The world is slowly realizing just how amazing Georgian cuisine is, with new Georgian restaurants arriving in some of the world’s cosmopolitan cities. Georgian cuisine is known for its traditional foods, with an emphasis on fresh and local ingredients. The capital city of Tbilisi, which has cobblestone streets that wind through its Old Town neighborhood, is home to tons of delicious restaurants. From delicious beef dishes to delectable dumplings, we’ve rounded up the seven best restaurants in Tbilisi:
1. Black Lion
The Black Lion restaurant, formerly known as Shavi Lomi, serves up traditional Georgian food combined with modern fusions. It’s located in a brick basement and has a large menu with delicious dishes including beef and plum bouillon and rabbit in a white wine sauce, khachapuritos (a type of chicken or beef quesadillas), phkali (a beetroot, walnut and spinach paste), traditional Georgian pickles and cornbread-based starters. It’s a small restaurant with around ten tables, so be sure to reserve ahead of time. It gets especially busy on weekends.
2. Zakhar Zakharich
No trip to Georgia is complete without trying its famous dumplings. Zakhar Zakharich is one of the top places to try dumplings, which are known as khinkali. It serves up fluffy dumplings made from hand-made dough. The dumplings are usually filled with a hearty meat filling, such as lamb or beef. Other dishes on the menu include chicken shashlik, which is a chicken kebab marinated to perfection. Accompany your meal with a portion of marinated vegetables with walnuts.
Pur-Pur oozes 19th-century Georgian vibes. It’s a chic restaurant that’s located in an old building, just off Freedom Square in the city’s Old Town. The restaurant has the feel of an old living room with deep sofas and a dark wood interior. It serves up traditional dishes such as pork cooked in beer, grilled trout, fresh salads and traditional Georgian desserts such as apples baked with nuts.
4. 8000 Mosavali
8000 Mosavali is a restaurant dedicated to Georgia’s 8000 years of wine production. The restaurant has an extensive menu with hundreds of different wines on the list. There is a simple yet sophisticated food menu with platters to share. Try the charcuterie board and a couple of different wines.
Machakhela is a great budget option that serves up the traditional Georgian cheese pie, known as khachapuri. The pies are freshly made and come in a variety of different sizes with different cheese options. If you’re really hungry, order the largest pie — we dare you.
6. Funicular Restaurant Complex
The Funicular Restaurant Complex is located in Mtatsminda park and offers panoramic views of the city below. It serves up delicious menu of western and Georgian dishes including hearty chicken soup, kebabs and trout. Try the fried donuts served with custard for dessert.
7. Gabriadze Cafe
Gabriadze Cafe is a great place to head to for a coffee and a sweet bite to eat. It’s located in the Old Town and serves up apple pie, donuts and delicious ice creams. There’s also a savory menu, including chicken cooked in a blackberry sauce, salads packed with nuts and cheeses and substantial soups.