The best tips on how to eat a mini-meal before your real meal
Just like their espresso, the Milanese like to eat their food little by little. Maybe it helps them fit into their designer skinny jeans. Either way, food culture in Milan dictates that thou shalt not eat dinner before the sun has set and you’ve eaten at least three kinds of carbs, one of which absolutely must be pasta. Thus, 6-9pm is the time for the aperitivo.
Originally invented in Milan, aperitivos are a magical, mouth-watering mélange of the concept of the hors d’oeuvre, tapas, and bar food, but they’re more about socializing than about the food itself. Chat while nibbling on simple plates of olives and nuts, or sometimes on dishes as involved as a full-on Italian lasagna. Either way, aperitivos help you whet your appetite while you sip a cocktail or two in preparation for a late-night dinner (basically, aperitivos remove the stigma of the midnight pizza run).
Order a cocktail (we recommend the Negroni) and grab a few bites to get those digestive juices going
Some tourists don’t really understand this concept (ahem, Americans) and do aperitivos like they’re at a buffet, indulging in a small mountain of chicken tikka masala while the savvy travelers around them are picking at their three or four cubes of buffalo mozzarella. To blend in better, order a cocktail (we recommend the Negroni) and grab a few bites to get those digestive juices going.
Meet Joseph: junior, Earth and Planetary Science concentrator, vagrant vacationer. He spent eight weeks this summer in search of the Iberian Peninsula’s best veggie burger, but en route discovered a bunch of famous monuments, museums, and cultural landmarks—coincidentally, enough to cover a whole section of Let’s Go 2019! From petiscos in Porto to siestas in Salamanca, Joseph’s travels took him up the Portuguese coast and across northern Spain before depositing him in bustling Madrid. According to his Garmin, he walked just under one million steps while navigating from far-flung bullrings to slaughterhouses-turned-cultural centers. A trip so varied, the only real constant was the Nutella-and-toast breakfast combo at every hostel. When he’s not investigating tapas restaurants, Joseph enjoys distance running, playing piano, cooking, specialty coffee shops, and occasionally finishing a Thursday NYT crossword puzzle. He also writes for the Harvard Political Review and the Crimson, but the acme of his writing career was undoubtedly a blog post titled “What is Your Spirit Tapa?” His pet peeve is ambiguous museum signage.