It’s a known fact that Georgians love eating. Therefore, Tbilisi always has something new opening at least every quarter of the year, if not more often. We have written a good amount of articles about breakfast spots, vegan places, restaurants recommended by locals, budget and coziest cafes to name a few. In this particular one, we talk about new and old dining venues with a unique concept, expressed either in the interior, the menu, or both.

Puri Guliani

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Photo Source: Puri Guliani

If you are a big fan of Georgian bread and pastry meals such as Khachapuri, Lobiani or others, you need to go to Puri Guliani, the first Georgian Sakhabazo (bakery) and kitchen with a unique concept, menu, and design. The name of the restaurant comes from an old Georgian tradition of baking. Back in the day, we called pastries with a variety of fillings puri (bread) guliani (with heart). These pastries were later shared with guests and beloved people, marking the meals very significant. Basically, the name translates as “bread with the filling”. Puri Guliani was recently opened at Saarbrucken Square, near the Dry Bridge and Moxy by Marriott hotel.

The menu mainly focuses on traditional dough meals and includes Khachapuri with four kinds of cheese, Adjarian, Achma, Pkhlovani with sulguni cheese, Lobiani with greens, and Kubdari. They bake their bread with doli (soft wheat) flour and natural yeast. However, you can also find less ‘heavy’ options too, such as  salads, appetizers and soups. It should be noted that everything in their menu has a touch of Georgian cuisine, including desserts where some of the creams are made from badagi, the grape juice, while all the ingredients are natural, collected from different regions of Georgia.

On our visit to the restaurant, we tried their Achma, Adjarian, Lobiani, and colorful tomato salad with a finger-licking delicious ball of nadughi wrapped in sulguni cheese. Both Achma and Adjarian were very cheesy, while green salad coated in a bit sweet sauce went perfect with Lobiani. 

Goby

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Photo Source: Goby Fb Page

Goby is a relatively new addition to the dining scene of Tbilisi, offering a mixture of Georgian cuisine with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean ones. Word “goby” in Georgian means a deep curved wooden bowl, used for knitting a dough in the past. When the owners were deciding on the concept of their dining venue, they wanted to offer a plate consisting of a number of different meals. And that’s how the idea came into force.

Goby is a fast food joint, focusing on vegetarian dishes. Here, you can find a modern twist to traditional Georgian meals such as elarji, pkhali, and kharcho. Compared to other restaurants and cafes offering modernized traditional local cuisine, Goby focuses on the gastronomic influences of nearby Eastern countries.

The menu offers falafels, different types of hummus, tzatziki sauce, fritters, eggplant sandwich, soup with coconut milk, tabbouleh salad, and many more. Apart from this, they have four different goby meals, a quite filling meal to keep your hunger at bay at lunch. Falafels are well spiced with balanced flavors, it’s crunchy from the outside and soft from the inside. While elarji balls are made from smoked sulguni cheese, giving it a very different, unexpected taste. It should be noted that Goby bakes it’s own pita bread and uses in its sandwiches. Space is quite tiny for sitting, so they mainly work on takeaway or delivery from Wolt.

Vake Market | Bistro

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Photo Source: Vake Market | Bistro Fb page

Vake Market | Bistro on Paliashvili str. N5 is a newly opened place with an interesting idea, probably the only one in town with such concept. The place has one entrance, which leads to the market, where you can shop for all kinds of seasonal fruits and vegetables, grains, flours, cheese, nuts, dried fruits, locally made pickles, preserves or plum sauce (tkemali) and much more. You take couple of steps and find Bistro, where you can eat some comfort food and drink natural wine for really affordable prices. The menu is small, but there are some dishes, which change daily or weekly, like a dip, soup, “today’s” special, or desert. Of course all the dishes at the menu are prepared with the same products that you can find in the market. The idea of Bistro is to offer fair portions of comfort food together with wine for very good prices, affordable for average salary person

While you can enjoy light red bubbly Tavkveri in summer, wait for ambers and bolder reds for cooler weather. Except carefully chosen natural wines, among beverages you can have one kind of nice filter coffee, Georgian handpicked tea, or other fermented (very law alcoholic) beverages, made from seasonal fruits and herbs. From the main menu you can taste locally baked sourdough flatbreads with different toppings (pork, beef, or deep fried oyster mushrooms), three types of delicious salads, barley bowl with chicken curry-ish dish and few more. Prices both in the market and in Bistro are very fair and affordable, which is pretty surprising when you get such quality products. 

