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6° & RAINY ON FRIDAY 21 JUNE IN MELBOURNE
By Tula Wynyard
January 16, 2018
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The Best Aperitivo Hours in Melbourne

Most of these aperitivo specials run for way longer than an hour.
By Tula Wynyard
January 16, 2018
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THE BEST APERITIVO HOURS IN MELBOURNE

Most of these aperitivo specials run for way longer than an hour.

If anyone knows how to live la dolce vita, it's the Italians. And Melbourne owes much of its famous food culture to the country of pizza, pasta, salumi and formaggi. We may have been a little slow to catch on, but we've also inherited an essential part of the Italian lifestyle: aperitivo. Comprised of an aperitif, usually Aperol, vermouth or a negroni, paired with little snacks known as cicchetti, it's the Italian way to shake off the post-work blues and prepare your appetite for the fare to come. Whether you're catching up with pals or bonding over booze with workmates, any of these Melbourne haunts will offer good vibes, killer drinks and moreish snacks.

  • 9

    Whet your appetite for the infamous one-metre pizza at Baby’s aperitivo hour, running daily from 3-6pm. Choose from$10 Aperol spritz or Campari tonics, $11 negroni spritz or super-affordable $4 Shiki beers. Pair with classic aperitivo nibbles including salumi misti, antipasti, polenta chips and arancini. As you’d expect, good vibes and sweet tunes are on the house.

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  • 8

    If you’re a CBD commuter, you may want to delay your trip home — aperitivo hour runs from 4.30 to 6.30pm every day at this intimate salumi bar. During these two hours, every drink you order will be accompanied by a small plate of complimentary cicchetti, so you can keep grazing right through the evening. 

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  • 7

    Match your aperitivo with a few stuzzichini at CBD Italian joint, Massi. From 5.30-6.30pm Tuesday to Saturday, your negroni, Aperol or Campari spritz (or a glass of prosecco if you so desire) will set you back a measly $10. If none of those tickle your fancy, there are also $7 beer sand $9 wines. Saluti, to that.

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  • 6

    Head to Neptune’s sunny terrace for an alfresco afternoon, and opt for a classic aperitivo such as a negroni, Aperol spritz or vermouth on tap. From 4-6pm every day, you’ll be treated to free snacks — including cured meats, cheese, olives, crostini and house-made bread — when you order a drink. So you can while the afternoon away without the hunger pangs.

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  • 5

    There may not be a special aperitivo hour here, but the aperitivi are certainly special. Bar snacks are impeccably cooked, and plated, and feature Australian ingredients. Behind the bar, staff happily flaunt their cocktail expertise, especially when it comes to aperitif selections. We suggest ordering a cocktail made with Rondo, an artisan organic aperitif sourced from Sud Tirol in northern Italy.

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  • 4
    Shadowboxer

    Sleek and chic, Shadowboxer makes for a pretty fine post-work aperitivo destination. Choose your own adventure with a $10 local spritz and a choice of $10 duck ribs or smoked mozzarella fritters. Hops fans are looked after, too, with Once Bitter Urban Ale going for just $6 a pop. Aperitivo hour here runs for a whole three hours – the best kind of cocktail hour is a long one. 

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  • 3

    End the day as the Italians do at Essendon’s 400 Gradi. Chill out with cured meats, cheese and a classic selection of antipasti, and, should you choose to let day roll into night, some of Melbourne’s most reputable pizzas. To drink, there’s a lengthy list of aperitifs and afternoon-friendly cocktails such as the Streets of Melbourne made with Aperol, gin and passionfruit.

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  • 2

    While Sagra doesn’t run any nightly specials, its rooftop bar is the perfect aperitivo location. Seasonal drinks are complemented by Italian fare from the Josper grill, a high-temperature oven that brings out the smoky-sweet flavours of any food it touches. Order a spritz and a selection of antipasti and settle back to watch the sun go down.

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  • 1

    A cosy yet chic haunt in Melbourne’s Italian heartland, Heartattack and Vine offers an impeccable selection of aperitivo cocktails, including a Limoncello Collins and Basque-style gin and tonics, accompanied by crisps. If you’re feeling particularly peckish, grab some cicchetti – $10 gets you three snacks, such as arancini, stuffed olives and anchovy toast.

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