One of the most interesting aspects of travelling and discovering a new city is experiencing the local nightlife. Our Tbilisi local Daria has listed ten bars and cafés that you should visit.
1. Zoestan combines the best of France and Georgia
You may come here for a beer or tea, but suddenly find yourself at a concert by a French choir singing Georgian songs. Whether you’re looking for food, a couple of drinks or just some music – you’ll definitely be satisfied with what you find at Zoestan. Multiculturalism is served in a smooth and pleasant manner, with French radio playing in the background and French snacks on the table alongside Georgian wine and beer.
2. Warszawa offers the best shots
When bar-hopping in Tbilisi, you can’t skip Warszawa. It has cheap drinks (2 lari), cheap meals (5 lari) and barely any seats. Head here for real zoladkowa, Polish food and also for wine. There are more seats in the basement along with a wide selection of Georgian wines. I recommend the chachachello! And if you happen to need shuttle bus tickets to Kutaisi airport, you can buy them from the bartender.
Photo credit: Bar Warszawa
3. You can play beer pong at Dive Bar
Dive Bar is a place that both Georgians and expat locals like. Established by the Americans, it has the spirit of something different, something very non-Tbilisi. It’s relaxed, friendly and you can speak to almost everyone. The prices are extremely reasonable and the staff are super friendly too. This is why it’s full almost every night. If you’re in the mood for drinking, talking, listening to music and dancing in a very casual atmosphere, definitely drop by.
4. If you’re dark and alternative, visit U Bar
Locals love U Bar because it’s small, dark and plays electronic and techno music. It’s a place where you can forget the world outside and sink into the rhythm. If you’re into hard electronic music and don’t enjoy posh bars and restaurants, you should take a look. Those who aren’t into drinking and dancing can play backgammon. Everything about this bar is underground, even the location. To find it, you’ll need to cross Lermontov Street and walk along the right side of Dadiani Street until you reach number 15 – it’s in the basement. Check their Facebook page for upcoming events.
Photo credit: U Bar
5. Pirimze is a carefully hidden hipster heaven
Pirimze offers very tasty food and drinks at reasonable prices. Even though it’s hard to imagine a more central location, it’s actually not that mainstream. Locals enjoy its relaxed atmosphere, retro décor and 60s and 70s music. Local electronic musicians also perform here sometimes. It’s located on the third floor of a house by the flower market – look for the sign “პოლიკლინიკა”.
6. You’ll never feel alone at Tubo
Tubo is a relatively new bar in Tbilisi. Its Ukrainian/Polish owners describe it as a place where you can meet a diverse group of clued-up locals and travellers, which is totally true. You’ll never feel alone or uncomfortable here. They sometimes have DJs, so it’s a good place to start your weekend. Their Polish zapiekanka is tasty, and is good for jumping between shots and beers. You should also try their nalivka – it’s really delicious and doesn’t taste as strong as chacha.
Photo credit: Tubo Party Bar
7. Bauhaus Cafe – central, hidden, simple and good
This cosy little space with simple industrial décor is located on a small street in the Old City. It’s a place where young people come to enjoy tasty, healthy and simple food, which is kind of uncommon for Tbilisi. They occasionally host culinary masterclasses, so it’s not just a space for eating, but for learning as well! Their soups and salads are good for lunch, while their delicious pizzas and sangria will make your evening happier. Plus, the cupcakes by Nina Bochorishvili are really delicious!
8. Absurd is small, cheap and extremely friendly
Absurd is a small bar with international cuisine, staff from all around the world and a very friendly atmosphere. Its basement location keeps the neighbours relaxed, while simple, spacious interiors allow you to move around without feeling like a sardine trapped in a can. Want to eat something small and cheap? Try their snacks and appetisers – they are very simple and good. Drink prices are surprisingly low, so you’ll definitely leave satisfied. As it’s located in the city centre, it’s a great place to recharge your batteries when out and about exploring.
Photo credit: Absurd Bar
9. Canudos Ethnic Bar – where booze and Bhudda meet
Canudos is popular among local expats and people who like drinking. With worn-out wooden furniture and ethnic décor (Mayan culture meets Buddhism), it looks like a place you’d find in Kreuzberg, Berlin. Simply put, it’s relaxed, cheap and cool. The staff are very friendly, and everyone speaks English. If you’re alone in Tbilisi and feel like meeting some open-minded people, head here for a drink, a chat and a good time. Beer and chacha are cheap, and you can also get nice small snacks to go
with your drink.
10. Naxvamdis – paradise for freelancers
Typically not listed in travel guides, this is a place for those “in the know”. It’s the first café in Tblisi where you pay a time-based rate (1.8 lari for the first hour, then 3 tetri/minute) and get Internet, tea, coffee and cookies for free! If you’re on a limited budget and want to have a nice time, come by. They also serve alcohol – the most expensive item on the menu is the Long Island Iced Tea (10 lari).
Photo credit: Cafe Naxvamdis
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