Milan and the lakes
Spending 2 days in Milan and half a day at Bellagio/Varenna.
So far, we are planning to eat lunch in Milan at Luini. Looking for an aperitivo place that we can have for dinner. Any recommendations that are known for their food, maybe somewhere around the Brera district? We could go to Navigli too, but we won't have time to eat until around 830 pm, so the place has to stay relatively late. What time do aperitivo places normally close? I've read about Gold Cafe, Trattoria Toscana, and Bar Brera. Any thoughts on those? Also, are there places near the central train station for a quick lunch?
For Bellagio or Varenna, do you recommend any local-food lunch spots that are reasonably priced but still has nice views or lake atmosphere? Budget is below $15 per person. Thanks!
I think your best aperitivo option is Bar Brera. They run it until 8 or 9 but you should try and get there around 7 for the best food selection if you want to try and make a dinner of it. The street leading into Brera is filled with aperitivo options including Art Bar and Bar Jamaica so if one is full there are other choices. Jamaica and Art Bar also serve pizza and other small plates but I wouldn't recommend them for anything other than aperitivo. They are all either 7 or 8 euro and all great for people watching.
In Varenna I can't tell you anything specifically within your budget but if you walk along the lakeside path from the ferry station there is a small piazza with some bars where you could probably get a sandwich and look out at the lake for less than $15 a person.