Highsnobiety

Aperitivo, from the Latin word “aperitivus,” means “to open,” and that’s exactly what the Italian aperitivo tradition is meant to do: open the stomach and prepare it for an evening meal. It takes place in the late afternoon and consists of a cocktail, typically an Aperol Spritz or a Campari Orange, along with snacks like cured meats and cheeses.

In honor of the aperitivo, and in light of the start of Milan Design Week later this month, we’ve curated a list of Highsnobiety staff members’ favorite places to enjoy this traditional act of eating and drinking in the city.

Pasticceria Cucchi

Corso Genova, 1, 20123

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Operating as a pastry shop and cafe during the day, Pasticceria Cucchi becomes a lively aperitivo spot in the late afternoon. Managing to pull in a fashionable crowd since its opening in the ‘30s, Pasticceria Cucchi also has a well-known third purpose as a prime location for people-watching.

Bar Nico

Via Cesare Saldini, 2, 20133

A new addition to the Acquabella district, Bar Nico is a former tire shop turned popular wine bar. The work of two entrepreneurs who left their jobs in the fashion industry to open the bar, it offers their favorite drinks from their travels around the world.

Colibri

Via Laghetto, 9/11, 20122

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A bookshop, a cafe, and a bar, Colibri is a relaxed and colorfully-decorated spot in the heart of Milan. 

Bar Frida

Via Antonio Pollaiuolo, 3, 20159

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Hidden in a former industrial space, Bar Frida has kept many of the original features from the ex-factory which it calls home. Most notably, its outdoor terrace area, decorated with plants and mismatched furniture, is covered with the remains of a roof from the building’s previous life.

BOB Milano

Via Pietro Borsieri, 30, 20159

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Not sticking to tradition, BOB Milano’s selection of aperitivos come with a twist: bao buns, steamed dumplings, and edamame.

La Vineria

Viale Vittorio Veneto, 30, 20124

Two of Italy’s finest exports, wine and olive oil, can be found in large quantities at La Vineria. The wine-cellar-cum-bar is dedicated to keeping traditional Italian drinking culture alive — and keeping it affordable.

Bar Basso

Via Plinio, 39, 20133

The old-school cocktail bar that invented the negroni sbagliato (yes, that’s the drink made famous by that viral Emma D'Arcy video), Bar Basso has long been a favorite establishment for locals and those visiting for Milan Design Week. Over the years, it has played host to notable names such as Maurizio Gucci, James Irvine, and the late Virgil Abloh. 

Bar Picchio

Via Melzo, 11, 20129

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Bar Picchio is an unpretentious, old-school, local favorite watering hole. Make sure to get there early, especially on the weekends, as the crowds regularly spill out onto the street.

Bene Bene

Via Giovanni Battista Morgagni, 31, 20129

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Bene Bene has become a favorite dwelling for Milan’s creative class (so, you can expect it to fill up especially quickly during Milan Design Week). Its modern interior houses work by local contemporary artists, its bartenders are highly knowledgeable, and its sound system, designed and built by Giorgio Di Salvo, fills the room.

Coke Tales

Via Marcello Malpighi, 1, 20129 

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Open from 7 am to midnight, Coke Tails changes form throughout the day to be a cafe, a restaurant, and a bar. Its ‘70s-inspired interior and tableware give it an old-school charm.

Diana Garden

Viale Piave, 42, 20129 

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Away from the hustle of the city, Diana Garden has a scenic outdoor space to enjoy a quiet aperitivo. Or, if you visit on any day from Tuesday to Saturday, you have the option of dancing to the tunes of its resident DJ.  

Moebius

Via Alfredo Cappellini, 25, 20124

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Enrico Croatti, chef de cuisine and gastronomic coordinator at Moebius, has two Michelin stars to his name, so you know the snacks that come with your drink will be good. Beyond its menu, what makes this high-end bar and restaurant memorable is its live music program which mainly hosts jazz bands. 

Bar Paradiso

Via Gerolamo Tiraboschi, 4, 20135 

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The team behind Spacedelicious, a Milan-based restaurant guide, creative agency, and fashion brand, has expanded and recently opened Bar Paradiso. The laid-back bar has an impressive selection of wine and traditional aperitivos to nibble on.

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