Small restaurant “Salsamenteria di Parma” in Milan

Tourists who come to Milan will certainly go to Duomo and Castello (castle) and usually the restaurants around those touristy area are either outrageously expensive or with bad quality or sometimes even both. (I once had a lousy lunch in a small restaurant close to Duomo area which cost me 25 euro for a small plate of pasta, a bottle of water and coffee :( ) Last Saturday I discovered a nice tavern style “Salsamenteria di Parma” in via Ponte Vetero, 11 (Brera area), only a 2-3 minutes walk from the metro station Cairoli Castello and with the No.12 tram stop right outside . They have another one in via San Pietro all ‘Orto (San Babila area), close to Duomo and La Scala opera theatre.

outside of the restaurant

The interior decoration is mainly with wood and the restaurant in via Ponte Vetero has a flat screen tv which showed mainly opera video. Since the theme was inspired by the famous Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, there are old opera phamplets being framed on the wall, as well as an old piano being used as part of the decoration. The menu and the place mats are all in recycled paper.

paper place mats w wine bowls


The food is mainly Emilia -Romagna and they have a good selection of sausages and ham (salumi). The salumi will be served in big paper plate and no individual plates will be given as customers are supposed to eat in the traditional authentic way by using ‘hands’ only. So be prepared to share your salumi with your family or friends in the most ‘primitive’ way. 😉 I strongly suggest that you try their ‘culatello’ ( refined variety of prosciutto ), it is definitely one of the best I have had in Italy.


For pasta lovers they have ‘Tortelli di erbetta’ (similar to raviolo with fillings of a kind of veg), ‘Tortelli di zucca’ ( with pumpkin) , ‘Anolini pasticciati al ragù’ (again similar to ravioli w/ meat based sauce), ‘Gnocchi di patate al gorgonzola, al pesto o al ragù’ (small potatoes dumplings w/ cheese or pesto – basil, garlic, olive oil or meat based sauce) etc .

The ‘Zuppa di cavolo nero e fagioli cannellini’ is black cabbage soup and beans which is not commonly found in other restaurants.

The main courses consist of ‘Culatello arrosto’ (roast ham), ‘Roast beef’ , ‘Mariola – cotechino della basse parmense- con pure’ (sausage meat w/ mashed potatoes), and for side dishes, there are ‘ Spinaci al burro’ (spinach w/butter), ‘Polenta fritta’ (polenta is made w/cornflour, fritta means fried), purè di patate.

Their wines come in ‘scodella’ (bowls) and bottle. They have a few selection of sparling red wine (vino rosso frizzante) and sparkling white wine.

The price of salumi is from €6 (small plate) to €25 (large plate of top grade culatello x 2 person), €5 to €10 for pasta, €3.5 to €8 for cheese and €6.5 to €11 for main course. Wine cost around €3 for a bowl and €10 – €13 for a bottle. The cover charge (coperto) is €1.5 per person which includes bread and dippings. The prices are very reasonable by Milan standard and most important both the food and environment are good. These two restaurants open all year round from 12:00 to 23:00. due to the excellent location of both restaurants, they make great spots for simple lunch and dinners or taking short breaks after tiring museum or sight seeing walks.

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