Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy

Herb soup

Whilst our trip to Modena Italy was jam-packed with excitement and sun, the reason for the trip was to visit a very special restaurant. In fact, its one of the best restaurants in the world, with 3 michelin stars and has held the coveted #1 spot from June 2016. Osteria Francescana.

**UPDATE: its back to No.1 as of June 2018**

Headed by Massimo Bottura, the restaurant has become famous for its classic dishes like ‘oops I dropped the lemon tart’ and ‘the crunchy part of the lasagna’. Our visit was inspired by watching the first episode of Netflix’s Chef’s table series. We still haven’t watched any more episodes in fear that we’ll break the bank visiting all the amazing restaurants!

The restaurant itself is in a quiet and unassuming back street of sleepy Modena. A few brass plaques on the wall the only indication that it isn’t a private residence.

Osteria Francescana entrance

Osteria Francescana’s entrance

Osteria Francescana

Osteria Francescana in the background (behind the Ferrari)

The Restaurant: Osteria Francescana

The service, as you’d expect, was impeccable. We rang the door bell, only for the door to be opened moments later to five or six waiting staff, all of whom greeted us without much of a fuss.

The restaurant had a very calm and quiet ambiance. Dark blue walls and minimalist furniture were interrupted by large pieces of art hanging on the wall. The air-conditioned rooms and plush carpets were a welcome change from the blistering sun outside.


Our table was in one of two dining rooms. The room held no more than 7 tables and ours was nicely in the corner, but with views of the entire room and into the hall. The kitchen came off the hall and allowed me a quick glimpse of Massimo Bottura himself when he left the kitchen momentarily.

There were two menu’s on offer.

  • The traditional, featuring the dishes Massimo Bottura is famous for; and
  • The sensations, a menu created daily using the best produce available.

We decided on the sensations menu with paired drinks (a selection of wine, cocktails and even a beer!) and were delighted! Favourite dishes (they were all amazing!) included

  • a baby gem lettuce which looked like a spectacular explosion of colour and was filled with the most amazing and mouthwatering flavours
  • A dish that looked like rice pudding on a plate (not particularly attractive), but tasted like the best, most authentic Italian pizza crust and toppings ever

On both of these, I think it was the element of surprise which really amazed. The variety of flavours produced in each dish and the fact they came from foods you wouldn’t expect, made the whole meal into an experience.


A handful of the dishes are pictured below.

Amuse bouche

Amuse bouche

Baby gem lettuce

Baby gem lettuce filled with amazing flavours

Fish and broth

A fish and broth dish, created by one of the senior chefs

Herb soup

A herb influenced dish


This tasted like pizza…. I don’t know how they did that!


Japanese inspired duck

One of the desserts – pineapple flavoured


Dessert – tasted like cherry bakewell

Petit fours

Petit fours, served with tea and coffee

Part way through the meal, we even got to meet Massimo Bottura himself.

Massimo Bottura

Chef Massimo Bottura

This was a once in a lifetime experience and I enjoyed every minute. If you get the chance to visit I highly recommend it!

Take a look at more of the tall wanderer

You can see more about my Italian travels including Modena, Rome and Pompeii.

Or if its restaurants you’re into, check out these reviews of:

Hopefully there will be lots more coming soon!

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