Georgian Food with a Twist: 6 Tasty Meals to Enjoy in Tbilisi

Like A Local Guide • 3 Jun, 2016

If you spend a long time travelling in Georgia, you may get bored with khinkali (Georgian dumplings), khachapuri (cheese-filled bread) and barbecued meat. These dishes are literally served everywhere, sometimes even in the non-Georgian restaurants.

To reinvigorate your appetite, Daria shares a handful of restaurants that prepare local food a bit differently. Follow her on a journey to the tastiest corners of Tbilisi!

1. Assorted pkhali and mushroom chakapuli at Ezo

This restaurant isn’t super obvious. That’s the essence of culinary adventures in Tbilisi – you have to search for the hidden corners to be rewarded with the best food. So, head to the Sololaki district, find Geronti Kikodze St. 16, enter the courtyard (“ezo” in Georgian) and dive into the seasonal menu! All of the ingredients are absolutely natural and are either produced by the owners or purchased from small farms.

I always order assorted pkhali (a Georgian dip/spread – I especially love the beetroot version) and mushroom chakapuli (a stew flavoured with tarragon and spices). For my non-vegetarian readers, I can tell you that a brave Georgian friend of mine ordered the grilled meat and almost cried with joy. And another person I know has been waiting the whole year for lamb chakapuli season to arrive at Ezo.

If you visit Tbilisi, I advise you to seek out this restaurant!

12249597_1651102775148620_5320176666837843664_nPhoto credit: Ezo

2. Matsoni soup and cornmeal bagels with pkhali at Gabriadze’s 

Even though the food isn’t cheap, I definitely like the creative take on traditional Georgian dishes at Gabriadze Café. I’m always tempted by the matsoni (Georgian yoghurt) soup and mchadi (Georgian cornbread), which is served like a bagel and stuffed with spinach pkhali.

34140564_qbbY3j12WXeU8YmWsuVOVeziEybXaYGNx8hsOScW0V4Photo credit: Kristi

3. A breakfast of yoghurt and chocolate cake at Tbilisi Hilltop 

In Georgia, people don’t bother themselves with early wake-ups. So, if you want to eat breakfast at a café, Tbilisi Hilltop is one of the best options. Fresh matsoni topped with different fruits plus totally magical chocolate cake will make your morning better!

UntitledPhoto credit: Tbilisi Hilltop

4. Mushroom khinkali at Sofia Melnikova’s Fantastic Douqan

There are several restaurants in Tbilisi competing for the title of “best place for (meat) khinkali”, including Zakhar Zakharych and Pasanauri. According to my personal ratings, the juicy and spicy mushroom khinkali served at Sofia Melnikova’s Fantastic Douqan are the best. My stomach votes for them! This restaurant is hidden in the courtyard of the Museum of Literature.

a29a2d8d3c4caaa7bf8dde70ea4e9629Photo credit: Daria Kholodilina

5. Cornel or mushroom soup and a pumpkin dessert at Barbarestan 

This restaurant was started by a large family that discovered an old recipe book dating back to the 19th century by Barbare Jorjadze – a noblewoman who enjoyed cooking and stood for women’s rights. The whole menu is based on Barbare’s recipes. Some of them may sound bizarre, cornel soup for instance, but I like it very much. If you’re not afraid to experiment, try it! Another must is the sweet yet healthy pumpkin dessert. It will please absolutely everyone!

dcf3b19838c84b9db7329bad649f6d90Photo credit: Barbarestan

6. Shkmeruli and potato pancakes at Famous

If you want to try high-quality Georgian and Ukrainian cuisine in a pleasant atmosphere, come to the very heart of Tbilisi. On Gudiashvili Square there’s a restaurant called Famous that is in fact famous for its presentation, chef and well-executed Georgian dishes. You won’t find king-size servings of barbecued meat and khinkali on the menu, but this is actually sometimes a good thing. Diversity matters. Shkmeruli (chicken in garlic sauce) is one of my favourites from the Georgian menu. From the Ukrainian menu, I especially recommend draniki (potato pancakes).

823500bb39300b2d541a380fd766580cPhoto credit: Famous

For more local recommendations read:
What locals like to do in Tbilisi
Where locals like to eat in Tbilisi
Where locals like to party in Tbilisi

Special tip: For a more authentic Tbilisi experience, get the Like A Local mobile app

Like A Local Guide
Like A Local Guide is about stepping off the tourist trail and finding cool and cosy spots where locals like to spend their time. We built a website and mobile app to bring insider recommendations from around the world to your fingertips.

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