Aperitivo in Bologna: a complete guide

Happy students, curious tourists, tired workers: everybody wants to have aperitivo.
​But what is exactly aperitivo? And which are the best places to have it in Bologna?

What is aperitivo?

The word aperitivo has different meanings. These are the ones you should be aware of:
  • A time of the day
    If you say: 'Let's meet for aperitivo!' you mean that you'd meet your friend just before dinner. Time can change according to where you are, in Bologna it's from about 6pm to 8pm.

  • A kind of drink
    Ask a barista for an aperitivo and you'll get an low alcoholic sweet drink. It can be a cocktail or a liquor. Spritz is the most famous, vermuth was the origin, Aperol, Campari, Crodino or Cynar the classics.

  • A way of eating
    ​There's no aperitivo without food. Even a few chips and olives or something more.
    ​Amongst students, aperitivo means a cheap dinner where you pay slightly more for the drink (6 to 8€) and then you have an all you can eat buffet to attack. Most of the time the quality of the food is poor: lunch leftovers, overcooked pasta, salty appetizers to make you drink more. Quality aperitivo exists, but you always pay what you get.

The best places to have aperitivo in Bologna

Aperitivo in summer at Le Serre dei Giardini Margherita
Ex Forno MAMbo
Museum of Modern Art isn't only a must visit during you staying. Just next door this fashion bar with vintage sofas is my first choice for aperitivo. Good selection of pure origin coffee. Sunday brunch from 12:30 to 3pm.

Ex Forno MAMbo
Via Don Giovanni Minzoni, 14/E, 40121 Bologna
​Tel. +39 051 649 3896

Serre dei Giardini Margherita
THE place to have aperitivo outdoor. Drink a spritz sit between rosemary and sage in the renovated greenhouses.
​After aperitivo, you should have a proper dinner at the Vetro restaurant.

Serre dei Giardini Margherita
Via Castiglione, 134, 40136 Bologna
Tel. +39 370 333 6439
Bizarre cocktail bar near Mercato delle Erbe
Mercato delle Erbe
One of the best food markets of Bologna is a place for shopping in the morning and to eat and drink in the evening.
Find a table inside to enjoy a slice of pizza at Mozzabella, a gourmet piadina at Sfarina or a fish tagliere at Vini e Sapuri.

Just outside in Via Belvedere you can get a drink at Bar Senza Nome or the best cocktails of Bologna at Bizarre.

Via Ugo Bassi, 23, 40121 Bologna
Tel. +39 051 484 1969

Via Ugo Bassi, 23, 40121 Bologna
Tel. +39 051 269282

Vini e Sapuri
​Via Ugo Bassi, 23, 40121 Bologna
Tel. +39 320 189 1408

Bar Senza Nome
Via Belvedere, 11, 40121 Bologna
Tel. +39 392 516 2896

Bizarre Tel.
Via Belvedere, 4/a, 40121 Bologna
Tel. +39 347 097 7547
Modo Infoshop and LOrtica in Via Mascarella
Mercato Albani
Another market, but far from the movida of Mercato delle Erbe. A long hallway with food stalls and a few bar that at night becomes alive. At Sbando you can choose from a good list of wine and pay for small tapas (1€ each).
​On Friday and Saturday night the atmosphere is lively and a bit alcoholic. Surely authentic.

Via Francesco Albani, 40129 Bologna
Tel. +39 375 502 7838
Camera a Sud
Via Mascarella and University area
The street of jazz in the middle of University area. Get a drink and a read a book at Modo Infoshop bookshop.
​Sit outside at LOrtica for a Bologna craft beer amongst students.
​A few meters and you get a good example of street food in Bologna: take awat pizza at Pizzartist and a glass of wine at Rubik or Camera a Sud.

Modo Infoshop
Via Mascarella, 24/b, 40126 Bologna
Tel. +39 051 587 1012

Via Mascarella, 26/B, 40126 Bologna
Tel. +39 051 587 6455

Caffè Rubik
Via Marsala, 31/D, 40126 Bologna BO
Tel. +39 051 014 0660

Camera a Sud
Via Valdonica, 5, 40126 Bologna
Tel. +39 051 095 1448
[photos: Lorenzo Burlando, Bizarre Cocktail Boutique, Camera a Sud]

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