Street food in Chinatown in Milan
Street food is one of the most popular formulas for eating lots of different, practical, fast and cheap good food. In Milan there are many ethnic clubs that offer it, often simple shop windows along the street.
In recent years, Via Paolo Sarpi has become the center of the Milanese street food experience, in this case in China since, as is well known, the largest Chinese community in the city and in Italy resides right here.
What we now call "Chinatown" was born as a stronghold of the Chinese community of Milan in the 1920s, including via Canonica, via Bramante and via Paolo Sarpi. In fact, the first Chinese migrations arrived in this area, coming from Zhejiang (province of eastern China, below Shanghai). With the second diaspora of the 1980s, Sino-Italian cuisine also emerged - which even today, in the imagination, is referred to as "traditional Chinese cuisine".
Between 2010 and 2011 via Paolo Sarpi was then the subject of a profound urban redevelopment project, becoming the pedestrian and cycling area we know today.
China has a long and solid tradition of street food, as well as many other countries in Asia: for this reason I have selected my favorite dishes and places. They are Chinese places that offer both traditional and more contemporary dishes, but also Japanese and Korean.
Here instead the complete guide to Chinatown and Paolo Sarpi.
BAOZI (包子) and DUMPLINGS
Baozi are the famous soft steamed buns filled with meat or other condiments (vegetables or even sweet cream). They can differ in size and shape, for this reason they are also called by different names, as well as being a full part of the dim sum together with the multitude of DUMPLINGS.
Small showcase on the street where you can buy classic baozi stuffed with pork, beef and potatoes or vegetables (excellent those with aubergines). 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 47, Milan 💰 $
Here it is possible to have specialities of the Chinese breakfast. Among them there is zimabao, a baozi stuffed with black sesame paste. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 25, Milan 💰 $$$
This restaurant offers street-food from Wenzhou: in addition to claypots, the house specialty is meat dumplings with chives served on a hot plate. 📍 Via Paolo Lomazzo 14, Milan 📞 02 331 1188 💰 $
MU paolo sarpi
Here the house specialty is san ji bao or shenjian mantou, small bao stuffed with spicy pork or duck (or other ingredients). It is one of the typical preparations of Shanghai Chinese breakfast since the 20th century. There is no shortage of classic steamed dumplings, xiaolongbao (steamed thin dumplings stuffed with pork and hot broth) and the sweet white baozi with duck egg cream or the black one with taro cream. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 2, Milan 💰 $$
Here you can try Fujian gua bao, recognizable by the typical central cut of the sandwich. In addition to jiazoi (braised dumplings) and xiaolongbao, you will also find tangbao: similar to the previous ones, these are much larger in size and contain a higher quantity of hot broth that must be sucked with a straw. 📍 Via Niccolini 20 angolo via Paolo Sarpi 17, Milan 📞 02 315559 💰 $
Qui trovate una grande varietà di pane al vapore e ravioli al vapore o alla griglia, oltre agli siopao: xiaolongbao con pasta di baozi ripieni di carne, verdura e gamberetti interi. 📍 Via Giuseppe Giusti 14, Milano 📞 377 825 5584 💰 $
Here you will find excellent boiled dumplings. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 38, Milan 💰 $
Here you will find excellent xiaolongbao filled with hot broth based on pork, beef or lamb. 📍 Via Aleardo Aleardi 6, Milan 💰 $
Small place with a few seats where you can taste or take away excellent grilled ravioli with meat, vegetables or even with the addition of cheese. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 50, Milan 💰 $$
Kung fu bao
Showcase specializing in small bao and dumplings, here you will find excellent grilled dumplings (pork, beef or vegetarian) with an elongated and slightly flat shape, perfect for dipping in soy sauce with rice vinegar. 🌎 http://www.kungfubao.it/ 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 3, Milan 💰 $$$
You can find the best Peking-style ravioli in Chinatown here: made with pork or vegetables, they are freshly hand-made and steamed. Simply sensational!
📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 23, Milan 💰 $$
Small place specializing in northern Chinese cuisine with an important variety of Peking-style dumplings (the portion is ten pieces) at an affordable price.
📍Via Antonio Rosmini 5, Milan 💰 $$
CONG YOU BING (葱油饼)
It is a kind of salty, unleavened pancake with shallot or spring onion, folded and fried in a pan. Unlike western pancakes (made with batter), this one is made with a dough and features numerous inner layers that give it a slightly chewy texture.
Probably the best recipe in Chinatown: a very thin and lightly greased pastry, seasoned to perfection and super crunchy. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 50, Milan 💰 $$
Here you will find cong you bing with pork and fermented vegetables. 📍 Via Morazzone 10, Milan 💰 $
Here you will find cong you bing with fermented vegetables. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 31/33, Milan 💰 $
Here you will find a very particular and tasty cong you bing: the pastry is crunchy and tasty, the filling you can choose with fried chicken, salad, dried meat and sauces. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 17, Milan 📞 02 3946 7781 💰 $
As per the Italian name, it is a very tasty bundle filled with meat and/or Chinese chives. On menus it is often referred to as "calzone" or "pastie".
