BAR STRAF—The street bar of the Straf design hotel in the heart of Milan. The bar echoes the basic materials used inside the hotel, such as concrete walls and floors, although here the interior designer Vincenzo De Cotiis has created a sort of spatial overwriting by using a hyper-decorative style. Eclectic happy hour, live music on Tues, dj set on Thurs-Fri. Open daily from 9am to midnight; Sat-Sun 11am-midnight. Aperitivo 6pm-10pm. www.straf.it. Via San Raffaele, 3. T: 02 80508715. M1- M3 Duomo.
BIFFI IN GALLERIA—Founded in 1867 by Pastry chef to His Majesty, Paolo Biffi, this is one of Milan’s oldest cafés situated in the heart of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, just a stone’s throw from the Duomo. Patronized by industry magnates, politicians and members of Milan’s high society, it also serves sophisticated aperitivi. Open daily 7.30-midnight: 7.30am-12am american breakfast; 7pm-midnight aperitivo. www.biffigalleria.it. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II T: 02 8057961. M1-M3 Duomo.
CAFFE’ DELLA PUSTERLA—Open daily for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. Come aperitivo time, it offers a rich buffet of sweet and savoury snacks. Open Mon-Fri 7am-2am; Sat and Sun 8am-2am. Aperitivo 6pm-9pm. Via E. De Amicis, 22. T: 02 89402146. M2 Sant’Ambrogio. Closed from 13 to 19 August.
CONTI CAFE’—This small cosy café-restaurant and lounge bar is located in the courtyard of a prestigious location in via Montenapoleone. Here you can taste and purchase not only confetti (sugared almonds), cakes, chocolates and tea and coffee blends but also raw fish, caviar and Mediterranean-style pasta dishes. Open Mon-Sat Sun 8am-11pm; Sun 10am-11pm. Aperitivo 6.30pm- 11pm. Dj set on Wed. Via Montenapoleone, 19. T: 02 76394934. M1 San Babila, M3 Montenapoleone. Closed from 13 to 28 August.
DESEO—This elegant, crowded lounge-restaurant is situated just a few metres from the Arco della Pace. Boasting a sophisticated setting, it offers delicious cocktails and a rich buffet. It also has a small tobacconist’s counter for the joy of smokers. Aperitivo from 5.30pm to 9.30pm. Corso Sempione, 2. T: 02 315164.
EL TOMBON DE SAN MARC—This historic Milanese establishment was opened in 1963, in the picturesque Brera district. A restaurant and American bar, it serves typical Milanese fare until 11pm. Aperitivo served from 6.30pm. Via San Marco, 20. T: 02 6599507. M2 Moscova, M3 Turati.
FASHION CAFE’—An architectural project based on a “home experience”, but also a hot favourite with industrial magnates, models and young upmarket Milanese trend-setters. Open Mon-Fri from 7am to 2pm; Sat 8.30am-2am; Sun 10am-2am. Aperitivo from 6pm to 9.30pm. After dinner dj set Thurs-Sun. www.fashioncafe.it. Via San Marco, 1. T: 02 6572021. M2 Lanza, M2 Moscova. Closed from 13 to 15 August.
GIN ROSA—One of the oldest and most historic venues in Milan where tradition stands for high-class service, a vast assortment of drinks (in particular wines and whiskies) and a sophisticated environment. When aperitivo time comes around, it offers a selection of fine wines and the famous Gin Rosa cocktail. Open 7.30am-9pm; aperitivo 6pm-9pm. www.gin-rosa.it. Galleria San Babila, 4/B. T: 02 794802. M1 San Babila. Closed from 6 to 22 August.
GLOBE—An elegant lounge bar and restaurant with a panoramic terrace on the 8th floor of Coin, one of the city’s best-stocked and trendiest department stores. The aperitivo comes with a rustic buffet inc cold cuts and cheeses but also platters of select raw fish and upmarket wines. Open daily 11.30am-2am; aperitivo from 6.30pm to 9.30pm. www.globeinmilano.it. Piazza Cinque Giornate, 1. T: 02 55181969. Closed from 6 to 22 August.
LE BICICLETTE—A trendy bar-restaurant combo in the Navigli area, inspired by the world of bicycles. A modern, minimalist ambience and a meeting place for fashion and design personalities. Also organizes first-rate cocktail events and art exhibitions. Open daily noon-2am. Happy hour 6pm-10pm. www.lebiciclette.com. Via Torti corner of corso Genova. T: 02 8394177. M2 Sant’Ambrogio. Closed from 7 to 23 August.
PASTICCERIA BIFFI—A pasticceria established in 1847, its name is linked to the invention of “panettone”, the famous Milanese Christmas cake, exported throughout the world. A taste of old Milan: quality and impeccable service. In the late afternoon, it serves traditional aperitivi accompanied by a buffet. Open every day from 6.30am to 8.30pm. www.biffipasticceria.it. Corso Magenta, 87. T: 02 48006702. Closed from 13 to 16 August.
REFEEL—Located in the elegant, historically rich Porta Romana area, Refeel offers its clientele a relaxed, lowkey ambience and is the perfect place to gossip over a cocktail. Different atmospheres for different times of the day. The kitchen is open every day from 10am. Jazz evenings with dj set. Open Tues-Sun 7am-2am; Mon 8am-2am. Aperitivo from 6.30pm to 9.30pm. www.refeel.it. Viale Sabotino, 20. T: 02 58324227. M3 Porta Romana. Closed from 12 to 18 August.
SANT’AMBROEUS—A traditional meeting place, since 1936, just a few steps away from the Teatro alla Scala. The aperitivo spread includes international cocktails and delicious appetizers based on the theme of the day: oysters, salmon or Parma ham. Open Tues-Sun 7.30am-8.30pm. Aperitivo from 5.30pm to 20.30pm. Closed on Mon. www.santambroeusmilano.it. Corso G. Matteotti, 7. T: 02 76000540. M1 San Babila. Closed from 8 to 21 August.
TRUSSARDI CAFE’—Located on the ground floor of Palazzo Trussardi in Piazza della Scala and run by the chef, Andrea Berton, this is the ideal place for those more relaxed moments. Complete with an outdoor area and a vertical garden, it provides an eco-sustainable backdrop for trendy aperitivi. Open Mon-Fri 7.30am-11pm; Sat noon-11pm. www.trussardi. it/trussardi_cafe. Piazza della Scala, 5. T: 02 80688295. M1-M3 Duomo. Closed from 13 to 29 August.
VICTORIA CAFE’—Situated just a short distance from Piazza Duomo and La Scala, this Parisian Liberty-style cocktail bar is the favourite haunt of a young, often international, crowd. Featuring a central, irregularlyshaped bar counter, curtains and mirrors on the wall, in addition to offering a rich variety of ìaperitiviî, this stylish venue also serves cold dishes, sandwiches and other delectable snacks until late at night. Via Clerici, 1. T: 02 8690834. M1-M3 Duomo.
DESEO—Just a short distance from the Arco della Pace, an elegant, people-filled lounge-restaurant with a good vibe. There is also a small tobacconist’s for the joy of smokers. Saturday and Sunday brunch from noon to 4pm. Corso Sempione, 2. T: 02 315164. Closed from 12 to 21 August
JAZZ CAFÉ—A chic trendy location offering an eclectic cuisine and elegant entertainment, in an informal, friendly atmosphere. Open daily 8am-2am. Its brunch is served on Sundays from 11.30am to 3pm. www. ristorantejazzcafe.com. Corso Sempione, 8. T: 02 33604039. Closed from 12 to 21 August