Anyone who has me on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat will know that I spent most of my evenings on my year abroad out, discovering all the fabulous bars, restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries etc. that Milan has to offer. One of my favourite things about Milan, and Italy in general, was the concept of Aperitivo where for 10euro (more or less depending on the place) you get a drink (always a cocktail in my case) and then an unlimited buffet of food (Amazing, right?). So, as you can imagine I went out for Aperitivo a lot (and I mean a lot), and here are just some of my favourite places to go in Milan if you’re ever there. It was very difficult to narrow it down to five places and of course there are so many more that I need to check out.
I think this is my favourite places to go for aperitivo as it has everything: Great Food, Great Cocktails, Great Location and a Chocolate Fountain (What more can you want!?). Deseo is everything you would expect from a bar in Milan, stylish and classy, and everything you would expect from eating out in Italy, carb filled and delicious. I’ve never had a bad evening here and always recommend it as place to go for Aperitivo. Plus the location is truly beautiful, right by Arco della Pace and surrounded by plenty of other bars and restaurants. My perfect night in Milan would be aperitivo here, drinks in one of the bars on corso sempione and then a short walk to Just Cavalli to dance the night away.
This place had a special place in my heart because it was so close to my apartment and right next to the Fendi Studios (very stylish). It really is a hidden gem in Milan and if you know about it, you know about it. A stunning bar, serving great cocktails, a lovely aperitivo (they also give you a sharing platter with smoked salmon and other tasty treats along with a buffet – all for 10 pound too!!) and really good music. They tend to have a DJ playing a mix of house, funk and soul, making it the perfect place for some chilled out evening drinks and food.
Milan has plenty of rooftops, and the Globe has to be one of my favourites in Piazza Cinque Giornate. The bar is on the top floor of a shopping complex (could it be more Milan – fashion and food in one place) and is always super busy so if you do go you must book. Again, as in most places the cocktails are always Top! (Milan slang for good) and the buffet always has a good selection of cold meats, rice, pizza slices, vegetables and fruit. What I like about this place is that you get a proper plate, and a proper knife and fork: Usually with aperitivo places, especially in the Navigli area you have to use plastic plates and cutlery – I’m personally not a big fan so the Globe was always a winner with me.
The Navigli is the canal network in Milan and it is just bustling at night with plenty of bars, restaurants and numerous places for aperitivo. While the tourists are busy getting ripped off by the overpriced restaurants around the Duomo, the Milanese are probably in Brera, Moscova or Navigli enjoying a spritz and helping themselves to a buffet of freshly prepared food. There are literally so many places to go for aperitivo here but one of my favourites was Spritz Navigli (and as you can guess with the name, great for those of you who like a Spritz). Although it may not be as glamorous as the other places on my list, the food is second to none and there is always plenty of choice.
I practically lived here during my last few months of my Erasmus year, as any of my Italian friends will know (and again anyone on Facebook/Snapchat/Instagram). Just Cavalli is a club, restaurant and of course they serve aperitivo like pretty much every other bar in Milan. The buffet is varied here, with a good selection of meat, cheeses, hot and cold food, pastas, rice (just a standard Italian meal really). Usually with designer bars (like Dolce & Gabbana and The Bulgari Hotel) they normally only give you very small appetizers to accompany your overpriced drink (although stylish and sophisticated, it isn’t very filling), but here, it is the standard 10euro with an abundant buffet. This place is the best in the summer when the club is in ‘summer mode’ and is opened up into the park, so you can enjoy a few cocktails and good food as the sun is setting. And if you’re not quite ready to go home then you can stay there while it transforms into one of Milan’s most glamorous and exclusive clubs.