their respective ages are reversed), who also venture a sometimes somewhat intrusive Romanesque soundtrack. Another location at Via Vespucci 5. Open 7 out of 7, lunch and dinner.

Volemose Bene - via della Moscova, 25 - 02 3655 9618 –

And also

Daje Cucina Romana – via Ruggero di Lauria, 5 - 02 36585737 –

Hostaria Romana – Concordia, 2 - 02 31053063 –

Nonna Maria Osteria Romana – via Bronzetti 9 ingresso da via M. Melloni - 02 49436609 –

Parioli - via Felice Casati, 45 - 351 9813038 –

Piazza Roma (ex Pace) - via Giorgio Washington, 74 - 347 0692732 –

Romeo la Pinseria Der Colosseo - via Cardinale Ascanio Sforza 17 - 327 6756482 -

by Andrea Cuomo

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