As soon as you get to know the city of Milan, the Navigli district is undoubtedly one of the first to be mentioned for its beauty at all hours of the day and night, above all because its streets, that line the famous Naviglio, are dotted with many bars and restaurants. Briefly, it is a quarter of Milan’s movida where you can be enraptured by bright signs, pretty dehors and beautiful light displays.
Within (and outside of) Milan, the Navigli are considered as a temple of cocktail bars and high-level mixology, where flavors, trends, novelties, discoveries and great classics find a home-base that’s a pleasure to reach and a true experience to savor, perhaps while enjoying an evocative view. Whether you are a connoisseur or a lover of fine drinking, a visit to this historic district will leave you with that typical aftertaste of sought-after mixes and the desire to never leave.
In order not to get lost among the many temptations and choose carefully your next favorite drinking destination for an aperitif or an after-dinner, Flawless has compiled a ranking that won’t fail to satisfy every need, so here are the best cocktail bars in the Navigli area in Milan.
Ripa Di Porta Ticinese, 43
Just ten years old, Mag Navigli can boast a relatively short life marked by satisfaction and success. It is an intimate and cozy place you won’t need to give a second try, beacuase you’ll immediately love it. Few places can guarantee comfort, relaxation, familiar atmosphere and the artistry of serving excellent cocktails. Mag Cafe is a constant work in progress because it offers ever changing drink lists yet remaining true to itself with its armchairs, small furnishings that turn out to be works of art, and its atmosphere, typical of a place where you feel at home.
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 63
Mystery, magic, but also voyages and distant worlds, these are the “principles” on which the art of mixology is based at Pinch – Spirits & Kitchen, a venue overlooking the waters of the Navigli that made surprise an indispensable quality to make its cocktails memorable and unforgettable. It created a grimoire – an authentic book of magic – instead of a more classic menu, to clearly convey the message that to talk about cocktails, but above all to prepare them, you need talent and magic, which hypnotizes and above all brings you back to their tables.
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43
With its 12 square meters, Backdoor43 is ranked as the smallest cocktail bar in the world, and that alone generates such curiosity that you can’t miss to experience an evening among its walls. The maximum capacity is of 4 people (this also explains the reservation requirement), fournishings are elegant 1930s-inspired objects and cocktails are prepared by the enigmatic mixologist Mr. V, whose face hides under the most famous mask in the world. Better to stop here so as not to spoil the surprise, Backdoor43 may be the smallest venue ever but its charm needs much more space.
Via Mario Fusetti, 1
An eclectic and welcoming environment designed to allow people to enjoy time spent together, in a light-hearted and carefree way, with many small details to be discovered at each new visit. Iter, as the name itself states, is a journey that speaks of the world and places much or little known to all those who cross its threshold, and it does so with a cuisine and drink proposal of cosmopolitan colors and flavors with an unfailing touch of Italianity. Sipping a cocktail at Iter is always a new experience, a destination on the world map that is never taken for granted and who knows, the inspiration for your next trip.
Via Giovenale, 7
A New York-style loft where to taste excellent cocktails. Of course, we are talking about Officina Milano, a unique venue where one enters the vast universe of cocktails as soon as he admires the majestic bar counter, colorful terraced bottles that take center stage under a vintage-style mirror and a poetic phrase that leads people to travel with their mind. If the bar allows entry into the world of drinks, it is these drinks that allow you to truly experience it.
Piazza XXIV Maggio, 8
Once known as The Doping Club of The Yard hotel, today the venue has changed its name from club to bar, while still keeping faith to its elegant British style and above all its reputation as a place where mixology is wisely enhanced. The Doping Bar, inside what is now Aethos Milano luxury hotel, is sophisticated and elegant, its British atmosphere contrasting with one of the most characteristic and unmistakable areas of Milan, perhaps one of its winning weapons along with the experience of its mixologist barmen. The Doping Bar never stops inventing and transforming its captivating drink list, of which, however, Negroni Mezcal always remains as a special guest, to ensure a refined and different taste experience.
Via Corsico, 1
Kraken Mule, recently opened in the bustling Navigli district, is among those venues that could easily become the favourite one of many. Informal, cozy, and strategically located between Via Vigevano and Ripa di Porta Ticinese, Max and Chiara’s mixology destination sports a fusion look between Caribbean and Milanese, ready to welcome you into its bubble of chill-out lounge music. Kraken is a den of experimenters, always grappling with new flavor combinations and fine spirits, fused into the most evocative drink lists you’ll find in the area.
Via Fumagalli, 1
The truly impressive wooden bar takes up most of the space, with its semicircular shape reminiscent of a ship’s bridge. What is immediately perceived is that at Rita & Cocktails, drinks are absolute stars. The bottle rack on the wall of the main room is a hymn to drinking well with taste and to a particular savoir faire, the one typical of Rita & Cocktails. Thanks to fresh, quality raw materials and an eye for gin selection, the place is one of the most popular and well-known in the Navigli, and you’ll only have to spend an evening in the company their cocktails to immediately understand why.
Alzaia naviglio Grande, 12
If Gin is your passion then you are in the right place: right on the Navigli there’s a place where the undisputed king, namely Gin, is declined, revised and transformed in a thousand, or maybe more, ways. GinO12, an extension of the much longer-lived Officina 12, has decided to focus on a single distillate to reveal its immense potential and demonstrate to its affectionates how much its selection of more than 100 types of Gin can give rise to explorations and sensations that are hard to imagine if they are not tried. Fortunately, at GinO12, in a modern, somewhat industrial-style setting amid exposed brick and cast-iron beams, one can discover the multifaceted, colorful and delicious soul of one of the world’s most famous spirits.
Via Savona, 1
Just central enough, Cà-ri-co keeps itself apart from the roving, party-going chaos of the Navigli, reserving itself a comfortable little corner right where the city’s creative heart beats, on Via Savona. Its story began in 2020 thanks to a collaboration between Dom Carella, Lorenzo Ferraboschi and Andrea Bassi, who were able to create a location with magnetic appeal and a relaxed mood, in which to enjoy exceptional signature cocktails and timeless mixology. The game of contrasts between historical and contemporary that’s played inside never tires, from the bar station (a former notary desk from the 1900s), to the colorful half-moon table in the Martini Room. Here at Cà-ri-co, the experience is guaranteed, not only by us editors, but also by the numerous recognitions the venue has earned in the three years since opening, from being listed among The World’s 50 Best Discoveries to being ranked 78th in the TOP500 World’s Bars in 2021.