Where to eat in Tbilisi – and be satisfied as an elephant
This post is about those places, the names of which are not familiar to people who have never been in Tbilisi. However, these places can easily claim to be national cuisine restaurants, where you should definitely look when you are a guest of the Georgian capital. This is not just a list of restaurants where I have eaten. It is a list of restaurants that, compared to the rest of the establishments were somehow better than their competitors. I’m constantly updating/correcting the list as new experiences and new places emerge. Add the post to your bookmarks.
1. Important to know 2. Having breakfast or a bite to eat 2.1. Lagidze Waters on Rustaveli 2.2. Lagidze Waters at the Holy Trinity Cathedral 3. Have a full meal 3.1. Marto Khinkali 3.2. Samikitno Restaurant 3.3. Keto & Kote 3.4. Pasanauri 3.5. Shavi lomi 4. Drinking coffee or eating dessert 4.1. Puri Guliani 4.2. Luca Polare 4.3. PurPur 5. Romantic dinner 5.1. Cafe Stamba 6. All places on the map
Good to know
- Now if you want to try real Georgian food and not be disappointed, you will have to go farther from the center. And pay more;
- First you bring an empty plate with the dishes, and then the food itself;
- They call it a “service charge”, which is almost everywhere included in the bill (we add it to the menu prices). Usually it is 10 %. At a popular tourist destination, Samikitno on Pl. Meydan, the service charge is 15%;
- Many trendy places (Cafe Stamba, Shavi Lomi) go even further by adding the so-called “VAT” at the rate of 18%, which visitors learn about only at the payment stage;
- The invoices are only issued in Georgian. Afraid of being cheated? It is better to take a picture of the price of what you ordered with your phone, so that you don’t have any questions later;
- Bank cards are widely accepted.
The bill from Shavi Lomi
Have breakfast or a bite to eat
Lagidze on Rustaveli
“Lagidze Waters” is a true Georgian brand that at one time made both American presidents and Soviet secretaries general admire. The best place to get in touch with the history of the drink is here, at Rustaveli. Legendary drinks (or rather syrups for them) were invented by Mitrofan Lagidze in 1887 and since then have been an integral part of Georgian history. Moreover, at the Yalta Conference in 1945 there were bottles of “Lagidze Waters” on the tables, and Franklin Roosevelt, who had tasted the Georgian miracle soda, took with him as many as two thousand bottles. Harry Truman, for his part, wondered if it would be possible to get the lemonade directly to the United States. Ironically, many years later, M. Lagidze’s great-grandson Vakhtang became the chief technologist and vice-president at one of the Tbilisi lemonade factories, where Coca-Cola production was established.
I recommend ordering the creamy one – it’s the tastiest! The khachapuri in Oajarian or Imeretian style should be good, too. The visitors are mostly locals, and the interior is Soviet.
The prices are very affordable: large Imeretian-style khachapuri 7.5 GEL, small Imeretian-style khachapuri 8.5 GEL, a glass of Lagidze water (300ml.) 1.5 GEL. The restaurant is open from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m. The restaurant also accepts bank cards. There seems to be Wi-Fi, but I can’t connect it.
Entrance to cafe Vody Lagidze on Rustaveli Avenue
You can order at the cashier’s desk
After ordering, you can sit down at any available table and wait for your food to arrive while sipping creamy lemonade. A number on the table for the waiter.
Creamy and Chocolate Lemonade
Georgians like to drink Lagidze by mixing both lemonades into one glass. When you’re here, take a closer look. Many (if not all) locals do exactly that. This was once told to me by a local I found on Tripster.
Lagidze at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
Located on the territory of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, so it makes sense to come here after visiting the cathedral. The food here is delicious. The legendary drink has a slightly different taste to what you get at Lagidze on Rustaveli. It’s tastier here. It’s better to order creamy. You can order it to go – they will pour it in a plastic liter bottle. It’s pretty cool to walk around and drink lemonade afterwards on your hikes. Children should especially like it. It is in the new Lagidze that you should definitely try the khachapuri in Oajarian style. Here it is one of the best I have tasted in Tbilisi.
The prices are higher than in Lagidze on Rustaveli, but I wouldn’t call them biting either. A small khachapuri Imereti style 4 lari, small khachapuri Imereti style 8,5 lari (see photo), a glass of Lagidze water (250ml) 2 lari, a liter bottle 5 lari. Working hours are from 10 p.m. till 10 p.m. Payments include bank cards. There is a normal Wi-Fi connection. Delivery costs 5 GEL, call tel. 2-47-77-57.
