Milan's Best Aperitivo Venues

Milan's Best Aperitivo Venues

Apéritifs usually are alcoholic drinks that are normally served before a meal. But in Milan the Aperitivo can actually become a fun, cheap (but not unchic) dinner with friends or (in a romantic venue) with a date. The all-you-can-eat formula allows you to buy just one drink and serve yourself with food as long as you like. After a hard day's work there's nothing better than having dinner at the price of an aperitivo.

If you think of New York City picturing those Sex & the City night-outs amongst girls, you cannot think of Milan without referring to the term “The Milan to Drink.” This is an idiomatic phrase that has been used for the past 20 years or more, after a famous advertising campaign of a Milanese aperitivo, Amaro Ramazzotti. Eventually it was also used as a journalistic expression to define the voguish circles of the 80s, during which the new welfare was expanding to new social classes. Ever since then, the Aperitivo has remained a social institution for the Milanese people who want to hang out after their working hours.
(To visit the venues mentioned in this article, check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Milan)

1. Hora Feliz

Hora Feliz
This is the best place to eat a lot of quality food while enjoying a good cocktail. The buffet is very rich of pasta, pizza, meat, vegetables, seafood, and this is one of the few Aperitivo spots that also offers a wonderful selection of desserts. It’s ideal to come in the summertime and sit outside, in the winter it can be a little more crammed, but simply because it’s so popular! The price is within the range of Milan’s drinks (8 euros). ‘Hora Feliz’ in Spanish means Happy Hour and we guarantee this is the best in town!
Where to find it:
Via San Vito 5A, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 028376587

Working Hours:
Mon-Sat: 05:00pm-02:00am
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2. Globe - Coin Mall 8th Floor

Globe - Coin Mall 8th Floor
This is the ideal setting for a chic evening with friends or even better, for a romantic date. The venue is located on the top floor of a sleek shopping mall, Coin, and has a great view on Piazza Cinque Giornate. You may also stay outdoors on the terrace in the summer or also winter time, since there are mushroom heaters that keep the patio warm. The buffet has a great selection of food at the standard price or you may pay a little extra to enjoy the additional seafood aperitivo (15 euros).
Where to find it:
Piazza Cinque Giornate 1/A, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0255181969

Working Hours:
Mon-Sat: 11:30am-10:00pm
Sun: 12:00pm-01:00am
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3. Pandenus

This venue started out as a small bakery (in Via Tadino) with extensive open hours, from early breakfast to late night treats, and has reached so much success it opened a branch section (in Corso Concordia) overlooking the beautiful Piazza Risorgimento and is still expanding. Its name tributes the Milanese traditional nut-bread and the specialties here are breads, pizzas, cakes, croissants, but for the aperitivo time you find all sorts of foods and a great selection of wines and cocktails at an average price.
Where to find it:
Corso Concordia 11, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0291760875

Working Hours:
Mon-Wed: 07:00am-01:00am
Thu-Sat: 07:00am-02:00am
Sun: 07:00am-01:00am
Offline reading and travel directions:
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4. H Club - Sheraton Diana Majestic Hotel

H Club - Sheraton Diana Majestic Hotel
This classy spot gathers businessmen, people from the fashion world, young professionals, who come here to enjoy an aperitif either in the majestic garden or in the indoor space, that boasts wonderful capitonné leather couches. The price of drinks is slightly more expensive (12 euros) but the location and atmosphere is well worth the extra. The food selection is fairly good and seasonal.
Where to find it:
Viale Piave 42, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0220582004

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun: 07:00pm-10:00pm

5. Ostello Bello

Ostello Bello
This spot has a great New York vibe and Italian food and wine tradition. It’s a hostel that accommodates in simple and cheap, but neat, clean and hospitable rooms, travelers from all over the world. Beer or wine are recommended for only 4 or 5 euros and the food, which is included, is all made expressly by the owners of the hostel. The eating area is on two levels and often the lower floor hosts great musicians who jam and perform. The Ostello Bello team traveled throughout 5 continents, visiting more than 200 hostels, before setting up this place, which is drenched with a magic multicultural atmosphere that feels like home.
Where to find it:
Via Medici 4, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0236582720

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun: 07:00pm-09:00pm

6. Ciu’s

This place is very popular amongst students because it has an outrageous buffet with all kind of hot and cold foods. The price range is average and there can be very long queues at the buffet, since people tend to go over and over...and over again to feed themselves since it’s all so good. Cocktails, wines, beer all the drinks are very good and the prices range from 4 to 10 euros according to the drink you pick and the size, which goes up to XL for cocktails.
Where to find it:
Via Gaspare Spontini 6, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0229539907

