What most people don’t know is that Tbilisi is one of the finest places to find traditional Georgian cuisine. Up and down the streets, everywhere you go, Tbilisi always provides some of the most delectable foods you can find.
However, Tbilisi is a big place and Tbilisi restaurants are plentiful throughout the city. Because of the large diversity in Tbilisi, you’ll find food from every culture. It’s even been listed as one of the most amazing places to visit in Georgia. It’s a wonderful gift, but it can be difficult to find authentic Georgian food in Tbilisi; especially if you’re not already familiar with the area.
Finding authentic Georgian food in the capital city should be an easy and exciting process. That’s why I’ve put together this guide on where to find the best traditional Georgian cuisine you can find.
Let’s begin by diving taste-first into the delicious world of Georgian food in Tbilisi.
You’ll find Pasanauri Meidanze smack-dab in the middle of Old Town.
If you’re a morning person or a night owl, it doesn’t matter; they’re open 24 hours a day. This means non-stop Georgian food at all times. This alone makes this restaurant a can’t miss for anyone visiting.
Dumplings, traditional khinkali, mokheuri, soups like Chikhirtma, and a variety of vegetarian options are all available.
If you’re wanting a family meal or out with a group of friends, Pasanauri Meidanze knows what you need. They offer a large dish called Pasanauri that consists of chicken, pork, and broiled veal and traditional George pork sausage.
It might be hard to notice the restaurant at first. Their style keeps in line with their location of Old Town; it’s designed is traditional and blends in well with the aesthetics of the area.
You’ll find it near the Metekhi Church and the statue of King Vakhtang Gorgasali.
If you want to experience some of the most traditional Georgian cuisine possible, this is your best bet. It’s a beautiful restaurant with a marvelous view outside. You’ll be able to watch the Mtkvari River as you enjoy your meal.
Kakhelebi is a local favorite, and for good reason. Their Georgian cuisine is authentic and delicious.
They’re most well known for their khinkali. These soup dumplings have the perfect thickness in the skin. It’s just enough to hold all of the meat within while still being thick enough to envelop and encase all the savory juices that you so desperately need.
The restaurant is located just outside of the city center and can be a perfect stop as you’re traveling down the highway.
Because of its ease of access and favoritism among the population, it can be a perfect stop to enjoy what Georgians enjoy every day.
Restaurant Tsiskvili is great for those who want Georgian food and an authentic experience but are with someone else who may not be as enthusiastic.
This restaurant provides a large selection of traditional Georgian cuisine as well as traditional dance shows. This two-in-one experience is great for getting a full night’s worth of Georgian culture packed into a delicious meal.
The menu also provides some European meal choices and vegetarian options. If you’re traveling with someone who may be wanting a taste of their home, you’ll still get a great cultural experience without sacrificing the taste of somewhere else.
Once you step inside Maspindzelo, you’ll know why they chose their name.
Maspindzelo translates to “host” in Georgian. It’s obvious why they chose this name after you’ve experienced the atmosphere and service this restaurant provides, it’s phenomenal.
They have a deep and rich menu that is comprised of some of the best Georgian cuisines and provides a comforting atmosphere. They have live music, occasionally in the form of a violinist, and they love to interact with the crowd.
The service is regarded as some of the best you’ll receive in Tbilisi. All the staff are incredibly friendly and will greet you into their restaurant as if it’s your own home. It’s hard to beat.
It’s a cultural staple of Georgian food in Tbilisi and is an excellent choice to enjoy a finer dining experience while enjoying your meal.
Barbarestan is where you’ll want to go if you want to experience and old-school Georgiaian restaurant while still enjoying niceties of modern services.
The restaurant is a family founded by 10 children and their parents. They state that their mission is to bring all Georgians “good old time” meals prepared traditionally.
You’ll find the kitchen filled with traditional cooking tools and methods and witness how Georgians used to cook before modern technology created a streamlined process.
The walls are plastered in vintage decorations and you’ll experience an incredibly welcoming atmosphere from the second you walk in the doors.
If you want to make your Saturday’s life filled with fun, Barbarestan provides as well. Every Saturday night the restaurant is filled with the sound of retro Georgian music to bring a fun and socialize vibe to your night.
While the restaurant doesn’t serve beer, it serves traditional kvevri wines. Not only do they serve it, but they also have a huge selection to choose from.
Gabriadze Theater Café
You’ll find the Gabriadze Theater Café in the historical part of Tbilisi. As the name suggests, it’s found inside of the Gabriadze Theater, near the Ambassadori Hotel.
The café has artwork within it done by Rezo Gabriadze, a prominent artist that advanced Georgia significantly in the contemporary arts.
He designed all of the elements in the café. This includes tables, chairs, decorations, and even wine labels. You’ll see his artistry in almost every aspect of the Gabraidze Theater Café.
If you’re looking for an artistic cultural experience while also tasting some of the finest Georgian food in the city, Barbarestan is right up your alley.
