Looking for authentic Georgian food in Tbilisi? You may think that Georgian cuisine is a close cousin to Russian or Turkish food, but you’d be wrong. While it does take some notes from the Middle-East and Eastern Europe, Georgian cuisine is entirely a beast of its own. Dishes like Adjarian khachapuri, badrijani nigvzit and lobio give Georgians a unique and diverse table.
In the ancient city of Tbilisi, there’s no shortage of great Georgian food, so we narrowed it down for you with these seven picks.
Best Spots For Georgian Food in TbilisiHow do these rankings work?
Georgian for “Black Lion”, Shavi Lomi is famous among locals and tourists for putting a modern spin on ancient Georgian dishes. Everything on the menu is excellent, but they are great at bozbashi. The charming and eccentric atmosphere combined with a great wine list, and famous Black Lion beer makes for a memorable and delicious dinner.
Mapshalia is famous for its Megrelian dishes such as elarji and karcho. Megrelian cuisine hails from the Mingrelian region in Western Georgia and is known for its intense flavour and spice. This cosy tavern is always filled to the brim but well worth the wait.
Zakhar Zakharich is one of the few remaining places in Tbilisi that make khinkali entirely by hand. Handmade khinkali, aka Georgia’s spin on a dumpling, means it the best place in the city to feast on them! Be sure to order the traditional lamb filling and eat it with chacha.
Tucked away in a more local area of the city in Saburtalo, is Sormoni. They have a massive menu with tons of authentic Georgian dishes to choose from but are famous for their barbeques and badrijani nigvzit.
We recommend the sitting on the terrace with the traditional Georgian decor that makes for a perfect atmosphere. Also, their house red wine is exceptionally affordable and considered mandatory for any proper Georgian feast.
Located in an old water mill in the picturesque old town is Tsiskvili. This restaurant is perfect if you want to sample a variety of dishes and enjoy a night of Georgian culture. They have regular live music with dance performances and boast a regional menu with plenty of local options from West to East Georgia.
Georgian for “yard” Ezo is in one of Sololaki’s famous courtyards and is every bit as lovely as you’d expect. It brings a sustainable and organic approach to home-style Georgian dishes with a simple, easy to choose from menu.
Duqani is centrally located just across from the Opera. It’s also one of the only other places aside from previously mentioned Zakhar Zakharich that does khinkali by hand. You can’t miss their chikartma and homemade lemonades.