If you like to drink in the early hours, Milan is the city for you. Thanks to an influx of young professionals, the bar scene here is incredible and includes almost anything you can think of. Aperitivo is, of course, very important, with Aperol, Campari, and other vermouths leading the drinks charge in the early evening. Then there is Milan’s excellent wine and craft beer scene. Finally, you can find some of the best cocktail bars in the world here too. All it takes is for you to book a hotel in Milan and head to this buzzing city. If you only have a few days to spare, you can fit in plenty of these bars, along with other suggestions in our 2 days in Milan guide. Here is our guide to the best bars in Milan.
So you’ve taken our e-bike tour and have worked up a thirst. Where do you go for a great daytime drink? How about Bar Frida. You’ll find it in a warehouse conversion in the trendy Isola district. The inner courtyard is beautiful, with living walls and thousands of plants. You can drink great beer, wine and cocktails to your heart’s content but also eat some fantastic food. From 6-9pm, the bar offers an aperitif plate with your drink. There’s no fixed price, you just pay for what you eat. As well as the bar, Bar Frida is also a design shop and exhibition space that can be rented out for meetings, exhibitions or courses. This is an atmospheric, buzzing place that shouldn’t be missed.
Via Antonio Pollaiuolo, 3, 20159, Milan
If you love a craft beer, make sure to head to LambicZoom. This is a proper pub right in Milan’s city center. They have a great selection of local – and further afield – craft beer on tap, with many more in can or bottle too. And if all that beer gets you hungry, the small kitchen slings out great burgers to keep you full and happy. It’s a small space inside and has a great terrace for the summer months.
Via Friuli, 46, 20135, Milan
Bar Basso is famous for its negroni sbagliato (or ‘wrong’ negroni) which substitutes the usual gin with sparkling wine. You can find them all over Milan, but Bar Basso is the original and considered to still be the best. The interior of Bar Basso is old school in design, with a large zinc-topped bar, waiters in starched white uniforms, and a bright neon sign outside, inviting you in for one of the best negronis of your life. This would make a perfect pit stop after you’ve indulged in our Milan night walking tour.
Via Plinio, 39, 20020, Milan
You can’t miss out on La Chiesetta, it’s one of the most unique places to drink in Milan. An 8th century church houses the bar. The whole place is lit with votive candles, making it a hugely atmospheric place. It’s a small space to make sure to head there early for an aperitif. The bar serves up classic cocktails, craft beers and is also famous for its shots.
Via Paolo Lomazzo, 12, 20154, Milan
Tucked away in Milan’s Isola district is Cantine Isola. This bar is styled is in the great Italian tradition of the ‘enoteca,’ a dual purpose wine shop and bar. This is one of the oldest in the city, brimming with history and atmosphere. Cantine Isola is also a great place to try natural wines. These are wines that are made with as little intervention as possible; organic vineyard practices, natural yeasts in the cellar and as few additives as possible. The results can range anything from conventional to surprising and unusual! But always delicious. And if you’re interested in wine, be sure to take a look at our Milanese wine tasting experience, perfect for those looking to expand their vinous knowledge.
Via Paolo Sarpi, 30 angolo, Via Arnolfo di Cambio, 1A, 20154, Milan
Vinoir is a small, rustically decorated enoteca in the lively Navigli district. The bar has become well known in recent years for its exceptional list of Italian wines – it’s small, but perfectly executed. You can also pair your wines with some expertly crafted small plates, from homemade pasta to cheeses to steak tartare. If you like a small, bustling atmosphere and exceptional wines, Vinoir is the wine bar for you.
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 93b, 20143, Milan
Rita & cocktails
Rita & cocktails is THE place to go for inventive, well-made cocktails in Milan. No best bars in Milan list would be complete without mentioning it. Consistently rated as one of the best cocktail bars in Italy, the team at Rita will whip you up something delicious from fresh ingredients and quality spirits. The bar staff travel the world and bring their travel inspiration back to Milan so you know you’ll always be getting something cutting edge and unusual. There’s also a patio for balmy summer nights.
Via Angelo Fumagalli, 1, 20143, Milan
Nightlife in Milan
Milan truly is a wonderful city to eat, drink and dance in, as our best bars to Milan guide shows. The city also makes a great stop off on your way to other Northern Italian towns such as Verona or Venice. There is so much to see and do in this great Italian city; be sure to check out our full list of Milan tours and itineraries to get the most out of your time here. Most of all, don’t leave it off your vacation list, it’s a city not to be missed.