For tourists, eating pizza and pasta are a must when visiting Italy. However, after a few days of a total carb overload, it's refreshing to try something different. But wait - Italians don't only eat pizza and pasta? As a Milan native, I can vouch for the fact that our diet consists of more just pasta and pizza. And I have done extensive legwork to find unique eateries that are near the bulk of tourist attractions in the center of Milan. 

Below is a list of 5 eateries that aren't pizzerias, but are absolutely delicious and capture the essence of true Italian cuisine.

1. Obicà Mozzarella Bar

fish, meat, vegetable
Marie Chantal Marauta

A global chain that rose to prominence as a small, hip bar in Milan's city center, Obicà Mozzarella Bar serves scrumptious dishes made with different variations of fresh mozzarella. Try their succulent handmade Bufala Classica, their thick Burrata from Puglia or their creamy Stracciatella, paired with your choice of salumi, such as prosciutto cotto/crudo, bresaola or salami, fish like, anchovies, salmon or tuna, or vegetables. It's the perfect place for a refreshing, light bite. 

2. SlowSud 

loin, spinach, pork
Marie Chantal Marauta

A hidden gem on Via Torino, SlowSud Cucine di Strada is a cozy restaurant serving Southern Italian street food with a gourmet flourish. From their Sicilian Club Sandwich, made from citrus-marinated prawns, crunchy Italian bacon, and spinach to their Cosimo skewers, made of grilled beef wrapped in bacon and stuffed with Provola cheese and spinach (and pictured above), SlowSud offers an authentic culinary experience of the more exotic cuisine of the South. 

3. Bar Martini 

Marie Chantal Marauta

A creation of the partnership between Dolce&Gabbana and the alcoholic beverage company Martini, Bar Martini is a chic but affordable restobar just off of the famous shopping street Via Monte Napoleone. With plates such as their juicy lobster burger served with banana chips (pictured above), as well as their squid with orange and honey, black rice, and dried fruit, Bar Martini offers a more abstract menu for the culinarily adventurous. Extra points for their glamorous yet relaxed, La Dolce Vita-like ambience. 

4. Luini 

cake, bread
Marie Chantal Marauta

One of Milan's prime tourist hotspots, Luini's is known for its delicious panzerotti: crunchy dough pockets filled with melty cheese, tomato sauce, and many other choices of filling. Though panzerotti are a common Italian treat, Luini's makes them extra special: their dough is just the right amount of crunch on the outside, and warm softness on the inside. Plus they include just enough mozzarella so that it doesn't overwhelm one with cheesiness. The overall experience makes one's tastebuds tingle. 

5. Magnum Pleasure Store

cake, cream, chocolate
Marie Chantal Marauta

Awkward sexual name aside, the Magnum Pleasure Store is one of central Milan's gastronomical treasures. Create your own Magnum ice cream stick with the choice of ice cream flavor, chocolate coat, and up to three complementary toppings. Otherwise, the Pleasure Store's menu has things like a fondue tower for two, waffles, and freshly-made brioches.

Their refreshing Aperol-based spritzers are a plus, and you can combine either spritzers or champagne with a Magnum stick for as little as €10. It's a great place to feed both your sweet tooth and your more refined tastes. 

So there you have it. Break out of the pizza bubble and check out these places the next time you're in Milan.

For more articles on Italian cuisine, check out the following: 

I'm From Milan But These Obscure Italian Foods Transformed My Palette

How to Eat in Italy Without Looking Like a Tourist

25 Foods Every Study Abroad Student Needs to Eat in Florence