Our Anniversary to Italy: Part 17 – Eating in Milan

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Emily Jablon:  Daraius and I went to Europe in September to celebrate our 2nd anniversary for ~2 weeks.  It was my first time in Italy so I was very excited!  In Italy, we visited Varenna on Lake Como, Milan, Venice, and Rome.

Since we were in Europe, we visited a friend in Strasbourg, France and also spent a night in Zurich.  We started our trip with a one day layover in Chicago to see friends!

Daraius at Antica Osteria Milanese

Our Anniversary To Italy – Trip Report Index:

In this post, we will review a few meal options in Milan, including:

We found many of the cheap eats from the Rick Steves’ Italy guidebook and researched Chowhound for other restaurants.

Eating in Milan

1.   Park Hyatt Milan Breakfast a La Cupola

Daraius is a Hyatt Diamond elite member, so we had free breakfast at the Park Hyatt Milan as part of his Diamond elite perks.

See the section at the bottom on where to go around the Park Hyatt for cheaper meal options.

Emily Looking Forward to Breakfast at La Cupola

The breakfast area had a dome ceiling through which you could see the courtyard.

You Could see The Courtyard Through the Domed Room

There were couches and chairs to sit on.

The Seating was Stylish and Comfortable

The service was excellent and we were offered drinks almost as soon as we sat down.  We helped ourselves from the buffet…

Emily at the Park Hyatt Buffet

There was a variety of food…

The Buffet had Many Types of Food

including oatmeal, yogurt, and fresh fruit…

Yogurt and Fresh Fruit was Included in the Buffet

nuts and dried fruit…

Several Types of Nuts and Dried Fruits Were Available

cakes and pastries…

The Buffet Included Cakes and Pastries

fresh vegetables…

There was a Small Selection of Fresh Fruit

meats and cheese…

The Buffet Also Included Several Types of Meats and Cheese

and a selection of bread.

There was Also a Selection of Breads

The next morning, we ordered room service for breakfast.

Emily Enjoying Room Service at the Park Hyatt Milan

We ordered eggs, pancakes, ham, sausage, fresh mango, coffee, and juice.  The portions were very large and it was nice to eat with one another in the privacy of our hotel room.

It was Nice Having Breakfast in Private

We were leaving early in the morning, so we didn’t want to lose time by eating in the restaurant downstairs.  We weren’t charged for the room service breakfast because Daraius is a Hyatt Diamond elite member.

2.   Antica Osteria Milanese

We went to a  Rick Steves’ Italy recommendation, Antica Osteria Milanese, for dinner.  The restaurant is ~15 minutes walk from the Park Hyatt, Milan.

The Outside of Antica Osteria Milanese

The restaurant was almost dead – There were people at 2 or 3 other tables besides us and it looked like they were closing for the night.

The Restaurant was Empty

We asked the owner to suggest a wine and he recommended a Gewurztraminer.

The Waiter Recommended a Gewurztraminer

It was so good that we almost drank the entire bottle!

It was ~9 euro (~$12) for a first course and 12 euro (~$16) for a 2nd course.  But you don’t have to eat both courses!

The Menu Offered Multiple Courses

We ordered risotto with saffron, Milanese pork loin, and fried potatoes.

Emily With her Risotto

The food was good, but the highlight was the buttery potatoes and the filet.  That said, we enjoyed chatting with the owner and the “neighborhood” feel of the restaurant.

Daraius Eagerly Waiting to Start on the Pork Loin
3.   Lunch at Peck Deli

One afternoon, we went to the Peck deli for lunch.  This was expensive, but the food was so beautifully laid out in Peck’s deli that we almost didn’t want to eat it!

You can also eat in the restaurant upstairs, but it is even more expensive.

Emily Outside of Peck

It was a wonderful deli with high quality pasta…

Peck Offers a Variety of Homemade Quality Pasta

meats and lobster…

Fresh Lobster was Available

lots of different types of cheeses…

There Was Lots of Cheeses

pastries, chocolates, and more!

So Many Chocolates to Choose From

It is expensive, but would have made for a great picnic lunch.  We also tried the risotto which was divine!

4.   Dinner at Il Liberty

We went to dinner at a Chowhound.com pick of Daraius’.  Il Liberty also got good reviews from TripAdvisor.  It is about 1.5 mile away or ~15 euro in a cab.

There was not much else around the restaurant (hotels, tourists, etc.)
Emilly Anticipating a Good Meal at Il Liberty

We were the first to arrive in the restaurant, even though we had a 7:30 pm reservation!

