Italy’s big, brash city Milan is also a city full of flair and creativity. It oozes style, from its Gothic duomo to the hip bar-lined streets of Brera. And a stylish city deserves a sophisticated gelato scene to match. Milan is bursting with award-winning gelatato shops, from tiny artisanal standing-room-only shops to sprawling laboratories. They’re not stuffy about flavours here either, shaking up the gelato scene with creative combinations that fuse savoury and sweet, fruits and florals, all scooped up and served in cones, cups, sticks and sandwiches. But with hundreds of ice cream shops to choose from, how do you prioritize? Here’s our guide to the seven best gelato shops in Milan.
Where to Find the Best Ice Cream and Gelato Shops in Milan
Appropriately named ‘The Best of All the Gelato’, Il Massimo di Gelato offers the creamiest classic flavours in the city. Tried-and-tested favourites include stracciatella, praline and pistachio. But the real speciality here is chocolate; there are ten different chocolate varieties alone, ranging from classic to chocolate with chilli and candied orange. If you’re feeling fancy, try the rich dark chocolate with 100% gold leaf flecks.
Massimo Travani, born and bred in Milan, opened the shop in 2001. It’s all about the fresh produce and raw materials here – think fresh apricots from the market, milk local producers and 100% cacao.
You’ll find the shop in the upmarket neighbourhood in Via Lodovico Castelvetro.
Founded in 1930 by Ugo Paganelli, Gelataria Paganelli became an instant hit thanks to its sensational scoops. Three generations later, Ugo’s grandson Francesco runs the gelato shop with the same passion and precision. We’re not the only ones who think so either, Gambero Rosso awarded it with the prestigious ‘Three Cones’ award.
Flavours don’t just change seasonally, they change daily depending on what’s available in the market that day. You’ll find classic flavours and creative combinations, like the pistachio with chilli pepper, or mascarpone with caramelized figs. The superstar speciality here is called ‘Principe’, made with Venezuelan chocolate gelato with coffee, star anise and cardamon. Heaven.
For some of the prettiest scoops in the city, head to Gelato Giusto. Owner Vittoria Bartolazzo holds a pastry diploma from Le Cordon Bleu, and you can tell. Every scoop is perfectly sculpted to look as good as it tastes.
Expect fresh and seasonal ingredients and high-quality products. You’ll find the classic favours but it’s worth being a little courageous here. The bold, sometimes barmy, combinations are always well-balanced and delicious. Try the ricotta and hazelnut, pumpkin and amaretto or the ginger and lime. Vittoria even makes her own chocolate for the chocolate ice creams, which is practically unheard of these days.
You’ll need to venture out to Zona Buenas Aires, on the northeastern outskirts of the city, but it’s well worth the extra steps.
Fun, fabulous flavours are the mainstay at Artico, a modern gelateria in heart of Isola. Inside it’s all exposed bricks and glass, with a production area where you can see the gelato being made live from the laboratory. With over thirty years of experience, the team here know a thing or two about good ice cream – so much, in fact, that they run a gelato school too.
The emphasis here is on experimentation, so expect unusual ingredients and flavour combinations like pumpkin puree with amaretto biscuit, and coffee with cardamom and meringue. Artico also only works with a small group of trusted suppliers to guarantee the highest quality of ingredients, free from dyes, hydrogenated fats and synthetic flavours too. Their aim is to create ‘unique and unrepeatable taste experiences every day’. We can wholeheartedly say, mission accomplished.
Best known for their decadent melted chocolate-filled cones, Cioccolati Italiani is the place to come for your chocolate fix. It’s also conveniently located a short stroll from the Duomo, so it’s easy to come back for more. There’s no need to be bold here, chocolate is really what they do best so opt for the traditional flavours. Serious chocolate connoisseurs will be pleased to see that you can also find out all about the origins, variety and cultivation of every single chocolate in the shop too.
Their oft-Instagrammed cones are a popular go-to, but don’t miss the ice cream sandwiches either – three sultry scoops tucked into a brioche roll.
LatteNeve offers a staggering variety of gluten-free and sugar-free ice cream. Opened in 2014, the shop only uses organic ingredients, such as IGP hazelnuts from Piedmont and IGP pistachios from Bronte. You’ll also find a range of creative flavours here too, like ricotta, mascarpone and ginger. But what really sets LatteNeve apart is its homemade whipped cream, which comes in heaps on top of you gelato. There’s an excellent variety of vegan options, including a rich and creamy dairy-free dark chocolate. There are also gluten-free cones too.
Located just off Navigli, it’s the perfect pit-stop before your evening aperitivo.
Founded in 1964, La Bottega del Gelato offers a different flavour for each of its 50 plus years. The menu changes seasonally, but its fruity flavours are most popular. As well as the usual melon, peach and apricot, you’ll find more unusual and exotic ingredients like avocado, mulberry and dragon fruit. Floral flavours are popular too, like the orange flower, rose and lavender concoctions.
The gelato shop is close to Piazzale Loreto, not too far from the central railway station. Its received numerous awards, including the prestigious ‘Bottega Storica’, which recognises its historical, traditional and cultural importance. In 2009, the Italian Gelato Academy presented La Bottega with a Gold Certificate, another rare honour in the city.