Georgian cuisine is very diverse, much like its landscape. Every region here has a unique meal authentic to that area. When it comes to the capital, you can find some great restaurants in Tbilisi to try them without leaving the city. While there are plenty of suggestions on the internet on the best restaurants in Tbilisi, I decided to share some of my favorite ones I like to go to when craving some contemporary or traditional Georgian food. However, this post will also include the ones that I tried but didn’t like the experience and the food.
Note: This isn’t the full list of my personal favorites as I have to visit again and double-check some of them, so I will definitely add more venues as we go 🙂
Every foreigner who plans on coming to Tbilisi already knows what to order. The staples of Georgian cuisine are Khinkali (meat dumplings), Khachapuri (cheese pie), Pkhali (vegetable appetizers with walnut paste), and Mtsvadi (grilled meat or a skewer). However, Georgian cuisine has much more to offer than those. And this post will help you identify some of the best restaurants in Tbilisi to go to for both famous and unknown Georgian dishes.
Best restaurants in Tbilisi for Khinkali
Located near the Opera House at 27/2 Revaz Laghidze St, Duqani is a typical Georgian restaurant offering hand-wrapped Khinkali, which is a rare find in Tbilisi. Traditionally, it has always been hand wrapped, but as it requires more time and the demand has grown, most of the restaurants that focus on Khinkali use special machinery to wrap it. The difference between hand-wrapped and machine-made ones is that the first is smaller, the dough is grayer, has a smaller knot, and generally is tastier compared to the other.
The menu is not big, but apart from Khinkali, you can try Kharcho (meat stew), Chikhirtma (Chicken soup and a hangover cure for many locals), Mtsvadi, Lobio (black bean stew), and Khachapuri to name just a few.
On our visit to the restaurant, we tried only Mtsvadi and Khinkali. Both of them were pretty good, especially the dumplings.
Address: 27/2 Revaz Laghidze Str
Vegetarian and vegan options
Opening hours: Everyday 11 a.m – 11 p.m
I have discovered this one recently, and I must say it became one of my favorite Khinkali restaurants in Tbilisi. Their dumplings might not be hand-wrapped, but they are delicious! However, I have heard mixed reviews from my friends – so if you’d like more juice inside Khinkali and a moderate portion of meat then this one is a perfect place for you. If you prefer more meat and less juice, you might not like it. Nonetheless, I suggest giving it a try.
If Khinkali is not your thing and want to try something very different, they offer a couple of Tushetian and Pshavi meals to try, such as Dambalkhacho (aged cottage cheese), Kalti (aged mountain cheese that resembles Parmesan), Kotori (Tushetian version of Khachapuri), Kaghi (Tushetian sun-dried and salty meat) and Apokhti ( Adjarian or Svanetian dried salty meat) to name a few.
Additionally, they have meatless Khinkali made from ricotta-like cheese we call Nadughi. It comes with melted butter that you need to pour inside once you take a bite. It’s cheesy and very delicious!
Also, make sure to try Alkhanaidze beer, a local craft beer brewed in Telavi. Similar to the hand-wrapped Khinkali, this beer is also a rare find in restaurants in Tbilisi.
Address: 1 Shio Chitadze Str
Opening hours: Everyday 11 a.m – 10 p.m
Cafe Daphna is a relatively new addition to Tbilisi’s dining scene. This minimalist and pastel-colored venue offer several different types of Khinkali and other light meals such as a salad, cheese plate, or fried potatoes, i.e the menu is not big.
Apart from classical ones, you can try with mushrooms, potato and cheese, and with Dambalkhacho. The dumplings are hand-wrapped and quite delicious. However, the highlight of the place is Khinkali with Dambalkhacho (aged cottage cheese) that comes 4 pieces per portion with a special sauce.
Address: 23 Shota Rustaveli Ave.
Opening hours: Everyday 11 a.m – 10 p.m
Zodiaqo is a Tbilisi branch of a famous joint in Telavi, making it another best restaurant in Tbilisi for Khinkali lovers. The place itself is vast, with several rooms to choose from, and the menu offers different types of dumplings. On our last visit to Zodiaqo, we tried the classic, special, and Nadughi (ricotta-cheese-like filling).
Their special Khinkali is fried in butter and yes the same filling as usual, but surprisingly it’s not greasy at all. And honestly, I liked it more than the usual one. Nadughi Khinkali was very well stuffed with the produce. Oh Yum!
