Keep Calm and Carry a Cone: Where to Eat Gelato in Milan, Day or Night

| Wed, 05/15/2024 - 14:47
Enjoying Gelato in Porta Nuova, Milan
A group enjoys gelato in the Porta Nuova area of Milan / Photo: Arcansel via Shutterstock

Enjoying a gelato on an evening stroll is basically an Italian birthright.

So when the city of Milan proposed a ban that could have potentially restricted nighttime sales of Italy’s famous frozen dessert, it triggered swift backlash.

Aimed at curbing rowdy behavior and nighttime loitering in increasingly party-prone areas of the city, the proposed decree originally included vague wording about takeout food that critics argued would be used to penalize retailers and prevent residents from enjoying lifestyle niceties like a late-night gelato. 

City officials have since held town hall meetings with residents and clarified that the decree will only affect outdoor seating, takeaway alcoholic beverages and sales by street vendors. Gelato sales, in other words, have been spared.

The scoop

crowds in the Navigli area of Milan
Crowds in the Navigli neighborhood of Milan / Photo: Florin Cnejevici via Shutterstock

The modified decree, published on May 13, will be in effect from May 20 to November 4, according to the latest statement from the City of Milan. It addresses neighborhoods prone to movida — a Spanish word meaning outdoor nightlife — in particular. In addition to prohibiting outdoor seating in the affected areas from 1am to 6am on weekdays and 2am to 6am on Saturdays and Sundays, the decree restricts the sale of takeaway alcohol between midnight and 6am and requires merchants to store products “in inaccessible places, drawing attention the ban with signage and notices.” Itinerant vendors are also prevented from operating between 8pm and 6am. 

Officials say the goal of the ordinance is “to guarantee everyone’s enjoyment of public space as well as residents’ rest, and to balance these with the freedom to gather and the business development of commercial establishments.”

With that in mind and with warmer weather just around the corner, we at Italy Magazine rounded up five of our favorite gelaterie in Milan (including at least one that’s open after midnight). Whatever time of day or night you indulge, keep calm and carry your cone, then be kind and find a bin. 

Gruppo Artico

Gruppo Artico Gelaterie has been awarded “three cones” by Gambero Rosso – a leading authority on Italian food, wine and travel. Considered one of the top ice cream parlors in Milan, it has four locations in the Brera, Isola, Città Studi and Duomo areas (though the Duomo location winds down around aperitivo hour). Artico features flavors including small batches of various shades of chocolate to Bronte pistachio to seasonal fruits. At the Isola location is a gelato school led by master artisan ice cream maker Maurizio Poloni. Together with his staff, he trains students in the frozen arts.

Via Porro Lambertenghi 15, Via Dogana 1, Via Bergognone 27 and Via Giovanni Pacini 17 / Website


Pavé is one of our teams top picks for gelato in Milan / Photo: Pavé-Gelati&Granite

At Pavé-Gelati&Granite you’ll discover creamy gelato, fruit sorbets and granite, all using only natural ingredients. Three best friends founded Pavé in 2012 to achieve their dream of owning a place known for excellence in Italian pastry making. After being awarded Best Bar in Milan and among the 50 top pastry shops by Gambero Rosso for eight years straight, in 2016 the team launched a small gelato shop in the heart of Milan and the rest is ice cream history.

Italy Magazine’s Milan-based Director of Partnerships Liz Shemaria says she ate “the best apricot-jam filled brioche of [her] life” at Pavé, but that the black sesame gelato was what really won her over. 

Pavé’s Via Cesare Battisti shop closes up at 8pm, but the buzzy Via Cadore location stays open until midnight on Sunday to Thursday and until 12.30am on Friday and Saturday.

Via Cadore 30 and Via Cesare Battisti 21 / Website


With a vast choice of traditional ingredients like hazelnuts from Piedmont and liquorice from Calabria, LatteNeve also offers a menu of unusual flavors such as cardamom-coffee, salted peanut and cinnamon-chocolate-peperoncino (chili pepper). Our best tip? When they ask if you want a swirl of their homemade whipped cream on top of your scoop, the right answer is always yes.

Via Vigevano 27 / Instagram

Ciacco Lab

Unconventional flavors and organic ingredients set Ciacco Lab apart / Photo: Ciacco Lab

A popular vegan-friendly gelateria sandwiched between the Duomo and Piazza Cordusio, here everything is organic and natural. The laboratory is strongly rooted in the local territories and sustainability, so you can count on it never skimping on the good stuff. It does, however, leave artificial additives, flavors and colors behind. Instead of plain old vanilla, opt for a scoop of “Beeswax” made with beeswax-infused mascarpone cream, or “Acid,” an aged vinegar sorbet flavored with sumac and combava (Thai lime).

Via Spadari 13 / Website

Gusto 17 

A Gambero Rosso two-cone recipient, nostalgia-inducing Gusto 17’s tiny parlor overlooks the Navigli canal on Via Savona (with another location in the Arco della Pace neighborhood). Gusto offers a wide choice of creamy delights and fresh fruit sorbets — from traditional to hip flavors. They’re even open to customer requests for new flavors. Plus, their adorable vintage-style ice cream cart can be booked for events and special occasions and is guaranteed to bring out the kid in you.

Via Savona 17 and Via Luigi Cagnola 10 / Website