If you are planning to leave Milan after going sightseeing, please don’t! Above all the beauties in the city, the best way to understand the Milanese is to live as you are a part of this city. Milan is the economic center of Italy: The shopping, companies, business life and modern day corporate workers are a big part of the city. As a matter of fact, what all of these groups need is a place to socialize, get rid of a bit stress and spend some time with friends. Where can you do that? Yes – in a bar. However, these bars are not regular bars – these are the top bars in Milan.
The bars in Milan will let you learn about the locals, in both the way they drink and what their bar life in Italy is like! In addition to that, you’ll be seeing many things from Italian cuisine as the concept of the bar is inseparable with good food in Italy. So, try to enjoy both at the same time!
Prog is located a little bit outside of the city center of Milan, only a couple minutes away from Porta Romana. This is a cocktail bar, where you can taste masterfully made blends. The best part of the area is that it is outside of the city which means you can enjoy a local ambiance. On Friday and Saturdays, they offer a 3-course meal aperitivo. You can get amazing plates with bruschetta, cheese, tramezzini and the main course is followed by dessert. Drinks are more or less 10€ – a hidden gem for Milan especially perfect for dates and romantic moments!
Address: Via Andrea Maffei 12
Phone: +39 333 110 8398
Rita is in the famous riverside of Navigli which is known as a bar area in Milan. Unlike other bars in Navigli neighborhood, Rita is usually filled with locals. Due to the expertise and the food served here, the bar manages to still be a favorite place for them. The cocktails are 10€ but all the food you are served are included in this price. They don’t offer a buffet but they have an amazing aperitivo plate where everything is served in medium portions to share in a very elegant way. If you want to enjoy some expertise of mixology, decent food and a river view, this is where you should go!
Address:Via Angelo Fumagalli, 1
3. MAG CAFE
Old and beloved Mag Cafe is no stranger to the bar scene in Milan. As a result, it is very popular both among locals and travelers. The menu is designed according to astrological signs – which is very fun to read. They have their own versions of classic cocktails and this means the staff is experienced about their work. It is located in the heart of the Grand Canale of Navigli. It’s facing the canal so you can take advantage of the view while you bite and drink.
Address: Ripa di Porta Ticinese 43
Phone:+39 02 3956 2875
4. ELITA BAR
Elita is near the canals in a side street in the Navigli neighborhood. The best title to explain the bar’s type would be “apericena” -which is the mixture of classic Italian aperitivo and dinner. This is a very ideal place to enjoy some nibbles with a glass of white wine and have chat with your friend or partner. Most of the food here is fusion tapas style, they have options like the ramen burger or even Thai style rice wrappers. You can also order a fancy cocktail or opt for classic wine and beer too. If you will be here for an occasion, don’t forget to book especially on the weekend.
Phone: +39 02 3679 8710
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5. GB BAR
If you want to learn how locals drink it, you should go for a bite and drink at GB Bar. Fortunately, Milan has many different bars appealing to different targets in the city. For example, GB Bar might look like a cheesy place when you look at it from the outside. However, in its essence, it is one of the most convenient and Italian-like bars close to Duomo di Milano. You can see a mountain out of sandwiches when you enter inside. Order a beer or wine, grab a panini or classic tomato bruschetta and enjoy the moment to indulge!
Address: Via Ulrico Hoepli, 3
When you are in Milan, you might want to enjoy a bit fancier atmosphere. That’s okay because there is also another place for that: Kilburn. The cocktail bar is a hidden gem located only 5 minutes away from Milano Centrale, the main station of the city. However, even though being close to central attractions Kilburn still doesn’t lose its magic. Along with deliciously crafted cocktails and amazing glasses for them, you get a nice selection of aperitivo nibbles as well – all yummy. The menu also has a decent selection of both local and Italian wines. The staff is very informative, friendly and attentive. Kilburn is a great place spend a romantic night or catch-up meeting with a friend.
Address:Via Panfilo Castaldi, 25
7. NOTTINGHAM FOREST
Nottingham Forest is a unique quirky cocktail bar in Milan which has been in the 50 World’s Best Bars since 2007! The cocktails here are so innovative that you might not even be able to guess what exactly you got! There are cocktails called Message in the Bottle which comes with an edible paper with a message to be dissolved in your cocktail and Sephora which is basically a drink that comes with a small bathtub and a rubber duck. However, the place is a bit small on the inside but the ambiance is worth experiencing as well as the fusion-style cocktails.
Address: Viale Piave 1
Phone: +39 02 798312
8. CANTINE ISOLA
Cantine Isola is a wine bar which has been serving to its customers since 1896. There is an extensive wine menu here and if it’s not Sunday, all wines on the list are available in a glass. The menu includes many different types of wine as well as some grappa and spirits. The whole bar is filled with wine bottles on the shelves up to the ceiling. It is a local-favorite! Along with your glass, you will be served some nibbles like bread, olives, olive oil and some chips too. Enjoy a local-like drink here and don’t forget to grab a bottle of your favorite of the night.
Address: Via Paolo Sarpi 30
9. PINCH SPIRITS & KITCHEN
Italians love nothing more than good wine and good company and here is another example of where you can do this! The decorations and the furniture of the place give it an Art Deco feeling. Occasionally you can listen to some live music here as well. As the name suggest this is both a bar and kitchen, its common for there to be a kitchen in the bars in Italy. The menu has wine, draught beer, and amazing cocktails too! They also offer a snack plate along with your drinks which is complimentary. You can enjoy a light lunch or dinner with a nice drink here, enjoy the ambiance and the taste at Pinch!
Address: Ripa di Porta Ticinese 63