Panino Giusto

Three unusual panini in Milan

We’re not shy about how much we love the food in our dear Milan and while many Milanese get their casseuola on this time of year, every once in a while, they (we included) just want a sandwich—or, rather, in Italian terms: A panino. We love chowing down on the usual suspects like a caprese, prosciutto, or speck and brie, but we also appreciate when panini makers throw some creativity into the mix.

Here’s a look at three unusual panini you can find in Milan, all of which suffice for lunch, a merenda or even dinner, though for the latter, you might want to double up.

Best unusual panini in Milan Panino Giusto Milano Panino Ragusano

Panino Ragusano photo: Panino Giusto

1. Panino Ragusano, Panino Giusto: We heart Panino Giusto! Since opening in 1979, Panino Giusto has never sacrificed quality as its panino empire has expanded. Among the many delicious offerings is the Panino Ragusano, made with sliced grilled beef, cacio cheese from Ragusa in Sicily (hence the panino’s name), Giarratana sweet onions (massive sweet onions also from Sicily), corn salad and a mustard mayo. You can find this at Panino Giusto’s various locations, including those on Corso Garibaldi and near the Duomo.

Best usual panini in Milan El gran burgher di Milano Le Biciclette

El gran burgher di Milano at Le Biciclette photo: M. Barro

2. El gran bürgher de Milàn at Le Biciclette: This 18-year-old café serves an homage to Milan and local territory all sandwiched neatly inside a Michetta, the Milanese version of a Kaiser roll: A Luganega patty (local pork sausage), Gorgonzola, Savoy cabbage leaves and finely chopped white onions. Pair the burger with the Tutt el’Di cocktail, which translates to “all day long” in Milanese dialect, a perfect Milanese marriage. (Via Giovanni Battista Torti, 2; 02 5810 4325; website; open seven days, 6pm  – 2am)

Best unusual panini in Milan Fried octopus panino Pescaria Milano

Fried octopus panino, photo: Pescaria Milano

3. Fried Octopus Panino at Pescaria: If you follow any Milan food enthusiasts on Instagram, it’s highly likely you’ve seen a close-up of the crave-worthy fried octopus sandwich with sautéed chicory, ricotta and pepper, finished with an anchovy sauce. Pescaria comes to Milan via Polignano a Mare in Puglia, so you can take your pick from a number of other seafood delights if octopus isn’t your thing. Note: Be prepared to wait, but know it’s well worth it. (Via Bonnet 5; + 39 02 659 9322; open 7 days, 12.30pm – midnight; website)

Panino Giusto World Tour

We love it when the world gets to to sample a taste of our dear Milan, so needless to say we’re thrilled about the Panino Giusto World Tour.

Since 1979, the ever reliable Panino Giusto has served some of Milan’s best panini that, despite the company’s growth, have never sacrificed quality. You can check out some of their delectable Panini delights here, but be warned: the panino porn might just make you a bit hungry.

panino giusto world tour presentationOutside of Italy, Panino Giusto has locations in Hong Kong, London and Tokyo, and they have just arrived on the other side of the pond to open their first U.S. location in Cupertino, California. But that’s not all….

The Panino is arguably Italy’s ultimate slow fast food, and as what happens with commercialization, there are many so-called “Panini” that are quantity over quality focused, and aren’t really panini at all as they sacrifice the integrity of the true form of these sandwiches. Not just in Italy, but all over the world, and a little panini education never did anyone any harm. Our resident American didnt start using the single form of the word, panino, until she moved here as in the U.S., just one panino is often referred to as a panini. But anyway, that’s the least of the panino’s problems…have a glance at some of the tourist trap stands lining Piazza del Duomo and you’ll see what we mean. Anyway, we digress…

Enter the Panino Giusto World Tour! This special collaboration with Alessandro Frassica of Florence’s acclaimed ino paninoteca will be hitting up all of Panino Giusto’s overseas locations. Frassica himself will lead workshops celebrating the Italian art of the panino. And that’s not all…in honor of the Panino Giusto World Tour, Frassica created three special Panini to mark the occasion that will be available at the overseas locations only. (Sorry you’re going to miss out on these, Milan…we got to taste them, and they were yummy.)

Panino Giusto World Tour alessandro-frassica-e-i-3-panini-del-panino-tour-crudo-fresco-e-marino

Alessandro Frassica and his three panini for the Panino Giusto World Tour

The Panino Giusto World Tour schedule is as follows . If you happen to be in any of these cities when a workshop occurs, don’t miss it!

• London: 23 – 24 November
• Cupertino: 29 – 30 November
• Tokyo and Yokohama: 20 – 21 February
• Hong Kong: 23 – 24 February

Now, last but not least, the panini:

Fresco: Grilled eggplant and zucchini that has been marinated in herbs and extra virgin olive oil with roasted salty almonds, cherry tomato confit, chia and sesame seeds and drizzled in extra virgin olive oil

Marino: Lightly spiced hummus with mackerel that has been canned in extra virgin olive oil, Taggiasca olives cherry tomato confit and drizzled in extra virgin olive oil

Crudo: creamy sweet gorgonzola cheese with 26-month aged Langhirano prosciutto crudo and red bell pepper mustard