It’s now been a full year since I started this series on the blog. You would think I would run out of restaurants, but it seems every time I turn around a whole crop of new places pops up. I suppose I should be happy Tbilisi keeps me on my toes, but it’s a bit intimidating!
Anway. Here’s the top five from the past few months. Enjoy!
Top Five Restaurants:
Kitchen Home Studio: Located off Freedom Square, this new cafe has quickly become one of our favorites. It’s small, but the atmosphere is warm and inviting, and the menu is quite simple but inventive. They have several unique khinkali flavors such as spinach in blue cheese sauce which I had never seen before. I ordered the creamy chicken, and Sean got the caramelized pork which was the star of our evening. What’s fun about this place is their cooking space is in the center of the building, and you can watch your food being prepared. The wait staff was also friendly and helpful. It truly feels like you’re in someone’s home.
Respublika Grill Bar: This is one of those instances where I’m probably the last person on earth to try Respublika, but hear me out. We met some friends there for brunch a few weeks ago, and I really enjoyed it. They are one of the few places that serve brunch – though I do think it’s becoming more popular – and all four of us ordered “the brunch” meal. It came with several different kinds of meat, eggs, beans, and potatoes. Perfect spot for a hangover cure. I know they are a popular spot for lunch and dinner, so I’m sure we will be back again before we leave next summer.
Bina 37: Another new place, Bina 37, is east of Saburtalo a few blocks off the highway. It’s a bit confusing to find since it’s on the top floor of a residential apartment complex, but if you contact them beforehand, they will provide excellent directions. The views from up here are beautiful, and they have both indoor and outdoor seating. They also have 47 kvevris on the roof of the building. We ordered a ton of food, including the staple cucumber and tomato salad, and it was the best I’ve had in Georgia. The fish was also delicious, and we tried the potato khinkali, which is always a favorite.
Golden Mug: I’m sure everyone already knows about Golden Mug since it’s one of the favorite restaurants close to the Embassy, but I think it’s about time it made a roundup for anyone who hasn’t heard. I’ve been here several times and always order the same thing: chicken shashlik. I’m not the biggest fan of shashlik, personally, but trust me when I tell you Golden Mug’s is my absolute favorite. The wait staff is very familiar with Americans and Embassy personnel, and I know they are often used for catering. The restaurant itself is situated on the Mtkvari River and has a lovely outdoor seating area in warmer months.
Pavilion: This one happened entirely by accident. I tend to avoid the extremely touristy streets for several reasons: 1) I don’t know how good the food will be, 2) It’s probably expensive, and 3) I’m a pain in the ass and want to find the “cool” local places. But sometimes, it can’t be avoided, and on this day we had a friend in town who’s only priority was finding some khachapuri. After a few failed attempts we ended up here, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed my meal. Since we were entertaining we ordered the “typical Georgian spread,” and it was all quite tasty. I think this would be a great place to bring any newbies or visitors since the menu was so approachable and the food was excellent.
Cones and Cats:
The Cone Culture: Sean’s been telling me about this place for literally months. We are from Wisconsin, and in Milwaukee, there’s an ice cream shop (The Purple Door if you’re ever in town) that’s known for some bizarre flavors. We always make a point to stop when we’re in town – even if dairy and I are not on the best of terms at the moment. The Cone Culture is Tbilisi’s version. They have a rotating cast of crazy-unique flavors such as peach and mint, ajika, and (yes really) blue cheese. Fun and flavorful, definitely a must-try.
Otakhi: I love finding new and funky coffee shops, and this month we stumbled upon Otakhi. This quirky cafe serves your basic coffee drinks, but what makes them exciting for me is that part of their mission is to take care of the neighborhood cats. They have donations set up and regularly feed their feline friends. While we were there we saw two resident kitties who were super friendly and clearly well-loved. It’s no secret cats and coffee are the way to my heart, so I’m sure we will be back again frequently – so long as Dottie and Nona don’t get jealous.
As always, please leave me any recommendations in the comments! Especially since I never seem to be fully on top of all the new restaurants opening in Tbilisi these days. Also, follow me on Instagram for my current Tbilisi Eats recommendations under story highlights.