In Porta Venezia, the eccentricity of the cultural district is reflected in its restaurants, which are framed by Art Nouveau architecture. A few kilometers away, a sense of trendy liveliness fills Brera and Moscova. Meanwhile, in the south, the crowded canals of the Navigli are supported by the diversity of Porta Romana, which aims to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Then there is Isola and Garibaldi, which reveal charming courtyards and rooftops between glimpses of street art and well-known designer brands. And finally, the City Center offers the most romantic drinks, in the presence of historical beauty.
In Milan, where time is marked by aperitifs with a capital “A,” toasts are made under starry skies with after-dinner snacks. Each neighborhood serves as the backdrop to a cosmopolitan city full of opportunities and Meccas of Mixology. In these drinking temples, the drink lists strictly follow the “whims” of the season and the skilled bartenders. Sipping a simple Bloody Mary or venturing outside your comfort zone with something special makes no difference, for every drink in every neighborhood offers a comprehensive sensory experience.
We decided to select the best from each district, and voilà! Here are some of the best cocktail bars among Milan’s central areas, chosen by you and by us!
Via Panfilo Castaldi, 25
At the corner of Via Settala, not far from the lively Via Lecco, Via Panfilo Castaldi 25 is a totally British experience that welcomes customers with a family atmosphere reminiscent of your childhood living room. The Kilburn, led by the up-and-coming Ennio Lettera, splits its heart between England and Italy, London and Milan, and the Queen’s country and our Porta Venezia, where days are savored with a sip of a cocktail and gourmet dishes. Behind the wooden counter, the patròn shows off his bartender skills, quenching your thirst with sophisticated drinks. There is a blend of aromas, colors, and flavors, prepared with luxury whiskeys, selected rums, and premium spirits. Here, forget about the 5 o’clock tea because you can take part in a tasting journey through the best mixology and gastronomy England has to offer.
Via Panfilo Castaldi, 35
Porta Venezia is an amusement park for adults in Milan, at every intersection and every turn there’s an energetic place for the aperitif or after dinner. Elite by Kilburn, on Milan’s mixology scenario since April 2023, inaugurates the revolutionary combination of sushi & cocktails in an atmosphere of refinement and intimacy, which is wonderful to enjoy when the bureaucratic Milan steps aside to leave room for its most festive soul. Elite perfectly interprets the desires of a city that loves elegance and high quality, distinguishing itself with a drink proposal by owner Alessio di Falco and partner Ennio Lettera, owner of Kilburn. Forget wine glasses (unless you’re a Champagne connoisseur), and get ready to taste their amazing cocktails accompanied by delicious Mediterranean sushi bites, Elite will be this year’s discovery.
Via Alfredo Cappellini, 25
Bistro, lounge bar, vinyl shop and gastronomic tavern, Moebius is perhaps the most versatile place in Milan, an attractive drinking destination that catches the eye with a contemporary appeal and a welcoming atmosphere. Shirt and sneakers, suit and tie, dress code will be the last thing you’ll have to worry about once you’ve crossed the threshold, because the real protagonist at Moebius is time spent in company. Whether it be enjoying an excellent “Lady Malvina” (Gin Bulldog, Campari and Vermouth) or a “Jerry Cornelius” (Biancosarti, Marsala and coconut oil) this experience will win a place of honor in your favorites list; obviously we won’t consider their homemade delicacies, prepared in a bright open kitchen, as a means of corruption.
Viale Bianca Maria, 4
Scott Bar is the eclectic drinking destination of four-star hotel Bianca Maria Palace, a stone’s throw from Piazza Cinque Giornate. it is a a neat and flashy place rich in colorful lighting and boasting a spectacular counter, to say the least. The king of the bottle rack in this case is Davide Resmini, an experienced barman who arrived at Scott Bar after having experiences at Tibi, Pinch and a brief parenthesis at Swift in London. Together with his staff, Davide juggles to offer hotel guests and those passing by only the best of modern mixing, ranging from great classics to signature cocktails designed specifically for Scott Bar, there is also a large selection of national and foreign wines, prosecco and craft beers.
