Panzerotti, Fried Pockets of Mozzarella and Tomato Sauce from Puglia

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I would like you to meet a good friend of mine. The Panzerotto.

This southern Italy treat is a clear favorite of mine and I’m lucky that in Milan, miles and miles away from Puglia and my normal suppliers, I have a suitable fix for these. Fratelli Luini are Pugliese by origin but by now they are definitely Milanese, having had an establishment in Milan when my Italian ancestors were still in the country!

The Line at Luini's

Apparently I’m not the only one who has heard of Luini – the line can be rather intimidating at times, but it goes quick. Also, sometimes you have what I call a “stupid line” which means people see a single line and queue up without realizing that you can go in either door and order (other door not visible in picture), and there is even a nice little sign on the other door saying “Order here” which the “stupid line” tends to ignore. So if you’re faced with a single “stupid” line, make sure you pop in the other door and order straight away.

I’d rather have the line than a second location and then the quality becomes suspect and you have decide which location to “favor.” Though I hear tell that the quality “has gone down in recent years,” they are quite good to me!


A panzerotto is simply a pocket of pizza dough filled with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, which is then closed and deep-fried. I have seen some mentions of panzerotti as “pizzas folded in half and fried” which is not correct. First of all, you are not holding a half of a pizza in your hands, it is much smaller. In fact, Luini’s are considered on the large side. The traditional panzerotto has only tomatoes and cheese inside or else there is commonly a prosciutto cotto (ham) & cheese version. Anything beyond that are more “specialist” panzerotti and you won’t find them everywhere, though they do exist – salami, mushrooms, pistachios are all popular fillings. There are even dessert panzerotti!

The Panzerotto

Luini makes tons of the traditional pomodoro e mozzarella version, and since they are constantly baking, I have never encountered a cold one, and usually get lucky as a steaming hot batch comes out from the back. With the other specialist versions, less requested and therefore less frequently made, you may run the risk of a lukewarm, yet delicious panzerotto.

There are also “baked” versions of panzerotti (not at Luini) which are also good and may be more attractive to those on a diet….but then they start to approach the realm of a Calzone.

Inside the Panzerotto

This is one of my favorite stops and it is literally feet from the Duomo – a nice snack to keep you going if you don’t want to sit down and eat at one of the overpriced, touristy restaurants in that area!

Check out their site for a map and more information:
Panificio F.lli – Via Radegonda, 16, Milan


  1. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    Haahaha Silvia, why don’t we go again, and I promise not to be an asshole?

    Tracie, I got some spam that was actually written like a comment (bored people out there) and so my filter held everything and I had to approve it, sorry!!!

  2. says

    Sara, what up with all the luscious food photos lately? Yer makin’ me hungry!! I don’t know of anywhere good to get panzerotti here in Rome. I’ve seen them at the IKEA cafe but that DEFINITELY doesn’t count.

  3. says

    Uhm… How about next week? I also have a place that makes decent panzerotti near my office here in Loreto. We may join forces for a panserotto followed by a super gelato for the Gelato tour! (Supposed the cold passes, ’cause gelato is cold and cold causes colds… ;-P)

  4. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    All, bear with me as my spam filter is holding comments. Boo.

    Welcome Cathy! Your blog link is “forbidden” :( Anyone that loves food is welcome here :)

    Shelley…that’s ok if we can’t find panzerotti – when I come visit you, we’re getting Arancini from Mondo Arancino!!

    Silvia, a panzerotto followed by a gelato??? Is that legal in this country??? As long as you protect me from the Food Police, I am definitely interested!! Loreto isn’t far from me. Let’s plan it.

  5. says

    Long time lurker – first time commenter! Your food posts always bring back fond memories for me. 15 years ago, I went for a summer semester at the University for Foreigners in Perugia, and almost every day would stop by a pizzeria tucked away on a side street for a panzerotto. I am so jealous of your culinary opportunities!

    I made butternut squash hummus from your posted recipe for a Thanksgiving appetizer. It came out fabulous!