Of course, the theater is known for being a theater; not a café. However, the café is one of the most overlooked restaurants in the city and is a wonderful spot to enjoy traditional Georgian cuisine and is a must-visit for those looking for things to do in Georgia.
Samikitno Georgian Cuisine
Samikitno is everything you want in fast food but with a Georgian flair.
The décor and incredibly affordable pricing make this restaurant a hotspot for those wanting a bite while they’re on the move.
However, you won’t find that it serves anything similar to stereotypical Western fast-food restaurants.
Samikitno provides freshly made Georgian cuisine. You can try some delicious traditional foods without having to deal with the hustle and bustle of going to a popular sit-down restaurant.
The atmosphere is relaxed so don’t worry about making your visit a large affair. You can dress comfortably and eat comfortably when eating here.
If you’re on a tight schedule but don’t want to sacrifice a tasty lunch or dinner, consider going here. You’ll be in and out in quickly and with a full belly.
As a bonus, the upper floor of the restaurant overlooks the river toward the Matekhi church and Avlabari.
Salobie Bia is a master in one of the most well known and highly regarded Georgian foods across the world – Lobio.
Lobio translates into beans in Georgian. It has long been a culinary staple and favorite of Georgian culture and has been filling the stomachs of millions.
You’ll be able to spot Salobie Bia by the large clay pots filled with beans you’ll see. If you aren’t able to see it, you’ll almost certainly smell it as the savory and tantalizing smell of beans wafts across your nostrils.
It’s a favorite of many locals which means it’ll likely be a favorite of yours as well.
It’s, by far, one of the best places to visit in Georgia, let alone Tbilisi.
Sofia Melnikovas Fantastiuri Duqani
This restaurant is hidden away in its beauty.
It’s an outdoor garden restaurant and can be a hotspot for locals and tourists alike in the summertime.
Their outdoor patio is spacious and is decorated with vines and other vegetation that lives across the top of the square frame that makes the roof of the patio. You’ll quickly lose the feeling of being in the inner city and feel like you’re surrounded by wildlife in an outdoor vineyard. It’s a classic feel that is hard to not enjoy.
Their menu is huge and mainly consists of Georgian cuisine. This includes several salads, traditional stews, khinkali, pelmeni, and more. They’ve mastered each dish to the highest extent and every dish they serve is sure to make your mouth water and you bathe in the beauty of the outdoors.
The restaurant is located near the corner wine shop on Revaz Tabukashvili Street, but still may be difficult to see because if it’s hidden nature.
You’ll know you’ve found it when you see the restaurant’s famous yellow door.
If you want traditional Georgian cuisine tied in with a celebration of local traditions, go to Poliphonia.
The name itself is a reference to Georgia’s traditional polyphonic form of overtone song. The name is implying the restaurant’s overall goal of celebrating local traditions.
You’ll find the interior to be similar to that of a cellar, old-school basement, or even a cave. The walls are made of thin-cut bricks and are illuminated by hanging lightbulbs. There are wooden floors and tables, and wool rugs; giving a rustic and traditional atmosphere to the customer.
This old-school look provides for a comfortable dining experience. Tables aren’t tightly squeezed together but they aren’t far apart as well. You’ll hear a constant buzz of conversation, making the restaurant seem more alive than others
It’s a goat social environment, but let’s not forget about the food.
Many dishes are plant-based and the menu is seasonal with a theme of old meets new. Many of the meals you could eat Georgian staples but with an emphasis on fermentation.
This unique twist on authentic Georgian food is something you won’t find anywhere else.
In short, Poliphonia is eating as a modern local would. It’s hard to pass, regardless if you’re visiting or are a local.
If you’re looking to try the best Georgian food you can, you’ll find yourself running into one consistent problem: most restaurants focus on national Georgian food rather than regional food.
This is a problem if you want to experience a truly local dish that you won’t find anywhere else.
That’s the benefit of Tashre, who better to know their region than those from it? You’ll find some food here that you won’t find anywhere else.
Kveri, pancakes with cheese inside, are traditionally only prepared in certain Georgian households. That’s the problem with a lot of food from Georgia – only a certain region or type of household will know certain recipes.
At Tashre, you won’t have that problem. If you want good, home-cooked meals that you won’t find at any other restaurant in the city, they provide.
They also offer grape pudding an interesting take on coffee (it’s brewed on the sand!)
You’ll find Chela as a branch of the Funicular Restaurant Complex.
The Funicular is one of Tbilisi’s most popular attractions. You’ll be able to ride a cable car to a high-point within the city. It provides a beautiful overlook of the entire city and is a hotspot for romantics. It’s particularly pretty when it’s night time so you can enjoy all the lights that turn on in the Tbilisi.
The Funicular Restaurant Complex is broken down into five dining facilities, Chela being or traditional Georgian food.
If you’re looking for a date night on your travels, or if you’re a local looking to make this a favorite, Chela is ideal.