Viale Piave, 1
Nottingham Forest has an excellent stock, boasting a wealth of about 2,000 spirits to choose from, which has led them to spend the last eight consecutive years topping the list of the 50 Best Pubs in the World among mixology pioneers. Their global success, history, and experience have allowed them to satisfy a diverse clientele for over 40 years. The restaurant can only be defined as a fusion, uniting exotic styles (Oriental, Caribbean, African) with avant-garde cocktails. These intoxicating mixes are based on the philosophy of molecular gastronomy. If you want to try something experimental, you know where to go!
Via Plinio, 39
Bar Basso is the convergence point of Milan’s numerous souls, where creative people, university students, workers and residents meet, in a few words, it is an institution for the community. Country of birth of the famous “Sbagliato” and a reference for great Milanese mixing, the bar welcomes its guests in an atmosphere that brings the 80s back to life , informal, beautiful, but above all true. The neon sign, which seems to have been written by hand years ago, stands proudly on the corner between Via Plinio and Via Enrico Noe, while inside you’ll have the opportunity to relax seated at the beautiful wooden and gold counter. If you’ve already been there we’re sure that you will return, as for the others, what are you waiting for?
Via Palestro, 2
It will be an oasis of peace in the metropolis’ frenzy, Terrazza Palestro is an authentic jewel of Milanese “quiet living” with a breathtaking view on the green expanse of Indro Montanelli Gardens. Elegance meets an intimate feeling of tranquility and privacy in this enchanting terrace dedicated to the highest mixology, presenting itself at the table together with the creations of an experienced staff. The Terrace’s location smells of spring evenings spent relaxing with colleagues, friends and partners, now you just have to call and book your moment of pure relaxation and gastronomic enjoyment.
Piazza Duca D’Aosta, 9
Terrazza Gallia is the quintessence of elegance and an unshakeable outpost for the most refined mixology art in Milan; on the seventh floor of Excelsior Hotel Gallia, it is one of the highest expressions of “feeling good” in the city. From this beautiful Belle Epoque-designed rooftop you can enjoy a rather suggestive perspective on the Central Station and Porta Nuova district while sipping delicious signature drinks, to accompany with gourmet appetizers offered by Antonio Lebano’s starred kitchen. With such a view, foreigners will have the opportunity to experience our beloved “dolce far niente”.
Via Marcello Malpighi, 7
The shared passion of the owners for good food, liquor, and nightlife have given rise to Eppol, a non-conformist bistro and cocktail bar that’s both elegant and grunge, exotic and Mediterranean, and intuitive and creative. Once you enter this retro, vintage room, with some more modern gems, you feel like you’re walking through different eras. Here, the drink list here changes according to the seasons, so go and see what it has in store for you now! With happy hours and aperitifs, the drinks are rich in unique ingredients processed with new cooking techniques. Great attention is also paid to the appearance of the cocktails when mixing, along with the careful selection of garnishes and various decorations. The distillates, used as a base, together with the liquors, come from different cultures all around the world. All the products are high quality and are skillfully combined with spices, aromas, syrups, and homemade recipes to create cocktails blended with both the traditions of mixology and a good dose of imagination.
Via Melzo, 28
Eppolino, the newcomer of the Eppol family, fills the air of Porta Venezia with the garish colors and bold flavors of Mexico, foreshadowing its guests an evening of exciting Hispanic extravaganza. Between explosive shades of pink and a drink list that reads from a deck of custom tarot cards, the venue welcomes you for an aperitif or after dinner you won’t easily forget, where cocktails are named after Mexican folkrore characters and taste like the best Latin American spirits. Sipping them on an empty stomach would be a disgrace, which is why Eppolino also offers a tasty food such as delicious Mexican-Italian fusion tapas, crispy nachos, tacos and plantain chips.
