Three Tampa Restaurants Earn a MICHELIN Star – And More Date Night Spots

Tampa Bay Date Night Guide is a free guide to the best of the Tampa Bay area! We're supported by our advertisers when they buy digital ads & listings, sponsored content, and through affiliate links, so some things you read might be paid for or if you buy something thru a link on our site we might get a commission.
Photo by Lilac in Tampa.

The 2023 MICHELIN Guide Florida is out and it’s finally happened…three Tampa restaurants have 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 last year, Inspectors have been tasting and sipping their way around the state trying new restaurants and revisiting their 2022 picks. While Tampa missed out on a star last year, it’s taking home three of the four new One Stars in Florida.

Twelve Miami restaurants earned a star, including L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon which earned Two Stars. And, four Orlando area restaurants earned One Star this year.

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

Cuisine: Japanese 

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
Tampa EDITION Hotel Lobby

Rocca: One Star

Cuisine: Italian

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’s dry-aged rohan duck



  • 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.


Gorkhali Kitchen (new in 2023)

Cuisine: Nepali

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.


Psomi (new in 2023)

Cuisine: Greek

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

Cuisine: International

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.


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Orlando MICHELIN Guide

Our I-4 neighbors in Orlando have some bragging rights too. Check out MICHELIN Star Restaurants in Orlando.



Tampa Bay Date Night Guide is a free guide to the best of the Tampa Bay area! We're supported by our advertisers when they buy digital ads & listings, sponsored content, and through affiliate links, so some things you read might be paid for or if you buy something thru a link on our site we might get a commission.


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