Panettone is a Christmas time sweet bread eaten all over Italy and now the world. What many don’t realize when their noshing on this delicious treat is that this holiday bread originated in Milan back in the middle ages.
Fast forward a few centuries and you have pastry shops all over Milan vying for the title of the best panettone. Many of the bakeries in the running for the title have a mother (starter) dough that they have used for decades, others have a secret recipe that has been passed down for generations, others still are relative newcomers to the field, but have applied their skill to achieve fabulous results.
But what all of these pastry shops have in common is their need for time - a traditional artisan Milanese panettone takes no less than 48 hours to make (with a few insisting you need 72 hours to obtain panettone excellence). Whatever combination of the above-mentioned secrets they use, the pastry shops on this list will blow out of the water whatever industrial panettone you’ve been eating so far.
If you’re in Milan over the holidays, why not go on a panettone tour? Visit all of these pastry shops in one day provided that your sugar levels can take it. If not, feel free to space out your sugar high over a few days.
Not in Milan? No worries. Almost all of these pastry shops will ship their airy treats to destinations around the globe.
So without further ado, here is my list for the best all natural panettone in Milan, in alphabetical order.
Considered by many as one of the best chocolatiers in Milan, this pastry maker also dives into the panettone making field during the holidays. Not to be missed: Their special edition Knamettone 2017 made with semi-candied lemons from Sorrento and green cardamom.
This has been my go-to neighborhood pastry shop for years. So much part of my every day, I almost didn’t include it in this list, except I’m not the only person that thinks this pastry shop is excellent. Go if you want a completely off the beaten path place that only the locals go to (I personally love going on Sundays where I can witness the orchestrated madness of people coming and going) Oh, and definitely order their candied chestnut panettone, I’m usually daydreaming about it until Easter.
This is one of the lesser known of the historic Milanese pastry shops, not because of their lack of talent but because of their old school ways. Website, what website? The one linked above is under construction and ugly. What they don’t have in PR skills they make up by producing award-winning panettone.
"Da Giacomo" is a Milanese culinary institution. A family run business that started out with grandpa Giacomo. Giulia and Elena now run the family pastry, turning out delectable treats and of course a delicous panettone. While they don't have an official online shop, feel free to contact them, they do ship.
Founded in 1966, this pastry shop has awards to back up its claim as being one of the best pastry shops in Italy. They are primarily known for the sacher torte, so it only makes sense that they also produce a sacher panettone.
The Marchesi pastry shop has been a hallmark of quality Milanese pastries since 1824. You can still visit the original location on via Santa Maria alla Porta 11/a filled with glass cases framed with honey-colored wood and charming waiters in bow ties. A few years ago the Prada group acquired this piece of Milanese culinary history, and opened new locations in Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II and via Monte Napoleone 9.
Go to their pastry shop for the ambiance and the opportunity to place special orders like panettone filled with Chantilly cream or made with candied chestnuts. Online they keep it simple offering only three types of Christmas cakes: two types of panetonne— the classic with candied fruit and raisins and another with only raisin (no candied fruit)— and finally pandoro, an Italian “golden bread” made with flour, sugar, eggs, and butter.
Order online at https://store.pasticceriamarchesi.com/en/marchesiit
This is what happens when skilled Italian hipster pastry makers open up a coffee shop and bakery. Not only is this place cool, but there is also all the substance one could ever hope for to back it up. In other words, good luck getting a table on the weekend without a 30-minute wait.
This historic pastry shop (since 1909) is just plain pretty. That’s the first thought that comes to mind every single time I pass by, but especially over the holidays when it’s all decked out in evergreens and lights. Under their festive panettone packaging, you’ll find any number of flavors ranging from traditional to panettone with walnuts and dates.
Photo credits to the websites of the respective pastry shops, expect for P. Cucchi which is from Tripadvisor.