Every guest is a gift from God. This is not only a polite Georgian saying but a sincere and true way how they consider and treat every guest. Hospitality takes very strong and special position in Georgian tradition and mentality, and finds its expression also in Georgian cuisine. Local specialities are reach in ingredients, full of aromatic spices and unconventional combinations of flavors. Comfort food. This is how I would describe it, as every meal in Georgia is making you feel welcomed, wanted and comfortable.
I cannot imagine any trip without exploring the culinary side of a destination. Trying local dining and wining places is always on the top of my travel agenda. When visiting Tbilisi you will have many options of great restaurants serving fresh and delicious meals. Check best restaurants, wineries and cafes I sincerely recommend to visit while exploring the beauty of Tbilisi city. All adviced to me by locals. When planning your visit in Tbilisi you may also find helpful The Complete Guide to Tbilisi and 13 Most Instagrammable Places in Tbilisi.
Address: 6 Giorgi Akhvlediani St, T’bilisi, Georgia
We had a great pleasure to kick off our trip to Tbilisi with a dinner at Alubali. And what a dinner that was! The place is unpretentious and makes you immediately feel what is the most important there. The food of course. Alubali is located between two buildings, in the little botanical patio, and bear in mind it’s not so obvious to spot it from the outside. Also, there is no visible logo so it’s good to have the exact address with you. The interior is simple and cozy with a fireplace placed in the corner and the service of Alubali is very pleasant and helpful.
Menu is minimalistic as for a Georgian restaurant, with strong focus on Megrelian, west Georgian cuisine which is very well known for its spiciness. Order khachapuri, which is a traditional Georgian dish of cheese-filled bread, grilled minced meat called Qababi and selection of local cheese that will take you to the next level of deliciousness.
Address: 23, Abano St, T’bilisi, Georgia
Culinarium-Khasheria is named after a tripe soup, which is believed to be a hangover remedy. This enjoyable restaurant is located right next to obligatory to see place in Tbilisi called Abanotubani. Combine visiting the Abanotubani baths with a nice lunch at Cafe Culinarium-Khasheria and try some of the amazing Georgian dishes. The place have a bit of cool hip vibes and serves food based on traditional recipes with a modern twist. We loved everything from the menu but if I would need to choose only one thing it must be lobio. This delicious meal is made of beans and contains coriander, walnuts, garlic and onion. It’s most tasty accompanied by a round of mchadi, which is a Georgian corn bread. This was so good! Booking table is not necessary but the place may be full in the high season time.
Address: 10, Galaktion Tabidze St, T’bilisi, Georgia
The type of food that most of Georgia’s visitors have in mind is definitely khinkali. These Georgian dumplings are typically stuffed with meat and spices, than served boiled or steamed. According to what we have been advised by a local food specialist, 9MTA is the place where you will get the best khinkali in town and I could not agree more. The dumplings were absolutely outstanding. They also make craft beer in place, so every beer lover will be in a true heaven.
Small tip on how to eat khinkali – do not use cutlery! You need to grab the dumpling with your hand by the top handle and turn it upside down. The trick is to eat it without making a mess or spilling the hot broth that is inside of the dumpling. Also, you can skip eating the top handle of khinkali in order to be able to eat more of them ;)
Address: 0105, 2 Pavle Ingorokva St, T’bilisi, Georgia
Absolutely charming place where you feel more like at someones’ home than in a restaurant. Cozy decoration, nice music in the background and shelfs full of wine bottles. Azaphesha is great for both reasons, delicious Georgian food and broad choice of local wines. The menu changes seasonally and is based on ancient Georgian cuisine focused on culinary traditions from Mediterranean and Middle East cultures. All the dishes taste outstanding and the atmosphere of the place is very relaxing and intimate. It’s perfect for a family or friend dinner but also for a romantic date for two.
Address: 18 Ioane Shavteli St, T’bilisi, Georgia
Cafe Leila is located just few steps away from the famous Clock Tower. Once you enter this place the interior can distract you from the food. It’s so unique! The ceiling details are amazing and look like crochet made. It used to be a gallery and you will notice that in every corner as this cafe is full of unique decorations and Persian inspired paintings. But going back to food, this is another address you cannot skip in Tbilisi. Cafe Leila offers fresh and delicious vegetarian options based on Georgian cuisine. Try sweets that are placed at the counter and are round shaped, covered with honey with a walnut on the top. This was so good I took few of them as a take away.
Address: 14, 0108 Merab Kostava St, Tbilisi, Georgia
Cafe Stamba is a nice and stylish place for lunch or dinner. It will welcome you with a beautiful interior, vibrant atmosphere and top restaurant service. It’s a more elegant style place but with easy going approach. Try their Khachapuri. This traditional dish can be also spelled as Hachapuri and it’s a cheese-filled bread served hot. It’s favorite throughout Georgia and involves putting the egg into the hot cheese to achieve a perfect taste. Wine list at Stamba is excellent and offers some of the best country wide specialities.
Address: 24 Tamar Chovelidze St, T’bilisi, Georgia
Book this place for a nice dinner and enjoy its special and intimate atmosphere. The chef is a really welcoming person and for sure will approach you at the table to ask for your dinner experience. The service in Zala is helpful and responsive and the food is a Georgian style with modern twist that reflects chef’s creativity. Also, the wine list is perfectly selected and offers Georgian representatives positions. I also fell in love with Zala’s truly beautiful and unique interior. The menu changes frequently but if you have a chance you should try a clear soup with mini khinkali. Also, local cheese board was absolutely outstanding offering the selection of traditional hand made products. As this place is rather small with only few tables, it’s worth to book your dinner upfront.
Address: 16, 0105 Geronti Kikodze St, T’bilisi, Georgia
Ezo Cafe is a really nice hip spot located in the patio in one of the streets of in the Old Tbilisi district. Good to have a stop there for a lunch, coffee or wine while you will be exploring Tbilisi’s hidden courtyards. Nice atmosphere and big open backyard where you can chill out in a shadow.
Address: 9 Davit Aghmashenebeli Ave, T’bilisi, Georgia
This wine place is obligatory for every wine lover. Family run Wine Station will invite you to Georgian wine culture in the best possible style. The choice of wine is really impressive and you can choose between bottled wines, vintage specialities and great house wines that are served right from the barrel. And do not get fooled that low price house wine served by liters is a poor quality wine. This place will prove you that cheap house wine with outstanding quality does exist. I loved it and this is my must go place in Tbilisi.
Address: 8 Egnate Ninoshvili St, T’bilisi, Georgia
Fabrika is actually not a one place but the whole complex of cafes, restaurants and bars located in a former sewing factory. It’s an easy going area where you can enjoy nice lunch or coffee in the sun, try good food or come for drinks in the evening. You can also find there shops with hand crafted products like clothes, ceramics or furniture. Fabrika is a great address to combine both, culinary pleasures with shopping.
Address: 22, Pavle Ingorokva St, T’bilisi, Georgia
I did not have a chance to eat at Chef’s Grandma myself, but it has been recommended to me by many locals so you may want to try it too.
Have a tasty stay in Tbilisi!