Milan’s iconic Bar Basso

Bar Basso - best cocktail bar in Milan
The legendary Bar Basso

Bar Basso probably shows up on every list of must-do places in Milan from the well-heeled fashion and design driven crowds to the food world cognoscenti to the fanny-pack sporting tourists. Bar Basso is a Milanese institution and if you’re in Milan, you must check out this cocktail bar.

Now, not to digress, but Bar Basso is the perfect example of why I never consult TripAdvisor or other crowd-sourced websites. It doesn’t have a great rating on TripAdvisor and I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you don’t like this place, then you just don’t get it. Sure, the bow-tied old men who work here might not be the friendliest, but it doesn’t bother me. I think it adds to its charm.

Bar Basso -best cocktail bar Milan
Bar Basso’s old-school interior.

The bar itself opened in 1947, and it looks a cross between an old school Paris café and what the Parlour would look like if the game Clue was turned into a Broadway musical. Sparkling chandeliers hang from the ceiling while round café style cafes and chairs line the walls. Now, I know my love for old things makes me biased, but Bar Basso knows how to charm.

Firstly, this is where the Negroni Sbagliato was birthed in 1967 when barman Mirko Stocchetto accidentally poured prosecco into a negroni. This serendipitous slip of the hand made cocktail history. His “wrong negroni” has inspired a plethora of bar men to offer their own twists on his classic mistake.

negroni-sbagliato-bar basso Milan cocktail bar
Bar Basso’s one and only Negroni Sbagliato

You can opt for a normal negroni served in a massive glass chalice filled with a immense block of ice. The  Mangia e Bevi, a hazelnut ice cream cocktail, is also a crowd pleaser. But there’s plenty more where all these came from as the cocktail list has more than 500 drinks.

negroni-bar basso milan cocktail bar
Bar Basso’s negroni in its massive wine glass

The ironic part is, as much as I love this place, I feel like I only go here when I have someone visiting from out of town. Perhaps that should change soon.

Photos: Bar Basso

Bar Basso
Viale Plinio, 39
+39 02 2940 0580
Wednesday – Monday: 9am – 1.15am
Closed Tuesday





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