When it comes to frozen treats, Italian gelato is the real deal: a dessert that’s creamy, flavorful, and authentic.
If you’re in Milan and love gelato, get ready to indulge in some mouthwatering delights. According to the Gelaterie d’Italia 2022 Guide by Gambero Rosso (prestigious guide and ultimate source for Italian food, wine, and travel recommendations.), Lombardy takes the gold medal as the most outstanding region for gelato.
In total, 14 gelato shops in this region received the guide’s highest recognition, the “three cones” award.
And when it comes to the ice cream capital of Lombardy, the honor goes to Milan! The city boasts seven gelato shops that have received the most stamps of approval from the guide.
So, if you’re on the hunt for exceptional gelato, Milan is the place to be!
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the top gelaterie in Milan that are serving up unique, delicious and innovative flavors that you absolutely have to try.
So, what exactly is Italian gelato, and what sets it apart from its cousin, ice cream?
Gelato is a must-try when visiting Italy, and for good reason. While it may look like ice cream, gelato is different in a number of ways.
While both are deliciously creamy and sweet, they have significant differences.
Gelato is a dessert originally from Italy and has a unique cultural tradition behind it. It is made with more milk than cream and does not typically use egg yolks, unlike ice cream.
This gives it a denser and richer texture than ice cream.
Another major difference between the two is the amount of butterfat they contain. Authentic Italian gelato has a lower percent of fat, resulting in a more intense flavor profile.
Additionally, it’s churned at a slower speed than ice cream, incorporating less air and making it denser and creamier.
And finally – and probably most importantly – what makes gelato so incredibly indulgent is the quality of the ingredients. Most gelaterie (Italian for ice cream shop) use only the freshest and highest quality ingredients, sourced locally.
There is a strong emphasis on letting the ingredients speak for themselves, with no room for industrial additives, thickeners, or preservatives in a genuine gelato recipe. The result is a pure and unadulterated artisanal delight that is second to none.
This commitment to quality is what makes Italian gelato so special.
Cutting to the chase, the question on every gelato lover’s mind is: where can you find the best gelato in Milan?
Milan boasts several top-notch gelato shops that have received numerous awards for their exceptional treats, with each of them showcasing their own distinct flavors and methods.
You can find traditional favorites as well as adventurous combinations that will take you on a delightful journey.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to indulge in some of the best gelato in Milan by adding these shops to your itinerary..
The Best Gelato in Milan
Via Dogana, 1 (Duomo)
Via Luigi Porro Lambertenghi, 15 (Isola)
Looking for the ultimate gelato experience in Milan? Don’t get trapped in the tourist hotspots – head straight to Artico Gelateria Milano instead. Since 2012, this artisanal gelato parlor has been dishing out heavenly frozen creations, earning a coveted spot in the 2022 Gambero Rosso guidebook.
Artico’s gelato is always fresh, 100% handmade, and packed with flavor. They’ve struck the perfect balance between traditional and modern by crafting both classic and innovative flavors that’ll leave you in a state of ecstasy.
Attention, chocoholics: you’re in for a real treat at Artico. They offer over ten different chocolate-themed flavors that’ll make your mouth water, featuring everything from Himalayan pink salt to chili pepper to cinnamon. And their dark chocolate varieties are made with only the finest, carefully selected cocoas.
But don’t let the chocolate steal the show – Artico’s Bronte Pistachio and seasonal fruit options are equally divine. So go ahead, treat yourself to a scoop (or two!) of Artico’s sensational gelato – your taste buds will be forever grateful.
Via Gustavo Fara, 14 (Central Station)
Don’t miss out on one of Milan’s most beloved gelato parlors, Paganelli, just a quick stroll from the central station.
This family-owned business has been crafting some of the best gelato in Milan since 1930, and they’ve only gotten better with time.
Their menu features classic flavors like chocolate and vanilla, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t try their more adventurous offerings.
The Milanese flavor, made with rice and saffron, is a local favorite, and their seasonal options like persimmon, fig, and watermelon are always a treat.
They even have wine sorbets made with South Tyrolean muscat and robust cabernet that are sure to impress.
You won’t regret making the journey just to try Paganelli’s standout flavor: venezuelan chocolate blended with aromatic coffee, star anise, and cardamom. Trust us, it’s worth the trip alone.
And don’t forget to try their refreshing granite, especially the almond, coffee, and raspberry flavors.
Via Spadari, 13 (Duomo)
Ciacco, located a few steps from Duomo, is a true artisanal gelateria that takes pride in its strong connections to the local community.
Using only the freshest and highest-quality ingredients sourced from local producers of the Lombard and Emilian regions, the gelato here is truly authentic and genuine.
With an ever-evolving menu of unique and sophisticated flavors, this shop is always pushing the boundaries of flavor combinations, to offer you healthy and delicious gelato like you’ve never tasted before.
For example hibiscus, basil, beeswax, and lime are some of the exclusive flavors you can find here that will blow your mind. If you’re adventurous, you can also venture into the territory of savory gelato, with imaginative flavors like pulled pork or ragù sorbet.
The gelato is made exclusively with organic and natural ingredients, with no additives or artificial ingredients. For this reason, the prices are slightly higher than other places – but one lick and you’ll understand why it’s worth it.
One of the standout features of Ciacco is their vegan options, made with non-dairy alternatives, and it’s not only delicious but also a healthy option.
Expect to find a queue since it’s often crowded, but the friendly staff will be more than happy to help you choose your flavor and recommend some of their favorites.
Pavé – Gelati&Granite
Via Cesare Battisti, 21 (Duomo)
Pavé is a true master of versatility. While we’ve already sung praises for their exceptional coffee and pastries, their talents don’t end there.
