The MICHELIN Guide Florida was recently updated to include even more Tampa Bay area restaurants. Six names have joined the prestigious dining guide – Supernatural Food & Wine, Predalina, Streetlight Taco, The Pearl, Ebbe, and Kosen.
Last year, three Tampa restaurants earned the coveted MICHELIN Star. Koya, Lilac, and Rocca all earned One Star, a first-ever for Tampa Bay. Two additional restaurants earned Bib Gourmand recognition for value: Gorkhali Kitchen and Psomi. Rooster and the Till maintained its Bib Gourmand recognition from 2022 as did Ichicoro Ramen which, unfortunately, recently closed.
Since the MICHELIN Guide debuted in Florida in 2022, inspectors have been tasting and sipping their way around the state trying new restaurants and revisiting their previous picks. Starting off 2024, nineteen new Florida restaurants have been added to the guide, six of them being here in Tampa Bay.
You can bet that reservations, which were already hard to come by at many of these spots, will become even more elusive, so there will be some advanced planning on your part to snag a seat.
What exactly is the MICHELIN Guide?
You might be wondering…what does a tire company have to do with fine dining? It’s all in the roots, friends.
Let’s go back in time to 1889 when two brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin founded their tire company in France. With only about 3,000 cars on the road at the time, the brothers came up with a bright idea to get people traveling (which also meant they’d eventually need new tires–well played). So they developed a free guide filled with everything you’d want to know to make a road trip back then including maps, where to get gas, where to change a tire, and of course, where to eat or stay overnight.
It worked out great for a few years until one of the brothers happened to see a stack of his guides holding up a workbench. They knew something needed to change if they wanted to garner more respect among readers, so they pivoted, revamping the guide and beginning to charge for it.
They also recruited what are now known as Inspectors to dine at restaurants and provide anonymous reviews. The guide started to award stars in 1926 to fine dining establishments and eventually moved to the current ranking system in 1936.
Since it got its start, more than 30 million Michelin Guides have been sold and more than 30,000 restaurants rated around the world. Pretty amazing, right?
The MICHELIN Guide Florida finally made its debut in 2022.
All About Tampa’s MICHELIN Starred Restaurants
Koya: One Star
Location: 807 W Platt Street, Tampa
The bar is a stage at Koya, offering the ultimate, exclusive tasting experience for diners. With only 8 seats at the tasting bar (yes – 8 total seats for the whole restaurant), no children under the age of 12 permitted (and only if they’re well-behaved), and extremely limited dietary restrictions that can be accommodated (let them know at booking), guests are encouraged to adopt the mindset of Omakase, or “I Leave it Up to You, Chef”.
Focusing on the highest quality fish and freshest ingredients flown in from Japan, guests experience the Japanese concept of shun, where particular ingredients are selected only during their peak harvest season and each shun is passionately anticipated every year.
From their ever-changing, hyper-seasonal and thematic menu you can expect to enjoy 8-10 courses including raw and cooked dishes, fresh fish and shellfish flown in from Tokyo’s Toyosu market.
The dining experience lasts 2-2.5 hours and costs $295 per person (prepaid).
- Reservations release at 10am on the 15th of every month for the following month and are currently booking out 1 month in advance.
- Koya is open Wednesday – Saturday.
- Seating Times: Wednesdays & Thursdays, 7pm; Fridays & Saturdays, 6pm and 8:30pm .
- $50 Corkage fee, up to 2 bottles of wine (750 ml; wines/sake on their drink menu are not permitted)
- Don’t be late! The full tasting is not guaranteed if you’re more than 15 minutes late and you forfeit your seat if you’re over an hour late.
- Reservations for even numbers of guests preferred; No shorts or flip-flops and limited fragrance.
Lilac: One Star
Cuisine: Mediterranean Cuisine
Location: 500 Channelside Drive, Tampa (inside the EDITION)
With culinary accolades galore, chef and restaurateur, John Fraser, is no stranger to the Michelin Guide. Having renown restaurants in New York City and California, Lilac is Fraser’s latest dining concept located inside the Tampa EDITION hotel (along with 3 other of his restaurants and bars).
Celebrating his Greek heritage and admiration of Turkish cuisine, Lilac’s menu is “elevated Mediterranean” fare and celebrates Fraser’s vegetable-forward philosophy. In the culinary world he’s known for “redefining the role of vegetables in American cuisine” using fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced ingredients.
A truly lavish dining experience, guests are greeted by rich walnut floors, lush vegetation surrounding, and the warm glow of pendant globes hanging above. A Champagne cocktail cart welcomes you with a selection of unique cocktails, prepared tableside. The centerpiece is the eight-seat chef’s counter with a clear view of the open, lively kitchen.
The Prix fixe menu includes hors d’oeuvres to share, plus a three-course dinner for $140 per person, with the option to add wine pairings for an additional $75 per person.
- Lilac is open Tuesday – Saturday, 5pm – 10pm
- Lilac books reservations up to 1 month in advance through Open Table
Rocca: One Star
Location: 323 W Palm Avenue, Tampa
His first restaurant as Chef and Owner for Bryce Bonsack, Rocca earned the only “10/10” score from the Tampa Bay Times, plus Creative Loafing’s “Best Chef” title less than a year after it opened.
Bringing his experience from two New York City Michelin Starred restaurants, plus a year-long tutelage with the Rocca family traveling and training through northern Italy, Chef Bonsack provides a truly authentic Italian dining experience.
