Milan offers an array of original pastry shops that will not disappoint. Here is our pick of the best addresses.
1. Cova Milano
One of the most traditional is Cova. One of Milan’s oldest, most historic coffee shops, Cova was patronized by patriots of the Risorgimento. It was here that Giuseppe Verdi and Maria Callas drank their coffee, and here that Milan’s elite and affluent international travellers now meet for lunch or an aperitivo. In addition to a classic panettone, Cova also sells a version with candied pineapple and a typically Milanese version with saffron and raisins soaked in sparkling wine.
Biffi, a mainstay of Milanese pasticceria since 1847, offers this typical Christmas delicacy in its most traditional version.
Another historic venue, which recently celebrated 80 years in the industry, is Cucchi, in Corso Genova. Here, you can find panettone year-round and, although Cucchi favours the classic recipe, other must-tries include the versions with candied apples or cinnamon or candied pears and cinnamon.
For the past thirty years, Sant’Ambroeus, in corso Matteotti, has delighted the palates of the Milanese. In addition to the traditional recipe, it also offers made-to-order panettoni, filled with special creams and garnished with festive decorations.
5. Marchesi 1824
If you’re looking for an elegant, beautifully wrapped panettone, head to Marchesi 1824. It’s not only totally irresistible, but it comes in a precious velvet, silk-lined box.
Peck, Milan’s temple of taste, also offers a traditional version of panettone. The dough is processed for 72 hours before being baked and only prime quality ingredients, including stone-ground wheat germ, Bourbon vanilla beans from Madagascar, candied orange peel and Tuscan acacia honey are used. In addition to the above, they also do several re-imagined versions.
7. T'a Milano
The Panettoni by T’a Milano, the brand of artisanal chocolates and pastries founded by the Alemagna brothers, are made according to an ancient family recipe, using only natural ingredients. Available in the classic version, with pears and chocolates, without candied fruit or in the new all chocolate version.
Located just a short distance from the Navigli, another go-to pastry shop is Gattullo, a historic address for Milanese panettone, also available in the ‘del Sultano’ version, with dates and walnuts.
German-born, Milanese chocolatier and Bake-Off Italia judge Ernst Knam is renowned for his superlative rendition of Milan’s Christmas treat. His version includes a classic base, enhanced with slivers of chocolate or pears and chocolate. Knam also pays tribute to his country of origin with a Christmas Stollen, a type of German panettone made with marzipan, lemon and rum.
At the Milanese headquarters of Eataly, in piazza 25 Aprile, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Here, you’ll find all shapes and forms of artisanal panettone and pandoro, sourced from small producers. If, on the other hand, you prefer savoury to sweet, your go-to addresses are Lorini, a charming bakery located just steps from Porta Venezia, or Pasticceria Panzera near the Central Station.