Best Aperitivo venues

Best Aperitivo venues, Milan, Italy (D)

In Milan the traditional ‘Aperitivo’ combines drinks with a large buffet that satisfies hunger. But it’s more than a simple happy hour, it’s a city tradition. This guide selects the best places in the city where you can eat for the price of a drink in chic or hip venues.
How it works: The full article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the sights featured in this article. The app's navigation functions guide you from one sight to the next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Sights Featured in This Article

Guide Name: Best Aperitivo venues
Guide Location: Italy » Milan
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (D))
# of Attractions: 30
Author: Chiara Isabella Spagnoli Gabardi
Author Bio: Chiara is a globetrotting storyteller. Film critic, reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. After attending a British school in Milan, she graduated in Political Sciences, got a Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Her work experience embraces film, television and radio; as for her paintings they've been exhibited in Milan, Rome, Venice, London and Manhattan.
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Hora Feliz
  • Globe - Coin Mall 8th Floor
  • Pandenus
  • H Club - Sheraton Diana Majestic Hotel
  • Ostello Bello
  • Ciu’s
  • Blender Bar
  • Roialto
  • Le Biciclette
  • Galleria Meravigli Bistrot
  • Cafè Brellin
  • Yguana
  • Slice Cafè
  • Bibendum
  • Peugeot is Bobino Club
  • SHU Lounge
  • BhangraBar
  • Wasabi
  • Riad Yacout
  • Fiat Executive Lounge
  • Deseo
  • Bar Magenta
  • Trattoria Toscana
  • Blues Canal
  • Le Banque
  • Jamaica
  • Fashion Cafè
  • BaoBar
  • Jazz Cafè
  • Bar Basso
Hora Feliz

1) 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!
Globe - Coin Mall 8th Floor

2) 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).

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.
H Club - Sheraton Diana Majestic Hotel

4) 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.
Ostello Bello

5) 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.

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.
Blender Bar

7) 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.

8) Roialto

This venue is elegant, with a futuristic-vintage allure. The oxymoronic design welds old-fashioned bookcases with modern and comfy couches, armchairs and tables. If you want to have excellent drinks and food for the average cost of an aperitivo, this is the place to come. It’s particularly fun to queue in each booth that is specialized in different foods. There’s the pasta booth, the meat booth, the fish booth, the cheese booth and so forth.
Le Biciclette

9) 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.
Galleria Meravigli Bistrot

10) 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.
Cafè Brellin

11) 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.

12) 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.
Slice Cafè

13) 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.

14) 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.
Peugeot is Bobino Club

15) 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.
SHU Lounge

16) 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.

17) 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.

18) 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.
Riad Yacout

19) 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.
Fiat Executive Lounge

20) 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.

21) 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.
Bar Magenta

22) 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.
Trattoria Toscana

23) 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.
Blues Canal

24) 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.
Le Banque

25) 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.

26) 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.
Fashion Cafè

27) 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.

28) 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.
Jazz Cafè

29) 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.
Bar Basso

30) 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.

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