Top 12 places to eat in Tbilisi
Georgia is a small mountainous country, with its traditions and legends, it’s famous for its hospitality and of course the rich national cuisine which leaves no one indifferent. In the capital of Georgia-Tbilisi, there are many different restaurants, cafes, snack bars and other places where you can eat well and appreciate the local cuisine.
In the old city, where you can eat cheap
This is a cafe with a hearty atmosphere, where the Georgian family who owns the place works and serves customers. There is a terrific retro atmosphere, the interior resembles a museum with a lot of details, good Georgian music unobtrusively plays in the cafe, you can easily chat with the owners or the visitors.
- Address of the institution is Anton Katalikosi Street, 32-34. Walk on Kote Abkhazi Street from Vakhtang Gorgasali Square towards Freedom Square and after crossing Anton Catalikosi Street turn right and walk 50-70 meters.
- Working hours: Mon-Sat from 14:00 to 21:00.
Menu: First of all it is worth to mention that the menu is in two languages-Russian and English. There are various salads in the menu, for example:
- Cucumbers and tomatoes;
- Eggplant with nuts;
- An assortment of Georgian cheese.
There are also hot dishes that are definitely worth tasting:
- vegetable soup;
- fried cheese with egg;
- a housewife’s specialty.
You can also taste delicious homemade wine, which will not leave anyone indifferent. Of drinks, there are also:
Prices here are about 1.5-2 times lower than in famous tourist spots in Tbilisi! The average check per person comes out to about $8-10.
The food is prepared with a lot of love. The good-natured hostess cooks everything herself, using only natural products. A small, family-run, cozy cafe. Homemade Georgian cuisine and relaxed atmosphere will put you in a good mood.
The cafe is famous for its delicious home-made food and wine, and is located near the Avlabari metro.There is a special atmosphere of warmth and coziness. Here every guest is welcomed as a family and old friend. If you do not know how to eat any dish or what you want you will always get advices and will be told about the dish you are interested in. The whole staff speaks Russian and lovingly welcomes guests.
- Address: 11 Tsamebouli Ketevan Street. The restaurant is located near the Monument of Mimino movie hero.
- Opening hours: Sun-Saturday from 0:00 to 23:59.
Menu. You can choose from:
- good khachapuri;
- various soups.
You can also try delicious cookies and pastries. A great lemonade, coffee or juice is worth tasting. The menu has a choice for connoisseurs of vegetarian cuisine.
It is worth noting that in the cafe you can:
- pay by card;
- connect to Wi-Fi;
- to order takeaway food;
- to book a table;
- watch TV.
Prices are fairly low, with the average check not exceeding $10.
This is a good Georgian restaurant for a large number of guests (from 35-250). There is an atmosphere of hospitality and good service. It serves delicious dishes and wine of national cuisine, which is very liked by regular visitors and tourists. The restaurant plays beautiful Georgian music and hosts various entertainment programs.
- Address: Mravaljamiri is located on the bank of Kura River in the north of Tbilisi: “New Town of Tbilisi Sea, 7”.
- Mode of operation: Mon-Sat 09:00-02:00.
Cuisine of the restaurant includes Georgian and European cuisine. Plenty of cold and hot dishes and also:
- alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
The most popular dishes:
- chicken soup;
- an assortment of cooked meats;
- red wines;
- various sweets.
Prices in the restaurant are quite low. You can get a good meal for about $10-$12.
Features of the place:
- the ability to pay by card for the order;
- food delivery;
- table reservations;
- parking lot.
Street food in Tbilisi is very tasty and inexpensive. You should keep in mind that most of the dishes here are spicy.
Very popular among tourists restaurant. It is famous for its delicious Georgian and Eastern European cuisine, for relatively inexpensive price. The restaurant is located on Freedom Square.
- Address : Pushkin street 5-7.
- Working hours : Mon-Sat from 9600-23:00.
The menu is quite simple and does not make you think long about the choice of dish. It is written in 3 languages (written in Georgian, English and Russian). The choices are:
- khinkali (there are traditional simply boiled and fried);
- pork shish kebab;
- Various alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Orders don’t take long to prepare and the service is top-notch. The kitchen is open, and visitors have the opportunity to observe the cooks’ work. Prices are low. The average check comes out to $8.
Cantina by Bontempi
This is a great place to have breakfast, as it opens at 9:00. It’s a cozy, bright place where they will help you choose a dish based on your tastes and desires. The staff is very attentive and friendly to guests.
- Address: Sulkhan Tsintsadze street, 12.
- Schedule: Mon-Sat from 9:00-22:00.
