Influenced by Middle Eastern and European dishes, Georgian food is quite diverse. The fact that Georgian restaurants are opening in other parts of the world
is a sign of how delicious those meals are. However, it’s still unknown for many. Here is our guide to some of the best restaurants in Tbilisi where you can try traditional cuisine with a modern twist.
Barbarestan is a family-owned-and-operated restaurant with the mission to revive recipes from a 19th-century cookbook written by Princess Barbare Jorjadze. Vintage décor and modern service add a different, unique atmosphere to the whole dining experience. The menu is diverse, yet a bit expensive compared to other restaurants in Georgia. Thus, if you fancy trying what meals Georgian nobleman ate in the 19th century, then this is the place to be.
D. Aghmashenebeli ave. 132
The word shemomechama in Georgian means “to unintentionally eat the whole thing,” referring to the fact that the meal is so delicious that even though you feel full, you continue eating it. The décor of the restaurant Shemomechama is a replica of Soviet time diner, with tall, round tables where customers stand while eating their meal. The menu is not that diverse, but all the meals are made with care.
8 Mtskheta Street
Cafe, Restaurant, Georgian, $$$
Restaurant Dadiani mainly focuses on Megrelian cuisine from the Samegrelo region. Megrelian meals are famous for being spicy and chilly. One of their staple dishes is elarji (cornmeal with mozzarella-like local cheese) and gebjalia (cheese rolls in a sauce made from milk, sour cream, and ricotta-like cheese).
The restaurant is a bit pricey, but if you can’t go to Samegrelo to taste all their famous food there, then this is the best alternative.
11 Bakhtrioni St
Cafe, Restaurant, Georgian, $$$
Shavi Lomi was one of the very first restaurants to offer traditional cuisine with a modern twist. This cozy venue is adorned with vintage tableware, old carpets, and utensils Georgians used dozens of decades ago in their household. If you’d like to taste a bit of everything from local cuisine, order Gobi—a big plate of various Georgian pkhali, mchadi (cornbread), pickles, and cheese.
28 Zurab Kvlividze St
A relatively new addition to Tbilisi’s dining scene, Zala Restaurant has quickly gained popularity. Located in Vera, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, Zala attracts your attention with big windows that stand out from the run-down facades of the nearby houses. At first glance, you think its a tiny place, but once inside, you realize its spacious. The restaurant is adorned with the chairs from the 60s, while the walls have graphic works of a house plan.
Similar to the restaurants mentioned above, the primary focus of Zala is preserving Georgian cuisine but giving them a twist. However, it also serves meals from other cuisines as well.
24 Tamar Chovelidze St
Another venue with Georgian traditional concept and meals, Tabla Saloon is distinguished by its interior as well. Bare-brick walls, a wooden ceiling, antique carpets, and vintage pictures of old Georgian movies hanging on the walls create a warm atmosphere to enjoy a wide range of traditional and tasty meals.
33 Ilia Chavchavadze Avenue
Restaurant Kakhelebi focuses on the eats from the Kakheti region of Georgia, which is where the name comes from—people from Kakheti. Despite the fact that both branches are located far from the city center, the venue is trendy among local gourmands. One of the core principles of Kakhelebi restaurant is to use their home ground ingredients in their meals.
Saknavtobi #2 Kakheti Hwy
41 Akaki Beliashvili St