Where to go to taste the iconic Milan aperitivo and the many appetizers and buffet included in the price.
Milan has a long lasting rivalry with Rome, and has often been nominated (likely by Milanesi themselves) the True Capital: the business capital, the moral capital, and so on and so forth.
We may endlessly argue about which town of the two could aspire to the title, but one thing cannot be denied: Milan is the capital of Aperitivo.
In no other city of Italy, not even in Venice (read my post on Cicchetti – , or in Bologna, post to come), aperitivo is such a widespread social habit and nowhere else it reaches the same level of locations, glamour and food.
Yes, food. In most Italian cities, the typical aperitivo consists of a drink accompanied by modest snacks such as potato chips and olives (if you are lucky enough not to receive only the drink…). In Milan, you can expect to be offered an endless variety of dishes such as pasta, risotto, salads, ham, cheeses, meat balls, sausages, bits of pizzas and even exotic food such as sushi or curry, often served as an “all you can eat” buffet.
For this reason, for many busy Milanese, as well as for the smart travelers, the aperitivo becomes a clever alternative to dinner at the price of a cocktail (from 5 to 15 Euro).
Top locations are usually poshy and trendy and, during the good season, they may give you the opportunity of discovering and enjoying carefully hidden gardens and courtyards.
There are literally hundreds of nice places to have aperitivo, and new ones pop up every day. I’m going to share with you my favorites, leaving to you the pleasure of working out your own selection.