In most countries we go directly to the restaurant and have a drink while we study the menu. In Milan you start with an aperitivo.
Over the last couple of years the Milanese aperitivo, or as they call it happy hour, has evolved from being a quick cocktail into becoming an event that sometimes stretches over the entire night and the snacks have become a buffet, that doesn’t wake your appetite but stills your hunger.’
Via Tortona/Via Savona area:
Via Tortona /Via Savona (find on map) is an area with many cool brunch/lunch places and small boutiques and in the evening it’s a great place to have an aperitivo.
Gogol & Company 101, Via Savona (find on map) is a charming bookstore/art gallery/café/bar with a great aperitivo in unusual surroundings.Opening hours Tuesday-Sunday 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Outside the beaten track but relatively close to MUDEC and Corso Vercelli:
Tagiura ristorante, 5,Via Tagiura (find on map) – not extremely central but an absolute must for aperitivo and lunch.
Another good area to have an aperitivo together with the Milanese in is the very cosy Isola area (find on map). The best street is Via P. Borsieri (find on map) where the legendary jazz place Blue Note is too.
Here you also find super cool and beautiful Café Gorille, 20, Via Gaetano de Castillia (find on map) which is rich on atmosphere.
The Navigli area is also rich on aperitivo places such as Manhattan Navigli at 13, Ripa di Porta Ticinese (find on map).
Mag café at 43, Ripa di Porta Ticinese (find on map).
Porta Romana Area:
Swami Cafë (find on map) – near Porta Romana, 12, Viale Montenero.
Lacerba Cocktail bar, 4, Via Orti (find on map) in the Porta Romana area. This place is fast becoming one of the favourites with the choosy Milanese.
God save the food, 1, Piazza del Carmine (find on map) high quality buffet and cocktails right in the center of Milan in Brera.
Terrazza di Maison Moschino, Hotel Moschino,(find on map) it is a little pricier than most places (10-15€). It’s on 12, Viale Monte Grappa , super chic and very fashion.
105, Corso Garibaldi (find on map)
8-1.30 am Monday to Thursday, 8-2 am Friday and Saturday and 10-1.30 am Sunday, not the cheapest place in Milan but great location and service.
On your way back from a shopping tour Tramè is a great place to have an aperitivo, in the middle of Brera and very lively (find on map) you may already know the place from a lunch! You won’t get any snacks here, just an excellent drink but you can try some of their delicious sandwiches with it, but you have to buy those on the side..
Porta Vittoria area:
That’s Vapore 5, Corso di Porta Vittoria (find on map).
Corso Buenos Aires area.
Nottingham Forest, 1, Viale Piave (find on map) it has made it to the prestigious list of 50 Great Bars of the World published by the English Class Magazine. Very international crowd and their cocktails are pure molecular science.
Bar Basso, 39, Via Plinio (find on map) One of Milan’s historical cocktailbars, Inventors of the drink Negroni Sbagliato. Close to shopping area Corso Buenos Aires.
And then there is Mimmo very close to Porta Venezia at 34, Via Sirtori (find on map)