Like many of the biggest and most famous cities in Europe, I’m thinking of London and Rome for example, but also around the world, Milan can be expensive.
If you are in Piazza Duomo, it won’t be easy to find a place to eat without spending a lot of money. Or at least a place that is value for money. So, here is my suggestion: move to Via Paolo Sarpi and go straight on to its Ravioleria.
Chinatown in Milan
Via Paolo Sarpi is a one-km-long street that is only a few minutes walk from the metro station Moscova. It is a pedestrian street with a lot of shops mainly owned by residents with Chinese origins. In fact, this is traditionally the area where the Chinese community started to settle at the beginning of the 20 century. Paolo Sarpi has been redeveloped in the recent years and today it is considered, not without discontent from the rest of its “Italian”* community, the centre of the Chinatown of Milan.
Handmade Chinese Ravioli
If there is something that can smooth things over in Italy, that is food. And when speaking about Via Paolo Sarpi in Milan, I’m thinking about its Ravioleria. This tiny shop with a shop window, serves Chinese dumplings (ravioli in Italian, hence the name Ravioleria) and salty crepes.
Both behind and in front of the shop window you will find Chinese-born and Italian-born human beings working or eating (depending on which side of the shop window you are considering). It is possible to see the ladies preparing fresh dumplings, cooking, and serving them. There is no place to sit, you can take your dish and eat on the go.
What’s on the amazing menu
The menu includes:
Veggie crepes with whole wheat, soy sauce, egg, coriander and leek
Crepes with meat, soy sauce, egg, coriander and leek
Ravioli with beef, turmeric, leek, ginger and white turnip
Ravioli with pork and Savoy cabbage
Vegetarian ravioli with spinaches, carrots, Savoy cabbage, celery, chives, ginger, tofu, and soy noodles.
Unbelievable value for money
The prices are really great 4/5 euros for crepes, 3 euros for a dish that includes 4 dumplings. I had lunch with 2 servings of dumplings, vegetarian and beef, and they were incredibly light and good. A friend had vegetarian crepes that were really great too.
This place is also perfect because you can eat in a few minutes and then have a stroll around the area, or move to a museum. You only have to line a bit, if you are here during the week and it’s lunchtime, many people who work nearby, in fact, come here for their quick but tasty break. Another option is to buy fresh dumplings to cook at home if you have the opportunity to use a kitchen
La Ravioleria Sarpi, Via Paolo Sarpi 27 Milan
Tested in September 2017 and January 2023
*I do not like to divide people who live in a place according to their country of origin. A place is not yours just because you were born there. A place belongs to those who live, develop and protect it. What happens in the Chinatown of Milan, but also in many multicultural neighborhoods of Italy, is that people with Italian origins do not see as positive the arrival of people from abroad. You might have experienced the same in your country, anyway, I speak for what I see here.
Whatever, get over it. Immigration is in human nature. There are no Chinese, French, Italian, or Russian..there are residents and there are tourists. Anyway, this blog does not talk about politics or social problems. It’s about good things to eat, visit, and experience. I only felt the need to explain why the use of “Chinese” vs “Italian” residents. As long as the food is good, anyone from the Far East, south or west, or north is welcome.