Corso Magenta, one of Milan’s most popular streets, and the area surrounding it offer a wide range of bars that are active in both the typically Italian aperitivo scene as well as after-hours drinks. Uniquely decorated interiors, creative drinks, fantastic live music and other special events make the nightlife in Corso Magenta as diverse as it gets. Here is our guide to the 10 best bars in town.
Opened in 2003, Boccascena Café is both an elegant and comfortable lunch and aperitivo bar in Teatro Litta, one of Milan’s most antique theaters. The bar has three bright and spacious rooms with artistic interiors and a charming courtyard where guests can enjoy a drink during the summer months. Boccascena Café is a cultural meeting place, where art is omnipresent with both Teatro Litta’s fantastic performances and the artistic design of the bar.
Colonial Café, located at the top of Corso Magenta, is a veritable highlight in Milan’s aperitivo section with its daily wine hour from 6pm to 9pm that follows classic Milanese tradition. A rich buffet of warm dishes and other snacks, like cheese and ham, are provided for guests with a fantastic selection of high-quality Italian and international wines. Colonial Café is the perfect spot for first-time visitors to Milan who want to immerse themselves into Milanese aperitivo culture in an authentic and relaxed atmosphere.
Bar Magenta, first opened in 1907, is one of the most traditional bars in Corso Magenta and it is said to be the place where the Milanese aperitivo scene started. The popular bar is best visited during aperitivo hour, where the atmosphere is at its liveliest, snacks are provided and drinks are usually available at a slightly reduced price. The sangria at Bar Magenta is excellent, however, the bar is mostly known for its wide range of international and local beers. Bar Magenta should definitely be included in every first-time visitor’s agenda in Milan.
Bar Virgilio, which is located halfway between Cadorna station and Santa Maria delle Grazie, is another authentic Milanese aperitivo bar that serves delicious freshly prepared cocktails and an exquisite selection of champagnes and wines. The bar’s interior with its high vaulted ceiling also supports local culture by showcasing the artwork of aspiring painters and photographers from the region. The outstanding champagnes imported from Italian regions, such as Piedmont or Trentino, and the excellent wines cannot only be consumed in the bar but can also be explored in special tasting events that Bar Virgilio hosts on a regular basis.
Cocktail Bar Leopardi 13 is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the crowds in other busy aperitivo bars. A bit off the beaten path, Cocktail Bar Leopardi 13 is a nice and quiet place to relax and chat with some friends over a drink or two and enjoy a typical aperitivo buffet with great stuffed olives and without the queuing. The comfortable sofas, discreet background music and the attentive service create a pleasant and enjoyable atmosphere at Cocktail Bar Leopardi 13.
A quiet place right in the heart of Milan, Dito Divino offers great service, fantastic wines, trendy cocktails and tasty snacks at affordable prices to its guests. A wide variety of high-quality international and Italian wines can be found in the restaurant’s very own wine cellar and the competent staff are always happy to assist in choosing the right wine. Dito Divino is the perfect place for a nice evening amongst friends on weekdays with its elegant atmosphere and great aperitivo offers. Although very central in its location, Dito Divino manages to preserve its local clientele, which makes the ideal place to mingle with the Milanese residents and explore the city’s culture and traditions.
Just Cavalli Café, located on the foot of Parco Sempione’s Torre Branca, is the luxury choice of bars. The interior is extraordinary, lavish and extravagant with leopard prints, antelope furs and oriental fabrics, all in the style of designer Roberto Cavalli. Just Cavalli Café is a perfect early evening meeting place for an outstanding cocktail with friends in the heart of Milan. Pick the right night and you might even meet a Hollywood starlet there or personal friends of Roberto Cavalli and his wife. Before relaxing in the bar, enjoy the stunning view over Milan’s historic center from Torre Branca’s viewing platform.
NooN Restaurant & Cocktail Bar is a stylish and hip place right in the center of Milan. Unlike its neighbor, Leopardi 13, NooN attracts a younger and livelier clientele. It is the perfect bar for anyone who prefers a mixture of loud conversations and hip music in a bar rather than a quiet place to sit down and chat with some friends. NooN Restaurant & Cocktail Bar also offers one of the city’s most stylish smoking rooms, a paradise for smokers and cigar lovers and a great meeting place for exclusive after-dinner business.
Deseo, which can be found right outside Parco Sempione, just a few steps away from famous Arco della Pace, is known as both a relaxed lounge bar, for after-hours drinks, and a high-quality restaurant. The restaurant’s menu is outstandingly creative, diverse and tailored to its highly international clientele. Its signature drinks are the Affligem beers in blonde, double and triple that stand for mastered brewing techniques and a refined drinking experience. The classic range of cocktails as well as the stylish interior and trendy music make for a successful evening in a great location.
Bar Bianco, right in the center of Milan’s Parco Sempione, is largely popular as it’s a great spot for an aperitivo and for relaxed drinks after-hours. Happy hour, which is daily from 6pm to 10pm, not only offers a traditional Milanese aperitivo but also regularly features special cocktails and themed snacks from all over the world. This delicious culinary experience is complemented by appealing background music and attentive service. If you book in advance, you will be able to sit outside on the terrace or the patio and enjoy the sunset over the beautiful natural scenery of Parco Sempione.