12 Restaurants the Locals Recommend in Tbilisi

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12 Restaurants the Locals Recommend in Tbilisi

Georgia, and specifically Tbilisi, is known for the wonderful, delicious found at every corner on every street. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better meal anywhere else in the world. That’ why it’s rated as one of the best places to visit in Georgia.

It’s safe to say that the residents of Tbilisi know what good food is. If you’re traveling to Tbilisi or plan to be in the area at a later time, knowing what the locals recommend is the best way to get the best cultural experience on top of a fantastic meal.

Lucky for you, Georgians aren’t shy about expressing their love for Tbilisi restaurants.

This guide will introduce you to some of the best restaurants in Tbilisi. You’ll have to create a new must-visit after reading about these hotspots.

Grab a napkin, you might start drooling.

1. Jonjoli

If you weren’t aware, Jonjoli is a Georgian pickled appetizer. It’s a favorite among many of the residents.

It’s not a surprise that the Jonjoli at this restaurant is out of this world. If you haven’t had it, you’ll ask yourself why you had never heard of it before. It’s that good.

The atmosphere is traditional. It’s quiet, calm and pleasant on the inside. No kitchen workers are screaming and the service is polite and kind. The walls are lined by a variety of Georgian dishes and an array of Georgian décor.

The menu leaves you wanting or nothing. They serve up many native dishes that you won’t find outside of Georgia. Locals love this spot for serving up some of the best food their country has to offer.

Chikhirtma, fried quail, and many other Georgian delicacies are available for your consumption. You’ll certainly leave full and happy.

2. Salobie

Similarly to Jonjoli, Salobie is named after a Georgian dish as well. Directly translated to English, Salobie means beans. However, these are just any type of bean.

These beans are a staple of traditional Georgian meals and are cooked within large clay pots and. The beans are rather large and quickly fill your stomach. Pickled cabbage also accompanies the beans to give this dish a unique flavor. It’s a common meal for a hardy lunch.

You can also have smoked ham or several vegetarian options accompany your beans to give you a better-rounded plate.

You can find this restaurant in downtown Tbilisi. You’ll first notice it by the tantalizing scent that wafts by your nose as you draw closer. If that fails, look for the large clay pots that are filled to the brim. They’re hard to miss.

3. Pipes Burger Joint

Americans will be happy to know that Georgians can serve up a mean burger. The American classic quickly became a favorite meal of Georgians everywhere and Pipes Burger Joint is the culmination of that.

It’s an affordable restaurant with more-than-average servings, making a good place to get a large meal and the best bang for your buck.

It’s a popular spot for Georgians to take a break from traditional food and eat something different.

Pipes uses thick buns, coated in butter to give a delicious bite that won’t fall apart. Everyone knows that the bun is one of the most important aspects of a burger, and Pipes delivers.

Their patties are relatively thick and they’re not afraid to stack on the toppings. Topping options vary. You’ll be able to pick in-house specialties that highlight Georgian foods or standard American toppings such as lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes.

If you’re traveling to Georgia and looking for a taste of home, or simply someone who craves a great burger (who doesn’t?), Pipes Burger Joint will surely please you.

4. Tsiskivili

Tsiskvili is a favorite of both foreigners and locals alike. This is because of their quality Georgian dishes and dances that are performed each night.

If you’re traveling, this is a great spot to get introduced to Georgian culture through nightly dances and performances while having some of the best Georgian food out of all the restaurants in Tbilisi.

Locals flock here to get their grub, and you should too.

If you’re interested in the dances but aren’t necessarily a fan of all Georgian food, don’t fret. They serve a variety of European meals as well that may be more familiar to you.

Regardless, you’ll be getting good food and a great experience when you dine at Tsiskivili.

5. Zakhar Zakharich

If you love dumplings, you’re going to love Zakhar Zakharich. They’re famously known for their khinkali, Georgia’s take on the dumpling

The main difference is that khinkali is larger and rounder. They look similar to a coin if it was bloated with fillings. Locals love this because you’ll be getting a more satisfactory mouthful with each bite by having a wider base to stuff.

They make the dough by hand each day and use lamb meat to fill it. This mimics the original recipe that’s thousands of years old.

If you’re looking for something you can’t get anywhere else in the world, you need to try Zakhar Zakharich.

6. Funicular

If you’re new to Tbilisi or simply haven’t had the opportunity to get a skyscraper view of the entire city, you must visit Funicular.

Located inside Mtatsminda Park, Funicular sits on top of a large skyscraper and offers its diners a chance to enjoy their drinks and meal while overlooking all of Tbilisi.

It’s a beautiful sight in the day, but incredibly impressive when visited at night. You can see the city lights brighten up the night. It’s one of the most impressive sights you can see when visiting restaurants in Tbilisi.

The restaurant’s specialties highlight some of the best aspects of Georgian cuisine and shouldn’t be missed either. As a bonus, their in-house sommelier will help you pair your meal with a delicious wine from their vast selection.

It’s no surprise that these amazing attractions have made Tbilisi as one of the best-designed travel destinations of 2020

This can be a perfect date night or an adventure for someone to look to get an incredible view. It’s one of the most popular places to visit in Georgia.