The ever changing menu includes fresh, handmade pasta, tableside mozzarella and dry aged meats, and is influenced by both classical recipes learned in Italy, as well as modern techniques honed in cutting-edge kitchens in New York. Rocca also boasts creative cocktails, and an extensive Italian wine list.
- Rocca is open Sun/Tues/Wed/Thurs (closed Mondays) from 5pm – 9pm, and Friday and Saturday 5pm – 10pm
- No booking restrictions/you can book more than 1 month in advance
- $40 Corkage fee, up to 2 bottles of wine (750 ml)
- Call 813-906-5445 to reserve for parties of 5 or more
- Private dining room available for groups up to 16 people
- Valet parking available Tuesday – Sunday for $10
Tampa’s Bib Gourmand Restaurants
Restaurants recognized for providing guests with the best value.
Location: 10044 Cross Creek Boulevard, Tampa
New since 2022, Gorkhali Kitchen opened to fill the gap of Nepalese and Indian cuisine options in Tampa’s foodie horizon. Enjoy authentic and delicious Himalayan-inspired flavors for lunch and dinner like goat vindaloo, chana masala, or tandoori chicken. Or, choose vegetables, chicken or goat as the main in the traditional Nepalese meal, Thaali, served with choice of curry, basmati rice, black dal (lentils), potatoes, sauteed mixed greens and achar.
Location: 701 N Howard Avenue, Tampa
Food = Love at Psomi. Walk through the garden terrace or flower-bordered patio and you’re instantly transported to the Greek islands. Celebrating all things Greek, Psomi offers homestyle food built from scratch, an eclectic cocktail menu, an exclusive natural wine list, and an in-house bakery.
“Psomi” means “bread” in Greek and is the cornerstone of every meal at Psomi, where all breads and baked goods are baked in house, daily. Try their loukoumades (Greek donuts with baklava nuts and Greek honey) for breakfast, or lamb burger (with carmelized onion and whipped feta) for lunch.
Rooster and the Till
Location: 6500 N Florida Avenue, Tampa
A Seminole Heights favorite since 2013, Rooster and the Till continues to offer some of the most exciting food and drink in the Tampa Bay area. The second year as a Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient, its menus and wine list are ever-evolving and cater to adventurous diners (try the Seared Foie Gras with Cashew Pear Nutella). Or, let the Chef choose for you and opt for their 6-course Tasting Menu for $135 per person (add Wine for $55).
Sit at the bar to enjoy the NEW Happy Hour (food and drink), Wednesday – Saturdays from 5:00pm – 6:30pm.
Tampa’s MICHELIN Guide Restaurants
Supernatural Food & Wine
Location: 305 E. Polk St., Tampa
This downtown Tampa restaurant is located in a tiny space with outdoor seating and a small counter inside. They’re known for their sandwiches (for both breakfast and lunch) and their menu also features a few sides and salads. Some of their standout items include an olive and feta sandwich served on a focaccia bun and their turkey and ranch sandwich. Guests also can’t get enough of their fresh cider sourdonuts which are baked fresh Tuesday-Sunday.
Location: 1001 E. Cumberland Ave., Tampa
Predalina is located in the Channelside District of downtown Tampa. The menu is a non to owners’ Blake Casper and Alison Casper Adams’s grandmother’s Mediterranean heritage. It boasts a wide variety of mezzes, sandwiches, salads, and house made pastas. Guests love the blistered cauliflower with whipped tahini and the tomato calamarata with herb-laced tomato sauce and Greek sheep’s milk. Predalina is open for dinner and lunch and serves up brunch on weekends.
Location: 4004 Henderson Blvd., Tampa
This funky South Tampa taqueria delivers a unique ambiance and incredible food. Thier menu features traditional Mexican food like tacos, tostadas, salsas, sides, and more. One of their super standout items that caught the eye and taste buds of the MICHELIN team is the Sunday snack tostada – two blue corn tortillas layered with cream cheese, lump crab, diced sweet mango, and mango habanero sauce. They also have a full bar and are known for their strawberry horchata.
Location: 823 Water St., Tampa
The Pearl is located in the Channelside District along the bustling Water Street. This contemporary spot has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. While their menu is seafood focused, they’re also famous for their pie-only dessert menu (all made in-house). From fried pickles to a variety of oysters, their American style menu is filled with an array of entrees and shareable plates alike. If you’re extra hungry and feel like splurging, order the shellfish tower which is piled high with oysters, shrimp, crab, and lobster.
Location: 1202 N. Franklin St., Tampa
Ebbe is a quaint yet sleek spot with one tasting menu. Its items are Scandanavian inspired, a nod to chef Ebbe Vollmer’s Swedish background and include dishes like beef roulade with a brown butter and black cherry sauce, fermented white asparagus beurre monte, and braised oxtail with seared foie gras. Seating is very limited and you must book your seat in advance.
Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi
Location: 307 W. Palm Ave., Tampa
Kosen is located at the base of the Pearl Apartment complex with a dark, romantic ambiance. Instead of ordering select items from a menu, this restaurant is done omakase style, where the cuisine is chosen by the chef as the guests sit at a small limited counter. Some items that guests have indulged on are sea bream with sprouts and black truffle and tempura fried kamasu served with roasted sweet eggplant. The dinner leads into nigiri and fresh sushi.
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- Your Guide to a Date Night on Water Street in Tampa
Orlando MICHELIN Guide
Our I-4 neighbors in Orlando have some bragging rights too. Check out MICHELIN Star Restaurants in Orlando.