6 romantic restaurants in Florence for the best date night
It's not hard to find romance in Florence. In this beautiful and historic city, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, romance is around just about every corner. Whether it's the soft sunlight sloping into the Piazza del Duomo at the end of a memorable night or the lights of the city twinkling against the twilight from Piazzale Michelangelo at the start of a new one, romance is everywhere in this gorgeous city.
There are few better ways to spend a night with your significant other than sharing an intimate dinner in a romantic restaurant. Naturally, Florence is a great place to eat delicious Italian food. But as every Italian will tell you, there's really no such thing. Italian cuisine is intensely regional, and so the best things to eat in Florence aren't necessarily spaghetti and pizza but local cuisine made with centuries-old techniques and fresh local produce.
Of course, Florence is a cosmopolitan city, so you'll find more than just Italian or even Florentine food on offer here if you're looking for a hearty meal. Florence has tons of options for romantic dining in the city center and beyond.
From the moment you arrive at Florence train station, you'll find yourself swept away by the romantic atmosphere of the city. Track down delicious food in the city's best romantic restaurants, and you'll have the perfect date night on your hands.
Just don't forget to leave your bags behind at a luggage storage in Florence. Nothing kills the atmosphere of a romantic dinner quicker than dragging heavy bags around with you, so don't spoil the dining room with your baggage. Leave it with Bounce instead.
Restaurant Il Palagio
Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, you know you're in for a high-end experience here. This is the place to come if you want a romantic meal with no expense spared. Because the delicious food here certainly doesn't come cheap, you are guaranteed not only a romantic dinner but a luxury atmosphere that is hard to match anywhere else.
Il Palagio is led by former youth soccer player Paolo Lavezzini. Awarded a Michelin star, this restaurant offers both a tasting menu and an a la carte selection. The menu is unabashedly Italian, featuring risotto, tortellini, beef fillet, and an ever-changing selection of fresh-caught fish. As you would expect from an haute cuisine restaurant like this, the service is exquisite, making this one of the best romantic restaurants in Florence. The two tasting menus cost €150 and €190, respectively, and you can expect to pay more than €50 for a main course à la carte, so your romantic dinner at the Four Seasons hotel certainly won't be cheap. But it's guaranteed to be memorable.
The hotel offers a range of unique experiences that you can book ahead of time, and these experiences provide the ultimate in romantic dining in Florence. You can personalize the menu with help from the chef and choose your own music and decor. Dine on the Altana terrace overlooking Brunelleschi's magnificent dome, eat in the hotel's 15th-century chapel, or enjoy a secret dinner in the 15th-century mansion where it's rumored Leonardo da Vinci first painted the Mona Lisa. How much do these experiences cost? Have you ever heard the expression, if you have to ask, you can't afford it?
Borgo Pinti, 99, 50121
Chic Nonna di Vito Mollica
Formerly the creative mind behind the menu at Il Palagio, executive chef Vito Mollica struck out on his own with this romantic restaurant. Located in Florence's medieval heart just a few streets away from the beautiful cathedral, this is another exceptional location for romantic dining.
The atmosphere here is pure old-world charm. Located in the Palazzo Portinari Salviati, a 15th-century former palace that is now a luxury hotel, this romantic restaurant features soft lighting, wood paneling, and a beautiful vaulted dining room surrounded by marble columns. The food here is almost as attractive as the setting, too, with carefully plated dishes designed to be eaten with the eyes before they are with the mouth. Undoubtedly one of the best romantic restaurants in Florence, this is the place to come to make a statement and seriously impress your significant other.
As is generally the case with the best restaurants, the menu here is constantly changing according to what's in season. The philosophy is to combine traditional techniques and fresh ingredients with an international flair, and Mollica's team handle that excellently. There are two tasting menus on offer, one traditional and one vegetarian. You can also dine a la carte, choosing from starters like the Mediterranean Seafood Journey and main courses of roasted venison and grilled pigeon. Dining at this Michelin-starred restaurant certainly doesn't come cheap, but if you're looking to spend date night in one of the best romantic restaurants in Florence, this is the place to do it.
With a chef as well-regarded as this, you can't go wrong with a tasting menu. And the fact that there is a vegetarian option makes it even more appealing to put yourself in the hands of the chef and let them guide you through your romantic evening.
Via del Corso, 6, 50122
BSJ (Borgo San Jacopo)
Location isn't everything when it comes to romantic restaurants. Still, the right location can be worth a lot. And this hotel-based restaurant certainly offers a location that's hard to beat. Set on the banks of the river Arno with a beautiful view of the ancient Ponte Vecchio, this restaurant offers an outdoor terrace that lets you take in a stunning view of Florence while you eat. And the floor-to-ceiling windows in the indoor dining room mean you can enjoy the spectacular view from one of the best romantic restaurants in Florence no matter what time of year you eat here.