Via Lecco, 4
It won’t be hard to guess that at Eppol Pie, an outpost in Porta Venezia for those who like to be pampered by sugary flavors, the specialty is desserts. It will perhaps be more surprising to discover that drinks too are no less, thanks to the quality of the spirits, the skills of bartenders and the search for ever-new recipes and ideas. Taking a seat at Eppol Pie is the essence of everyday life, a quiet, pleasant and informal place where retro style marries lush decorations and marble tables. Also equipped with a small dehors that overlooks Via Lecco, the place is an ideal destination for breakfast, a light lunch or an aperitif in company, an environment to live in total relaxation at any time of day.
Via San Fermo, 1
Typically, those who want a getaway in the Provence go to the Tibi Bistrot Provençal, a small, local restaurant in Brera that satisfies its clientele with treasures of foreign cuisine, including creative drinks and delicacies that parade on trays and tables under soft lighting. Constantly contended between the liveliness of bartenders and the imagination of cocktails and fusion courses, your attention will be absorbed in an endless whirlwind of fun that’ll keep laughs flowing in abundance and hours ticking by in seconds.
Corso Garibaldi, 104
Whether it’s a harsh winter or a hot summer, aperitifs and after-dinner drinks spent contemplating the beautiful Gucci Arti Wall are found at Chinese Box. For some years now, a good part of the nightlife in the area crowds the sidewalk of the now iconic Corso Garibaldi cocktail bar with a minimalist design and a family atmosphere. Inside, attention falls on the 7-meter long bar and the flight of liquors on display behind the bar. If you can find a place to sit on the terrace, you’re in luck!
Via Solferino, 33
If the term “Dry” in the age of Prohibition literally meant “dry” and alcohol-free, it becomes a bizarre diametric within the walls of Via Solferino. The stars here are the cocktails that, for those who don’t know, are exceptionally combined with classic and specialty pizzas, and gourmet focaccias with unusual combinations. Dry Milano is a universe full of diverse novelty drinks that await you, presented #aftermidnight. Only at this location, the kitchen doesn’t stop from Tuesday to Sunday. The night owls can taste some exceptional specialties by chef Lorenzo Sirabella from midnight until one o’clock! Go and find out what’s in store for you!
It certainly exists (although the fascinating mystery aura surrounding it might suggest otherwise), but you have to earn your way in. Intriguing and authentic, 1930 is the speakeasy par excellence in Milan, a salon of fine drinking that sprang directly from the depths of American Prohibition and that sports a look decidedly in pendant with the style of the era: from the upholstered chairs to the abat-jours, to the beautiful bar counter that opens the view to an exceptional bottle rack, we can assure you that once you visit the little gem of Flavio Angiolillo’s family, no drink will ever taste the same again.
Via Angelo Fumagalli, 1
In 2002, when the concept of happy hour was beginning to spread on the Milanese streets, Edoardo and Gianluca opened the doors of their cocktail bar, marking the beginning of a new era in the drink world, where “drinking well” became possible. Since then, Rita & Cocktails by Edoardo and Gianluca is still a historic institution on the Navigli. It is the place where the excellent Gin Zen was born, as well as a must-stop for the most daring explorers of mixology. Everything here revolves around the wooden counter where bartenders juggle experimental and colorful drinks. The drink lists are subject to periodic changes that follow the whims and fresh concepts of the whole team. And if the refreshments (and even the furniture) always make you feel at home, you can be sure that your glass is full of fresh, natural, and carefully selected raw ingredients.
