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Georgia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with lush green valleys, ancient churches and well-preserved Eastern European traditions. Over time it’s a country that has been in the hands of the Persians and Russians which have both influenced the country’s cuisine. Today, the food is a mixture of hearty soups and delicious meat dishes. We’ve rounded up the seven top restaurants in Georgia, from traditional dumplings in its capital of Tbilisi, to trout cooked in a walnut sauce in Borjomi:
1. Pheasant’s Tears, Sighnaghi
Pheasant’s Tears in Sighnaghi has a great wine menu offering some of Georgia’s finest wines paired with a delicious, traditional menu. Dishes on the menu include a chicken, garlic and tabbouleh salad, fried eggplant, cheese platters and succulent chicken kebabs. The food is locally sourced and incredibly fresh, with different daily specials.
2. Black Lion, Tbilisi
The Black Lion restaurant in Tbilisi, formerly known as Shavi Lomi, offers traditional Georgian food combined with a modern twist. Top dishes to try also include its beef and plum bouillion, khachapuritos (a type of chicken or beef quesadilla) and phkali (a beetroot, walnut and spinach paste). Reserve a table ahead of time as its a very popular choice. Explore accommodation options in Tbilisi.
3. Old Boulevard, Batumi
The Old Boulevard in Batumi is a stylish restaurant with large sofas, sculptures and classical music. Top dishes on the menu include the Turkish inspired hummus and chicken kebabs. There is also pizza on the menu, for those of you looking for a break from Georgian cuisine. Be sure to go in the evening and listen to the live pianists.
4. Zakhar Zakharich, Tbilisi
No trip to Georgia is complete without trying the country’s famous dumplings. Zakhar Zakharich is one of the top places to try dumplings, known as khinkalis, in Tbilisi. Its dumplings are incredibly fluffy and are served with a delicious lamb filling. There are also plenty of other dishes on the menu (if you’ve already sampled the dumplings and want to try something else), including chicken shashlik, hearty soups and marinated vegetables and walnuts.
5. Cafe Old Borjomi, Borjomi
Borjomi is a small resort town in the green valley of the Mtkvari River. It’s known for its health-improving spa and if you’re taking a trip here, you have to visit Cafe Old Borjomi, which is famous for its delicious trout cooked in a walnut sauce. Find a place to crash in Borjomi.
6. 8000 Mosavali, Tbilisi
8000 Mosavali, which means ‘8000 vintage wines’, is a restaurant dedicated to Georgia’s eight thousand years of wine production. As the name suggests, the restaurant has an extensive menu of wines, which can be accompanied by charcuterie and cheese boards.
7. Restaurant Diaroni, Zugdidi
If you’re traveling through the Svaneti region, make a beeline for Restaurant Diaroni, located in the town of Zugdidi. It’s a traditional restaurant with a great selection of dishes from the Samegrelo region, including elarji (cornmeal cooked with stringy cheese) khachapuri (which is a bread that you tear-off to dip into its hot cheesy center) kupati, (a type of spicy pork sausage) the cottage cheese-like gebzhalia dip, and kharcho, (a delicious soup that contains beef, rice, cherry plum purée and chopped walnuts).