With the recent announcement that Tbilisi restaurants and bars can open their doors to patio diners beginning February 15th after being closed since late November, Tbilisi’s food scene may see the revival it so desperately needs. Thanks to a brief reopening over the summer and early fall of last year, many of Tbilisi’s restaurants adapted to new Coronavirus restrictions like enforcing social distancing and amping up outdoor seating spaces. By now, the whole city (like the rest of the world) has become a pro at outdoor dining. That said, Tbilisi’s dining landscape has changed drastically with countless family-run eateries having closed their doors. Moreover, several restaurants that are currently running delivery services that also have outdoor seating simply can’t afford to fully reopen come February 15th and will have to improvise until they can function normally again.
Nonetheless, Tbilisi’s gastro culture is overwhelmingly strong and possibly even more resilient than before. So that’s why I compiled this list of Tbilisi’s best patio spots that’ll be open from February 15th ready to whip up all your faves. Weekend and curfew restrictions apply 😉
25+ Incredible Restaurants in Tbilisi With Outdoor Seating
This traditional family restaurant is the authority on fine Georgian food in Tbilisi. The menu items are taken from recipes created by the ever-legendary Barbare Jorjadze, who was 100% feminism pioneer, Georgian cuisine revolutionary, and the woman behind 1874’s “სრული სამზარეულო” or “Complete Cuisine”; one of the most important Georgian cookbooks out there.
So, you know it’s good. It’s run by a nearly-dozen-person family who are committed to recreating the best Georgian classics courtesy of Jorjadze, with a few modern-twists here and there. Menu items include goodies like walnut stuffed trout, lamb shilaplavi, and tkemali smothered pork roll.
The restaurant is a tribute to one of Georgia’s most iconic artists, Niko Pirosmani, who had an affinity for painting animals. You’d probably recognize his Fisherman in a Red Shirt, Actress Margarita, and Kartli Supra. Shavi Lomi, however, is based on his Black Lion painting or, Shavi Lomi in Georgian. They serve a variety of classic Georgian dishes that’ve been modernized a bit to fit their eccentric and quirky style, and they are damn good. Oh, and it’s set in a neighborhood house that makes the atmosphere pretty tough to beat. Be sure to try the ajapsandali (eggplant and veg stew) and gobi, a hearty bowl loaded with varieties of red peppers with walnut paste, pickles, cheeses, and mchadi (cornbread).
Look up the definition of a classic Georgian family-style restaurant, and you’ll find Beletage right there in all its glory. It’s run by the Churadzes, an Imeretian family who brings their love for Imeretian and west Georgian cuisine to Beletage in the form of time tested recipes from bebia’s kitchen.
Located smack dab in the center of Tbilisi in a 19th-century building just off Vashlovani, Beletage is oozing with all the charm you’d expect. This super cozy family restaurant is home to some of the heartiest traditional Georgian food in Tbilisi. In truth, it feels more home than restaurant and really gives life to the whole “ოქროს სტუმარი” or “golden guest” mentality, one of the pillars of Georgian culture and hospitality.
This place is everything to do with Tbilisi’s trendy food scene and nothing to do with Vladimir Nabokov. Part of the Rooms Hotel, famous for its swanky spots in Tbilisi, Kazbegi, and Kokhta, Lolita is loaded with character calling itself the archetype of a modern Georgia. And it’s not really hard to see why – it’s set in a 19th-century half art nouveau half gothic residential building that used to play host to some of Tbilisi’s most iconic poets, artists, and cultural figures. If the sprawling patio complete with a charming garden and killer cocktail bar weren’t enough, the food isn’t lacking either. It’s mostly a mashup of contemporary international cuisine meaning you can chow on everything from pumpkin and potato croquettes to mac and cheese to falafel pitas.
Kikliko proves that you absolutely can have a sprawling brunch full of chocolate and banana pancakes, eggs benedict with bacon, fruity muesli, and frothed-to-perfection lattes in Tbilisi. Their real specialty though, is of course, the kikliko. For the uninitiated, kikliko is essentially a type of Georgian bread smothered in egg and milk before it’s crisped to the high-heavens on the grill and then topped with just about anything. Think french toast, but typically more savory. And at Kikliko, they whip up a mean one with your choice of toppings like ham and sulguni, triple cheese, caramel, and more.
Few things hit the spot like a sizzling steak dinner with a stout whiskey or wine – and Asado brings those things front and center. This swanky steakhouse is run by chef Enzo Neri who provides the fine people of Tbilisi with arguably the best steak in Georgia from hearty ribeyes to classic filet mignons. Commited to small scale and sustainable buying, Asado only sources their cuts from local farmers. They also dry-age their steaks in-house up to 28 days to keep everything in house and honestly, they make it look pretty easy.
As of late, Tbilisi’s seen a huge boom in vegan and vegetarian joints – namely, Living Vino. This completely vegan restaurant brings the very best in plant-based whole foods and pairs them with natural wine sourced only from artisanal producers – no big wigs here. So not only are you treated with a deliciously healthy meal, you’ve also got Georgia’s signature beverage to go with it. And when it comes to the food, it’s not all salads and falafel. It’s vegan fish and chips, savory lentil soup, cauliflower wings, and even vegan kharcho.
Simply put, Living Vino has totally elevated Tbilisi’s plant-based scene. and even better? They have outdoor seating, so you can enjoy them in person from February 15th.
