food-georgian-table

Café Littera

Located in the leafy courtyard of Writer’s House, a century-old pile that was the former home of local aristocrat and philanthropist David Sarajishvili, Café Littera is owned by the queen of Georgian cuisine, chef Tekuna Gachechiladze. Best known for putting a lighter, modern twist on traditional Georgian dishes, don’t miss out on the chakapuli (stew) served with mussels instead of lamb, or kharcho – a traditional beef and rice soup – made alternatively with the sweetest of shrimps. This being Georgia, wines are all local, including a strong list of natural and organic options.

Kakhelebi

A must on any Tbilisi culinary checklist, you’ll find Kakhelebi on the highway leading to the Kakheti – so this spot will likely be a little out of your way (unless you’re looking for a bite to eat before heading to the airport). Simple in design, Kakhelebi is as Georgian in its decor as it is in its menu. With a farm-to-table ethos, the restaurant sources all its Kakhetian ingredients directly from the surrounding region. Georgian cooking takes centre stage here with all of the country’s celebrated dishes – think soup dumplings and khachapuri – featured. Like any good tavern, Kakhelebi also offers a selection of wonderful wines and home-brewed chacha; delicious but lethal. Book an earlyish dinner as they close at 9pm.

  • +99 532 294 3300
  • Go to Website
  • #2 Saknavtis Settlement
    Kakheti Highway

Keto and Kote

You’ll definitely need Google Maps to find this spot, but we promise it’s worth the hassle (and the inevitable detour). The restaurant features local touches like corbels and romantic Georgian balconies that would make a Pinterest addict weak at the knees. Tbilisian old-school glamour is rustic at heart – interiors here see wicker chairs and stripped floorboards meet ornate chandeliers and high ceilings. In terms of food, it’s a contemporary take on Georgian traditions. Chef and owner Ramaz Gerniashvili’s khinkali (Georgian soup-dumplings) can only be described as a culinary triumph, and his tolma (stuffed vine leaves) are equally delicious. After dinner, order a glass of cha cha – Georgian brandy made with the residual grape from winemaking.

Lolita

For something a little less traditional, dine at Lolita – the latest addition to Tbilisi’s burgeoning creative scene. Occupying a three-storey gothic building – once home to the country’s most prominent artistic and cultural figures – the upper floors house a bar, lounge and a nightclub, while the restaurant is set within an outdoor courtyard on the ground floor. Here, sip on creative cocktails like the Lolita Punch and munch on international crowd-pleasers from hot dogs and fries to spicy meatballs and couscous while rubbing shoulders with the city’s urban elite.

Lily Vanilli Bakery

The beloved London bakery on Columbia Road has opened up shop overseas and it’s Georgian counterpart is equally charming. Made of sugar and spice and all things nice, interiors are stripped back with pastel-pink French windows separating the shop from the eat-in bakery. While the savoury lunch dishes are top, it’s the sweet stuff we’re really after. Expect all the usual suspects like choux, brownies and eclairs but be sure to get stuck into more local delicacies; traditional Medok (honey cakes) are layered to perfection and the bakery’s spin on the Georgian apple and sour-cherry pies is not to be missed. Serving Allpress Coffee and all-day breakfast, this a winner.

Culinarium

Serving up honest food in wholesome surroundings, Culinarium’s menu is curated by Tekuna Gachechiladze, the pioneering female chef responsible for a modernisation of Georgian cuisine that began around 2006. While everything on the menu will satisfy, we suggest choosing from a menu titled “hangover cures”, featuring Georgian soups that range from traditional dumpling to a leon-mint-tarragon chicken soup – both of which deliver on their promise. If your stomach’s needs something a little more than soup, opt for the melt-in-the-mouth bone marrow and don’t leave without sampling the fried sulguni cheese (like mozzarella and feta fused together) with yoghurt dressing.

  • +995 322 721 157
  • Abano Street 23

Shavi Lomi

At Shavi Lomi, white-linen cloths and chandeliers are replaced by car-boot-sale furniture and flea-market china, meaning an evening at this inconspicuous little restaurant is an experience akin to eating at your best friend’s house (albeit if they were an award-winning chef). Opened by a local celebrity chef and three of her friends, what was once a secret kept among Tbilisi’s in-the-know has become a culinary hotspot, making its 10 tables some of the most covetable seats in the city. The cellar restaurant pays homage to Georgia’s beloved artist, Niko Pirosmani, renowned for his plentiful, hearty feasting scenes, appropriately plating up meals to match. The menu is long, enticing and undeniably confusing if you don’t speak Georgian, but really you can’t go too wrong with any of the dishes (we are partial to the beef and wild-plum bouillon). Go with a big group and order gobi to start; this platter of traditional appetisers will set the tone for a proper supra (feast).

Café Littera

Kakhelebi

Keto and Kote

Lolita

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