  6. says

    We have a little place that does these in Brindisi but they call them a “fritta”. They’re only 1.50 so it’s tempting to get 2!! On the walls around the counter they have news articles about a local going to Houston, Texas and opening a shop.


    • Kathleen says

      Is the place in Brindisi still open? We lived there in the mid 70’s and learned to make these by copying a place in Brindisi. What is the name of the restaurant? I would love to learn more about one of my family’s traditions.

  7. says

    As slong as you will still fit in yourclothes after the food, yes, it’s fully legal! Unfortunately this week I am totally out of order with a really bad cold that gets worse every day. (She goes back to sipping her lemon and gignger tea.)

  8. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    nyc, just think of all the photographs I DIDN’T take! :) Nicole, favorite fast food arancini or panzerotti? I’ll take both. :) Jeffo, I’ve never heard of fritta!! Will have to try. AliceTwain, when you feel better, let me know.

  9. says

    I don’t believe it, what a lovely surprise to see a post about Luini. Everytime I go back to visit my Grandma in Milan, I have to go to this place, I love it. It’s definitely worth the wait.

  10. says

    I love that place! When we are in Milano, we always have to make a stop there! Luckily my husband knows how to work the line, so we have’t ever ended up in the stupid line. Without him though, that is something I would totally do! hehe

  11. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    Meljean, I get hungry myself. Why do I keep doing this to myself! :) a.c.t., welcome! It’s definitely a comfort food. Beth, u can always come and visit. Sara, thank goodness you don’t get in the stupid line ;)

  12. Lieludalis says

    I may have to break new years resolution (no deep fried food) as it looks like we may be in Milan by March…3 months is good though, right?!

  13. Gringo in a Foriegn Land says

    Panzerotti!!!!! when i studied in Milano i would try to have at least one a day!!! It is one the best memories from Milano, i can taste them now. ok, i’m drooling on the keyboard. gotta go book my flight to milan. thanks for that, stupid line and all, ha.

  14. Ellen Novara-da Lima says

    Panzerotti!!!! Luini………… everytime we are in Milano we have to go to Luini to eat a Panzerotti. My husband is Italian and comes from Milano. I know him now already 15 years, meanwhile we have a daughter of 9 years old and she loves panzerotti’s… we stand in the line and you do not have to wait that long, for such a nice food. I try to make my own now… wish me luck!!

    Buon apetito
    Ellen Novara-da Lima
    Drachten, Olanda

  15. says

    These look to DIE for! I actually found your site when my friend from Milan gave me the link during instant messaging. She was telling me about them and wanted to show a photo and found you. I am so mad that she didn’t take me here when I went to visit her! With luck I will go back sooner than later.

    Nice blog! I will have to peruse some more. I just love Italy and Europe in general.

  16. says

    The panzerotti’s at Luini are to die for! Had my first two weeks ago! But, sometimes they have mini ones at the bar Noon, witch is located in Cadorna. They serve them there as a part of the aperitivo buffe! So freaking good! You should check it out! :)

  17. ad rat says

    Oh, lord, take me now! These are so good and the best reason to go to Milan. My husband used to work at La Scala, and he took me there on my first trip to Italy. The crowds, the steaming hot panzes, the errant wax paper floating across the street. Oh, this is killing me. I hafta go back!

  18. says

    @ Jeff00 I’m in Houston and would kill for a fritta! I am trying desperately to find this place, as I haven’t been able to return to Italy for a delicious hot panze! Amazing. Pictures are magnificent and made my mouth water…

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  20. Ejay says

    I thought you were going to share the recipe. We discovered this in early Nov of 2010 while Louis Vuitton shopping (yeah, a bit socialite in Milan!) and holy cow….it was hard to determine which line to wait in…Panzerotti or LV! hahaha..I think you know the answer to this! Thanks for sharing your tummy thoughts with us…by the way, I will wait in any line for the recipe!

  21. Kathleen says

    My family lived in Italy in the 70’s and we learned to make these yummy sandwiches. We call them fritillis and use ham, cheese, and tomatoes. I have searched for a long time to find the original and your site posted it for me. Loved reading your post and about your experience.

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