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Passing the large arch that stands out in Piazza Medaglie d’Oro, and the imposing Milanese wellness building, QC Terme, embraced by the ancient Spanish walls, the lively district of Porta Romana welcomes us between historic signs and new trends. Once a residential area and not very dedicated to nightlife, today it has become rediscovered fertile ground for the Milanese food and wine panorama. Among dehors that crowd the sidewalks, Italian tradition has combined with ethnic twist and a parable of flavors and fragrances to delight the palates of the patrons from the first morning lights to the evening shadows.
It is no longer just a passageway to reach the coveted Fondazione Prada on one side and the lively Porta Venezia district on the other. Porta Romana has once and for all won the Milanese interest, with multifaceted and winning dishes.. Between a sip of wine and a finger food tasting we challenge you to discover the places for a real aperitif as the tradition of the city commands. Design locations, exotic blends, national labels and flavors of the Bel Paese make for a chameleon of possibilities that will delight your taste buds.
Leave the frenzy of a Milan in constant movement behind you and enjoy a few hours of intense relaxation among the lights of Porta Romana. Your only thoughts will be consumed by the drink that will accompany your aperitif, between tasty dishes and chat sessions.
Via Tiraboschi, 2
Among exotic wallpapers, woods, metals and a coffered ceiling, Dhole leads its customers through a journey that, touching India, China, Japan and the Philippines, leads you to discover the flavors and scents of Asia, between culture, flavors and olfactory notes. Small plates of Italian-Asian influence are the ideal pairing for a cocktail list that features spicy and fruity mixes, in memory of distant lands. Take a seat on a velvet armchair and admire the illuminated counter between colored bottles and mirrors that reflect the atmosphere of remote countries.
Via Piacenza, 13
Here is a place which is in complete harmony with the Milanese city. Hence, it even takes its name from the Milanese dialect – “giu da basso” -. This place is set in the Liberty building of Casa Sartorio and dates back to the early twentieth century. Dabass plays on an exquisitely retro taste combined with contemporary details, including tiles and suspended design lamps. The black and white geometric counter represents the centerpiece of the aperitif. In addition to being an original work by Graziano Locatelli, it is a space dedicated to mixing for a convivial drink or a glass of wine. Delicious tapas to share include the best raw ingredients from the sea and earth for an explosion of unexpected taste.
Via Piacenza, 20
Photo credit © milano.corriere.it
A location characterized by a palette of bright colors, with a few minimalist tables and a counter with endless bottles. No sign, an all day and night long menu and an informal service: here is Il Enemico. The guys from Dabass wanted to venture to a new location. Furthermore, it is far from the liberty and retro trends of their first venue. With a cocktail list of high quality mixes and a gastronomic menu that ranges from colorful tapas, snacks and sandwiches, your aperitif will always be a surprise. You’re sure to go from enemies to friends with this winning taste break.
Via Tiraboschi, 19
Wrap yourself in a cloud of flour and the scent of freshly baked bread: Davide Longoni Bakery is the perfect choice for an aperitif full of traditional flavors. Clearly a rustic location, here wood reigns supreme. Between tables, stools and shelves you’ll understand the understated power of raw materials, and excellent quality. A glass counter displays the bakery products of the day, with a variety of breads, drawing inspiration from past recipes. Sip a glass of wine with pizza, focaccia and artisanal leavened products. Surely, you will savor the passion of a centuries-old job: the baker.
Via Orti, 4
For a journey into the past, choose the amazing mixes of Lacerba. This space is dedicated to “drinking well,” alongside the restaurant of the same name. The name comes from the literary magazine, Lacerba. The magazine was founded during the futurist movement to combine the inspiration and ingenuity of the thinkers of the time. An eclectic location, with a vintage charm, where plaques, ornaments, colors and geometric shapes characterize the environment. Between stools and low tables, an unpredictable cocktail list will charm your taste buds with ever-evolving fruity and spicy combinations, to be alternated with wine glasses and homemade appetizers, which are also available in vegetarian versions.
Via Burlamacchi, 7
From Spain with love, Tapa offers an informal and playful experience. Here you can get lost in colors, flavors and a convivial atmosphere between wooden tables and seats. The centerpiece of the gastronomic menu for the aperitif is tapa. This is a small course to share that contains the flavors and smells of a sunny country. Naturally, this is where tradition and authenticity reign supreme in the kitchen. Fish, meat and vegetables are flavored with local aromas and presented in small saucers. For a real Spanish toast, don’t forget to order a jug of fresh Sangrìa, to sip on its own or alongside your tapa.
Via Cadore, 38
From Hexagone to Via Cadore, a small corner of France celebrates the love of wine, on a long journey through the territories and sunny vineyards of Champagne, the Loire Valley and the Bordeaux area. The LED writing at the entrance will captivate you. Then, you can take a seat at the large central table for an aperitif in the name of conviviality. Relax with a glass of the best local labels and a varied tasting of gourmand products with flavors of the land and the sea: regional cold cuts, cheeses and oysters. Browse through bubbles, reds and whites for a toast-proof stop of the day.
Via Muratori, 11
For lovers of tradition and flavors of the past, Abbottega is an unmissable destination. This place was born from the fortuitous encounter between the artisan workshop of the past and the Milanese aperitif. Between white brick walls, barrel vaults and home atmosphere you can enjoy a food and wine menu based on ingredients strictly deriving from the Bel Paese. Accordingly, regions of Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany take center stage in a whirlwind of authentic flavors and aromas. An open counter reveals a rich selection of gastronomic products, cold cuts and cheeses – also available for purchase – to accompany a glass of wine from the well-stocked local cellar.
Via Maestri Campionesi, 16
Don’t be fooled by the word “pastry” under the sign: Babouche is this and much more. It’s a Milanese location with a French soul. Therefore, you can come here anytime to relax in the glass patio overlooking the Porta Romana Milan. When shadows fall over the city, the moment of Le Grand Aperitif – the “great aperitif” – begins, with musical notes in the background, soft lighting and a sophisticated cocktail list of international inspiration. Delicious homemade saucers to share will whet your appetite. Babouche makes for an Italian-French apéro that you will enjoy until the last bite.
Photo credit Cover Picture © Panificio Davide Longoni