Milan is one of the most important cities in Italy and is also very well known as “Milano da bere” – Milan to drink – because of the crazy amount of bars and pubs in the city.
If you are going to visit Milan, to discover its real soul, you have to see and to enjoy its aperitivo: Happy Hour.
Every day, after office hours, many Milanese bars offer you the opportunity to appreciate and participate in the ritual of aperitivo. Bars usually charge a fixed fee for drinks, which is around 5 Euros for a beer (pint) and from 7 to 10 Euros for a cocktail, but during the happy hour (which is actually more like 3 0r 4 hours) the bars set up a buffet, with all kinds of food, where the guests can take whatever they want without any additional costs. So, if you think that the price of the drinks is expensive, bear in mind that you can actually get a dinner for free!
To guide you through all the different choices you have in Milan, I asked some of my friends living there to give me something of a tour and show me what they think are the best places to enjoy the happy hour in Milan. It was tough, really, everyday going around, drinking and eating… It’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it; I chose 5 bars for you, so let the happiness begin!
Blender – Piazzale Susa 7, Milan
Every day from the 19:00 to 21:00 the Blender offers a really tasty aperitivo. The Blender built its fame on the quality and quantity of its food.
The food during happy hour is always warm and freshly made; you can taste paella, pasta with lobster sauce, and much much more.
Hora Feliz – Via San Vito 5, Milan
The Hora Feliz is a Mexican pub where you can have an amazing aperitivo between 17:00 and 22:00, and you can also enjoy a midnight snack between 24:00 and 01:00.
The prices are quite high (6 Euros for a pint and 8 Euros for a cocktail) but you can have as much food as you want for 5+1 hours…definitely worth it!
Milano Cafè – Via Procaccini 37, Milan
This is one of the most fashionable cocktail bars in which to enjoy happy hour in Milan. The Milano Cafè offers a different ambience where you can feel at home and enjoy the food and drinks.
The happy hour is from 19:00 to 22:00; during this time the price of all drinks (beer, cocktails or wine) is 8 Euros and includes all the fresh buffet as well as the grill where waitresses prepare dishes to order, including home made crepes and, if you’re lucky, fresh oysters.
Frida Cafè – Via Antonio Pallaiuolo, Milan
If you are looking for something alternative you will love the Frida! The Frida is not only a bar, it’s also a restaurant, an event space, an art gallery and a eco-fashion shop.
The Frida has a beautiful covered garden that is one of the most cozy and comfortable spots to enjoy a nice drink with your friends!
Noon – Via G. Boccaccio 4, Milan
The Noon is a nice place to enjoy the happy hour near Castello Sforzesco. Every day from 18:00 until 21:00 you can have aperitivo and enjoy the fantastic buffet of the Noon.
Here you can choose sushi and crudités all served with oriental-style sauce, or Italian regional delicacies such as Ascoli-style stuffed olives, parmesan shavings, and mozzarella in breadcrumbs…
Okay; these are my favourites, but there are still loads of other bars to choose from, and of course the only way to know what you like is to try it. The moral of the story: if you enjoy happiness and free food get yourself over to Milan and sample the evening delights of this amazing city. Afterwards you can let us know your own favourite choices. Buon aperitivo!