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun: 06:00pm-10:00pm

7. Blender Bar

Blender Bar
Another young and delicious location to eat good food (sometimes also dessert) and enjoy great drinks. The price is customary, no wonder it may get very crowded since the value for money is convenient for the quality of service offered. Blender Bar is popular amongst young people as well as older customers who want to have a good time after work.
Where to find it:
Piazzale Susa 7, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 027490200

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun: 05:00pm-10:00pm

8. Le Biciclette

Le Biciclette
Literally ‘The Bicycles’ is a great hip art-bar. Not only is there great food and drinks, but the venue often hosts art exhibitions and concerts of fledgeling artists and musicians. The opportunity given to young talents to show their work gives this place an innovative and dynamic flair and is also very popular within the international community. The price is within the norm and the ambiance is both spacy and cozy as well as discrete and quiet.
Where to find it:
Via Torti 2, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0258104325

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun: 06:00pm-10:00pm

9. Galleria Meravigli Bistrot

Galleria Meravigli Bistrot
The architectural structure of this location will take your breathe away. The Bistrot is set within the extraordinary liberty-style arcade and the interior design opted for shabby-chic decors. There’s a sophisticated selection of cocktails, scrumptious food, for the habitual aperitif price. This location is extremely relaxing, since you can chill out and have a proper chat without having to raise your voice for the noise.
Where to find it:
Via Meravigli 3, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0239831231

Working Hours:
Mon-Fri: 07:00am-06:00pm
Sat: 08:00am-04:00pm
Sun: 10:00am-04:00pm

10. Cafè Brellin

Cafè Brellin
Set by the alluring Navigli (the water Canal of Milan that dates back to the 1400 and boasts Leonardo da Vinci as one of the engineers), Cafè Brellin is a great location of the old Milanese tradition. The venue often hosts photograph and art exhibits. In the summertime the aperitivo is often accompanied by jam sessions of a tiny band that plays outside, next to the narrow street ‘Vicolo dei Lavandai’ dedicated to the washermen, since in the 1700s and the 1800s it was the men who did the laundry.
Where to find it:
Vicolo dei Lavandai Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 14, 20144 Milano, Italy

Phone: +39 0258101351

Working Hours:
Open 7 days a week at lunch and dinner
Mon-Sun: 12:30pm-03:00pm; 06:30pm-01:00am

11. Yguana

The design makes customers feel like they were in a small oasis in the jungle of the bustling city. As a matter of fact you’ll be able to relax yourself with great music, a rich and delicious buffet and very friendly barkeepers. We recommend you try the “fortissimo” cocktail, which is the super strong version, for those who want to be forever young.
Where to find it:
Via Papa Gregorio XIV 16, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0289404195

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun: 05:30pm-09:30pm

12. Slice Cafè

Slice Cafè
After 10 years of activity, this is one of the best spots where you can enjoy the aperitivo. It’s set near the Naviglio Pavese and the frescos that are inside the venue portray the history of the Navigli. The clientele embraces all ages, for the variety of food and drinks, and the timeless magic that perspires.
Where to find it:
Via Ascanio Sforza 9, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0258105366

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun: 06:00pm-02:00pm

13. Bibendum

This is ideal for wine lovers, as it is specialized in wine. The products are of refined quality, from the charcuterie to the cheese; whereas for the wines we suggest the whites Chablis, Traminer, Falanghinae Fiano di avellino and the reds Primitivo, Negroamaro, Brunello, Cabernet, Merlote Valpollicella. Also the selection of beer is very selected like the artisan micro-brewed Baladin, Oro di Parma, Dupont, Blanche de Namur, Rochefort, Moinet, Chimay and Orval.
Where to find it:
Via Adelaide Ristori 2, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0229531654

Working Hours:
Mon,Sun: 12:00pm-03:00pm; 06:00pm-01:00am
Tue-Sat: 12:00pm-03:00pm; 06:30pm-01:00am

14. Peugeot is Bobino Club

Peugeot is Bobino Club
If you’re trendy, fashionista and nightclubber, you’ll feel at home here. The venue has recently moved to a larger and more sophisticated location. The name was inspired by the historical Parisian music hall in Montparnasse, where the biggest names of the 20th century performed. The Milanese adaptation of the French cabaret is huge and varied, the garden is incredibly alluring, especially in the summer when it is staged as a beach, ‘Playa.’ If you want to dance after the aperitivo, the repertoire changes each night, from house music to revivals of the 80s and 90s.
Where to find it:
Alzaia Naviglio Grande 116, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0236559070 or +39 3453385882

