From places serving Campari to craft beer, trendy cocktail bars to English-style pubs, Milan’s bar scene has a little something for everyone. Here, we take a look at the best spots to drink in Lombardy’s capital.
Bar Basso is a Milan mainstay – since 1947 this historic haunt has been slinging cocktails to locals. The bar’s trademark drink is the Negroni Sbagliato, which was invented here. It is made with Campari, sweet vermouth and Prosecco (instead of gin, a typical ingredient in a classic Negroni). Today Bar Basso offers more than 500 different mixed drinks, including the infamous Mangia e Bevi – a hazelnut ice cream based cocktail that made its name in the 60s.
Via Plinio 39, Milan, Italy, +39 02 2940 0580
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Italian
It’s hard to make sense of Nottingham Forest, a Milan bar that takes its name from an English football team, decorated in a style redolent of the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. One thing is for sure though – this place serves incredibly innovative, artistic and tasty cocktails. Led by Dario Comini, the bar staff are well-versed in mixology. There are drinks made with dry ice, drinks presented in bottles and pipettes, and drinks that look more like a science project than a tipple.
Viale Piave 1, Milan, Italy, +39 02 798311
Dry combines two wonderful things – cocktails and pizza – and does so extremely well. To drink, try the Blood and Sand, a mix of scotch, Cherry Heering, sweet vermouth and orange juice, or perhaps The Monk, a pear and cinnamon tequila drink with lime juice and agave nectar. Oh, and the pizzas rival the drinks in tastiness – notable toppings include pancetta, smoked salmon and roasted date tomatoes.
Via Solferino 33, Milan, Italy,+39 02 637 93414
Bar Cuore attracts an alternative, artsy crowd, many of whom are students in the city. The friendly bartenders serve up some mean drinks and the vibe is typically laid-back; Cuore makes its customers feel right at home. Things can get a bit more upbeat during the occasional concerts, when live bands or DJs pump their tunes all night long.
Via Gian Giacomo Mora 3, Milan, Italy,+39 02 581 18311
B: Free Cocktail Bar
Similar to the aforementioned Nottingham Forest, B:Free is a cocktail paradise that has been making waves in Milan for its creative libations. At the bar, patrons will most likely run into Milo: the in-house mixing expert. All of the familiar faces grace the cocktail list – the Negroni, Spritz, Martini, and Manhattan. At B:Free, these classics are prepared with an original twist, using ingredients like caviar and gelatine.
Via Lecco 21, Milan, Italy, +39 02 3670 7971
The Friends Pub Milano
Brought to life by four brothers, Friends is a top spot for beer fans in Milan, as the pub carries a wide variety of brews from all over Europe. There is also an impressive list of Italian craft beers to choose from. Stop by on St. Patrick’s Day, during Oktoberfest, or simply for an aperitivo, and it’s bound to be a good time. Friends is a great spot to grab a pint and watch the football with locals.
Viale Monte Santo, Milan, Italy, +39 02 2900 5313
Birrificio Lambrate is a pioneer of the craft beer movement in Italy. Since 1996 this brewpub has been producing non-pasteurized and non-filtered beer for all of Milan to enjoy. The classics crafted all year long include the Ortiga, a golden style ale, and a smokey stout called the Ghisa. Other beers are only available seasonally or on a special basis.
Via Adelchi 5, Milan, Italy, +39 02 7063 8678
Located in the middle of Chinatown, La Chiesetta is truly one-of-a-kind – after all, where else can you drink in an old gothic church? The house speciality is the chupito, or shooter. There are plenty of chupito options, from the simple SuorLime (vodka and lime) to the Acqua Santa (white rum, gin, vodka and tequila). Celebrating with friends? Order the PadreNostro – that’s seven chupitos served in the form of a cross.
Via Paolo Lomazzo, Milan, Italy, +39 339 796 9095
Camparino in Galleria
Camparino in Galleria is known as the bar of the famous Campari brand, which has come to symbolize the city of Milan. Located under the arch in the stunning Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, this is the spot to enjoy an authentic Campari drink while taking in views of the breathtaking Duomo. The Campari Americano, a mixture of Campari, Vermouth and soda, gets its name from its popularity among American tourists during Prohibition.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele Angolo Piazza Duomo, Milan, Italy, +39 02 86464435
H Club Diana
One of the hippest spots in town, the H Club Diana is the place to see and be seen. It is a part of the Sheraton Diana Majestic hotel and features a beautiful private garden in the back. Everyday between 7 and 10pm the H Club offers one of the best aperitivo experiences in all of Milan. Simply order one of the exquisite cocktails and then head to the extravagant buffet.
Sheraton Diana Majestic, Viale Piave 42, Milan, Italy, +39 02 2058 2004