Menu. Here customers are served dishes of Italian cuisine. You can order:
- Amazing pizza;
- good coffee.
The average check is about $7 to $9.
The best place in the neighborhood where you can eat tasty and budget. A small place where they brew decent coffee and cook European cuisine. Prices are slightly below average.
- The cafe is located at 21 Petre Melikishvili St.
- Working hours: Mon-Fri from 9:00-22:30.
Menu: Many visitors come to this cafe to try:
- Amazing grilled cheese;
- tasty kraft beer;
The prices at this place are affordable. For 2-3 courses and a drink, you can get by for $10.
Coffee or Dessert
ERTI KAVA Coffee Room.
An atmospheric and pleasant place to have breakfast. Very good coffee, excellent desserts and great quick service. Lots of positive feedback from tourists and guests. Especially praised the coffee and the pleasant music.
- Address: This cafe is located near the Monument to Anatoly Sobchak. Street M. Lagidze, 8.
- Working schedule: Mon-Sat 08:00 – 21:00.
The average price will not exceed $ 9 dollars.
Le Gateau confectionery
In the cafe you can have breakfast, and this place will be good for a light snack. Tasty coffee, great staff and a pleasant atmosphere. The atmosphere and decor of the cafe in a specific style.
- The cafe is located at 42 Memeda Abashidze Street.
- Working hours: Mon-Fri from 8:30-23:00.
- A large selection of coffee and a variety of desserts: croissants, pastries;
- Italian dishes.
On average the order costs a few dollars.
Martin Pastry is one of the central network of pastry shops in Tbilisi. A huge variety of choices of desserts and non-sweet pastries – for every taste and purse. There are more simple desserts, some with French chic. The patisserie has a school where you can take courses on any subject: sweet or non-sweet pastries.
- Address: 88, Tsarana Mirian Street.
- Schedule: Mon-Sat from 8:00 to 23:00.
- Different kinds of desserts, and Italian, French and European cuisine;
- Big choice of coffee drinks.
It is a good place for relaxation with friends or for a romantic dinner with the beautiful view of Tbilisi. There are not many tables and live performance of classical music. The restaurant is fully positioned with European food.
- The institution is located on the outskirts of Tbilisi: 18 Amashukeli Street.
- Work schedule: Mon-Fri from 12:00 to 0:00.
- meat dishes.
Also from drinks:
- hot chocolate;
The prices are quite high, but they match the quality. The approximate cost of an order with a drink is $15-$17.
In this cozy cafe you can not only have a hearty meal, but also smoke hookah and enjoy dinner on the terrace with soft plaids. There is a wide selection of wine. The atmosphere in the institution is magical.
- Address: Vakhtang Gorgasali Street, 3.
- Schedule: Mon – Sat 11:00 – 0:00.
The menu includes Georgian, Caucasian and European cuisine. The most popular are khinkali, kharcho:
- various salads;
- hot dishes;
- cold appetizers;
- Large choice of drinks in wine list.
Price range 321 rubles. – 2 184 rubles
Organique Josper Bar
An institution with national colouring. Service is excellent, very beautiful interior and wonderful view from the window. The most delicious dishes are divine, original sauce confit to the meat.
- The cafe is located in the city center at 12, Tbilisi street.
- Open Mon-Fri from 11:00 to 23:00.
- pork ribs;
- Georgian wine.
The average check comes out to $12-15.
Useful information about Georgian restaurants
- Georgian cuisine is a symbiosis of delicacies: meat and vegetables flavored with a huge variety of spices.
- Georgia is a small country, but the natural conditions in different parts of Georgia are very different. In the mountains, the cuisine is quite simple.
- Cuisine of western and eastern Georgia is different. The cuisine of western Georgia makes extensive use of spices, including chili peppers. Another feature is walnuts, which historically have been a major source of vegetable fat.
- Typical holiday dishes are very simple. Shish kebab of unmarinated pork or veal, Tushin sheep cheese. A special holiday dish is chakapuli.
- You can find restaurants serving kharcho, hinkali and chahohbili on tourist streets everywhere, but Georgians themselves prefer to eat elsewhere. You look for a good restaurant on the advice of locals, and it is identified as such:
- if the distance from the tourist center is decent;
- The names of the dishes are in Georgian, and the portions are huge;
- portions – huge;
- Prices are moderate.
Georgian cuisine is very popular around the world and doesn’t leave anyone indifferent. Each national Georgian dish is delicious and original in its own way. Traditional Georgian cuisine will always hold a place of honor in the heart of any gourmet.