Our quest to find the ultimate interpretation of this classic northern Italian dessert.
In addition to its reputation as a fashion and design hub, Milan is known among Italians for the luxurious desserts of its home Lombardy region. Panettone was created here along with dozens of other sweet breads and baked goods. And while it was technically invented in the neighboring Veneto region, tiramisu is a particular favorite here, too. As our team’s resident sweet tooth, Lindsey Galey took on the arduous task of finding the best tiramisu in Milan on our most recent trip.
Mascarpone-based cream, light sponge cookies, and coffee. Tiramisu’s ingredients are simple, but there are so many ways a chef can tweak the formula to make it their own. To me, a perfect tiramisu should have lots of espresso flavor, with a light and fluffy texture and not too much density. Those basic requirements leave plenty of room for innovation, and some of my absolute favorites have been unexpected twists on the familiar favorite.
During the 5 days our team spent in Milan, what started as my personal quest to find the city’s best tiramisu became a heated group debate. After every meal, I had my order ready: “We’ll have the tiramisu—and five spoons, please!” And while some of the entries on this list were unanimous winners and others are more controversial picks, these were my five favorites from our journey.
The quest began at Giacamo, a quaint little eatery tucked away in Porta Vittoria. From the moment I took my first bite of their tiramisu, I knew I had stumbled upon something great. It was literally the first tiramisu we all tried—the one that inspired this journey—and it firmly remained at #1 the entire trip. Rich, decadent, and creamy, Giacamo's masterpiece unanimously claimed the throne as the team's undisputed favorite
This tiramisu took me by surprise. We had ventured to 10 Corso Como to browse and do a little shopping, but the store’s café was so beautiful, we couldn't help but sit down for a snack. This hip little eatery is the perfect place to enjoy some ambience, people-watching...and, yes, one phenomenal tiramisu. Light and ethereal, this one was a delightful contrast to the richer versions I had tried. If there ever were a tiramisu that was perfect for a daytime bite that won’t weigh you down, it’s this one!
In the heart of Milan's Mercato Centrale, where there are tons of food vendors, we stumbled upon a hidden gem: Il Riso di Sergio Barzetti. Intrigued by their twist on the classic dessert, I indulged in their "risamisu," a creation that combines a soft rice-based sponge cake with a creamy chocolate ganache. This unexpected variation left me pleasantly surprised, and it's on our list of recipes we would love to recreate for Giadzy!
4. La Libera
They can't all be unanimous—this tiramisu sparked a lively debate within our team. Half of us were head-over-heels for its rich, custardy texture, while the other half were decidedly not. This tiramisu provoked conversations about everyone's personal criteria for the perfect tiramisu; some preferred a lighter and airier texture, while some of us adored the more velvety density of this one.
With a Tuscan influence, Il Montalcino provided us with a timeless and straightforward tiramisu. True to tradition, it delivered the classic flavors we know and love. With each bite, I relished in the simplicity and authenticity that captured the essence of this beloved Italian dessert. This is the quintessential tiramisu with no surprises.
The journey was filled with all kinds of tasty discoveries, and I can now add expertise in all things tiramisu to my résumé. Have a personal favorite tiramisu from Milan? Leave it in the comments for us to try next time!