📍Via Antonio Rosmini 5, Milan 💰 $$
📍 Via Giuseppe Giusti 14, Milan 📞 377 825 5584 💰 $
Chinese skewers are typical of northern China, a huge area that includes Inner Mongolia, Beijing, Tientsin and Jilin.
It is a Sino-Islamic preparation and derives from some peoples such as the Uyghurs (Turkic ethnic group of Islamic religion from north-western China).
The skewers are mainly meat-based, seasoned with various spices such as cumin, chilli, sesame seeds and roasted on the grill.
Very nice little place specializing in fried skewers of meat (the best for me), vegetables, tofu and fish. Don't miss the rice dumplings.
📍Via Paolo Sarpi 39, Milan 💰 $$
Here you will find classic skewers seasoned with salt, chilli and cumin, but also more contemporary versions based on wurstel and omelette. 📍Via Paolo Sarpi 25, Milan 💰 $
It offers a wide range of grilled skewers and fried vegetables (served without a skewer), all perfect even on the go. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 17, Milan 📞 02 3946 7781 💰 $
Already reported in "baozi e dumplings", this restaurant also offers a long selection of grilled or fried kebabs. 📍 Via Paolo Lomazzo 14, Milan 📞 02 331 1188 💰 $
Rustic trattoria specializing in grilled skewers in great variety and high quality. 📍 Via Antonio Rosmini 1, Milan 📞 02 3655 0167 💰 $$
Here you will find numerous types of skewers: you can take the ones you prefer directly from a refrigerator, they will be freshly prepared for you. The rice dumplings are excellent. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 38, Milan 💰 $
In addition to offering an excellent Chinese breakfast, Mai has a long list of meat and vegetable skewers on the menu. 📍 Via Aleardo Aleardi 6, Milan 💰 $
Small rotisserie where you can stop to enjoy many fried kebabs freshly prepared in the open kitchen. 📍 Via Aleardo Aleardi 2, Milan 💰 $
Originating from Lanzhou (northwestern province) of Gansu, with a history of over 4000 years, lamians are hand-rolled noodles made with wheat (面) or rice ("fen", 粉) flour and water. They can have different thickness, but they are always characterized by a great elasticity.
Served in broth, sautéed in the wok or on the plate, Chinese handmade noodles are a delicacy declined in dozens of different recipes.
A small place where you can choose your favorite lamian from countless home recipes. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 36, Milan 📞 02 3329 2033 💰 $
Known for its homemade dumplings, this historic restaurant offers artisanal lamians grilled or Wenzhou (with meat sauce, sprouts and soy sauce and vinegar). 📍 Via Giordano Bruno 13, Milan 📞 02 345 1613 💰 $$
Noodles & Soups
Small restaurant specializing in lamian in broth or sautéed: the menu is endless. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 26, Milan 📞 327 227 0255 💰 $$
It is a kind of salty crepe, eaten mainly for breakfast, typical of northern China.
It is made with a batter of wheat flour and eggs, cooked quickly on a hot plate and stuffed with different condiments (especially meat, vegetables, pickles and coriander) and hoisin sauce. It is folded several times before being finally served.
Beijing Traditional Roll
Small showcase on the street, offers different variations of jianbing including one with Peking duck or vegetarian. 📍 Via Paolo sarpi 29, Milan 💰 $
Qui potete trovare due tipologie di jianbing: vegetariana o di carne (manzo e maiale). 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 27, Milano 📞 331 887 0596 💰 $
ROU JIA MO (肉夹馍)
Considered the Chinese equivalent of a burger or western sandwich, this Shaanxi-style sandwich is widely available throughout China.
The filling is based on meat (pork, mutton, lamb or mutton) stewed for many hours in a broth containing about twenty spices and various seasonings. The bread is made with a dough of wheat flour and yeast and is baked in an earthenware oven.
Showcase specialized in the take-away of this specialty. In my opinion one of the best ever in the neighborhood. 📍 Via Messina 1, Milan 💰 $
Small space with seating, offers several variations of the classic pork-based recipe. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 26, Milan 💰 $
Small shop window on the street, offers very few specialties such as the rou jia mo. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 25, Milan 💰 $
Restaurant dedicated to the traditional cuisine of Xi'an, offers an unforgettable rou jia mo. 📍 Via Procaccini 7, Milan 📞 377 846 1552 💰 $$
PEKING DUCK (北京烤鴨)
Peking Duck is a historic and iconic Chinese dish. To prepare it you need a lot of time and skill, but if it is done according to all the rules, the result is spectacular: the skin is thin and crunchy, the juicy meat, the crepes, the sauce and the fresh vegetables create a combination of flavors and lovely textures. To this is added the rest of the carcass cut into pieces and fried, finger-licking.
Very neat showcase where you can order Peking duck to take away (there are a couple of seats and on the sidewalk, so not the greatest comfort). It is possible to buy roast duck in single portions, halves or whole portions and all options include a nice fun kit consisting of sliced duck, pancakes, sauce, thinly sliced leek and cucumber and fried duck collarbone.
📍Via Paolo Sarpi, Milan 💰 $$$