The menu here changes with the season, and though there aren't a ton of selections to choose from, each one is carefully crafted to bring out the very best flavors of the ingredients. The menu focuses on Italian food like spaghetti and tagliatelle, so what's on offer here may seem familiar, but you've probably never tried these dishes quite like this. Offering creative spins on traditional favorites, this restaurant elevates classic food to a whole other level, making it a worthy recipient of its Michelin star.
There are a couple of tasting menus here, including a vegetarian option. At around €160 per person, plus another €100 for wine pairing, they certainly aren't cheap. But trying this excellent food on a romantic night makes it easy to have the perfect meal, so it's worth it if you have the budget for it.
Borgo S. Jacopo, 62/R, 50125
Another Florentine recipient of the coveted Michelin star, this restaurant offers a more creative take on old favorites. Located close to the Ponte Vecchio and offering a stunning view of the river, this restaurant offers modern Tuscan cuisine in contemporary surroundings. In warm weather, the courtyard outside the restaurant fills up with tables, while the tastefully decorated dining room with its highly decorated vaulted ceiling is open all year round.
The innovative dinner menu is split up into three different categories: Past, Present, and Future. The Past offers a tasting menu for €95 and covers five delicious courses. The Present is an a la carte menu, though you do have to order a minimum of three dishes. Finally, the Future is a fish-heavy tasting menu that pairs incredible local ingredients with the latest innovative techniques to create something unique.
The creativity on display here makes this one of the best romantic restaurants in Florence for those who want to try something new. And although it doesn't come cheap, this is a great way to have a luxurious high-end meal with a more modern feel than some other traditional restaurants.
Almost the hardest part of dining here is deciding which menu to order from. It depends entirely on your tastes and what's available at the time you visit, so take your time deciding how you want to dine here.
Via dei Georgofili, 11R, 50100
Romantic restaurants in Florence don't have to be expensive. Still, they often are. And if price is truly no object and you really want the best of the best, this legendary restaurant is where you'll find it. In operation for more than 40 years, this restaurant is the recipient of a truly impressive three Michelin stars, the highest award in international cuisine. It's also home to the fifth-largest wine cellar in the world, so there probably isn't a single bottle you could name that they don't have.
The bright and beautiful courtyard here is a great place for romantic dining in the summer months beneath the shade of the trees. In winter, the tastefully decorated dining room is surprisingly contemporary for such an established restaurant. But of course, the food and the wine are the real stars here.
The menu changes regularly, but you can expect a choice of two tasting menus, one of them vegetarian and the other traditionally Italian. You can also order a la carte, choosing from dishes like agnolotti with stewed guinea fowl, veal cutlet with burnt herbs, and turbot steak. This restaurant offers a real journey for your taste buds, but it will certainly give your credit card a workout. The tasting menus cost around €300 without wine, and the main dishes a la carte are well north of €100 each.
If you have the budget for it, give that wine cellar a try. The expert sommelier here will guide your selection to find something that suits your taste and pairs beautifully with the meal you're going to enjoy.
Via Ghibellina, 87, 50122
La Grotta Toscana
You could be forgiven for thinking that dining in romantic restaurants in Florence means remortgaging your house. But while it's true that the best restaurants in the city can cost an arm and a leg, it's possible to find a romantic restaurant in Florence at a far more reasonable price. La Grotta Toscana fits the bill, with its vaulted ceilings and thick columns in the dining room. And as the name implies, the focus here is on Tuscan food like wild boar stew, ravioli with ricotta, and sautéed spinach.
However, unlike many of the other romantic restaurants in Florence, this one is quite reasonably priced, with most main courses costing less than €30. They also have an excellent wine selection, making this a great option for romantic dining that won't blow the budget.
The bistecca alla Fiorentina is a specialty here, and comes sized for either one or two people, so it's a great option to share in one of the most underrated romantic restaurants in Florence.
Via dell'Oche, 16R, 50122
Florence simply oozes romance. Take a stroll through the city center or enjoy an incredible view of the city at one of the best rooftop bars in Florence, and you'll soon find yourself swept up in the history, culture, and romantic atmosphere of this gorgeous Italian city. There are literally thousands of options for romantic dining here, too, so whatever you like to eat and whatever your budget, you'll find something to suit you here.
Apart from the beautiful Michelin-starred restaurants of the city center, Florence has a lively street food scene, and sampling the best street food in Florence can be just as romantic dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Take a walk through the streets, look for anywhere with a crowd of locals outside, and chances are the food is great. And in a city as romantic as this, even eating a sandwich with a glass of wine on the street can make for a perfect date night.