Via Corsico, 1
Since last year in the crowded alcoholic arena of the Navigli district, Kraken Mule has earned a place of honor in the hearts of the harshest critics, the same bartenders and restaurateurs in the area, who’ve elected the fledgling establishment of two partners Max and Chiara as a refuge in which to relax at the end of their shifts. In the drink lists of this piratesque-looking outpost of Milanese nightlife, one can breathe in the influences of great Dario Comini, the owner’s mentor, but also a good deal of experimentation in the flavoring of spirits and in-house production of all syrups used to blend cocktails. A special mention goes to the aperitif, a tasty selection of mixed products including vegetables, hummus, cured meats, cheese, rice salads and shrimp cocktail, changing every two weeks to ensure the seasonality and freshness of products.
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43
The story of Flavio Angiolillo and his team is a story that we all know well. They are skilled, sophisticated scholars of taste, and travelers, but above all incurable creatives who, with their ”revolutionary” concepts and exclusive drink lists, have created a mixology empire of cocktail bars in Milan. The MAG Café, among these, could be considered the headquarters with its 1930s style full of unique pieces and playful sophistication. This lounge overlooks the Naviglio Grande and remains their best-kept secret, even if everyone knows about it, and their cocktails are absolutely MAGnific.
Via Edmondo de Amicis, 22
A stroll away from its sibling in Ripa di Porta Ticinese, MAG La Pusterla is Farmily’s urban oasis, the little villa with a garden that so many would like in Milan but few can afford. Here the metropolis and its shining past ooze from the walls, from the (neatly) crowded shelves and the dominant shades of forest green and burgundy. Completing the picture is signature mixing and an atmosphere of hovering tranquility, allowing you to fully enjoy not only your cocktail, but also the delicious appetizers offered by MAG’s kitchen.
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43
Backdoor43, MAG Group’s innovative drink-away cocktail bar, earns the title of the world’s smallest bar. Small yes, but with an exorbitant personality, from the venue’s decor to its drink list, not to mention the mysterious Mr. V, the masked bartender who reigns over the Backdoor’s bottle rack, everything here speaks of a great passion for fun and quality mixing, which remains so even when it is designed to be taken on a walk around Milan. lightness, informality and good drinking seasoned with a generous dose of irony are Mr. V’s specialties, don’t let him wait too long.
Via Mario Fusetti, 1
Welcome to Milan’s busiest alcoholic airport, opened in 2017 by Flavio Angiolillo & Co., Iter is the metropolis’ first fusion cocktail bar with cuisine. Twice a year, the staff goes on a trip abroad bringing back landscapes, stories and ingredients that inspire Milan’s most authentic international drink lists. When they return it is not only the menu that changes, but the place itself, decked out with furnishings, knick-knacks, paintings and colors that are characteristic of the last destination visited. Scotland, Italy, the U.S., Mexico, France, Estonia, Morocco, Panama and the Netherlands have already hosted this curious Milanese airplane, try to guess the next destination.
Via Giovenale, 7
Officina, just a few steps from the waters of the Navigli, is a must-visit sign of metropolitan mixing, a place of worship for lovers of good drinks and an unforgettable view for those who appreciate exceptional locations. With an irresistible retro charm, Officina welcomes you to a large room occupied by leather sofas, vintage motorcycles, old paintings with solemn tones and, above all, by a majestic bar counter with an attached backlit bottle rack, a true spectacle for the eyes. And for the palate, because one enjoys not only the aesthetics of the venue but also a varied drink list consisting of traditional blends and signature cocktails crafted with incredibly bold ingredient combinations.
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, in Via Savona. Its story began in 2020 thanks to a collaboration between Dom Carella, Lorenzo Ferraboschi and Andrea Bassi, who were able to give life to a location with magnetic appeal and a relaxed mood, in which to enjoy exceptional signature cocktails and timeless mixology. Here at Cà-ri-co, the experience is guaranteed above all by the numerous awards won in the three years since opening, from the inclusion among The World’s 50 Best Discoveries to the placement on the 78th step of TOP500 World’s Bar rankings in 2021.
