Wine, beer, cocktails and aperitivi: the evening turns Milan into a busy hive of shiny bars that can relieve everyone’s thirst...and hunger! Pop in a bar after 6 pm to get some tasty bites with your drinks as, in Milan, the Happy Hour is a religion. You will find some excellent wine bars and brewpubs with wide selections of the best Italian craft beers, as well as cocktail bars where creativity is poured in a glass. All of this garnished with live music, cosy ambience and spectacular views.
If you can get a seat at this tiny bar (and that “IF” should be capitalized), you're in for an unforgettable experience. Harry Potter, Merlin and Houdini combined have nothing on the molecular wizardry of Nottingham Forest's mixologists, whose bags of tricks never cease to amaze. In this quirky bar, concoctions come served in all phases of chemical reactions: liquids turn into solids, solids into liquids, and some even "poof" into smoke right in front of your very eyes. With more than 500 eccentric cocktails to choose from it's not magic but sheer brilliance that has landed Nottingham Forest on "the great 50 bars of world" list. Word to the wise: no reservations are taken here, so just line up along with Milan's locals. We assure you, it's worth the wait.
A microbrewery since 1996, this brewpub has since expanded to a secondary location nearby to accomodate its fan base. The quality of all eighteen beers brewed is impeccable, and pairs perfectly with a plate from the kitchen. Occasionally graced by live music, this birrificio is a must for beer lovers in a country otherwise dominated by wine!
This traditional Irish pub finds its origins in Cork before being transported piece by piece, from the wooden chairs to the polished bar, directly from the Emerald Isle to the north of Italy. The wisecracking staff will happily pour you a Murphy's Irish stout, and the large screen TVs perpetually broadcast the current football match. Vittles include burgers, shepherd's pie, and even piadine for those reluctant to stray far from Italian cuisine. Tuesday is Karaoke Night, and while this is certainly the most à propos place to celebrate St Patrick's Day, step into the green-clad mayhem at your own risk!
Outfitted with Victorian wallpaper, leather-upholstered benches, old books, and rural paintings of the British countryside, both rooms in this pub possess an unmistakable living room casualness. The bar serves carefully selected English and international draught beers, as well as three craft beers produced specially for the Old Fox at a brewery in Bergamo. During the aperitivo hours, a pint of Carlsberg sets you back just €3. From the kitchen you will find well-done Anglo-Saxon fare, but the favourite is an unforgettable platter of fish & chips prepared à la Yorkshire with fresh Atlantic cod. As you would expect, sporting events are always on the big screens overhead, and every two weeks Irish Music Live performs with violins and accordions.
An atmospheric take on the pub scene, Au Vieux Strasbourg is all dark wood, cosy nooks, and muted lighting. It offers an impressively extensive international beer list, with several Belgian choices on tap, and it may be the only place in town that serves kriek. Comfortable booths and tall bar stools circling repurposed barrels are perfect for a night out with friends or a quiet conversation. Weekends are busy, as are football match nights.
When the dress code transforms from "smart casual" by day to "smart glamorous" by night, you know you've come to the cosmopolitan heart of Milan. The quiet hum of Radio Rooftop Bar's lunch hour builds into a crescendo as evening descends and aperitivo is served, and then cranks up the volume as a DJ rocks the night with sets of funk, house, jazz and remakes of greatest hits. Dominating the tenth floor of five-star ME Milan il Duca Hotel, Radio hovers over Piazza della Repubblica providing a breathtaking perspective of the shimmering city by-night from its outdoor terraces. That said, the spectacular view has to compete for your attention with some of the best people-watching in Milan.
Located just within Parco Sempione, this club is popular and busy throughout the week. The spot has been in business since 1933, and is recognized by Lombardy as a business of historical relevance. Today, however, the identity is all mod. Wednesday is student night, although the crowd tends to be young regardless of the day. A perfect spot for summer clubbing, as its outdoor terrace is a welcome respite from the energetic dance floor.