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There’s no shortage of great places to eat, drink and be merry in Milan and there’s certainly something to suit every style and taste. But deciding on the perfect location to dine, drink and dish with friends can be tricky. So to stop you from wandering the Milanese streets for hours trying to find the right spot, I’ve put together a guide of some of my favourite places to socialise, covering every eventually from healthy, organic breakfasts to an evening of classic cocktails. So next time you’re in Milan, why not try one (or all) of the following.
This historic haunt is popular with locals and a great place to catch up over a few cocktails with friends. But you need to be good at making decisions, or prepared to drink a lot, because the menu offers over 500 mixed drinks – including ice cream-based cocktails. That said, the bars signature drink the ‘Negroni Sbagliato’ should be your first tipple of the evening. It was invented at the bar and is a beautiful combination of Campari, vermouth and prosecco.
Location: 39 Via Plinio, Milan, Italy
Website: Bar Basso
If you want to find yourself a little corner of peace and serenity in the bustling city of Milan, you should stop by VegAmore. This is the spot for the best cruelty-free organic food, perfect for vegans and vegetarians, but really it’s great for anyone who loves tasty food that is prepared with care. But it doesn’t stop there, this is so much more than just a bistro, the owners of VegAmore call this a cultural space and offer yoga, dance and wellness courses too! So if you want to immerse yourself in a holistic experience while enjoying great food, drink and company, this is the perfect place to do it.
Location: Via Crema 12, Milan, Italy
If you’re looking for something a bit different, Huan is a buzzing Eastern bistro that lights up around happy hour. The chef manages to find the perfect balance between Eastern cuisine and Italian style, and each dish looks like a tiny work of art. Plus, the bar offers a wide range of drinks and cocktails to be enjoyed alongside a traditional selection of Dim Sum. So you can kick back and admire the vintage furnishings as you enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, with your after-dinner cocktail in hand.
Location: Ripa di Porta Ticinese 69, Milan, Italy
Is there any better way to spend an evening than sharing pizza and a few drinks? Dry perfectly combines great Italian food and drink, with a relaxed ambience, so you can enjoy a casual evening of catching up with friends. If you’re going to tuck into a Milano pizza, some of the best toppings on offer at dry include pancetta, smoked salmon and roasted tomatoes, and to drink you should try The Monk or the Blood and Sand – they might sound strange, but trust me they’re good!
Location: Via Solferino 33, Milan, Italy
Grezzo Raw Chocolate
For those of you with a sweet tooth, Grezzo Raw Chocolate could be the perfect hang out. This raw food patisserie offers organic, vegan, gluten-free and everything else you can think of, so while you might end up eating multiple desserts, you can feel a little less guilty about it. The first raw bakery in Milan, they also have cafes in Turin and Rome and the best part about Grezzo (other than the yummy treats) is that it perfectly encapsulates the luxury of Italy. Social responsibility, minimalist design and natural food are at the heart of all the products served here, so you can catch up and feel good about what you’re eating.
Location: Via Pastrengo 2, Milan, Italy
Website: Grezzo Raw Chocolate
The Spirit is a hidden gem and it will certainly entice your sense of adventure. It can be hard to spot the door when you first arrive but don’t give up. Inside, the extravagant furnishings and long corridors create a luxurious and magical atmosphere that invites you to kick back and relax. OK, I’ll confess this is another cocktail bar, but it is so perfect for a casual catch up with friends, plus you can enjoy a mixture of fine, rare spirits from around the world in your chosen cocktails.
Location: Via Piacenza, 15, Milan, Italy
Website: The Spirit
If you’re looking for somewhere good to eat, Ristorante Cracco can be found inside Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The talented (and starred) chefs here create exciting dishes for the bar and bistro. The restaurant also has it’s own bakery and wine boutique, so it’s the perfect place to drink and dine if you love good wine and freshly baked bread – and who doesn’t!
Location: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 20121 Milan, Italy
Website: Ristorante Cracco