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 63
Pinch is for hopeful time travelers. Here, amid an atmosphere made of soft yellow light and faded fabrics, vintage furniture and a staff that rocks suspenders, you get to relive the 1930s and 1940s! The cocktails are almost as extravagant as the location itself, and the bartenders have fun with spirits, vermouths, liquors, bitters, and spices for their creations, which can be sipped comfortably around one of the outdoor tables. And if you get hungry but don’t want to get up, rest assured the chefs in the kitchen know how to delight your taste buds.
Via Tiraboschi, 2
A cocktail bar and restaurant where the aromas, flavors, spices, and traditions of the Terre di Levante are blended to create delicious dishes and “intoxicating drinks” ready for discovery, Il Dhole is a crossroads that bridges Porta Romana, Milan, and Italy to the Eastern countries with a cuisine and mixology of exotic infusions. Here, the bartenders’ cocktails are dedicated to a different city in Asia and are distinguished by bold combinations from the menu that you can’t help but fall in love with. The new drink list recounts another journey, from Central Asia to the Middle East, passing through the Southeast, to bring together Chinese mythology, Shintoism, Hinduism, Japanese Buddhism, and pagan traditions. Worship Inari, the Japanese Kami god of rice, tea, love, and success, with Sakura Tea and shrub with rice vinegar, or Raijin, god of thunder and lightning, with cocktails with bitters, or land in Thailand in a battle between Narai and Rahoo for the Amarit, the elixir of immortality, to conquer the world. Ready to go?
Via Orti, 4
Combine chaos, the cosmos, art, futurism, and voila! Welcome to QUISIBEVE in Lacerba. This eccentric bar of the renowned restaurant in Via Orti is especially appreciated by those who never tire of the bustling Milanese nightlife spots that have an impetuous spirit and a vintage style. The aperitifs are a sacred ritual to enjoy while extending your stay with appetizers accompanied by a glass of wine, one of the specialty drinks, or one of the Bloody Marys (yes, there are several variations). And remember that “drinking quality cocktails” within these walls is a necessity and a promise that are both achieved (try it to believe it).
Via Piacenza, 15
Perhaps, for those who don’t know, it may be challenging to find the front door. The regulars know what lies behind it, and the most curious onlookers, once they discover it, will come back again and again. With dark velvet sofas, playful lights, mirrors, a magnificent mahogany counter, and small tables, The Spirit is a retro cocktail bar where you go to unwind from the urban frenzy and break the monotony of the work week. The spirits, local and international, are the stars of the full menu, with several luxury bottled brands. At The Spirit, your drink holds the flavors of the world inside it!
Via Thaon di Revel, 3
Open at almost every hour every single day in one of the most lively districts of Milan, we welcome wine lovers and fans of pre and after dinner stops in a fascinating location. The Deus Café, the son of an Australian motorcycle, bicycle, surfboard, clothing and accessory brand, is accessed through a small entrance hall that leads out to a charming courtyard dotted with pergolas and comfortable sofas. This little energetic world attracts a varied clientele who want a break spent in total relaxation. Here, there is no room for the frenetic rhythms of the outside world, only the chance to enjoy and savor every moment peacefully.
Piazza Alvar Aalto
Nestled in the ultra-modern setting of Alvar Aalto Square, Tripstillery is MAG family’s Porta Nuova outpost, an artisanal micro-distillery with kitchen in which to spend pleasant moments in an environment that blends design and high-quality mixology. The drinks on offer range from the great classics to signatures, passing through a selection of wines, prosecco and beers by the Curtese craft brewery; it is impossible not to accompany everything with some appetizers to share, such as the cured meats and cheese board or cereal bread with alpine butter. Tripstillery also is the only bar in Milan where you can make your own personal gin label, a unique experience to be given a chance as soon as possible.
Via Ceresio, 7
Aperitifs by the pool with delicious food, as well as glamorous lunches and dinners with the Milanese skyline in the background are found at Ceresio 7. A short walk from the Corso Como nightlife scene is one of the most adored rooftops in the city, which offers a true escape from the city streets and architecture, whose grandeur sometimes hinders the view of the horizon more than necessary. When you go there for the first time, if it feels a bit like New York, rest assured we get it. Come here in the evening to watch the sunset and experience tranquility.
