2018 guide to Michelin star restaurants in Florence
Fine dining in Florence is child’s play. The city boasts seven Michelin-starred restaurants, all of which serve up unforgettable dishes that highlight the culinary heritage of Tuscany with authenticity and modern audacity. Whether that be a play on the Bistecca Fiorentina or a plate of spaghetti hidden beneath a mound of freshly grated truffles or simply the most incredible gelato you have ever tasted. Make sure to consult this complete list of Michelin star restaurants in Florence for your next fine dining adventure.
And even though the flavours at these esteemed culinary heavens are out of this world, the prices are often much more down to earth. So if you feel like dining at one (or all) of the best restaurants in Florence, keep on reading.
⭐⭐⭐ 3 stars
Enoteca Pinchiorri “A feast for the senses”
From the moment you step into Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence and its glorious turn-of-the-century dining room in Palazzo Jacometti-Ciofi, you’re treated like royalty. From the ingredients to the wine to even the tiniest fork in their impressive array of cutlery, the attention to detail is unmatched anywhere else in Florence.
At its helm is Annie Féolde, also known as The Diva of Cuisine and the first woman Chef to earn 3 stars in Italy, who started at Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence from the early 1970s preparing little tidbits to serve alongside a young sommelier by the name of Giorgio Pinchiorri.
Together the two have transformed Enoteca Pinchiorri into a fine dining restaurant that stands out for its modern take on traditional proteins like pigeon cooked under a salty cocoa bean crust with mango chutney, carrots with paprika and devil sauce.
Tasting menus start at 225 euros without wine. Be sure to ask for a tour of the cellar, which is said to be legendary. Tuesday to Saturday, dinner only
Via Ghibellina 87, Florence 055 242757 enotecapinchiorri.it
⭐ 1 star
La Leggenda dei Frati “Welcome to our home!”
While Filippo Saporito and Ombretta Giovannini don’t actually live in the gorgeous gardens of Villa Bardini, their restaurant is an extension of their own Sienese hospitality. The couple met at school and were enchanted by the story of three monks who gathered the best fruits and grains from their garden to prepare a meal that was so good, they sang and danced for days.
Inspired, the couple created their own kitchen garden in one of the most panoramic locations in Florence and set about working with local culinary artisans to deliver the best of Tuscany. The Chef’s signature dish is Chianina beef tartare with raw mushrooms, mustard mayo, and fennel sorbet, but there’s plenty to inspire vegetarian diners too.
The tasting menu starts at 95 euros without wine and the restaurant doubles as a gallery with a constant rotation of modern art to enjoy while you dine. Closed Mondays.
Costa San Giorgio 6/a, 50122 Florence 055 0680545 www.laleggendadeifrati.it
Il Palagio “Discover the magic of Florence”
Nested in the Four Seasons hotel in the grand Palazzo della Gherardesca, Il Palagio keeps its dining room minimalist with a hint of Renaissance opulence, but it’s only used in cooler months. The real treat is dining on the lantern-lit terrace considered one of the city’s most romantic summer venues and surrounded by one of its largest gardens.
Like many of his Michelin starred contemporaries, Basilicata-born Vito Mollica strives to use locally sourced seasonal ingredients, but he takes slow food to another level by never forgetting his more humble roots, immortalized in his year-round use of baccalà, the salt cod his village of Avigliano in southern Italy is famous for. That said, his signature dish is the far more decadent cavatelli pasta with red prawns, baby squid and a Cacio e Pepe sauce.
The tasting menu starts at 135 euros without wine and the restaurant is open every day for dinner only.
Il Palagio, Four Seasons Florence Hotel Borgo Pinti 88, 50121 Florence 055 2626450 ilpalagioristorante.it
Borgo San Jacopo “Live Italian gourmet excellence”
Part of Borgo San Jacopo’s charm is its breathtaking view of Ponte Vecchio, but even if you’re not seated within eyeshot of Florence’s famous bridge, you definitely won’t leave this Ferragamo-owed, Michele Bonan-designed restaurant unsatisfied.
Earning its Michelin star in 2015, Borgo San Jacopo plays on its veritable youth with cutting edge dishes, described by its executive chef, Peter Brunel, as “experiments grounded in Italian tradition, but elevated in innovative and unexpected ways”.
The must-try dish here is potato spaghetti alla carbonara, a starchy nod to the Chef’s roots in Val di Fassa in the Dolomites and part of a tasting menu inspired by every part of the vegetable from root to flower. It starts at 115 euros without wine. Open daily for dinner.
Borgo San Jacopo Borgo San Jacopo 62R, 50125 Florence 055 281661 lungarnocollection.com
Ora d’Aria: “Tradition, innovation and elegance combined”
This restaurant’s rather peculiar name stems from its previous location, opposite a former prison. The inmates were given an hour of air each day in which to relax and unwind, and it’s in the same vein that Executive Chef and Tuscan native Marco Stabile hopes you’ll enjoy your dining experience.
Ora d’Aria prides itself on never spending a cent on advertising, but flourishing through word of mouth alone.
Stabile has rummaged through Italy’s culinary history for inspiration in dishes that are familiar, but beautifully reworked. Critics rave about his pheasant stuffed tortellini with liquorice powder and foie gras cream. Diners also have the very rare, but welcome opportunity to choose their own dessert in every tasting menu, which start at 80 euros without wine. Closed Sundays. Open for lunch.
Ora d’aria Via dei Georgofili 11R, 50122 Florence 055 2001699 oradariaristorante.com
La Bottega del Buon Caffè: “Authenticity and honesty”
The Bottega of Good Coffee is as unpretentious and as delicious as it sounds. Head Chef Antonello Sardi started in the kitchen as an assistant, but it wasn’t long before he started turning heads with his clean, fresh and natural dishes.
A Florentine native, Sardi excels at seasonal dishes inspired by his city and the incredible local farms, butchers and vegetable growers. The restaurant even has its own kitchen garden and makes its very own Tuscan honey.
Dining in summer is alfresco with views of the medieval tower of San Niccolò and a four-course lunch menu is available for 80 euros. Dinner on the other hand will set you back 130 euros without wine. The menu changes almost weekly, but the Amberjack fish served three ways (tartar, belly, fillet) with baby onions, asparagus and caramelised onions is always a winner. Closed Sunday and Monday lunch.
La Bottega del Buon Caffè Lungarno Cellini 69R, 50122 Florence 055 5535677 borgointhecity.com
Winter Garden By Caino “An Epicurean Duo”
Headed by power duo Michele Griglio and Valeria Piccini, neither of whom are strangers to Michelin, Winter Garden evokes images of the horse-drawn carriages that once entered the old courtyard of the St Regis hotel. Now this incredibly elegant dining room plays host to dishes inspired by Valeria Piccini’s roots in the Maremma, where Valeria earned two Michelin stars for her innovative take on the dishes her husband’s tiny trattoria had been serving for generations. Dishes like pappa al pomodoro are revisited with flavours of basil and homemade bread.
But don’t assume Michele Griglio is just along for the ride. The Piedmontese chef brings light and creative seafood dishes inspired by his Northern Italian roots as well as beautiful desserts like pina colada on a plate, that lean on a childhood spent in his grandmothers’ pastry shop. The tasting menu starts at 95 euros without wine. Open every day for lunch and dinner.
Winter Garden By Caino Piazza Ognissanti 1, 50123 Florence 055 2716 stregisflorence.com