Now before I get into it let me just say that preparing this list has involved a LOT of research. Yes, this “research” has consisted of eating scoop after scoop of delicious mouth-watering tantalisingly-tasty gelato but it also required a decent amount of deliberation AND an in-depth foray into the history of gelato (but let’s be honest mostly gelato eating hehe).
So some history peeps say that Marco Polo brought back the concept of frozen sweet treats from China at the same time he brought back noodles, other history peeps claim that it was actually invented in Florence to delight the royal court but either way the North and South have had very distinct processes and ingredients when it comes to the production of gelato.
In the North of Italy gelato is usually made with milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and natural flavouring whilst in the South the gelato is primarily water-based so more of a sorbetto (sorbet) or granita. For this reason I have chosen to focus on Lombardia and specifically Milan. In my opinion no other region or city does gelato quite like Milan, and again I say this having consumed a lot of edible “research”. So without further ado here’s my definitive guide for the best gelato in Milano!
La Fabbrica Del Gelato
Flavours Tested: Marsala | Sicilian Citrus | Pistacchio
Without a doubt in my mind this is by far my favourite gelato in Italy! Now, it’s not in Milan BUT it is in Lombardia. Located in Lenno, a tiny town on the shore of Lago di Como it’s easily accessible by train (take the regional train from either Cadorna or Milano Centrale). Definitely worth taking a day trip here for the gelato and also paying a visit to Villa Banbianello, one of the most exquisite properties on the Lake with a spicy history. #spicystories
Address: Piazza XI Febbraio, 15, Lenno
Il Massimo Gelato
Flavours Tested: Pistacchio | Aztec Chocolate | Caramel
Now this, this is something. A small gelateria that has a nice balance between fruity light flavours and nutty chocolatey flavours. For me the consistency of Il Massimo is incredible and the flavour is so rich and delicious but not overly sweet. The pistacchio is one of the best in Milan made using pistacchio from Bronte (which I didn’t know until a native Sicilian told me is a small town in Sicily renowned for its green pistacchio). On a side note you can usually tell whether the pistacchio is going to be good or not by one thing – colour. If it’s a bright lime green NO. If it’s a pale mint green YES. If you make a visit to Il Massimo make sure to check out Cimitero Monumentale after – one of the most breathtaking things I have seen.
Address: via Ludovico Castelvetro, 18
Gelaterria Della Musica
Flavours Tested: Pistacchio | Creme Brulee | Biscotti
With the funkiest flavours in town this place is an absolute gem! Yes, it is a tad far away but so worth it. Don’t believe me? Check out the TripAdvisor and Yelp reviews for yoself. Again for me the consistency and flavour are key with not too much sweetness so the ingredients actually shine through. The added bonus is that most of the flavours are dedicated to one of your favourite musical artists/bands. Why not try a bit of The Beatles with a scoop of Lady Gaga?
Address: via Pestalozzi, 4
Flavours Tested: Pistacchio | White Chocolate | Dark Chocolate
Woah, woah, woah! Ok, so if you’re into the chocolatey, nutty, caramel type flavours then this place is totally for you! Although they have fruity flavours the focus is much more on (as the name clearly states) SCHOKOLAT. This place is right next to Cadorna station so if you happen to passing through then definitely give it a go and afterwards take a leisurely stroll around Parco Sempione.
Address: via Giovanni Boccaccio, 9
Flavours Tested: Pistacchio | Los Vasquez | Gianduja | Salted Caramel (Limited Edition) | Stracitella | Fragola | Nocciola | Panna
Ok so, um, the list of flavours i’ve tried is ahhhhh extensive. The reason for this is the boutiques are so perfectly located that it’s almost impossible not to pop in! For example my favourite combo is a slice of pizza at Spontini followed by a gelato at Ciocolatitaliani! If there are cues at the Duomo outlet then that’s perfect excuse to window shop whilst you make your way down to the Via Torino store, which is a lot more local less touristy.
Address: via San Raffaele, 6
Flavours Tested: Pistacchio with Salt and Pepper | Chill Chocolate
So you’d think why the HECK would you put salt and pepper in a gelato? This is dessert people not dinner! But oh my, oh my indeed, it’s so good! The salt and pepper perfectly bring out the flavour of the Bronte pistacchio and as for the chilli chocolate well trust me on that one because it’s addictive. At first I was thinking ewww but then after a couple of bites i wanted more, more i tells ya! Technical stuff – again good texture, the friendliest bearded staff member EVER (i have honestly gone back multiple times just because of him!) and so flavourful.
Address: via Vigevano, 27
Flavours Tested: Pistacchio | Basil | Chocolate
Now this could potentially take out the win for most attractive gelato maker because the extraordinary chick who makes this stuff is gorgeous (and super talented!). I love the fit out of this super cute store as well as the gelato. My only personal comment is that I find the gelato just a tiny bit too sweet (but this is a personal preference, for me the less sugar the better – i like to taste the actual flavour of the nut or fruit used) however others may find it just right. Try it out and let me know what you think! Also the basil is interesting so try the free taster!
Address: via San Gregorio, 17
What do YOU think is best gelato in Milan? Would love to try some new places and who knows perhaps add them to the list!