Must-Try Foods in Tbilisi: Georgian Classics and Global Treats

Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is known for its rich culinary traditions that blend Eastern European and Western Asian flavours. Here are some must-try foods when you visit Tbilisi. Also read Exploring the Republic of Georgia: Top Activities and Hidden Gems.

1. Khinkali

Georgian dumplings filled with spiced meat (usually a mix of meats) or mushrooms and cheese for vegetarians. They are a staple of Georgian cuisine.

2. Khachapuri

A cheese-filled bread that’s a national dish of Georgia. The Adjaruli variant is particularly famous, featuring an open boat shape filled with cheese, butter, and a raw egg.

3. Pkhali

A traditional Georgian appetizer made from minced vegetables (such as spinach, eggplant, or beetroot) mixed with ground walnuts, garlic, and herbs.

4. Badrijani Nigvzit

Eggplant rolls filled with a walnut paste seasoned with garlic and spices, often garnished with pomegranate seeds.

5. Chakhokhbili

A hearty stew made with chicken, tomatoes, onions, and various herbs and spices. It’s a comforting and flavourful dish.

6. Mtsvadi

Georgian-style kebabs usually made with a mix of marinated meats, grilled over an open flame and served with raw onions and fresh bread.

7. Lobio

A traditional bean stew often flavoured with coriander, garlic, and walnuts. It’s a popular and satisfying vegetarian option.

8. Churchkhela

A traditional Georgian sweet made by dipping strings of nuts (usually walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts) into thickened grape juice and drying them. It’s often referred to as “Georgian Snickers.”

9. Tkemali

A sour plum sauce that accompanies many Georgian dishes. It’s both tart and savoury, adding a unique flavour to grilled meats and potatoes.

10. Satsivi

A cold dish made of poultry (commonly chicken or turkey) cooked in a rich walnut sauce with garlic and spices, often served during the festive season.

These dishes provide a great introduction to the flavours and culinary traditions of Tbilisi and Georgia as a whole.

When visiting Tbilisi, along with savouring traditional Georgian cuisine, we suggest that you also try these delicious popular “non-Georgian” treats:

1. Syrniki

These are delicious Russian-style cheese pancakes made from cottage cheese, eggs, and flour, usually served with sour cream, jam, or honey. They make for a delightful breakfast or dessert.

2. Pishka

A type of Russian doughnut, Pishki is soft, fluffy, and often dusted with powdered sugar. They are a perfect sweet treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee.

3. Bubble Tea

Originating from Taiwan, bubble tea has gained popularity worldwide, including in Tbilisi. This refreshing drink combines tea with milk or fruit flavours and chewy tapioca pearls.

4. Bubble Waffles

Also known as egg waffles, this Hong Kong street food has made its way to Tbilisi. These waffles have a unique bubble shape and are typically served with various toppings like ice cream, fruits, and chocolate.

5. Chimney Cake (Kürtőskalács):

A traditional Hungarian pastry, chimney cake is a sweet, spiral-shaped treat that’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s often coated with sugar and cinnamon or other toppings like nuts and chocolate.

These international delights offer a tasty complement to the local Georgian flavours and are definitely worth trying during your visit to Tbilisi.

As you conclude your gastronomic journey, may the flavours of Georgia linger in your memory and inspire you to explore more of this fascinating country’s culinary treasures in the future. Bon appétit, or as the Georgians say, გემრიელად მიირთვით (gemrielad miirtvit)!

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