Panzerotti, Fried Pockets of Mozzarella and Tomato Sauce from Puglia

January 8th, 2007 · Tags: Food · Italy · Milan

  • [Photos] Make photo mosaics with Flickr photos using Mosaickr!
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  • [Addictive Game] Dominoes + a Tomato = Addictive fun with Domino Pressure Bet you can’t play just one game!

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

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30 responses so far ↓

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  • 1
    Typesetter // Jan 9, 2007 at 10:41 am

    Luini… Went there for lunch when I was a student at the university! YUM! Pity that the last time I went there I was with an asshole.

  • 2
    tracie b // Jan 9, 2007 at 11:15 am

    yum! that looks similar to the neapoltan panuozzo, bit friiiiied…you’re killin’ me girl!

  • 3
    tracie b // Jan 9, 2007 at 11:17 am

    hey, what happened to my comment?

  • 4
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Jan 9, 2007 at 11:30 am

    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!!!

  • 5
    cathy // Jan 9, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Hi! Discovered your blog – its great because I love food and I will be in Italy later this year.

  • 6
    Shelley - At Home in Rome // Jan 9, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    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.

  • 7
    Typesetter // Jan 9, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    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)

  • 8
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Jan 9, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    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.

  • 9
    nyc/caribbean ragazza // Jan 9, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    Jesus, Mary, Joseph…you are killing me with these food photos!

  • 10
    Coco // Jan 9, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    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!

  • 11
    Nicole // Jan 10, 2007 at 7:16 am

    Mmmmmm…my favorite fast food!

  • 12
    Jeffo // Jan 10, 2007 at 8:04 am

    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.


  • 13
    Alice Twain // Jan 10, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    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.)

  • 14
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Jan 10, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    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.

  • 15
    Meljean // Jan 10, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    I am now incredibly hungry for some really fantastic pizza.

  • 16
    a.c.t. // Jan 11, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    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.

  • 17
    Beth // Jan 11, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    Oh WOW does that look good. I am so jealous now!

  • 18
    Sara // Jan 12, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    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

  • 19
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Jan 12, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    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 ;)

  • 20
    Lieludalis // Jan 14, 2007 at 12:06 am

    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?!

  • 21
    davide // May 22, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    wow! i’m an italin boy! I’m happy to see your blog. I live in Milan and I know how a panzerotto can change the day! :)

  • 22
    Gringo in a Foriegn Land // Apr 7, 2008 at 10:55 am

    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.

  • 23
    Ellen Novara-da Lima // Jul 30, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    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

  • 24
    Nicole // Jan 24, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    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.

  • 25
    Anna // Feb 22, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    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! :)

  • 26
    ad rat // Apr 22, 2009 at 2:46 am

    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!

  • 27
    Rocky Patel // Mar 7, 2010 at 3:45 am

    @ 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…

  • 28
    caglar keskin // Aug 28, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Tomatoes are one of the most common vegetables all over the world. They are quickly growing plants and are favorite among most amateur gardeners so as me.
    I will start to grow tomatoes in my farm and now learning watever i can about them, thanks for information. I also
    found another good site about tomatoes and so many other methods of agriculturing, i recommend you to take a look.

  • 29
    Ejay // Dec 25, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    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!

  • 30
    Claudio // May 21, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    The best panzerotto is in Bari!! It’s ten times better than this ones! Come to Bari and try it :) and

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