Eating out in a cozy, well-designed café in Tbilisi
is one of the primary socializing activities for many locals. Georgians love to spend time in unique-styled venues chatting with friends, discussing hot topics or just simply enjoying a cup of their favorite beverage. This unexplained love towards sitting in a café for hours sometimes turns a friends’ get-together into a café crawl in one evening.
Considering the vast amount of cafés that Tbilisi hides in its backstreets, first-time visitors might find it hard to decide where to go, so we’ve compiled a list of the best places.
Cafe, European, $$$
Designing a café in a vintage style has been a massive trend in Tbilisi during the past five years or so. And while there are a couple of such destinations, Linville is one of the most popular among locals. It used to be a residential house; therefore, it might be a bit hard to spot. Once you walk down Kote Abkhazi Street from Liberty Square, look for a painted metal door at the second turn on the right side of the road. Walk up the wooden steps that creak as you step on them, and you are there.
This cozy café, complete with a charming atmosphere, is a great place to take a break from all the sightseeing and enjoy a cup of coffee, lunch or a dessert. During the evenings, you can sip wine and listen to live piano music.
Cafe, European, Georgian, $$$
Located right next to the Gabriadze Marionette Theater and Clock Tower, this quirky, beautiful café is part of the whole Gabriadze complex. Rezo Gabriadze is a sculptor, playwright, theater and film director, writer, and painter who designed and created the Clock Tower, puppets for his show and the café.
Cafe Gabriadze has three rooms and a summer terrace overlooking the ancient Anchiskhati and the Tower. The venue is a display of Rezo’s art. Here you’ll find his paintings and posters adorning the walls; his sculptures and ceramics scattered across the café; and curtains that he designed hanging in the windows.
Cafe, Georgian, $$$
Another café with unique, Middle-Eastern design awaits vegetarians, vegans and those who would like to try authentic, delicious Georgian cuisine. At Cafe Leila, you can eat staples of Georgian delicacies such as eggplant, spinach, carrots, beans, and greens, along with khachapurito (pizza-like cheese pie) and cornbread mchadi, to name a few.
Cafe, European, North American, $$$
Street art lovers will find Factory 27 a great place to chill and escape a bit from the hustle and bustle of the city. The café has both indoor and outdoor seating and is easy to spot with its graffiti-covered walls, made by Georgian artist TamOonz.
Their international menu features delicious burgers, soups, salads, sandwiches, falafels, and dips. Factory 27 is a cool place to spend your spare time.
Cafe, Tea , $$$
What makes this café so different from others is that you don’t pay for what you consume; you pay for the time you spend there—hence the name, Anticafe Corner. The fee is not expensive at all and reduces after two hours spent at the venue. Moreover, if you spend more than three hours there, you can stay for free.
The main idea of the place is to create a home-like space where you can sit and do whatever you would do in your own home without any distractions.
It offers a wide range of board games and books; you can also watch a movie of your choice on a projector and drink unlimited tea and coffee (for free). This café even allows you to bring your own food or snacks.
Cafe, European, $$$
Hidden in one of the leading recreational parks of Tbilisi, Cafe Mziuri is one of the best-kept secrets of the capital. Recently renovated, Mziuri offers a non-smoking and relaxing social environment with both indoor and outdoor seating areas.
Besides the simple, yet elegant and colorful, design, the café is the first in Tbilisi to be adapted for people with disabilities—a cement ramp leading to the entrance, accessible bathroom, and a menu in Braille script are a few of those amenities.
When it’s warm outside, in the spring and summer, the café offers open-air movie screenings for its customers. Unfortunately, the movies are dubbed in Georgian without English subtitles. It also hosts several social or cultural events on its premises.