We were served breadsticks, mortadella (tasted like thinly sliced bologna), and crudites with olive oil for a complimentary starter.

The restaurant offered a regular menu and a tasting menu.  The tasting menu seemed like a lot of food so we ordered off the regular menu.

Most mains were about 18 euro (~$24) to 25 euro (~$33).

Il Liberty Offers a Regular Menu and Tasting Menu

We ordered aubergines for our starter, which were excellent.

Delicious Aubergines – who Knew Eggplant was That Good!

It gave us high expectations for what the rest of the meal would be like.

Daraius then received a seafood amuse bouche.

Daraius’ Tasty Seafood Amuse Bouche

Daraius was in the mood for an American champagne, so he ordered a Coke!

Daraius and his American Champagne

It took time in between courses to receive our food…20 minutes at a time…which we spent lingering over the food and chatting.  It was completely different from a rushed meal in the US.

Emily and Daraius Enjoying Dinner at il Liberty

Our second dish consisted of spaghetti with a tomato (the tomato was excellent, and I wished it would have come with 20 or so tomatoes)!  The spaghetti was a little bland, but I loved it because of its creamy consistency.

Emily’s Bland Spaghetti With one Single Dried Tomato

Daraius had a risotto with veal sweetbread.  The risotto was dark colored and a bit sweet.  It was too rich for me and I did not care too much for it.

Daraius Ordered the Risotto and Veal Sweetbread

For our main course, we split veal Milanese with green peppers and mashed potato.

A Main Course of Veal Milanese to be Shared

The veal was okay – it was about an inch thick and too difficult to cut with our knives.  It was almost too much meat.  The mashed potatoes were boiled potatoes and not much more flavor than that.

For dessert, we had the cannoli with pistachio ice cream.

The Cannoli was Too Rich for Emily

We were also served a small glass of complimentary cherry flavored gelato that was excellent.

Very Tasty Cherry Gelato

Gradually, more couples came in and there were 5 or 6 tables eating with us.  We noticed that every table was sharing a bottle of wine, and that all of them were speaking Italian.

5.   Cheap Eats Around the Park Hyatt, Milan

There are lots of restaurants and cafes outside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II mall  on Duomo Square (Piazza del Duomo), which is a 5 minute walk from the Park Hyatt in Milan.

The Arched Entrance to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele From Duomo Square

There was a quick service restaurant called Autogrill on the 1st floor.

Autogrill Fast Food Restaurant at the Galleria

Another Italian fast food restaurant was Ciao Ristorante  (on the European 2nd floor or American 3rd floor) where you could get a 2 course meal for ~13 euro.

Ciao Ristorante Offers a 2 Course Meal for ~13 Euros

Prices were inexpensive and the portions were large.

Ciao Gives you a lot of Food for a Little bit of Money

There were a lot of seats, but not a lot of empty ones.

Lots of Seats but not Many Places to sit

They even had dessert.

Muffins and Tarts for Only 1 Euro!

And there was another fast food restaurant on the 1st floor.

Another Fast Food Restaurant

We stopped at Luini Panzerotti, a bakery that was recommended by Chowhound.      It is a 3 minute walk from the Park Hyatt, Milan!

Emily Outside of Luini Panzerotti

The menu is in Italian and English and they offer “salt” panzerotti and “sweet” panzerotti.  These are quite cheap and the prices start at 2 euros (~$3).

You can Order a Salt or Sweet Panzerotti

Everything looked good, especially the sweet panzerotti.

A Small Sample of the Various Sweet Panzerotti Offered

I finally decided on a sweet panzerotti.

Emily Ordered a Sweet Panzerotti

There are many shops which sell gelato.

There Were Lots of Gelato Shops

There is also a McDonald’s right across the Duomo di Milano!

McDonald’s is Across From the Duomo

It has a great view of the Duomo.

The View of the Duomo di Milano From Mc Donald’s

And there are many stalls which sell cheap donner kebabs and pizza around the hotel.

La Riscente Department Store Opposite the Duomo

The La Riscente department store is very across from the Duomo.  There is a food court on the top floor with restaurants and a grocery shop.

One Shop had A Self Serve bin of Treats

There was even a sushi restaurant.  But I don’t eat sushi because of my fish allergy.

There was a Sushi Restaurant

Food isn’t particularly cheap.  It was ~10 euro for sandwich, but you can get a good view of the Duomo.

You pay for the View of the Duomo

We decided to split a panini for a quick snack lunch.

Our ~10 Euro Panini

Bottom Line

Food is taken seriously in Italy, and we had a few splurge meals.  But there are also many cheap restaurants around the Park Hyatt, Milan.

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