For frozen treats that are anything but ordinary, head to this small and charming spot, only a quick stroll away from Duomo.
With a range of gelato, fruit sorbets, and granitas to choose from, you’re sure to find something that hits the spot.
Their flavors are anything but ordinary – with an ever-changing selection that will leave you pleasantly surprised. From the seasonal colomba, a rich Italian dessert symbolizing Easter, to the unexpected pairings of cookies and tea or grapes and sbrisolona – an Italian crumble cake – each scoop is a journey!
They have a unique knack for achieving the perfect balance of sweetness, without going overboard like many others tend to do, thus enabling you to savor the natural flavors to the fullest.
Their unique and exclusive tastes are constantly changing, with a new surprise each week. It’s worth a visit to see what delicious creations they have in store.
Via Vitruvio, 38 (Central Station)
When it comes to gelato, Terra Gelateria knows how to do it right: they’re all about quality and using the best regional ingredients with PDO and PGI branding.
Every spoonful of their gelato is a burst of flavor that leaves you feeling satisfied and refreshed. And let’s talk texture – it’s creamy, velvety, and just the right amount of lightness that will keep you coming back for more.
The creaming process is a well-oiled machine that balances flavor, creaminess, and lightness perfectly.
You can’t go wrong with their classic flavors like the mouth-watering salted pistachio or the tangy lemon custard. But if you’re feeling daring, give their unique flavors a try. Trust us, they’re not too crazy, but definitely not boring.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the unexpected flavor combinations like pomegranate and ginger, black cherry with chocolate granola, tiramisu, and even blueberry cheesecake.
Don’t take our word for it – head to Terra Gelateria and experience the magic for yourself.
Via Mercato, 20 (Sforza Castle – Brera)
Viale Col di Lana, 8 (Navigli)
Step into the heart of Brera and indulge in the unparalleled flavors of Rivareno. This Milanese ice cream shop offers a selection of delectable and sophisticated flavors.
This ice cream is simply divine – it’s not only delicious but also has a texture that is unmatched. The artisanal process used in its creation gives it a creamy and full-bodied taste that is truly unique.
Rivareno takes things to the next level with its innovative combinations that showcase their creative flair and commitment to using quality ingredients. Take Alice for example, which features a tantalizing blend of mascarpone and Marsala gelato with a flow of gianduia added at the moment for the ultimate delicacy.
Or Contessa, which combines Sicilian almond paste, amaretti, and caramelized hazelnut paste. The cremino flavor is another crowd pleaser, layered with velvety white chocolate, hazelnut, and cream, just like the famous Piedmontese chocolates.
Their fruit flavors are equally impressive, produced with seasonal raw materials and no artificial flavorings or milk, giving you a fresh and natural taste.
Gelato e Champagne
Via Cusani, 10 (Duomo – Sforza Castle – Brera)
This gelateria located near Duomo and just a stone’s throw away from Castello Sforzesco and Piazza Cairoli, is the brainchild of two passionate families – the Cerdinis and the Quenardels.
The Cerdinis have been mastering the art of gelato-making for four generations, while the Quenardels have been making top-quality champagne since 1906.
Their gelati are the real deal – made only with the freshest, highest quality organic ingredients from local farmers. No nasty industrial stuff, thickeners or preservatives allowed. Just pure, unadulterated artisanal goodness. They only use mountain milk, eggs from happy hens and unrefined cane sugar to keep things authentic.
You’ll find classic flavors like rich, dark chocolate and creamy hazelnut made with IGP Piedmont hazelnuts, as well as unconventional ones like beetroot and figs.
But the real star of the show is their champagne-infused gelato. It’s so sophisticated and unique, you won’t find it anywhere else. Think champagne and strawberry or yuzu figs and champagne – talk about fancy!
Via Cesare Correnti, 5 (Duomo – Navigli)
This boutique is well-known for its macarons, but it’s not just a one-trick pony.
Enrico, the mastermind behind the shop’s delectable treats, has spent endless hours experimenting with premium ingredients to come up with unique and irresistible flavor combinations that can be enjoyed in multiple products, such as cakes, sorbets, pralines, and – obviously – gelato.
These divine creations are aptly named Symphonies, as they are a beautiful combination of different flavors expertly blended together, much like a harmonious musical masterpiece conducted by a skilled musician.
You won’t want to miss out on the classic flavors, like Sacher and Sicilian cassata, or almonds and candied fruit, and the delightfully creamy pistachio.
For a more adventurous palate, try the black sesame and green tea gelato, or the bitter cocoa with crunchy hazelnuts – it’s a true winner.
Sioli and Bissoli Gelateria
Via Lodovico Muratori, 26 (Porta Romana)
Sioli e Bissoli is a treasure trove of frozen delights. While they do offer classic flavors like pistachio, it’s their perfectly salted twist that will make your heart skip a beat.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as their chocolate-based creations, including the indulgent gianduia, are worth writing home about. And if you’re feeling adventurous, their unique and unconventional flavors will have you pleasantly surprised.
Their artisan gelato is made using only the finest, natural ingredients, bursting with distinguishable flavors. And what’s more, they craft their creations using carefully selected raw materials, ensuring that every scoop is free of any artificial additives.
Plus, they offer the fluffiest Sicilian brioches, perfect for pairing with their delicious gelato. The brioche “col tuppo” is a must-try – soft and oh-so-tasty, filled with a generous serving of ice cream.
And if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be pleased to know that their homemade biscuits, cakes, and single portions are the perfect accompaniment to your frozen treat.