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In recent years, the entire area from Corso Buenos Aires to the Central Station, touching the borders of the new sparkling Isola neighborhood and the historic Porta Venezia, has seen new openings of sought after cocktail bars that are the go-to spots of the savvy Milanese. Now that afternoons last until 9.30 pm and the heat grips the asphalt jungle, bars are the ideal destination for those who want to have some peace time, taking perhaps not a usual drink in their friends’ company.
To guide your footsteps through such a dense range of possible targets, the enormity of which is disorienting, we have drawn up the list of five best bars in the area. There is one for every taste, from lovers of sought-after cocktails to the connoisseurs of wine, to those who never give up on a design environment or a hip spot in town.
Cocktails, artisanal beers, quality cold cuts. There is nothing missing at Kilburn. Two simple ideas are the bottom line: drinking well, eating well. The biggest asset of the venue is to be the only one to use certain products. Taking vodka alone, we have the purest Kauffman Vintage 2000, an amazing vodka for real connoisseurs. But you will get the full sense of it from the moment you glance at the menu or from a personal contact with friendly bartenders: their level of professionalism is one of the highest in Milan. Do not underestimate the amazing cold cuts: an absolute must try!
In a quiet, almost dormitory area between Piazza Repubblica and the Central Station, Barba is the spark that brings it to life. Its over-the-top cocktails, the original and discreet musical theme in décor and menus, make it stand out among other bars in the area for the sparkling and youthful fleur. Care in mixing cocktails is easily noticed, with the barman as its testimony, always ready to explain the details of your drinks’ preparation. But Barba is not just a cocktail bar: the dishes available are quick and tasty, perfect for last-minute lunches and dinners with friends.
“…The location is furnished just like the living room of a beautiful home, a little bohemian. The setting is warm and refined, in décor and colours. If you can’t decide among the 800 labels available, Silvia Alberto and Lorenzo (owners and friends) will help you pick the best wine according to your taste. Bicerìn’s selection can take by surprise even the most passionate enthusiasts! The space is open from the morning, as a wine shop: if you work in the area, you could pass by during your lunch break and buy a bottle to go, or you could stay for a “bicerìn” (small glass of wine) after work and relax sipping “orange wine”, of which they are passionate enthusiasts. The aperitivo is accompanied by small delicacies that get served with the first glass but if you would like to dine, there are many dishes that will delight you…”
“…On their website you can read that “Radio is a day-to-night, high energy, cocktail lounge rooftop bar”. I would simply call it one of the coolest places in Milan: a modern cocktail bar, with minimal shades of colour you never get tired of – anthracite, cream, dark browns – enriched by a breathtaking view of the new Porta Nuova – Varesine district located at the 10th floor of the Me Milan Il Duca Hotel. The customers are mainly foreign, but you can notice a good mix of business and luxury living, what matters overall is that there’s an international vibe. The music warms you up and creates the right atmosphere while the staff is professional and attentive. The cocktail list is vast and not too sophisticated, suitable for a diverse clientele. From their strong suits like Aviation and Vesper Martini to a couple of twists on the classics like various gin tonics, and a small selection of their own Radio drinks. White and red wine, rosé, and champagne are not missing, of course. After a series of delicious complimentary amuse-bouches, you cannot resist trying a few dishes. And the choice is really hard because the menu is actually very rich: from finger food – available almost all day long – to small degustation dishes that span many continents…”
DRY MILANO | Viale Vittorio Veneto 28
Photo credit © Dry Milano
Opened last April in the middle of Design Week, Dry Milano doubles it with this venue in Viale Vittorio Veneto, following the well-established Dry in Via Solferino open since 2013. The new Dry is an expansion of the original concept, from the furnishings to the menu during opening hours: all day, from breakfast to after dinner, a très chic and trendy landmark in Piazza Repubblica. The cocktail menu by Guglielmo Miriello – the bar manager – with the help of bartender Nicolò Cavalieri has been expanded, including in addition to the classics and the revisions a selection of Fragrance Cocktails and Signature Cocktails developed to engage senses of sight, taste, and smell. In addition to delicious gourmet pizzas and focaccias (by chef Simone Lombardi), the new menu also includes a wide range of salads, cold cuts, and mouth watering dishes. In short, the concept created by the starred Chef Andrea Berton and partners keeps hitting the target with its “Cocktails & Pizza”.