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun: 10:30am-01:30pm or 02:00pm-07:00pm

15. SHU Lounge

SHU Lounge
This disco-pub was beautifully designed by the famous Italian architect Fabio Novembre, and its structure is part of the study program at the faculty of Architecture in Milan. The fun in coming here, besides the abundant aperitivo, is that you may continue your night out on the dance floor in the room with the DJ mix-set.
Where to find it:
Via Molino delle Armi / Via della Chiusa, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0258315720

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun: 06:30pm-10:00pm

16. BhangraBar

A solid front-door of inlaid wood, with a brass door-knocker ,will lead you to the gateway of Indian-aperitivo. The fairytale design, the delicious Indian and continental cuisine along with a wide variety of international cocktails will give way to a fantastic spicy experience. In the summertime you may sit outside and enjoy the view of the imperious Arch of Peace, dating back to the 19th century, whose origins trace back to a gate of the Roman walls.
Where to find it:
Corso Sempione 1, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0234934469

Working Hours:
Mon-Sat: 06:00pm-02:00am
Sun: 12:00pm-03:00pm; 06:00pm-02:00am

17. Wasabi

Both venues (in Via Solferino 27 and in Via Ponte Vetero 14), are set in the heart of Brera district, where there are Academy of Fine Arts and the Art Gallery. Wasabi offers a marvelous choice of Asian food for an usual Nipponic aperitivo. Sushi, noodles, Chinese contaminations and a touch of Asian fusion here and there will delight your palate combined to great choice of cocktails.
Where to find it:
Via Solferino 27, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0236527340

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun: 06:30pm-09:00pm

18. Riad Yacout

Riad Yacout
For those who want a touch of Middle-East they will love this classy Moroccan venue. The aperitivo embraces the traditional ritual of mint tea, hookah (the water-pipe) and Maghrebi food. The decorations recall the typical souk (typical Arabic market), and the atmosphere is enriched by belly dance performances and in some occasions there’s the chance of getting henna tattoos.
Where to find it:
Via Cadore 23-25, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 025462230

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun: 06:30pm-02:30am

19. Fiat Executive Lounge

Fiat Executive Lounge
The posh venue, that is named after the most ancient car company in Italy, Fiat, is big and tranquil, ideal for large events or more intimate dates. The canopied seats are ideal to loosen up and the food selection is fairly good. The ethnic decorations give it a special charm for a peaceful happy hour.
Where to find it:
Via Alessio di Tocqueville 3, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0229002267

Working Hours:
Mon,Tue: Closed
Wed-Sun: 06:30pm-02:00am

20. Deseo

Liquors and delights in a comfy embracing environment is the experience you’ll have at Deseo. The rich buffet changes menu each week and has a great choice of finger food, seafood, foccacia bread and charcuterie. The bartenders are just as nice as their cocktails.
Where to find it:
Corso Sempione 2, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 02315164

Working Hours:
Mon-Thu,Sun: 08:00am-02:00am
Fri-Sat: 08:00am-03:00am

21. Bar Magenta

Bar Magenta
This is a historical spot of Milan for two reasons. The first is that the area of town is one of the oldest: where there are great landmarks such as the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio, the Sforza Castle with the moat and drawbridge and Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. The second historical reason is that Bar Magenta was very popular during the 70s as a gathering place for the cultural debate on change. Today it’s very popular amongst the students of the Cattolica University, which is close-by.
Where to find it:
Via Giosué Carducci 13, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 028053808

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun: 06:00pm-10:00pm

22. Trattoria Toscana

Trattoria Toscana
Located near Colonne di San Lorenzo (the best-known Roman ruin in Milan), Trattoria Toscana was founded by four friends in 1972. Elio, Luciano, Jolita and Mara made it a hub of the student activism of the time; and today it’s just as popular for the exquisite cuisine and great energy. There’s nothing better than to enjoy a drink in the winter garden, set within the venue.
Where to find it:
Corso di Porta Ticinese 58, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0289406292

