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 when craving some contemporary or traditional Georgian 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 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 one 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 than this one is a perfect place for you. If you prefer more meat and less juice, you might not like it. Nonetheless, I suggest to give 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 ones 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 the 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 offers 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 that comes 4 pieces per portion with a special sauce.
Address: 23 Shota Rustaveli Ave.
Opening hours: Everyday 11 a.m – 10 p.m
Traditional Georgian Food with a Contemporary 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 for 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 as 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
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 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
As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments down below, or connect with me on my social media channels. I will be happy to assist you as much as possible.