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In Milan, there’s a sandwich cult, which is a real religion. The reasons behind this unbridled passion of the Milanese are many, for example, it was in Milan in the Eighties, that the social and cultural phenomenon of the ‘paninari’, that radically influenced the adolescents of that era, was born. Their favourite meal, as the name itself says, was sandwiches, or the first American-style hamburgers. Moreover, and here the cliché reflects the truth, Milan is always in a hurry and there is nothing quicker but at the same time more satisfying than a sandwich, the bite-sized meal par excellence. Here is our ranking of the best sandwich bars in the city: historic, recent and… nocturnal.
Via San Marco, 20
Oh my Crunch sandwiches are crumbly, crispy, with a unique alveolation due to a dough with more than 100% hydration. These characteristics, contrary to what often happens, end up enhancing the great quality of the ingredients that constitute the filling. Parmigiana, manzo tonnato, amatriciana, steak tartare, jamon iberico, salmon and avocado, vegan, are just some of the mouth-watering proposals you can find in one of the two Oh my Crunch points of sale in Milan, in Brera and Piazza Risorgimento. Don’t you already have an irresistible craving for crunchiness?
Corso Magenta, 9
Founded in 1982, this remains ‘the place’ par excellence to enjoy gourmet sandwiches. It has many loyal customers, including fashion designers, actors, sportsmen, models and entrepreneurs, to whom in fact several sandwiches are dedicated. Four main features:
- The variety: more than 200 tasty and traditional but also unusual and daring combinations, with a perfect balance of flavours.
- The bread: strictly griddle-toasted, striped and crispy.
- The ingredients: as soon as you enter, you can’t help but admire them all lined up there, very fresh, delicious and of excellent quality.
- The preparation: rigorously fresh, it guarantees freshness and taste
Corso Garibaldi 125 (with 13 other locations around Milan)
You go there on purpose when you get a craving for a well-stuffed sfilatino, overflowing with cold meats, cheeses or vegetables. Since the first sign was created in 1979, collaborations with starred chefs – including Alessandro Borghese and Claudio Sadler – have taken place and the number of outlets has multiplied in Italy and abroad, all characterised by an unmistakable old England mahogany and green style. They have exported the Italian sandwich to the world, making it recognisable and recognised. A certainty.
Antica Salumeria Laghetto
Via Laghetto 3
Salumeria Laghetto is very reminiscent of the traditional delicatessen where your mum used to take you when you were a child: a place made up of perpetually smiling and friendly people, ready to prepare your sandwich on the spot with the ingredients you like best, including cold meats and cheeses of excellent quality and refinement. This historic shop is located right next to the State University… if you are in the area, don’t miss it!
Via Quadronno, 34
The Bar Quadronno is the forerunner of the Milanese sandwich bars: founded in 1964, it was here that the idea of a sandwich stuffed with delicacies and sauces was born. An exorbitant novelty for a time when requesting a sandwich meant being content with michetta with salami, or ham and cheese. Since then it has been a growing success and has become a landmark in the city, at all hours of the day and especially at night. If by chance you get homesick for their sandwiches during a stay in New York, in the Big Apple you can find its alter ego, the ‘Via Quadronno’.
Crocetta – Panini d’autore 1982
Corso di Porta Romana, 67
In Milan, Crocetta has been synonymous with sandwiches since 1982, when the first sign was set up next to the Carcano theatre in Corso di Porta Romana (there is now also another in the Pagano area). Since then, this place has always been a meeting place for artists and audiences at the end of theatre performances, but also for all the Milanese who have enjoyed its iconic creations over the years. Among the most popular are the various versions stuffed with cooked ham from Prague or raw ham from Langhirano, those with mortadella or those with home-made roast beef, but also the vegetarian ones, made with vegetables. Even today, despite the renovations that have made it more contemporary, the restaurant still exudes an undeniable old Milan charm.
Piazzale di Porta Ludovica 2
Not only is Gattullo renowned as an excellent pastry shop and listed in the register of historic Milanese shops, not only has the founder and owner – Mr Domenico – been awarded both the title of Cavaliere del Lavoro and the Ambrogino d’Oro, but, as the Corriere della Sera article on the wall of the premises attests, ‘a sandwich at Gattullo’s’ has been an unmissable appointment since 1961. Numerous well-known personalities from the worlds of show business and Milanese culture are regulars here, friends rather than customers, who often linger at the small tables inside or outside the restaurant, from breakfast to aperitifs. The place is also a regular fixture for lecturers and students from the nearby Bocconi University, who happily tuck into the hearty Triplo Special sandwich, with cooked ham, fontina cheese, goat’s cheese, foie gras and pink sauce, all sandwiched between three slices of bread.
Via Durini, 26
In our selection of historic venues, Panini Durini could be part of the Millennials generation. Founded in 2011, this concept, which now boasts around 15 locations in the city, is based on the freshness and authenticity of the ingredients, faithful to the Italian culinary tradition and prepared daily. The bread, baked and delivered every morning from artisanal bakeries, is prepared with sourdough, following a specially designed recipe to ensure it is lighter and easier to digest. True to its intention to follow trends without ever becoming a passing fad, Panini Durini offers a wide range of plant-based sandwiches, such as the one with hummus, grilled courgettes, confit tomatoes and aubergine fillets in oil or the one with veg schnitzel, accompanied by salad, tomatoes and mayonnaise.
Largo Isarco 2
Designed by director Wes Anderson, the Fondazione Prada Bar recreates the atmosphere of a typical café in old Milan. Therefore, sandwiches could not be missing from the menu of this fashionable but also gourmand location: a variety of mouth-watering recipes, divided between cold cuts, meat (including fois gras), fish and vegetables, combined with as many appetising ingredients, including sauces and condiments. Open to everyone, not just visitors, it is also ideal for a gourmet break before or after an exhibition.
Via Carlo Ravizza, 5
Panini Galiano is a historic Milanese family business that since 1974 has enclosed the genuine flavours and aromas of the Bel Paese within two fragrant slices of bread. Whether you love cured meats, cheeses, fish or vegetables, here you will find a rich and mouth-watering list with which to surprise your palate every time. From the simplest and most classic combinations to the most daring, Galiano is the ideal address in the Marghera area for a perfect sandwich.