Address: 6 Gia Chanturia St
Opening hours: Everyday 11 a.m – 12 a.m
Khinkali, as you might know, comes from the mountain regions of Georgia. Back in the day, the original Khinkali was made with lamb meat. Zakhar Zakharich is the only restaurant in Tbilisi that still offers lamb meat Khinkali for those who are interested in trying the authentic one.
It has a distinctive lamb meat taste, and not many people might like it, so I would suggest ordering five and see how you feel about it.
Address: 3 Right Bank, right under the Dry Bridge
Opening hours: Everyday 8 a.m – 11 p.m
Best restaurants in Tbilisi for traditional Georgian food with a modern twist
Translated as Black Lion in English, the restaurant is famous among locals and foreigners visiting the country. Their modern twist to local traditional Georgian cuisine is a key to their success and popularity. I have visited this place several times, and I must say they never lower their standards and service. Everything here is finger-licking good.
One of my favorite Georgian food here is Gobi, a wooden bowl filled with various vegetable appetizers such as spinach, eggplant, beans, carrot, beetroot and cornbread, and cheese. You can’t find the meal on the menu, you just need to tell the waitress about it. Do note that the feeling might vary seasonally.
On my recent visit with Lisa Lubin from LLWorldTour, we tried Khachapuri with aged mountain cottage cheese (Dambalkhacho). It had a very interesting taste to it. Usually, Khachapuri is not made with aged cheese, so that was something new and exciting for me.
Western Georgia’s Samegrelo region is famous for its meals made from grits and cheese. In Shavi Lomi, they have their take on it – green grits with mint cheeseballs. Absolutely delicious!
Address: 30 Kvlividze str
Opening hours: Everyday 12 p.m – 2 a.m
Puri Guliani at Moxy by Marriott
Puri Guliani is another restaurant in Tbilisi to try contemporary and traditional Georgian food. Their menu mostly focuses on doughy meals, therefore, they have all the different types of Khachapuri including Adjarian (the boat-shaped one), Achma (imagine cheesy lasagna but with dough), and Mkhlovani (beetroot or spinach leaves with cheese) to name a few.
They pride themselves on being the best restaurant in Tbilisi for Adjarian Khachapuri. Honestly, I am not a big fan of Khachapuri, however, I must say it’s pretty darn delicious here!
Apart from the pasty meals, you can try their colorful tomato salad topped with Nadughi cheese wrapped in Sulguni cheese. The flavors of tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and cheese are very well balanced.
Make sure you order Laghidze water, a local lemonade of different flavors. My favorite is the vanilla and chocolate mixture.
I haven’t tried anything from their dessert menu as we were quite full, but they have European cakes with Georgian touch, like grape juice cake, Nadughi cheesecake, and Pomegranate dessert to name just a few.
Address: Saarbrucken Square
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 9 a.m- 11 p.m; Fri-Sun 9 a.m – 12 p.m
Veriko is another restaurant in Tbilisi to try modern Georgian cuisine or traditional meals with a contemporary twist. Located within the premises of an old wine factory, Veriko offers a wide choice of meals starting from appetizers to desserts. They have vegan and vegetarian options too, so anyone can find a meal that suits their needs.
On my visit, I tried Pkhlovani a type of Khachapuri with beetroot leaves and cheese filling. The dough was light and thin, while the feeling was more than enough!
Address: 1 Petriashvili St.
Vegetarian & vegan options
Opening hours: 12 p.m – 1 a.m
With the motto to connect village products to Tbilisi, Midamo offers a wide range of modernized Georgian cuisine in an elegant design and cozy atmosphere. Here, you can try Meskhetian Khachapuri, a mixture of wild mushrooms, Meskhetian Potatoes, beef tongue with local arugula and hazelnuts, Georgian trout salad, wine soup with pomegranates, a tart made from buffalo yogurt and walnuts, and many more.
On my visit to Midamo, as part of a birthday celebration, I managed to try almost everything on their menu, and I must say that every meal had a balanced flavor, very well done with quite unique tastes.
Address: 3 Ioane Shavteli str
Vegetarian & vegan options
Opening hours: 12 p.m – 11 p.m
Best restaurants in Tbilisi for Adjaruli Khachapuri
Cafe Stamba is a relatively new addition to the dining scene of Tbilisi. It’s part of the Stamba Hotel under the management of Adjara Group, which also owns the Rooms Hotel chain and Fabrika.
Adjaruli Khachapuri comes in various sizes, according to the venue. Here, at Cafe Stamba, I found it to be the best size to finish it all and don’t feel overstuffed. What I liked most is that the dough is crispy and thin, while the filling is full of cheese! Moreover, the extra dough that it has on the sides was removed, making it lighter than in other restaurants in Tbilisi.