Zala Restaurant

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Photo Source: Zala Restaurant Fb Page

Word ‘Zala’ in Georgian refers to a ‘living room’ where guests are welcomed and seated in any Georgian family. Therefore, the restaurant has a homey environment and every item here is handmade, including customized plates and dishes. The interior features bare brick walls and stencils, painted by Maia Submadze, a local visual artist, which the team of Zala printed them and turned into wallpaper. The meals here are Georgian with a modern twist. For instance, you’ll find Khinkali soup called Khinkluchebi, a diminutive form of small Khinkali; chvishtari, a cornmeal bread, with blue cheese sauce dip, avocado salad with citrus sauce, caramelized goat cheese salad with fried grapes, Shkmeruli, a pullet fried in Adjika, local thick chili sauce, cooked in milk and garlic, burger with Saperavi sauce, and much more! And to top it off, their desserts are also very unique and interesting, especially, Saperavi dessert with nuts and dried fruits.

The menu might seem small, but all of the meals sound and taste delicious, so you might feel overwhelmed with what to order. However, despite your choice, you won’t be disappointed as the staff and chef take their job very seriously, delivering finger-licking delicious food to your table.

Hemsy

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Photo Source: Hemsy

Hemsy is a food delivery service offering different vegetarian and vegan meals for lunch or dinner. The company aims to provide healthy fast-food options. Apart from plant and vegetable-based meals, Hemsy also has gluten-free dishes. The menu is short but has a variety of choices, including dips, salads, soups, sandwiches/wraps, main dishes, desserts, and drinks such as smoothies and fresh-squeezed juices.  The main course choices include green curry with chickpeas, lentil daal masala, Asian fried rice, ramen, bean enchiladas, and Pad Thai. If you are looking for a lighter meal to order, try their quinoa tabbouleh salad or vegetable salad with pesto. Their dip options include hummus, baba ganoush, beetroot hummus, avocado dip, and Tzatziki to name just a few.

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Photo Source: Hemsy

Order them through the Wolt delivery service. In addition, Hemsy started selling ready-made Hummus in various supermarkets and soon will add peanut butter and butter bean falafel on the shelves of the grocery markets.  

ShenEat

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Photo Source: ShenEat Fb Page

ShenEat is a food box delivery service that comes with the ingredients of the meal of your choice to cook it yourself. The name of the company is a combination of Georgian and English words, “shen” meaning “you” in English and “eat”. Together, pronounced in Georgia as “shenit” can be translated as “do it yourself”. ShenEat works as follows: you order the meal of your choice through their website. The box with all the necessary high-quality ingredients and a recipe is then delivered to your home the next day. When ordering you can request ingredients from 2 to 4 person dinner or lunch. The menu choices range from poultry, beef, pork, steaks, salads, soups, seafood, pasta, vegetarian, and burgers to name just a few. In addition, ShenEat also caters special menu for kids. Each meal is well thought off and very delicious, so you’ll definitely impress your friends or family when preparing meals with ShenEat. 

Every recipe and ingredient has a colorful sticker on them for you not to mess up the meal with the wrong ingredient. Ingredients are measured, pilled, and sometimes even cut into chunks beforehand. The box also includes salt, pepper, and oil – the essentials that might already be in your kitchen. This makes cooking and meal preparation quite easy, along with pretty straightforward and simple to follow recipes with a couple of pictures. 

Poliphonia Tbilisi

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Photo Source: Poliphonia Restaurant Fb Page

Poliphonia Tbilisi is a sister restaurant of Pheasant’s Tears in Sighnaghi, opened by John Wurdeman, a natural winemaker and a painter, who fell in love with Georgia, it’s culture, cuisine, and folk. The philosophy of the restaurant is to rediscover lost meals of Georgian cuisine that come from rural parts of the country and make new, modern, meals from seasonal and local ingredients. Therefore, the menu here is always seasonal and rapidly changing. It should be noted that all of those meals are well paired with their natural wines carefully selected all across Georgia and the world.

Poliphonia is a great place to go if you are tired of eating the same Georgian dishes like Khachapuri, Khinkali, Mtsvadi, and Pkhali to name a few. Come here to have a delicious gastronomic experience fueled with such a mixture of ingredients that might seem unbelievable to go well together!

Otakhi

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Photo Source: Otakhi Fb Page

Word ‘Otakhi’ in Georgian means ‘room’ and perfectly describes this tiny, colorful venue. The cafe has a unique, individual style, adorned with handmade decorations and recycled architectural materials. One of the owners is an architect, who used only five instruments to built up this space. It’s a fun experience to see how useless items at one glance can be transformed into functional decorations! Apart from this, the takeaway cups of the coffee comes with handmade paintings, so we bet, you won’t throw them away and might consider keeping as a souvenir.

As the venue is so small, there are only two tables if you’d like to enjoy desserts, coffee, and hot chocolate. Make sure you try Khilamushi, they take on Georgian traditional grape juice dessert called Pelamushi. Their Khilamushi is made from seasonal fruit juice, walnuts, and almonds.