If you are searching for the best restaurants in Tbilisi for Georgian food, look no further. We have spent years trying many many many different traditional Georgian restaurants in Tbilisi: some have been meh, some have been good, but only a few have made it into our Top Tbilisi Restaurant Guide.
I have to start by saying that in this guide we are being quite strict about what places are “traditional Georgian” restaurants. In Tbilisi, there are many amazing restaurants we haven’t included in this list because they are either “Modern Georgian”, or “fusion” restaurants. These we will reveal in separate articles. The restaurants in this list are where you should go if you are looking for a traditional Georgian restaurant experience. Some even offer traditional Georgian polyphonic singing and Georgian dancing.
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Best Restaurants in Tbilisi: Best Georgian Food
Right in the heart of Old Town near the historic sulfur baths is Maspindzelo – a very quaint and cozy restaurant loved by both tourists and locals alike. They have a nice variety of classic Georgian dishes that are consistently great, most notably their Khinkali.
Something unique about the restaurant? There are two sweet (somewhat elderly) street performers, one playing piano and the other fiddle, that come straight to your table and play songs from the country you’re from! They were very popular and would attract crowds a couple of years ago and should still be entertaining in the area. (Last time we were there October 2022 they were not playing so not 100% certain if they are still a musical act)
Location: 7 Vakhtang Gorgasali Street, Tbilisi
Pasanauri – Old Town
Pasanauri is a famous restaurant chain in Tbilisi that has a bunch of branches all throughout the city. The best branch, in our opinion, is in Old Town, right next to the old cobblestone square near the “I Love Tbilisi” sign. Highly recommended by tourists and known to have some of the best khinkali in Tbilisi, the restaurant is actually named after Pasanauri, a mountain town (near Gudauri) north of Tbilisi that is considered the birthplace of the best khinkali in Georgia.
Location: 1 Vakhtang Gorgasali Street, Tbilisi
Located near the center of town by Rustaveli metro, Sabotono is another great spot to try some Georgian “classics.” The restaurant is a bit smaller than others, creating a very intimate and cozy atmosphere. Everything is customarily delicious, with our personal favorite dish being the fried trout stuffed with sulguni (სულგუნი – traditional Georgian cheese) and walnut paste. It’s recommended to call and make a reservation though, as the restaurant is pretty small and very busy.
Location: 30 Alexander Griboedov Street, Tbilisi
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Our favorite budget-friendly restaurant in Tbilisi, which has a huge variety of traditional Georgian dishes is Chashnagiri. Located in the heart of downtown as well, this restaurant is the best of both worlds – some of the most delicious, authentic meals at prices that are not inflated. The outside of the restaurant has a more modern, glass look to it, but the inside is adorned with traditional Georgian decor.
The food is just delicious – one of our favorites at Chashnagiri is ხაჭაპური შამფურზე – khachapuri on a skewer. Cheese is put on a skewer with dough then wrapped around it. The skewer is then cooked on a barbeque and smothered in butter. What do you have at the end? An amazing gooey, melted, cheesy bread roll that is unlike anything you’ve tried!
Location: 25 Kote Abkhazi Street, Tbilisi
This restaurant is a bit out of the center of town (~30 min taxi ride) but is very much worth the trip. Loved by tourists and locals, Ethno Tsiskvili is a restaurant and an entire Georgian experience. Decorated with a real waterfall, vintage Georgian balconies, and traditional pottery/artifacts, the restaurant resembles a museum exhibition that shares various parts of Georgian history.
Their traditional menu is very large, meaning you can try almost any and every Georgian dish (unlike many tourist spots that just sell the most popular top 10 dishes). Their menu even includes rare entrées that are not that easy at other restaurants, like barbecue wood mushrooms for example and ბაჟე – baje, a special walnut garlic sauce typically eaten over chicken. At Ethno, you can get an interesting version of baje with roasted cauliflower. Their food and service is consistently top quality.
Performances showcasing traditional Georgian songs and dances begin at 8 pm every night and are spread throughout the evening until closing. Make sure to specifically ask to reserve a table in the section of the restaurant that will host the show. Attire is business casual, so men must wear collared shirts with long pants.
Bonus: Beer Square
Beer Square is a restaurant attached to Ethno Tsiskvili that has the same menu and is owned by the same person, but is much less formal. They have a piano and varied entertainment depending on the night you go.
Location: 99 Akaki Beliashvili Street, Tbilisi
Amra is one of the few remaining Abkhazian restaurants not only in Tbilisi but basically in all of Georgia. As you may or may not know, Abkhazia is the most northwestern region of Georgia that is currently occupied by Russia and has been occupied since 1992. There has been much turmoil between Georgia and the breakaway region over the years, which has unfortunately diminished the presence of anything Abkhaz in ‘mainland’ Georgia.
Abkhazian cuisine bears some similarities to traditional Georgian cuisine, minus their love of spicier dishes. The most famous Abkhazian dish is called ელარჯი – elarji, which is essentially cornmeal that’s boiled and mixed with cheese that turns into this very stretchy, gooey, polenta type of dish that is served with salty Abkhazian ham. Almost every Georgian at Amra orders Elarji – it’s that popular and loved! The restaurant has a very beautiful and sophisticated outdoor terrace adorned with a mixed variety of flowers and trees – a great place to share a wonderful Abkhazian meal.
Location: Lisi Lake, Tbilisi
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If you are looking to try authentic Rachvelian cuisine, you should definitely check out Rachis Ubani near Turtle Lake. Surrounded by trees and nature, Rachis Ubani is located high up on a hill near Vake, overlooking all of Tbilisi. The restaurant has a cute balcony where you can catch phenomenal views of the sunset while eating one of Racha’s most famous dishes: Chkmeruli. Named after its birthplace, the village Schkmeri (located in Racha’s mountains), Chkmeruli is basically a creamy chicken dish cooked in a garlic milk sauce. Lobio (ლობიო – beans) is another dish you should definitely try as Rachvelians are also famous for their beans.
The restaurant is located right above the Ethnographic museum. You can take a cable car up from Vake to Turtle Lake and walk down to the restaurant (10 min walk), or take a taxi up to the restaurant itself from Tbilisi.
Location: Kustba Road, Tbilisi
We’ve saved our favorite for last! Georgian House is just phenomenal – it’s the type of place you can take anyone to impress: friends, family, coworkers, business partners… It’s just an amazing restaurant overall. Located in a traditional old Tbilisi style neighborhood next to Mushtaid garden, Georgian House has a lovely outdoor seating area embellished with carved wooden balconies, a tiered back garden, stone-style tavern, private dining rooms, and old 1920s-style courtyard lamps. Live polyphonic singing performances usually begin around 8pm.
They have one of the largest and most vast traditional Georgian menus, and much like Ethno Tsiskvili, you can find lots of rare dishes here that aren’t easily found elsewhere. They’ve never dropped their standard of quality in cuisine, and have one of the best, if not the best service of any restaurant in Tbilisi. A very sophisticated restaurant indeed.
Location: 2 Giorgi Tsabadze Street, Tbilisi