Via Vetere, 12 – Via Panfilo Castaldi, 30
Intimate and contemporary the one in Colonne di San Lorenzo, animated by a slightly more bohemian spirit the one in Porta Venezia, Sensi’s two venues are winning the affection of Milan’s nightlife by mixing artwork and giving off youthful exuberance. This can be clearly seen in a counter covered in colorful blue tiles, in the neon signs in kaleidoscopic pink, but above all in the constant commitment on every front of the three very young founders, at the forefront of the preparation of cocktails, express dishes and excellent appetizers offered at aperitif time. At Sensi you can expect many things: company, fun, quality food & drinks and lots of live music to light up your evenings with the notes of contemporary culture.
Via Andegari, 9
Lounge area of the luxurious five-star hotel Mandarin Oriental, Mandarin Garden is one of the most sought-after fine-drinking destinations in the city. The venue is located in the heart of the city’s most iconic district, the Quadrilatero della Moda. Just like a catwalk deity, the bar’s a little hidden from view, a little reserved, but full of treasures, starting with the lush garden where in the evening it is most pleasant to linger for a drink accompanied by a background of contemporary music. Prepared with skill and mastery, cocktails from Milan’s most elegant garden will take you flying from London to New York, via Calcutta, Hong Kong and San Francisco, for an alcoholic tasting experience that will exceed all expectations.
Via San Raffaele, 3
The STRAF bar greets the nearby Duomo from Via San Raffaele. With windows that look out onto the street of the famous STRAF hotel (a member of Design Hotels), it is a landmark for travelers and faithful lovers of Milanese nightlife, and a happy haunt full of chatter and aperitifs with live music and DJ sets. Accommodating but not informal, it reflects the concept and style of the hotel structure, with a well-thought-out interior that plays on the mix between ultra-modern decor and vintage furniture from the 70s. From sunset on, the beats from the music selection come to life, as happy hour always lasts until late in the evening and pours out onto the street.
Corso Venezia, 15
Where relaxation is glamorous, The Martini Bar is the result of the collaboration between Martini and Dolce&Gabbana who wanted to combine their shared traits, (made in Italy tradition and modernity) to create a peaceful spot in Centro Storico that offers customers a complete sensory experience. The atmosphere is chic, and the lunches, aperitifs, and dinners contain the flavors and colors of Sicilian cuisine, with an imaginative touch by the chef who dares to go out of the box. Everything pairs well with quality cocktails, ça va sans dire, and great wine labels, to be enjoyed in the beautiful outdoor area.
Largo Augusto, 1
From morning coffee to mid-afternoon drinks, taking a break after a shopping trip through the streets of the Quadrilatero is a must. The Baxter Bar is a street lounge with a style and furniture that is attentive to every detail, capable of recreating a pleasant atmosphere that feels like home, while the chaos of the city fades like a memory. Toast your drinks while surrounded by marble and brass, playful colors, and a mix of materials and exceptional finishes. While the city passes by, within these walls, time slows down, and you can enjoy every moment peacefully.
Piazza Giuseppe Missori, 3
A refuge of relaxed design and neutral wood tones, Top Missori is one of the newest fine-drinking establishments in Milan’s historic center. Just a stone’s throw from the Duomo, the venue boasts top-notch cuisine and a respectable wine cellar with more than 500 labels including Champagne, national wines and rare gems for connoisseurs. Top Missori is made for those who prefer the full taste of a glass of red wine or the frothy lightness of a flute of sparkling prosecco to the pronounced hint of a distillate. Isolated in this bubble of food and wine refinement, you can enjoy an aperitif or after-dinner drink with a view of Missori Square, but without the inconvenience of downtown chaos. Passion, know-how and technique come together in a bistro worth experiencing to the last drop.