Negroni Hour: Melbourne’s Tastiest Aperitivo Joints
While Melburnians might be a little late to the aperitivo party (Italians have been doing it for centuries), that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to whet our appetites right with spritzes and snacks. Here are the best spots in Melbourne to enjoy a tasty and social prelude to an evening’s meal, Italian style.
As far as Italian restaurants go, Sagra is as authentic as they come. Focusing on top quality seasonal ingredients and rich complex flavours, you’ll be spoilt for choice with aperitivo options. Saunter your way through the extensive wine list and cocktail offering, working from spritz, to sangiovese and back again. From rich zucchini flowers and fresh kingfish crudo, to josper-grilled calamari and flavoursome caprese, aperitivo drinks will swiftly turn into dinner at Sagra.
256-258 Glenferrie Road, Malvern
This dark, wood-lined CBD wine bar is as sophisticated as it is laid-back. Abuzz every night of the week with colleagues, friends and lovers, mid-week revellers can’t get enough of the aperitivo vibe at Embla. Think thoughtfully curated small plates (green olive sourdough and pickled mussels FTW) and “slightly weird” natural and small producer vinos. Two appetising reasons to check it out.
122 Russell Street, Melbourne
In true aperitivo style, CBD based Floyd’s is all about fine wining and dining. Order a Negroni Your Way (our fave is the Rosita) or a glass of their finest import and nibble on cheese, meats and ciabatta. We have our eyes on their meatball and provolone ciabatta.
Level 2/399 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
This luxe Italian bar serves delicious aperitif cocktails along with tasty cicchetti and salumi. Ombra Salumi Bar is dedicated to the art of Italian dining, through their rich flavours and traditionally inspired menu. With intriguing cocktails like The Rose Garden, Il Padrino and White Negroni, alongside delectable dishes like eggplant fritti, Spring Bay mussels and mortadella croquette, aperitivo hour has never tasted so good.
76 Bourke Street, Melbourne
An appetising foodie destination, weekend aperitivos are best spent at Sig. Enzo Aperitivo Bar. Each Sunday, 3pm-6pm, you can sip on a wine, beer or spritz and dine from their delectable array of cicchetti for just $20. Expect Italian meats, cheeses, breads and dips to reign supreme, and if you are still feeling hungry, you have the perfect excuse to stay on for dinner. Pizza please!
1D Michael Street, Brunswick
South Yarra’s aperitivo hotspot, this light-filled wine bar, restaurant and cocktail bar serves up a variety of showstopping Australian wines and photo-worthy cocktails, and thankfully, they’re equally passionate about their charcuterie and cheese. Offering fresh share plates and wholesome produce, your after-work catch up at Shadowboxer is perfectly complemented by the pork cheek croquettes, beetroot and feta fritters, and a cheeky-barrel aged negroni… or two.
302 Toorak Road, South Yarra
When it comes to wine and cicchetti (a Venetian-style bar snack similar in spirit to tapas), Heartattack and Vine delivers. Cosy yet lively, diners can feast on as much or as little as they like, needing only the spare change in their pocket –$4.50 to be exact – for their selection of mouth-watering morsels. Pair crispyarancini, slow-cooked meatballs and crispy zucchini fritters with a bottle of Italian wine, and you’ve got the sophisticated aperitvo catch up you’ve always dreamed of.
329 Lygon Street, Carlton
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