Working Hours:
Mon-Sat: 06:30pm-02:00am
Sun: Closed

23. Blues Canal

Blues Canal
Here you’ll enjoy bountiful food, wonderful cocktails and live jazz music. This pub, with a British flair, is illuminated by a dim enchanting light inside, whilst outside you can enjoy a postcard landscape. This bar was funded 15 years ago by Patron Gattullo, who wanted to recreate in the city of Milan a taste of the places he had visited as a young man. His memories of the blues musicians he met traversing the Mississippi river and the encounter with the Irish architect, McNally, gave birth to the Blues Canal.
Where to find it:
Via Casale 7, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 028360799

Working Hours:
Tue-Sun: 06:00pm-10:00pm

24. Le Banque

Le Banque
This is the most popular and chic disco in town. Elegant dress code, high selection of DJs, but it’s just as great for happy hour. If you want a classy aperitivo in the slack centre of Milan (just behind the Duomo) you can’t miss this venue. The design is flamboyant with voluminous armchairs that imitate Baroque style. It’s definitely an entertaining place to hang out.
Where to find it:
Via Porrone Bassano 6, Milano, Italy

Phone: +39 0286996565

Working Hours:
Mon-Fri: 09:00-18:00

25. Jamaica

The ‘Scapigliatura’ is the name of the artistic movement which developed in Italy after the period known as ‘Risorgimento’ (going from 1815 with the Congress of Vienna to 1871 after the Capture of Rome, with the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, after the unification of the various states in 1861). In Milan, during this period (which is the equivalent of the French bohème), artists, poets, writers, musicians, painters and sculptures would all come to Jamaica. Today the cultural tradition continues through some photography exhibits that are hosted by the venue. It’s an abiding privilege to enjoy a drink (food is extra) in the same venue where the Milanese songwriter, Enzo Jannacci, sang in the 1964 movie ‘La vita agra’ (It’s a hard life), by the Italian director, writer, film critic and Academy Award nominee Carlo Lizzani.
Where to find it:
Via Brera 32, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 02876723

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun: 07:30pm-09:30pm

26. Fashion Cafè

Fashion Cafè
If you want to be in vogue, you have to try at least once the stylish aperitivo in this venue. The interior design is based on the desire to give a “home experience” while savouring a great cocktail with the happy hour’s food. A vintage lunch counter, a scenographic fireplace, a bookcase, a sofa and some poufs here and there kindled by the abat-jour light will take you back to a 50s setting.
Where to find it:
Via San Marco 1, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 026572021

Working Hours:
Mon-Sun: 08:30am-02:00am

27. BaoBar

This is the place where Brazil meets Africa with merriment and glamour. Exquisite cocktails with a delicious food can be enjoyed throughout the week, as art exhibits get hosted from time to time. On winter Tuesdays you may try wine tasting, on Wednesdays you can be delighted by live Bossa Nova, on Thursdays there’s a DJ and Fridays is when all the fashion models hang out and are captured by the photographer’s flash who then shares the pictures on the venue’s social media.
Where to find it:
Via Bartolomeo Eustachi 24, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0229533696

Working Hours:
Mon-Thu: 08:00am-01:00am
Fri: 08:00am-02:00am
Sat-Sun: 09:00am-02:00am

28. Jazz Cafè

Jazz Cafè
Live jazz fills the red and wooden ambiance, illuminated by large chandeliers. The customers in the summertime can dwell with their drink in Corso Sempione, with a Cuba Libre cocktail in their hands and a plate of delicious food. Apparently this is where the Nespresso commercial was filmed, starring George Clooney and John Malkovich.
Where to find it:
Corso Sempione 8, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0233604039

Working Hours:
Mon-Thu: 08:00am-02:00am
Fri: 08:00am-03:00am
Sat: 12:00pm-03:00am
Sun: 12:00pm-02:00am

29. Bar Basso

Bar Basso
Food isn’t included, but Bar Basso had to be mentioned in this guide, since this is the place where the first Aperitivo was born, back in the 50s. There’s a selection of 500 cocktails: each one is presented in gigantic glasses filled with huge chunks of ice. In the summertime the specialty is the “Mangia e Bevi” (eat and drink) a homemade ice-cream accompanied with fruit and drowned in liquor. Hence you eat first and drink at the end, the original recipe, that dates back to 1968 and was invented by Mirko Stocchetto, and is composed by two scoops of vanilla ice-cream, one scoop of hazelnut, a dose of zabaglione liquor, a dose of chocolate liquor and one of Cherry Brandy and everything is topped with strawberries.
Where to find it:
Via Plinio 39, Milan, Italy

Phone: +39 0229400580

Working Hours:
Mon,Wed,Thu,Fri,Sat,Sun: 09:00am-01:15pm
Tue: Closed
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