7. Barbarestan

Barbarestan is perfect for those who want a truly unique Georgian dining experience. You won’t find many modern recipes here or anything outside of Georgia.

The food is all cooked using traditional methods. Stone ovens and hand-ground spices and spreads all commonly found here.

The menu is based on the cookbook written by Barbare Jorjadze. They were a chef a feminist that was incredibly popular in the 19th century. They’re commonly considered one of the best cooks in the entirety of Georgia.

You’ll be able to try some of the most popular dishes in all of Georgia while also absorbing a great, lively atmosphere. It’s a relatively casual vibe but with artistic, vintage décor.

The walls are plastered in items and artwork from all across Georgia. Each region is represented well and incorporated into the overall theme of the restaurants.

Locals love this place because they nail the meals they love most. It’s hard to match the taste that Barbarestan boasts with their food. Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to be a follower, and Barbarestan proves it with the constant flock of locals that dine here each night.

8. Aripana

Ariapan is widely renowned for its take on Georgian cuisine and is consistently rated as one of the best restaurants in Tbilisi each year.

What’s unique about this restaurant is its presentation of the entire dining experience. Your evening will begin by being delivered a map of Georgia.

From there, you’ll be able to choose between 13 unique regions of Georgia and taste food from anywhere in the country. You can freely hop between regions if you’re wanting an appetizer from one region but the main entrée from another. The staff makes the process simple and easy so you can enjoy your meal faster.

Locals love visiting here because they can get a taste of their home region without having to leave Tbilisi. It’s also a great place for travelers and foreigners to visit because you can get a taste of anywhere in Georgia without having to leave Tbilisi.

You’ll find people of all ethnicities and home countries here. The atmosphere is welcoming and inclusive with décor that represents all the regions of Georgia.

9. Dublin Pub

You wouldn’t expect it, but you can find the authentic Irish bar experience in the heart of Tbilisi.

Dublin Pub, one of the only Irish restaurants in Tbilisi, is a highlight for locals and those who are bound to the moon. You’ll find a good beer, a lively atmosphere, and constant live music to keep the party going.

It’s a hotspot on Saturday nights and people of all ages can be found eating, drinking, and jamming through the night. Musical performances can wildly vary, but all are guaranteed to create a social atmosphere.

Bar food is served, but so is traditional Irish food. Sausage platters, pickled cabbage, and much more can be found here to eat. Portion sizes are known to be much bigger than average. They often expect customers to come in large groups, so they ensure that each plate has plenty of food on it to accommodate.

You won’t be coming here looking for a fine dining experience, but you will have a good time when visiting Dublin Pub.

Locals love it because they can get an experience that nowhere else in Tbilisi can offer. It can also be a good place to meet new people and make acquaintances.

People from all over the world can be found hanging out in Dublin Pub. They do their best to be inclusive and attract people from all types of different backgrounds.

Some of the staff of the Dublin Pub hail from Ireland, so if you’re a foreigner you can gladly relax as they’ll all likely speak excellent English.

10. Shavi Lomi (Black Lion)

Craft beers lovers will find Shavi Lomi to be their new favorite restaurant in Tbilisi.

You’ll find Shavi Lomi tucked away in Old Tbilisi. The interior is a reflection of the restaurant’s existence. You’ll find décor from old times as well as modern. This gives an authentic and rustic atmosphere at the same time.

While beer is a highlight here, you won’t have to worry about large, obnoxious crowds that constantly yell over your conversations. It’s a relatively calm environment where you can enjoy your craft beer and still talk to your friends and family.

The menu may seem a bit small, but their options are all carefully crafted beauties that won’t disappoint your stomach. Both modern and old school Georgian recipes are served here, making this a great place to try some Georgian food that you may not find everywhere else.

Black Lion is the name of their signature craft beer and is considered one of the best craft beers made in Tbilisi restaurants. They also serve a larger selection of beer, wine, and liquor.

11. Vino

While we’re on the subject of good alcohol, Vino needs a shout out for the lovely wine bar they offer.

Vino is known for their wine, but they also serve up delicious meals. Locals love coming here for date nights, or to enjoy some great wine.

The bartenders are experts in wine and will easily guide you through their selection. The prices vary, depending on which brand and quality of wine you’ll want to drink. Whatever your choice, Vino makes it a point to not carry any bad wine. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quality of your drink and the cozy atmosphere Vino provides.

Their food is mostly traditional Georgian cuisine. They serve up some lobio that can compete with Salobie, so don’t think that this is just a wine bar.

12. Steakhouse N1

Americans aren’t the only ones who know and love quality steaks. Steakhouse N1 is a prime example.

They specialize in Georgian beef steaks but also serve up some American-styled cuts as well. They’re known for consistently providing well-made steaks that are cooked to perfection each time.

Beyond steak, they have seafood and pasta options as well.

Friday and Saturday nights are Steakhouse N1’s most popular. Locals love to recommend this restaurant because you can get a fine dining experience with the best steak in town.

If you want quality steak, it’s a must when looking for things to do in Georgia.

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