Apart from Adjaruli, you can try Achma, Imeruli, Lobiani, and Kubdari if you are looking for Georgian staples. However, the cafe also offers international and fusion cuisine, so the choice is pretty big.
Address: 14 Merab Kostava St.
Vegetarian & vegan options
Opening hours: 8 a.m – 12 a.m
If you are looking for a bit different and unique Adjaruli Khachapuri, head to Radio Cafe near the dry bridge. They have gone creative on their stuffings for Adjaruli Khachapuri, and except the classic one, they offer calf white wine and greens; prosciutto, sulguni, and cherry tomatoes; chicken with cream and garlic sauce; and seafood one to name just a few.
On our visit, we had Adjaruli Romana with prosciutto, sulguni, and cherry tomatoes and Adjaruli with 4 Cheese, which included a mix of Georgian cheeses. Both of them were very unusual to try but in the right way. The size was perfect, and the feeling was enough with the right amount of cheese. The blue cheese in Adjaruli with 4 Cheese was a bit overpowering, but all in all, it was quite delicious.
Address: 29 Atoneli St.
Vegetarian & vegan options
Opening hours: 10 a.m – 12 a.m
Laghidze Water on Aghmashenebeli Ave
Laghidze was a popular joint in my childhood for all sorts of Khachapuri and Laghidze water on Rustaveli Avenue, but since then, it has changed a lot. The one on Rustaveli is definitely a no-go! But we found the one on Aghmashenebeli Ave, right where the pedestrian part starts, to be another great restaurant in Tbilisi for Adjaruli Khachapuri.
Expect a classic one, quite big even though we ordered the small and full of cheese and dough. Depends on how hungry you are, you can either eat it on your own or share it with a companion.
Address: 53 Davit Aghmashenebeli Ave
Opening hours: 12 p.m – 12 a.m
Best restaurants in Tbilisi for budget travelers
Mapshalia focuses on the Megrelian cuisine of Western Georgia. It’s my top favorite restaurant in Tbilisi because of its tasty food, normal meal sizes, and very affordable prices.
The menu is not big and offers some of the best staples of the Samegrelo region. Here is what I suggest for you to try: Elarji (grits with cheese) accompanied either with Bazhe (cold walnut sauce) or Kharcho (hot meat stew with walnuts), Megrelian Khachapuri which is a normal one topped with extra cheese on top, and Kupati (Georgian sausage made from pork intestines).
Address: 137 Davit Aghmashenebeli Ave
Opening hours: Everyday 9 a.m – 10 p.m
Goby is not entirely Georgian, it’s a mixture of local and Middle Eastern cuisine. Also, it’s more of a healthy fast food option to take out or order through Wolt or Glovo mobile apps. The place is very tiny for you to sit and enjoy the meal. However, you can take it or get it delivered pretty much anywhere within the borders of Tbilisi.
Here, you can try a tasty fusion of Lebanese, Mediterranean, and Georgian cuisines. They offer soups, sandwiches, Gobys (think of it as meze plate), and salads. I have tried Elarji and Beans Goby and falafel serving, which was quite flavorful and filling. I could barely finish it. Falafel was moist and not oily, even though it was deep-fried.
Address: 4 Iakob Nikoladze St
Opening hours: Everyday 12 p.m – 9 p.m
If you are on a quest to try all those different Khachapuri we have in Georgia, Sakhachapure #1 should be on your list. It serves pretty much all of its types, along with salads, soups, pizza, and desserts.
I can’t say much about all of the pies they serve, but I have tried their Khabizgini, pie with potato and cheese filling. For one person, it was quite a lot, as my friends both ordered Adjarian Khachapuri. The service was slow, but taste-wise, both of the meals were pretty okay.
Address: 5 Rustaveli Avenue
Opening hours: Everyday 10 a.m – 11 p.m
Prepare for the trip
To ease your travel planning, check out all the posts about Georgia travel. Additionally, here are some of the websites and services I use when preparing for my next adventure anywhere in the world.
✈ Book affordable flights on Skyscanner, a platform that shows the best routes and flight deals to your destination.
✔ Check iVisa to see if you need a tourist visa to visit Georgia, how to apply online if applicable, or where’s the nearest embassy or consulate.
♥ Find budget-friendly deals on all sorts of accommodation types on Booking.com.
❣ Pre-book a private car transfer from Tbilisi Airport to your hotel.
➤ Buy the most flexible and budget-friendly travel insurance, SafetyWing, that also covers COVID.
☀ Book in advance some of the best city walks, cultural experiences, and day tours to maximize your stay and experience here.