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Dining Experience on Rustaveli Ave

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Kyiv
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Dining Experience on Rustaveli Ave

Hi all :)

This is just to share a few bits about my dining experience in Tbilisi during the recent trip. Hope some of you might find it interesting.

Must say, quality of food (also wine and brandy) in Georgia is absolutely fantastic! Even the smallest café by the highway can make shashlyk http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shashlik worth dying for. This is why we have rarely specifically picked up a place to eat out, and most often just dropped in what was nearby.

You can find a place to eat out for any budget in Tbilisi. Normally, in the very centre of the city an average dinner in a restaurant cost us about 35 lari (USD 21) per person with drinks and service. There are cheaper and more expensive places.

Of course, home-made wine is a must-try in Georgia. But when only manufactured ones were available, we opted for those by Telliani Valley, Badagoni and Telavi Wine-Cellar producers.

I’m a big fan of Georgian Saperavi dry red (they call it black in Georgia) harsh wine. But if you prefer it sweeter, make sure you don’t miss Kindzmarauli or Khvanchkara, both red. And brandy-lovers, do try any by Sarajishvili.

Georgian cuisine has always been among my favourites, and I could talk about Georgian food for ages, but will only mention few faves of mine. These are Kharcho, Bozbashi and Chikhirtma soups and lobio (bean stew, tastes delicious if mixed with corn bread); shashlyk (any meat will do!) and tabaka (roasted chicken); khachapuri (puffed bread with cheese); fried mushrooms with Suluguni cheese. And of course, khinkali (Georgian dumplings) can’t be missed in Georgia. Oh, and surely cheese – there are so many of them!

Side-dish is rarely served (at the very best, you can come across with French fries), but Georgians cook lots of vegetables, and are pretty good at them. I love the way eggplants (aubergines) are cooked in Georgia, staffed with nuts, and also what they do with spinach.

That said, be aware that Georgians use nuts and nut sauces a lot. So if you are allergic, make sure to ask first.

You can read more about Georgian meals, say, here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgian_cuisine or here uncorneredmarket.com/2007/07/georgian-food/

Bills are always in Georgian. And the receipt is a must in Georgia, everywhere.

You will easily understand that 10% (rarely – 15%) service charge is commonly added to the bill. However, when the service was exceptionally warm, we felt comfortable to tip extra 5-7%.

Edited: 4:15 am, January 25, 2012
Kyiv
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1. Re: Dining Experience on Rustaveli Ave

Having stayed in Marriott Tbilisi tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294195-d156… and being often too lazy or exhausted after all day of sightseeing to go anywhere further than our neighbourhood, we have explored several nearby cafes, pubs and restaurants , mostly along Rustaveli Ave.

The places I enjoyed a lot in the area and am happy to recommend:

Khinklis Sakhli: khinkali house; delicious khinkali; also great value for money – it’s eating out on budget:

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294195-d248… – also learn how to properly eat Georgian khinkali ;)

Near the Opera pub: in the very middle of Rustaveli; not the cheapest place in Tbilisi, especially if you are in for expensive drinks; but has lovely atmosphere:

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294195-d248…

Maidani restaurant: down Leselidze Street, entrance from the quay; truly delicious Georgian food, but on the high-end budget:

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294195-d203…

The ok places to drop in if you walk by:

Fena-Fena café: near Marriott Tbilisi; in the basement

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294195-d248…

Entrée bakery on Rustaveli Ave: French bakery and sweet-shop; also a good solution for a breakfast, if you don’t have it in your hotel:

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294195-d193…

Nothing special:

Chocolate café on Rustaveli tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294195-d110…

Hope you find these helpful.

Tbilisi, Georgia
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2. Re: Dining Experience on Rustaveli Ave

Pasanauri is definitely a place to check out tripadvisor.ru/Restaurant_Review-g294195-d21…

Tbilisi, Georgia
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3. Re: Dining Experience on Rustaveli Ave

Hi there,

Thanks for your valuable feedback :)

Georgian cuisine is really very rich and delicious.

As for other traditional dishes, one can also try Shkmeruli - fried chicken with garlic sauce; Elarji – corn porridge with Sulguni cheese or Kubdari, like Khachapuri but with meat inside.

Nanuka

Boombully Team

Kyiv
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4. Re: Dining Experience on Rustaveli Ave

Oh, yes, how could I have forgotten Shkmeruli! Mmmmm... :)

Thanks for adding more tips!

Austin, Texas
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5. Re: Dining Experience on Rustaveli Ave

Wow, what great information! Will be traveling there in less than a week and was worried about the food! Thanks for all the great info.

Austin, Texas
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6. Re: Dining Experience on Rustaveli Ave

Wow, what great information! Will be traveling there in less than a week and was worried about the food! Thanks for all the great info.

Austin, Texas
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7. Re: Dining Experience on Rustaveli Ave

Wow, what great information! Will be traveling there in less than a week and was worried about the food! Thanks for all the great info.

Kyiv
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8. Re: Dining Experience on Rustaveli Ave

My pleasure, Jewels.

Food is surely the least of possible concerns in Georgia except in one point - how not to overeat :) And pay attention to that nut staff I mentioned, if you happen to be allergic.

Edited: 5:32 pm, February 19, 2012
Kyiv
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9. Re: Dining Experience on Rustaveli Ave

Following a discussion on another thread, I thought I'd update this one with local dishes good for a vegeterian. All other recommendations are most welcome!

Lobio

Pkhali

Khinkali (vegetarian type) – with spinach, with mushrooms etc

Adjapsandali (sp?) and lots of other dishes on the basis of eggplant/aubergine

Stuffed plums and lots of other dishes on the basis of prunes

Georgian pickles and salads

Gomi, Elardji and other kinds of mamalygha

Also lots of fish varieties, if you eat fish

And of course unique Georgian cheese!

If you are tired of Khachapuri, there is always Achma, Chvishtari (or just Mchadi – with no cheese).

The above are only those few I could think of straight away – there are certainly many more local dishes that are good for a vegetarian. You can NOT be hungry in Georgia! :)

Tbilisi
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10. Re: Dining Experience on Rustaveli Ave

I think you should always tip extra. Service charge which is 10% or 15% is the money for the owner to pay rent, for electricity, etc. None of the waiters get penny out of it. So actual TIP is the one that you give on top of that