Where to eat Apulian cuisine in Milan. The ultimate guide

May 9 2024, 13:26
Some say that in the Lombard capital it's easier to come across someone from Apulia than a Milanese. Certainly, the percentage of "emigrants" from the heel of Italy is very high, as is the spread (and passion) for the specialties of their land. Here's where to find them

"Ce Melàne tenève u màre, avèv'a ièsse na piccòla Bbàre," goes a popular saying. However, everything starts with the "trani", the taverns founded by Apulian migrants at the end of the nineteenth century who, blocked at the French border, turned back and stopped in Milan. They were wine merchants, and so from then on they became hosts of venues where, later on - from the sixties onwards - many artists and intellectuals who loved conviviality and Puglia's red wines would gather.

This explains why the presence of people from Bari, Taranto, Lecce is so dense and rooted in the metropolis, often here for generations and among whom there are also well-known names like Antonio Guida from Seta by Antonio Guida and Felix Lo Basso (Felix Lo Basso Home&Restaurant), who in his Trani years ago had also invested in a project with an eloquent name, Memorie. And this explains the spread of local gastronomy in every form and tradition of the various provinces: bombette, panzerotti (with Luini leading), pettole (or pettule), pasticciotti leccesi (you can find their map here), land and sea recipes that are the cornerstone of places of all kinds, from "specific" street food to restaurants or trattorias. Here's the list of the best according to Gambero Rosso. And according to the Apulians in Milan.

Where to eat Apulian cuisine in Milan. The ultimate guide


Trattoria. This quiet and friendly place has recently turned 18 and is also good for a cocktail and a paper cone of fried food. If you're "really" hungry, there's no problem: cavatelli with beans and mussels, orecchiette with turnip tops, chops and grilled meats (sausage, T-bone steak, fillet), cod, fried anchovies, grilled catch of the day. Among desserts, the pasticciotto is not to be missed. Good selection of regional wines.

Acquasala - ripa di Porta Ticinese, 71 - 389 6375333 - acquasala.it


Gourmet Break. With the subtitle "Puglia in bites", the format created just over three years ago by Davide, originally from Altamura, and moved to the City in 2019, is both a shop for typical products and a focacceria/bistrot to stop for a meal. Davide trained as a baker (the claim on the website is "Puglia breadstorming"), so Altamura bread, focaccias, panzerotti, pettole, and rustic pies are popular here. However, there are also cutting boards, pastas, and mains, all traditional.

AltaRé - c.so di Porta Ticinese, 76 - 02 09949784 - alta-re.it


Focacceria. Sourdough and potatoes in the dough, topped with cherry tomatoes and sauce, round shape ("wheel") and soft bite. It's precisely the Bari-style focaccia, properly oiled and here proposed - if desired - in an even more succulent version, that is, stuffed like a sandwich: sauce, burrata and anchovy; mortadella and caciocavallo; capocollo and mozzarella; tuna tartare, stracciatella and green sauce. You can have it whole (5 euros) or half (3.50 euros). Also, an aperitif with cutting boards, some wines, and a few drinks.

Fcazz - ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43 - 02 96843395 - fcazz.com


Panzerotti. It's the undisputed temple of Puglian-style panzerotti, a historic sign loved by generations of Milanese since the post-war period. Everything is fried on the spot, ranging from the timeless tomato and mozzarella to the daily specials that rotate during the week. Even those baked in the oven and the sweet ones are good. The proposal is completed with other sweet and savory baked goods, such as Puglian focaccias, bread, and taralli.

Luini - via Santa Radegonda, 16 - 02 86461917 - luini.it

Il Mannarino

Butcher with kitchen. A Puglian-made format born 5 years ago by two '89 entrepreneurs and now boasting 13 outlets, 4 of which are in Milan. You buy and eat with an offer that satisfies carnivores both for the quality of the raw material (various breeds, the best cuts, long aging) and for the breadth of the proposal. Grilled meats in the front row obviously, but also the inevitable bombette (based on capocollo, beef, and turkey) and homemade dishes called "at grandma's house".

Il Mannarino - p.zza De Angeli, 1 - 02 36745210 - ilmannarino.it

Mr Bombetta

Bistro. The name leaves no room for doubt, so, directly from Alberobello, here's a menu that ranges from the horse platter with broad beans and chicory, to the inevitable orecchiette with turnip tops, to baked pasta with meatballs, not forgetting the specialty mentioned on the sign, in classic, breaded, spicy and special versions of the week. However, the menu changes with the seasons and also includes resale and catering. Pleasant venue, like a modern tavern.

Mr Bombetta - via Col di Lana, 1 - 342 0389006 - mrbombetta.it

La Massaria

Restaurant. Inspired by masserias in the environment, so the rustic touch with Puglian-made furnishings characterizes a quiet and comfortable environment, carefully managed by the owners of Tarantine origin. There are the cornerstones of tradition but also the "one shots", made with a touch of revisitation. You must try the mixed platters, bombette, desserts. Wines from small Apulian producers and among the beers the legendary Raffo. Also resale of typical products and take away.

La Massaria - via Antonio Fogazzaro, 11 - 02 38310514 - lamassariamilano.it

Mieru Mieru

Restaurant. This time the repertoire of the sea is the protagonist of the offer, curated by the Valentini family, true Tarantini, who, according to the availability of catch, prepare a menu of typical dishes where even raw dishes have their reason for being (in perfect harmony with the customs of their South). We are on the Navigli, the place has outdoor tables and the proposal, with a minimal dose of research, travels between "cozz'arracanate", "chitarrine alla tarantina with sauce with 3 tomatoes and shelled mussels, "purpu" alla pignata with crostini or on pureed broad beans. As a dessert, among others, the "rfizzula", frisella with bitter cocoa and walnuts. Also half portions.

