Milan wasn’t especially the city known for cranking out good new cocktail bars until few years ago. Luckily, now the interest in mixology is constantly growing along, as it is happening with fine dining. With a quick reading at this article you can find out places with quality cocktails and avoid those brain-melting headaches the day after. So, whether you are on the lookout for some spot to have a pre-party cocktail stopover, or wanting the perfect place for an evening hideaway with friends, you can give a read to this top 15 list to enjoy a cocktailista night in Milan.
Mag – ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43
Mag is one of the first innovative cocktail bar in Milan -a trend-setter. Until few years ago, it was really difficult to enjoy a good, whimsical and fancy cocktail in the Navigli area. Plenty of touristic bars -pretty shoddy let’s admit-, that somehow ruined the magic of one of the most beautiful places in Milan. Mag bar made the magic again and now locals are happy to go there to enjoy a charming cocktail in a charming area. You can immerse yourself in a bohemian atmosphere where you find high quality and refined cocktails. You can sit outside and absorb the atmosphere that Navigli offers at sunset, along with the vibing crowds of people walking by – priceless. Drinks are between 8€ and 10€. The menu with the metro station names is a cool idea. We loved the cocktail “Japan” but I’m sure they are all superb.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been there, yet. But I’ve only heard good things about this speakeasy -especially Shan from Questa Mia Milano and my friend Valentina loved it. It feels like I have already tried their cocktails. It is THE speakeasy of Milan. If you are super curious about it, ask among your friends or on the internet. You won’t be disappointed.
Casa Mia – viale Regina Giovanna, 22
If you are in Porta Venezia, one of the places that I strongly recommend is Casa Mia (Italian word for my home). A cozy spot with amazingly cool interior where you really feel at home. Nice ambiance with two or three outdoor tables where you can sit during summer time. What I like about this cocktailery is that it is outside Milan’s intense nightlife area, so it is a perfect hideaway when you want to enjoy a good drink in a quiet and cozy place. Whether you order from the cocktail list, or you ask the bartender, cocktails are awesome and all of them very particular.
Rufus – via da Giussano, 2
Small. Cozy. Quiet. It is the perfect spot between Pagano and Conciliazione area. The neighborhood is packed with classy shops and nice coffee shops –the so called Italian “bar”, but it missed a cool place where to enjoy a nice drink. You can also follow their Facebook page to discover their activities and special events.
The Doping Club – piazza XXIV Maggio, 8
The Doping Club is the bar of the Yard, the super particular hotel hidden behind a discrete gate of the old houses in Viale Gabriele D’Annunzio, just in front of the Darsena, right next to Trita Burger restaurant. I am sure The Doping Club will suitably quench hipsters’ thirst: barber shop chairs and moustache-rocking waiters wearing tees and braces. To enjoy a drink in a hotel bar is way more fascinating than drinking in a bar: especially because The Doping Club displays a wide arrange of vintage quincaillerie, and also boosts an opulent vintage setting with chairs, tables and sofa all different from each other. There is also an outdoor area, for summer time. Cocktails don’t come cheap, the lowest is at 10€ – this is a place for spoiling. The hotel also hosts Dirty Gym, a pizzeria place that recalls a boxing gym area: I’ve talked about this place here.
Pinch – Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 63
If you are in the Navigli area, and you are not in the mood for Mag, Pinch is the right alternative to it. Nice drinks, vintage ambiance and the cocktail list is consistent with a vintage flair, even due to the use of spirits that were mostly fashion in the past, like Vermouth.
Fonderie Milanesi – via Giovenale, 7
Fonderie is a good spot where you can drink well. But to be honest, the reason why I recommend this place is the whole environment, hiding a lot of hidden treasures. The outdoor garden feels homely and authentic, the courtyard is really nice, with flowers blooming. It makes it a unique place, you should give it a try, even for aperitivo (happy hour).
Officina – via Giovenale, 7
You will find Officina inside the compound of via Giovenale 7. The style of this bar reminds me of a car garage, the literal Italian meaning of Officina. Beautiful sofas, a fascinating bar counter and super refined cocktails. As soon as you get in, you will see a vintage car and a moto which will softly accompany you in the atmosphere of this bar. A bit dark, but evocative. Drinks here start from 12€.
The Botanical Club – via Pastrengo 11 or via Tortona, 33
I’ve already talked about this place for the food. Here you can find a real micro distillery for gin. If you are a gin lover, then this is the place for you. You can find it in via Tortona or in via Pastrengo -in Isola area.
Notthingham Forest – viale Piave, 1
Far from the hipsteria reigning atmosphere of most bars in Milan, this little tiny place is a cocktailista’s must. The atmosphere is unique, a place full of exotic objects coming from all over the world. It is very difficult to find a table, be prepared to wait before enjoying the experience. This is a reference point for those who want to taste a superb cocktail. Here, they are innovators: from jelly cocktails, to those with soya milk. Served in the most whimsical manner, from seashells to coconut shells. A once-in-a-life-time must try experience.
Saketeca Go – viale Piave, 5
A small, tiny bar, 100% Japanese. A little hidden gem in Viale Piave. Authentic, relaxing, and genuine. Genuine for its sakés, that you find in a vast array, like you would fine wine in Italian enotecas (wine shops). I’ve talked about Saketeca Go in a dedicated post in my blog.
Banco is a classic cocktail bar. I would most likely define it an old school cocktailery. Few sittings inside, but there is also an outdoor area on the Naviglio (just in front of the other river bank where Mag and Pinch are situated). The décor itself is old school as well, but cocktails are among the best of the city. For those who look for quality more than the name itself, this is the place. Oh, cocktails are strong.
Barba – via San Gregorio, 40
A quirky little bar, a hidden gem to discover in Milan. The cocktail menu is presented on LP discs in their cover. Cocktails are great. My favorite is the one in the picture, the pinkish one (forgive me, I can’t remember the name!). Barba also offers a very peculiar food menu. A must try.
Ghe Sem – via Vincenzo Monti, 26 or via Borsieri, 26
Ghe Sem offers an interesting food-drink sinergy: Chinese dim sum with an Italian twist – typical Italian dishes filling. Refined cocktails. I’ve written about the food here, but if you want to drink well and to try an interesting food pairing, you won’t be deceived here. Drinks are amazingly contaminated with oriental flavors, expect tantalizing tipples and wonderful artefacts. Minimal chic.
Carlo e Camilla in segheria – via Meda, 24
Carlo Cracco’s restaurant has a very interesting cocktail bar. Like his cuisine, whether from the aesthetic point of view that the quality point of view, the approach to fine drinking is superb. You will always find irreplaceable and unique cocktails here. If you come during summer, it is a plus, because they have a beautiful garden.
Noteworthy cocktail destinations are also Backdoor 43, Rita, Lacerba, Surfer’s Den, The Spirit, Drinc, Dry, Morgante, Eppol, Ugo. I haven’t tried them yet, but I will let you know as soon as possible and keep my top 15 updated!
This post was translated by Alessia