Let’s be honest: every once in a while, we all just want to go out and splash on a good, high-quality meal, and nowhere else does this better than Michelin Star restaurants.
The Tuscan capital of Florence has a wealth of Michelin Star restaurants offering visitors a true taste of the region’s gastronomic scene.
I have been lucky enough to dine in some of these establishments over the years, from locally-owned eateries to famous names that people will know of around the world.
Using my experience, I have designed this guide with the best Michelin Star restaurants in Florence that are worthy of a visit the next time you’re after a gourmet dining experience.
Set in the Four Seasons Hotel, Il Pagio rightfully earned its Michelin Star in 2023. I happened to visit here just after they got it, and I was really excited to see how the experience would be.
Il Pagio focuses on producing Italian and international dishes with some of the finest seasonal ingredients from suppliers that have an ethical vision and use pure practices that get the most of the tastes and flavors.
The interiors of Il Pagio reminded me of a palace with luxurious hanging chandeliers, vintage paintings, and opulent sofas. From the moment I entered the restaurant, the staff made me feel like I was a true VIP with a warm welcome and addressing me by name throughout the service.
I booked into Il Pagio for the A La Carte menu and found the menu to be small.
It only had five options for appetizers, including grilled lobster glazed with hazelnuts, five selections for the first course, like risotto with smoked butter, and four choices for the main course, including white Croacker with burnt potatoes.
My order was the grilled pigeon, which was my first time trying it. If I could sum up the taste in one way, it would be slightly gamier than chicken and extremely juicy. It was covered in a dolceforte sauce that was very sweet, almost like honey, and some corny polenta was served on the side.
Il Pagio (€€€) – Borgo Pinti, 99, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy – every day, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Restaurante Borgo San Jacopo
Next is the outstanding Restaurante Borgo San Jacopo, which overlooks the famous Ponte Vecchio.
In terms of location, this spot wins it for me; I still remember sampling a fine glass of Perrier Jouët Grand Brut as the sun was going down over the River Arno like it was yesterday.
Restaurante Borgo San Jacopo had a real romantic edge for me; the dimmed lights and the candles lit on each table created an intimate ambiance. And I loved the fancy furnishings and the huge floor-to-ceiling windows that looked right out onto the Arno.
The fine dining options at Restaurante Borgo San Jacopo were an À la carte menu and a tasting menu. Since I was on vacation, I went for the ‘Experience’ tasting choice; it was expensive but so worth the money.
I tried five unique dishes in total, including a beef tartare with a seared oyster. The seared oyster had a brininess to it and was slightly fishy, but not so much that it ruined the dish. The beef tartare was chopped nicely and had a quite mustardy taste with an umami-rich profile.
Another dish I loved was the Suckling Pig in porchetta. The meat was so delicate because of the age of the pig. On the side, there was some red radish that brought a semi-sweet side to it.
Restaurante Borgo San Jacopo (€€€) – Borgo S. Jacopo, 62/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy – 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm Wednesday to Sunday
Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura
In honor of one of the most famous brands to ever come from Florence, Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura showcases everything the Gucci trademark is known for, including class, innovation, and diversity.
Personally, I’m a huge admirer of modern restaurants that really go out of their way to create an edgy vibe around their establishment, and Gucci Osteria does that. It was evident throughout my dining experience, from the refined furnishings to the ochre tones that covered the walls.
Like most of Florence’s Michelin restaurants, Gucci Osteria’s menu is tasting style. I wasn’t too pushed to have a seven-course meal the day I went here, so I opted for the two-course option where I could pick two from the seven.
To start, I had the Pork Belly of Cinta Senese steamed bun. The pork was covered in a spicy Tuscan sauce, which was lovely, and it wasn’t overly fatty, which won points from me. When I bit into the steamed bun, I couldn’t get over how chewy it was, which paired well with the juiciness of the pork.
For my second course, I had the crispy cod, which had a flaky and buttery texture on the outside and quite a tender interior. The piece wasn’t too big either, so I was satisfied by the end of it.
Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura (€€€) – P.za della Signoria, 10, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy – Monday to Friday, 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm and 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Ora D’aria earned its first Michelin Star in 2010, only five years after opening, and has maintained its level of service ever since. It’s a pretty big-name restaurant in Florence; I had heard about it a couple of times from other foodies I hang out with in Rome.
My meal here truly exceeded my expectations. First, the interiors were incredible; I adored the glass door that led into the kitchen, which was open for guests to peek in and look at the cooking.
The wall panel detailing was incredibly creative, as it gave the room a sleek, minimalistic touch. Plus, the light colors that it was painted in made it stand out even more.
The À la carte menu at Ora D’aria was fairly priced compared to some of the other Michelin Star restaurants I’ve been to. There was a minimum order rule of three dishes per person, so prepare yourself in advance.
My first dish was the cream of foie gras; it was extremely rich, but the Alchermes gave it a slightly spicy aftertaste. Next up was the lobster soup, which had a smooth consistency. The lobster’s texture was soft with an explosive natural sweetness.
Finally, I ended up having the roasted scampi; this was my favorite dish of the night. I found it to be quite mild and not as fishy as others I have tried in the past. On the side was a chopped celary root and apple, which gave it an earthy kick.
Ora D’aria (€€€) – Via dei Georgofili, 11R, 50100 Firenze FI, Italy – Monday to Saturday, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Chic Nonna di Vito Mollica
To finish this list of the best Michelin Star restaurants in Florence, I kept the beautiful Chic Nonna di Vito Mollica until last.
It has four dining facilities, all of which are completely unique from each other and designed with Renaissance-style interiors. If you’re like me, you’ll struggle to choose the one you want to dine in.
I had my meal in the Atto Restaurant, and all I can say is wow, it felt more like a museum than anything else, from the sculptures surrounding the dining area to the carved archways on both ends of the hall. Not to forget the glass flooring panel with pebeled designs imprinted and bright lights under it.
The venue only has 55 seats overall, which are separated into five different dining rooms, and all of the tables are widely separated from each other, which made me feel that I almost had the place to myself.
I sampled a collection of dishes during my time at Chic Nonna di Vito Mollica, but one that sticks in my mind is the turbot, a humongous flat fish that’s pretty sweet.
It tasted a bit more oilier than a species like Halibut. The dish came with some salty sea lettuce, foil-scented mandarin, and nutty Jerusalem artichokes that gave it a slight hint of vanilla.
Chic Nonna di Vito Mollica (€€€) – Via del Corso, 6, 50122 Florence FI, Italy – Wednesday to Sunday from 7:00 pm (no closing time specified on their website)
Now that you’ve had your fill of Michelin restaurants from this guide, it’s time to book one of these options, put some fancy clothes on, and feel a little bit special for the evening.
Spending some extended time in Florence? Take a look at our Florence food tours, where you’ll get to eat exactly like the locals do!
Or, if you want to head out for a mid-day feed, see where you can get the best lunch in Florence here.