In this blog, we’ll show you where to find the best aperitivo in Navigli, the charming and lively district most locals pick for their weekend drinks.
The Navigli area of Milan has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, becoming one of the city’s most iconic and well-loved locations.
During the day, the markets, art galleries, and shops bring the area to life, while in the evening, the crowds flock to the numerous bars lining the canals for an aperitivo.
But where should you go if you want to avoid the usual tourist hotspots and try something truly special?
We’ve got you covered.
For more aperitivo spots in different areas of Milan, you might be interested in: 🍷 The Best Happy Hour in Milan, With Charcuterie Boards and Wine 🍷
Best aperitivo in Navigli area of Milan
If you’re a fan of cheese and cold cuts, then you’re in for a real treat at La Prosciutteria!
This aperitivo spot offers a casual and welcoming atmosphere that will make you feel right at home.
The menu is simple and straightforward, featuring an array of delicious cheeses, meats, bruschetta, spreads, and salads served on boards to share.
The location is beautiful, and you’ll find plenty of locals eating and drinking here, making it a great place to catch the local vibe.
The tapas are perfect for sharing with friends and pair perfectly with a glass of wine or beer.
If you’re lucky enough to visit when the weather is nice, you can enjoy your meal outside, taking in the view of the canal from the tables on the cobbled street.
Just be sure to reserve your table in advance – this spot is always in high demand!
The Mag Café boasts a distinctive and charming atmosphere that will captivate you at every turn.
Here you’ll find a vast array of expertly crafted cocktails that are both visually appealing and delicious. This bar is the perfect destination for a unique and elaborate drinking experience. They periodically update their menu, every time picking a different and interesting theme.
The drink list is always creative and includes a clear indication of alcohol content – plus, the prices are more than reasonable, making it an excellent value for an expensive city like Milan.
If you’re not into cocktails, they also have a great selection of wines, plus a small selection of Italian and international dishes.
If you plan on visiting with a group or want to stay for a while, it’s best to make a reservation ahead of time.
Ugo Cocktail Bar
Ugo Cocktail Bar will take you to a bohemian-inspired world, reminiscent of a Parisian bistro with a touch of Milanese flair.
Aperitivo here is served from 6pm to 9pm, including a cocktail and a mixed platter. The food served with the drink includes a variety of delicious options such as vegetables, canapés, hummus, scones and more.
The bar boasts 40 different gins and a variety of incredible liqueurs and cocktails, with graphics that pay homage to the Art Nouveau and Decó styles typical of the streets of Milan.
The outdoor area is especially lovely in the warm season, and offers stunning views of the Navigli area.
If you’re still hungry after finishing your aperitivo, the menu offers a range of creative hot dishes.
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Rita’s history dates back to 2002, when the concept of happy hour was still new. The barmen have always stood out from the rest by using only fresh and natural ingredients in their drinks and serving simple canapés and finger food from the kitchen.
What sets Rita apart from other bars is exactly this: hte cocktails, which are renowned as some of the best in Milan, are made with fresh ingredients – instead of syrups or powders – and the result is fantastic.
Chips, pinzimonio (fresh vegetables served with simple dips), and focaccia are served at the table during the aperitivo hours. The portions are not large but if you want to stay for dinner, there is a menu of imaginative hamburgers available for approximately 15-18 euros.
Prices for cocktails range from 9 to 12 euros, which is reasonable considering the quality of the ingredients used.
Rita’s Tiki Room
Rita’s Tiki Room is an exotic and entertaining bar in Milan that captures the essence of Polynesian culture.
It boasts an impressive interior and exterior decor, featuring bamboo furnishings, mythical statues, and lush green walls, as well as staff in Hawaiian shirts.
The bar is compact and beautiful on the inside, but has a gorgeous and spacious outdoor area. It features a cute tiki garden surrounded by the charming courtyard of a traditional Milanese couryard house.
The drink menu has a wide range of options, from classic tiki cocktails to special creations.
Prices are reasonable, and the aperitivo come with complimentary appetizers with exotic tastes. In addition, there is a menu with dishes inspired by tropical regions.
I’m always on the lookout for unique places that offer a different perspective on Milan. Tenoha is just that kind of place. It’s a multi-functional space that brings together elements of Japanese culture with Milanese flair.
At its core, Tenoha is a Japanese concept store offering furniture and homeware, but it’s also an event space, a coworking space, and a restaurant.
If you’re looking for an aperitivo experience unlike any other, head to Tenoha & Ramen, where you can enjoy a drink of your choice and a bento box filled with Japanese street food. From fresh vegetables to vegetable tempura, soba soup served cold, and the mini katsu sando – a Japanese cutlet sandwich, the offerings at Tenoha are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
But Tenoha is more than just a place to grab a bite. The real charm of this hybrid space lies in its outdoor area – a true oasis in the heart of Milan. Surrounded by greenery, the outdoor space at Tenoha is the perfect spot to unwind after a long day.
Iter, a cocktail bar and restaurant, offers a sensational dining and drinking experience. With a strong emphasis on premium cocktails and appetizers, the atmosphere here is upscale and elegant.
The decor is carefully chosen to align with the periodically changing theme, which showcases various countries and regions.
The bar offers a large selection of drinks; the bartender, Esteban, provides great service and will assists you in navigating the extensive drink menu.
The drink list is made of a series of postcards representing a different region of Italy, with cocktails crafted using the most characteristic local ingredients. For example, cocktails in Friuli are made using Prime Uve grape distillation, Campari in Lombardy, and Vermouth del Professore in Lazio.
In addition to drinks, Iter also serves a completely Italian menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Photo by Despina Galani