When living in Milan, you quickly become used to the aperitivo lifestyle. Originally, an aperitif is meant to be an alcoholic beverage that is consumed prior to a meal with the intent of stimulating your appetite as well as digestion. One can think of an aperitivo like happy hour with an unlimited appetizer buffet line. The aperitivo is mainly a northern Italian tradition, and from my experience Milan is the best place to experience and aperitivo (Florence comes in at a close second). However, you can also find the French equivelent, an aperitif, on your travels. From olives & cheese to sophisticated pasta dishes; you'll find that every bar offers a different variety of food options. If you are feeling curious about comparing different aperitivos during your time in Milan, here are a few that I recommend:
Located in the Navigli neighborhood of Milan, Maya is my all time favorite location for a quality evening aperitivo. With excellent food, drinks, a great ambiance, and good music; Maya is a great place to start your aperitivo adventures. The atmosphere is as vibrant as the drinks are...check it out for yourself:
Another great spot to try in Navigli, Movida, is just a walk down the street from Maya. Located right off of the river, this is another nice spot to try unique aperitifs, have an excellent view, and enjoy good company. I find the drinks at Movida to be a bit drier, but still exciting for the taste buds. Their drink list is pretty expansive as well as unique...
Exotic, is a restaurant & lounge bar located in the Ticinese neighborhood of Milan. I was not the biggest fan of the food selection, but the drinks are well worth the trip. This is a good aperitivo choice for the younger crowd as most of the clientele are college aged.
While these are my three highlight aperitivos, I also suggest checking out Pave, Bar Basso, Bar Duomo, and Spritz. Italy is filled with aperitivos, and the best tip I can give you is to ask the locals for their recommendations and keep trying different locations until you find your favorite.