The capital of Georgia for gastronomic tourism. But if your eyes run up from the abundance of pretty places and dishes on the menu and the barkers strain with their slightly intrusive invitations, I know what you need. These are the top places you should visit during your travel through Tbilisi:
Travel through Tbilisi: Restaurant Kala
Kala. Location: Erekle II, 8/10.
In the Old City center, between the Zion Cathedral (previously considered the most important in Tbilisi) and Koto Abkhazi Street (which will lead you from the Old city to Freedom Square). There is a small pedestrian street: Erekli II. Pass two bars with loud music and on the right side, you will find one of the nicest restaurants in the area.
The place is popular among tourists and locals, so our advice is to book a table at Calais. You might bump into this place while you walk around the Old Town. Return by seven or eight in the evening and just catch the main part of the program. If you forgot to take a seat, boldly cross the road and get settled in an institution called Friend’s House, with no less tasty cuisine and that very live music.
Shatre. Location: Rustaveli 38
Shota Rustaveli Avenue, in the livelier and more modern part of Tbilisi, also has soulful places. For example, the Shatre restaurant – with traditional family cuisine, proper khinkali, and scalding hot khachapuri straight from the oven. It is for this reason that native Tbilisi residents come here, and watch them. Furthermore, you will learn the traditional way of eating a real Megrelian khachapuri (spoiler: only with your hands!).
The terrace of this place is no different from many around, but inside you will find a surprising design: carpets, painted ceilings, antique lamps, and household items. The dishes in the Shatra are also wonderful: painted plates and bowls will emphasize the taste of your kharcho and eggplants in a nut sauce.
Come here in the morning on weekdays for a leisurely breakfast with a view of the waking city and be sure to order coffee brewed in the sand and a portion of Georgian sweets.
Travel through Tbilisi: Restaurant Leila
Leila. Location: Ioane Shavteli 18
Finding vegetarian items on the menu of a Georgian restaurant is not a problem, but there are not so many completely vegetarian establishments here. Leila is one of the few restaurants of this kind.
A small cafe is located at the beginning of the walking route through the Old Town. Walk from Pushkin Street to the walls in the center, then go past the clock tower and the puppet theater. The cozy terrace here is especially good in the evenings. The menu includes excellent khachapuri, pkhali, soups, and excellent lobio, as well as river trout baked in spicy herbs. This place is really good for everyone who is tired of endless kebabs and khinkali!
Sofiko. Location: Dzmebi Zdanevichebi 8
A slightly more pretentious place in our selection is a beautiful restaurant with white tablecloths, exquisite dishes, and a full-fledged wine list. But the main advantage of Sofiko is a terrace with one of the best views of old Tbilisi. Yes, yes, on a full-fledged wooden balcony with a carved palisade and bananas in tubs! And even if you have to wander the back streets of the Old City and knock your feet on the uneven cobblestones, it will be worth it.
The menu includes interesting variations of familiar dishes. You can find lobio prepared from green beans with Svan salt, mousses, pates, as well as desserts. For all this, you will be served the most adeqyate natural wine from small Kakhetian wineries. Moreover, they will provide you with a detailed story about the peculiarities of Georgian production. Tasty, cozy, and unusual – what else is needed for a pleasant dinner in Tbilisi?
Travel through Tbilisi: restaurant Art Home Cafe
Art Home Cafe. Location: Betlemi 13
Another place on the Old Town’s narrow street: a rooftop bar and gallery in one bottle. Finding Art Home Cafe is not so easy: instead of a sign, there is laconic graffiti under a lamp. This is a place rather for those who know where and why they are going. You will have to go to the entrance and press the bell fastened to the railing in quarantine times. They will go down after you, check the temperature and take you to the third floor past halls with art objects and temporary exhibitions of trendy Tbilisi artists.
The menu at Art Home Cafe is more bar-based, with a wide selection of excellent Georgian wines, and for food, we recommend trying crispy cheese pizza on pita bread. However, Tbilisi hipsters come here rather for a vibe of parties on the terrace. Good music from local DJs and a sense of freedom are perfectly complemented by daring art.
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