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Ten of the best bars and restaurants in Milan for wine lovers

Known as Italy’s fashion capital, Milan also has a long history of fine food and wine. Lauren Mowery identifies 10 of the best places to eat and drink in the city.

In a city driven by the cyclical whims of fashion, one constant remains: the Milanese enjoy their wine! With some of Italy’s best wine regions within an hour’s drive, there’s never a shortage of options.

One clear trend in Milan is the natural wine movement, which continues at a breathtaking pace. Use the guide below to seek out everything the city has to offer, from the latest natural wine bars to the Milan’s only rooftop ‘ethical hour’ restaurant, plus Michelin-star dining.

Best bars and restaurants in Milan for wine lovers

Horto

Horto Milan Terrace

Horto’s beautiful rooftop terrace. Credit: Horto

Launched in September 2022 on the rooftop of The Medelan complex, Horto explores gastronomy through the concept of the ‘ethical hour’. Executive chef, Alberto Toè – under the direction of Norbert Niederkofler – sources ingredients from small farmers and dairies outside Milan, including Varzese beef for carpaccio, and a nearly forgotten raw-milk blue cheese called Strachítunt used as filling for plin dumplings.

While the wine list stretches beyond the one-hour limit imposed on food, every bottle reflects the restaurant’s ethos, with selections from small producers in the natural, organic and biodynamic realms.

Andrea Aprea

Milan-wine-bars-and-restuarants-AndreaAprea_Restaurant

Andrea Aprea’s intimate dining space. Credit: Massi Ninni / Andrea Aprea

With multiple accolades, including two Michelin stars, Andrea Aprea lures wine-loving gastronomes to the top floor of the new art museum of the Luigi Rovati Foundation. The large, modern dining room anchored by a Murano chandelier seats only a handful of tables each night, creating the illusion of both space and intimacy.

Chef Aprea, easily spotted in the kitchen doorway, delivers a multi-course masterclass in texture, colour and flavour. The wine list reflects the artistic and intellectual ambition of the menu, boasting over 650 labels spanning blue-chips to rare or undiscovered treasures. The best option is to let the sommelier choose the pairings.

Cru wine bar

Cru Arc Milano Wine bar

Cru Arc. Credit: Cru

Jacopo Ercolani, his brother and friends founded Cru in 2018. Ercolani developed an appreciation for minimal intervention wines after leaving the communications industry to work as a sommelier. Today, Cru boasts two locations, both casual, with a focus on wines by the glass and locally sourced cheese and charcuterie boards, including products from Le Marche, where Ercolani is from.

Cru Arc (near Arco della Pace) is a diminutive spot with only 10 interior seats but an outdoor dehors with 30-35 spots. Cru Island (Isola area) offers double the interior space plus terrace seating. Cru’s roster of producers spans 300 winemakers from Europe, with the glass pour changing daily. Don’t be shy about asking staff for help; they deftly match a guest’s taste preferences to the right bottle.

Enoteca/Naturale

Enoteca/Naturale operates as both a wine bar and restaurant, nestled within the pretty setting of Milan’s Parco delle Basiliche in the Ticinese area. While the rotation of 4,000 wine labels provides a point of distinction from its peers, the venue’s unique business model sets it apart: sharing space with Emergency, a humanitarian foundation providing care to people affected by conflict and poverty, Enoteca/Naturale opened in 2018 as an ‘SRL Benefit’ company.

Though for-profit, it promotes social integration and workforce diversity, notably by hiring immigrants. With an extensive selection of wines by the glass poured by an educated yet unpretentious staff, patronising Enoteca/Naturale provides a win-win model for guests and the community.

Vineria Eretica

Vineria Eretica has attracted natural wine drinkers to its intimate space close to Milano Centrale since 2019. Owner Giuseppe Bertini has curated an outstanding list of natural wines encompassing hard-to-find French labels and Italian and other European counterparts.

If Bertini is around, tap his deep knowledge of producers and styles while sampling small plates prepared with organic ingredients. Decorative touches, primarily vintage movie posters and memorabilia, reflect Bertini’s love of cinema.

Champagne Socialist

Founded in 2017 by the same proprietors as Forno Collettivo bakery, Champagne Socialist sits close to Corso Buenos Aires shopping street in Porta Venezia. Inside, however, the ambience is anything but haute fashion.

Peeling paint and exposed cement walls lined with wine bottles evoke an underground cellar. Organised by region, primarily Italian wines complement a selection of sandwiches and cheese and charcuterie boards. Monthly tastings led by featured producers allow guests to mingle with natural winemakers at the bar.

www.instagram.com/csocialist

Vinoir

Generally considered Milan’s first natural wine enoteca, Vinoir has persisted since 2012 as a favoured spot for those seeking small production and minimal intervention selections from Italy and beyond.

Located beyond the tourist fray, in the outskirts of the Navigli district, owner Gianluca Ladu and his wife Maddalena attract a dedicated crowd eager for conversation, education, producer tastings and affordable small plates like fresh handmade pasta. As a retail shop, guests who fall for a glass can purchase a bottle to take home.

Bicerin

Bicerin Milan

Recline in vintage chairs while choosing from the 800-strong wine list at Bicerin. Credit: Bicerin

Dark paint, mirrored glass and vintage chairs in velvet and brocade evoke sipping inside a wine-obsessed antique dealer’s shop. Instead, Bicerin is the brainchild of three friends – Iris Romano, Lorenzo Viola and Alberto Gugliada – who designed the elegant setting to support their cache of 800 labels; many mature, rare and fine wines available to taste using the Coravin system.

Guests can relax in one of the lounge areas or book the ‘wine library’ for a personal tasting organised around lunch or dinner. The à la carte menu showcases seasonal, local produce and ingredients, from rabbit with potato gratin to gnocchi with artichokes and mortadella.

Rovello 18

This warm and welcoming trattoria opened in 2002 but remains an insider’s secret for its deep wine list, especially for grower Champagne. With over 800 bins, one can get lost in the selection process, though there’s a price point for everyone, whether a €30 Dolcetto d’Alba or an €850 magnum of aged Barolo.

The food is as much a draw as the wine list, with classic dishes like vitello tonnato, fassona steak tartare, and veal chop Milanese earning the family founders a Michelin guide nod.

Beefbar

Beefbar Milan interior

Beefbar has a glamorous 1950s feel. Credit: Marion Butet Studio / Beefbar

Style-conscious wine drinkers started flocking to Beefbar after it opened in March 2023. Located near Portrait Milano, a former seminary restored into the city’s poshest hotel, Beefbar taps retro and contemporary interior design trends. Think 1950s Italian glamour replete with arches, curved lines and velvet banquettes.

Though it offers a break from the formality of traditional meat palaces, notably with comfort dishes and global flavours such as Kobe beef carbonara and lemon and yuzu osso bucco risotto, the wine list serves the red wine-and-ribeye crowd. Well known labels from Piedmont and Tuscany steal the show, with a supporting cast from the rest of Italy and France.


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