S and I recently went on a Christmas getaway to Milan. Although we found that restaurants were quite hard to come by, we dined in some fantastic places, sourcing out the best gluten-free hot spots in the city and walking miles to find them.
If you are planning a city break to Milan and in the need for gluten-free or should we say, “Senza Glutine” inspiration, then look no further as I have tried and tasted the city, collating some of the best below.
Located close to where we were staying, S and I walked past La Porta Rossa on the first night when heading to our hotel. We noticed that they offered gluten-free pasta and were keen to try. If you are after a traditional Italian restaurant with polite staff and amazing food, this is for you.
I opted for the traditional Spaghetti Carbonara and was advised the gluten-free pasta took an additional 20 minutes to wait and this was due to the fact they made the pasta fresh in the restaurant.
As I was unaware of the Italian for onion and garlic, I was worried as to what I would be presented with but I would go as far to say that this was the best bowl of pasta I have ever eaten. It was simple, made up of spaghetti, eggs, parmesan and thick, smokey pancetta that melted in your mouth. Accompanied by a 6 euro glass of delicious red wine, I was very satisfied.
When in Milan, it would have been rude to not have tasted a traditional Italian pizza. With a craving for cheese and tomato, we set out to La Specialita, a good 30 minute walk from our hotel. On a busy Sunday lunchtime, we managed to get a seat, squished next to another couple, which we realised, was the norm.
I had read really good reviews of this restaurant and I was like a kid in a sweet shop when we first arrived. After scanning the menu, I decided on a gluten-free smoked ham and cheese pizza. When it arrived, I realised that I had made an error – there was no tomato on the base. In my eagerness to eat, I had overlooked that all of the other options included “tomato” within the menu. Having said this, the dough was crisp and the smokey cheese complimented the ham beautifully. Although not your ‘normal’ pizza, it was still a delicious meal albeit there may have been too much ham…
Having visited La Specialita for lunch, it was only fitting to squeeze in my second Milanese pizza of the day. a Peperino e Milano had come up as being a fantastic restaurant offering a varied menu including gluten-free pizza (which was renowned to be the best option).
Having learnt from my earlier mistake of ordering a pizza without the tomato base, I ordered a gluten-free pepperoni pizza. I can say without hesitation, it was the best gluten-free pizza that I have ever tasted. I may not have tasted a non gluten-free pizza for over a year but I would say that this came close to what that tastes like. The dough had a stone-baked, char-grilled taste but was not dry like other gluten-free dough. It was a perfect mix of crisp and moist.
In terms of the restaurant’s atmosphere, this is not somewhere I would recommend if you are looking for a cosy, traditional Italian restaurant however it is clearly very popular with the locals and was buzzing. It is definitely worth a visit. I just wish they delivered to the UK…!
Our trip to Milan was full of walking (10 miles a day) and sight-seeing in the freezing cold. We would wake up everyday and not have breakfast as we knew that we would be having big meals for lunch and dinner. However, on the third day, we wanted to try a variety of local delicacies but these were naturally non gluten-free. Whilst S dug into a freshly baked panzerotti (savoury style donut tasting like a pizza), I was dreaming of tucking into my very own gluten-free treat. Luckily, I had read that there was gluten-free bakery en route to where we were next visiting.
Just as it started to snow, we stumbled upon Glu Free, a bakery entirely dedicated to gluten-free baking. Excited and hungry, I ordered a slice of gluten-free pepperoni pizza and a chocolate filled croissant. Both had been freshly baked that morning. I really enjoyed the pizza but must admit that the croissant was slightly disappointing as it was a bit chewy.
Although the croissant was not as good as I had hoped, this was a great find and it was great to see that Glu Free is popular with the locals and making good business.
As you may have guessed, our trip to Milan was very food-heavy with a lot of indulgence on pizza. But as the saying goes, when in Milan…