Flavours from the world in Florence, the restaurants where the cuisine comes from faraway lands
Where to go if you're looking for unusual dining experiences
From the aesthetic and philosophical rigor of Japanese cuisine to the ancient tradition of Chinese cooking, the intimate influences of kosher cuisine and the richness of the Russian land, as well as the inebriating scents of India. Here are the restaurants in Florence in which you can discover the flavors of the world.
CIBLÈO via del Verrocchio, 2r ph. +39 055 2477881
An ‘L’ instead of the usual ‘R’. This is the city’s first Tuscan-Japanese-Korean restaurant ideated by one of Florence’s most symbolic chefs, Fabio Picchi. Ciblèo - Tortelli e Ravioli could be none other than the epilogue of Chef Picchi’s love story for a tiny restaurant in Kyoto, a relationship that began in 1988. Everything the chef learned in those five years of work in Japan started right then and the East influenced his cooking once and for all: Korea with its surprising food and China with its ancient knowledge. Just 16 covers, 8 of which are at the counter with a Korean chef and Japanese sous-chef alongside Fabio Picchi in the kitchen.
FULIN LUXURY CHINESE EXPERIENCE via Giampaolo Orsini, 113r ph. +39 055 684931
On the outside a typical late 19th-century Florentine palazzo, and on the inside a cosy and refined ambience reminiscent of the most authentic China. Leave behind your stereotypical expectations of Chinese food and be transported by the Fulin Luxury Chinese Experience, in a blend of select design and exclusive dishes. At Fulin only Beijing provincial cuisine is served, reinterpreted in a gourmet style, to be paired with specific Tuscan wines. Two young Chinese chefs work alongside an international brigade. Check out the attractive terrace for Eastern-influenced aperitifs, food and cocktails.
DIM SUM RESTAURANT via dei Neri, 37r ph. +39 055 284331
As you can already guess from the name, the jewel of the crown in the Dim Sum Menu are dumplings, proposed in their most traditional variant or revisited in order to impress the guests with unusual combinations. But there are other tasty dishes, such as fresh noodles prepared at the moment, then cooked in broth, or sautéed.
BUND piazza Ferrucci, 1r ph. +39 3395000060
This restaurant on the left bank of the Arno takes its name from the boulevard on the left of the Huangpu River, one of the symbolic landmarks of Shanghai, known for the elegance of buildings and premises. The cuisine, however, ranges between the various regional specialties of China, with a team of chefs specialized in all types of preparation, including the famous Peking duck and the colorful Dim Sum. A 300-square-meter venue wanted by the Xia family, already owner of the Japanese restaurant Koko, with which it is internally connected via one of the two refined privé.
KOKO piazza Ferrucci, 4/5r ph. +39 055 6587428
Let's move on to Japanese cuisine starting from Koko. Elegant restaurant and sushi bar. The menu reserves a lot of surprises including a boundless selection of carpaccios, chirashi and maki. Do not miss the Gunkan Fire (salmon with chive, cream cheese and the chef's special flambé sauce), and the Dragon Maki (fried shrimp chopped tuna with mixed seafood and chef's sauce), to be enjoyed at one of the tables in the refined Tatami room.
KOME via dei Benci, 41r ph. +39 055 2008009
In the Santa Croce area, Kome is the temple of Japanese cooking on three floors. You walk into Kaiten Sushi, where an assortment of sushi (and other foods) are arranged on a treadmill that runs across the counter. Upstairs, Kome serves Yakiniku cuisine, where clients grill their own food, while the top floor hosts the Sushi Gallery Izakaya, a private space with a wine corner and saké bar.
MOMOYAMA borgo San Frediano, 10r ph. + 39 055 291840
Vaulted ceilings, minimalist design, pastel shades and soft lighting mark the beginning of a journey into the Japanese flavors of Momoyama, in the heart of the Oltrarno. The raw cuisine directed by Gabriel Camara proffers a classic Japanese menu of sushi, sashimi and tempura rolls, the restaurant’s signature dish. The Japanese food cooked by Chef Lorenzo d’Agnello is just as delicious.
THE FUSION BAR & RESTAURANT vicolo dell’Oro, 3 ph. + 39 055 27266987
An innovative, out of the box culinary experience. Adjacent to the Gallery Hotel Art, the restaurant offers the best of Fusion and Nikkei gastronomic culture, ennobled by nonstop research and experimentation. 33 covers inside and 30 spots on the covered outdoor terrace, plus the stunning Library, bringing the overall number to 80. The chefs at The Fusion take traditional Mediterranean ingredients and reinvent them in the fashion of the finest Japanese cuisine, creating original combinations of stile and savor. Nikkei Tapas, Sushi and Cocktails. The food will transport you to a world of unexpected pairings and flavorful tastes: have fun discovering the Tapas menu and ask the barman to tailor a drink just for you.
RISTORANTE INDIA viale Gramsci, 43/a ph. +39 055 599900
Let’s get away from the city center for some flavor in Fiesole, home to India, one of the oldest Indian restaurants in the Florence province. Established in 1994, it was the first locale to serve Indian cuisine, the brainchild of owner Edoardo Castorina and the Drogba family. India is inevitably the star in all its nuances: the meat-based menu of chicken, lamb and pork cooked according to the traditional tandoor oven method together with unique spices, spicy and not.
FëDOR piazza della Signoria, 37r ph. +39 055 210496
A slice of Russia in one of the most striking locations in Florence: piazza della Signoria. Prepare for a culinary grand tour served up with Dostoevskij’s writings. Florence welcomes Fëdor, the city’s first Russian-inspired bistro. Among Fifties-inspired furniture imbued with a contemporary spirit, Fëdor is a restaurant where Italian and Russian cuisine meet. The result? An exclusive liaison worth savoring. Ordering caviar is a must, of course.
RUTH’S via Luigi Carlo Farini, 2/a ph. +39 055 2480888
Strictly kosher food cooked in two separate kitchens so that the dishes cannot become “contaminated”, as tradition dictates. A vegetarian hangout where you can eat a nice vegetarian couscous with harissa, Israeli hummus, cheese boreks, Jewish caponata and really delicious falafel. Plus, the restaurant is welcoming, a meeting place for travelers with drawings and designs hanging on the walls. A touch of Jewish culture at the table.