Mieru Mieru - via Magolfa, 14 - 02 89406320 - mierumieru.it

Osteria della pasta e fagioli

Trattoria. Rustic and unpretentious, with lots of dark wood, tables set in a classic way and fast service without formalities, it is a meeting place for true Apulians (or lovers of the genre) that does not disappoint. There's the buffet of appetizers that reminds of the eighties, with a range of preparations based on meat, fish and vegetables plus cold cuts, cheeses, and dairy products, and then cutting boards and real dishes: orecchiette in all sauces, "u timball", the barese tiella with rice, potatoesand mussels, meat on the grill (including horse meat). Also take away and delivery.

Osteria della pasta e fagioli - via Giulio e Corrado Venini, 54 - 02 26148014 - osteriadellapastaefagioli.it

Il Panzerotto Made in Puglia

Panzerotti. The venue boasts over 10 years of activity. It was inaugurated in 2013 by the D'Alessio brothers from Capurso, who focused on one of the most universally loved and succulent street foods of the Apulian tradition. Here they are consumed according to the rules, hot (they fry them in front of you), with your hands and accompanied by a beer. They range from the classic mozzarella and tomato to the delicious mortadella and provolone, to those with turnip tops, up to the sweet version. Also bombette and excellent Bari-style focaccia, as well as some artisanal products, such as orecchiette and taralli.

Il Panzerotto Made in Puglia - via G. Spontini, 4 - 02 29527785 - Instagram


Panineria. This venue continues to enjoy well-deserved success, a format born in Puglia (in Polignano a mare) and now spread in various locations in Italy (and since November 2023 under new ownership). The idea, to put the sea in a sandwich, immediately proved successful, thanks to the quality and goodness of the proposal. The menu is varied and intriguing (fried squid rings, mozzarella, zucchini, tomato and Caesar sauce, for example). Another branch is in via Andrea Solari 12.

Pescaria - via N. Bonnet, 5 - 02 6599322 - pescaria.it

Ricci Osteria

Restaurant. One of the most famous couples in Italian catering (Antonella Ricci and Vinod Sookar, who have just published a recipe book, "From Puglia with Love") landed in Milan two years ago, in a venue with two rooms and a small outdoor area. Their cuisine is identitarian but open, starting from the choice of using authentic Apulian products to the maximum, often rare and from micro-territories. You can discover this in the rich mixed starter as well as in the handmade fresh pasta dishes and in Ricci's signature dishes, like ricotta drops wrapped in semolina, zucchini pesto, crispy pancetta and truffle.

Ricci Osteria - via P. Sottocorno, 27 - 02 49705612 - ricciosteria.it

Ricchia - Orecchiette Bistrot

Restaurant. Conceived by Temo Creative Studio of Lecce, it is a small space recently opened furnished with wooden tables set with hand-painted plates. The "ricchia", queen of the offer, is the orecchietta, selected from a historic laboratory in Ceglie Messapica, Brindisi, made with Senatore Cappelli flour, wholemeal and burnt grain. In addition to orecchiette in multiple variations (with ragu and pecorino cheese or with turnip tops, anchovy fillets and fried bread, for example), there are also typical appetizers and mains as well as desserts from Pasticceria Martesana, the historic gelateria from Foggia, Tommassini, and Sal De Riso.

Ricchia - Orecchiette Bistrot - via S. Marco, 26 - 02 38317971 - ricchia.it

Sciura Maria

Panzerotti. Originally from Massafra, the Miraglia family moved to Milan at the end of the seventies and Maria, the lady of the house, became a celebrity in the neighborhood thanks to her panzerotti. In 2014 they became the heart of the offer of a venue (now with two branches, the other in via Cenisio 36) opened by her heirs where the dough is made without oil or lard and the fillings range from classics (tomato and mozzarella or mozzarella, sausage and turnip tops) to those based on stracciatella up to the "fancy" and "special" ones. They are also available in the sweet version or you can try the pasticciotto.

Sciura Maria - v.le Monza, 256 - 02 39833338 - sciuramariapanzerotti.com

Fratelli Torcinelli

Trattoria. Originally it was just a "ready" stove, in faithful Apulian style, with few covers and delivery and take away services. Starting from April 2023, with the change of location, it has become a true trattoria. Which, like before, has in the Apulian stove and selected typical products its focal point, from bombette to torcinelli, from orecchiette to focaccia, with some modern proposals and seasonal variations (for example, troccoli with cod, egg cream and asparagus with dried olives).

Fratelli Torcinelli - via L. Muratori, 6 - 375 5336156 - fratellitorcinelli.it


Restaurant. It is the wine bar and bistrot of the homonymous Apulian wine company, a very well-kept place ideal for an aperitif (with the "house" wines) and a series of not banal dishes and small dishes: orecchiette with turnip tops and anchovies, tagliatelle with ragu or alternatively paccheri with prawns with pistachio pesto and stracciatella (but it changes according to the season). And in the end, there are also pasticciotti. Also resale; pleasant outdoor area.

Tormaresca - c.so Garibaldi, 79 - 02 65560659 - Instagram

Osteria da Zio Nini

Trattoria. Close tables, noisy atmosphere, painted walls, fishing nets hanging, the fish counter at the entrance. Nini is a tavern/fry shop with the menu on a cardboard and paper placemats, ideal if you don't care about formalities but go straight for substance. Among the raw dishes sea urchins, langoustines, prawns, mussels, oysters, razor clams, scallops, then orecchiette with turnip tops, mussels and clams, "uncle's fantasy" guitar, mixed fried fish, all in very generous portions and at popular prices.

Osteria da Zio Nini - via Tibullo, 10 - 02 33490988 - Facebook

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