Nestled in a centuries-old building just a couple of blocks from Rustaveli Theatre, you’ll find uber-charming and romantic Z10. This vintage boutique hotel slash restaurant marries hospitality on all fronts and comes complete with a sundrenched garden perfect for soaking up the atmosphere. It’s much more than a pretty face, though. On the menu, you’ll find loads of innovative dishes like beef stewed with plum and quince, stuffed rabbit, and chicken chestnut soup. They also offer a great line up of regional foods hard to find in Tbilisi like pkhlovana, and Meskhetian salad made with tenili cheese.
When it comes to BBQ and beer, Number 8 does it best. This beerhouse slash barbecue joint is one of Georgia’s first craft breweries and has really solidified its spot in Tbilisi’s craft beer scene, which has been on the rise in recent years. But anyway, back to the food. Fall off the bone baby back ribs, saucy pulled pork, beef tenderloin bbq, smoked sausage – the list goes on and on. Their patio seating is massive and sits above Vasil Petriashvili in the super hip Wine Factory area in Vake. You can’t miss it.
*They have two locations – but only the one off Vasil Petriashvili has outdoor seating. Find it here.
Sormoni is a place you go for the food and stay for the atmosphere. You’ll find all your faves here, including the run-of-the-mill Georgian staples (khachapuri, khinkali, lobiani, Georgian salad, etc.), plus more regional goodies like Imeretian kupati and ghomi, and khinkali soup. And, and! The patio is seriously adorable and will make you all forget about forced outdoor seating. Named after a cozy village up in Imereti, Sormoni brings Imeretian cooking traditions, ambiance, and hospitality front and center.
Hands down my favorite restaurant in Tbilisi. When I say I love this place, I love this place. I find a way to work it into every conversation when someone mentions they live in or near Saburtalo, and in pre-pandemic times, I ate here probably once a week or every other week.
NOTE: Sormoni will open in Spring, not February 15. Exact date TBA.
Specializing in Abkhazian fare, Amra sings a strong song of Sokhumi with classics like boiled khachapuri with sour cream, butter, and ajika. Amra comes from a once-bustling cafe of the same name in the heart of Sokhumi. It’s a place that Guram Kiknadze remembers fondly and why he created his own Amra as a tribute to his homeland. He dives much further into Abkhazian cuisine than just Abkhazura with delights like akutagchaba aka boiled eggs smothered in walnut paste, and adjika. In addition to Abkhaz features, Guram also highlights Megrelian and Svanetian cuisine.
Books From Past is one of those places where the minutes turn to hours and hours to full afternoons. You could spend a full day here just taking in the ambiance. This perfect blend of all things bookshop and cafe is the best place to enjoy some breakfast fare with copious amounts of coffee and unique books from all around the globe on a variety of topics. It’s literally the definition of a cozy atmosphere with its airy terrace, white chiffon drapes, invading grapevines, and pale blue octogram tiles.
This massive tree-covered restaurant up in Saburtalo first opened its doors around December 2019, with hardly any time to get off the ground before – ya know. The patio space is a nice reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Tbilisi as it’s backed up to the hippodrome park area and has a closure from the main street. It’s also huge with ample space to spread out and a nice variety of seating options. Their menu items focus on classic grill items, see: meat platters and killer burgers. Plus a great beer lineup with Leffe, Franziskaner, Guinness, and the likes.
This charming and romantic cafe is nestled in the garden of the historic Writer’s House on Machabeli. The mansion which was built around 1900, has played host to many of Tbilisi’s most important artists, even through the Soviet era when it was transformed into the Writers Union and saw even more of Tbilisi’s most tragic historic events. Namely, the suicide of Paolo Iashvili. Over the years, it’s remained a symbol of Georgia’s creative minds and is easily one of the most beautiful and significant buildings in the city. The history and charm warrant a visit alone, but the food is great too. On the menu, you’ll find a hefty lineup of modernized Georgian dishes and a few European dishes peppered in.
NOTE: Cafe Littera will open in Spring – not February 15. Exact date TBA.
Veriko in the historic wine factory area is literally oozing with Georgian soul. From the near-overwhelming variety of modernized and classic Georgian fares to the swoon-worthy wine list, Veriko is a place hard to not stay all day. Mushroom kuchmachi, gebzhalia, pumpkin and paprika pkhali, kharcho with elarjo and Rachuli chicken in blackberry sauce are just a few of the star players. Plus, you’ll be treated to a vast selection of local wines sourced from small, family wineries to bring your post-lockdown meal full circle.
According to my friend Emily at Wanderlush, Honoré is Tbilisi’s newest hidden barbecue gem. Opening last October just a couple of weeks before Tbilisi’s second lockdown, it certainly hasn’t had a fair shot in its first months of operation. That said, it’s certainly a place to keep your eye on as they make a name for themselves in the coming weeks. Just a block or so behind the ever-lively Aghmashenebeli, this barbecue spot is the perfect hideaway to get your smoked and saucy meat fix. As you can imagine, their menu is very grill-oriented with picks like quail, loin, and ribs barbecue; but their chikhirtma, lentil soup, and chicken liver with plum sound just as promising.
In pre-pandemic times, Saburtalo’s hippest cafe and DIY workspace, aka Coffee Lab, was filled to the brim with loyal patrons mulling over their coffees and chatting the day away. Known as one the best cafe in Saburtalo, its claim to fame isn’t just the gorgeous patio area and stout coffee – it’s the fact that they roast their own beans on display. They also have an impressive variety of specialty coffees from all around the globe. And it doesn’t stop there – their food menu is also packed with unique bites like poached eggs with slow roast beef and fully loaded savory waffles.
Three words: Big. Juicy. Burgers. It’s what Grill More does best. This outdoor neighborhood joint whips up, dare I say, the best burgers in Tbilisi; plus, they prioritize local Georgian beef above all else. From the BBQ chili burger done up with jalapenos and zesty house sauce to the not 4, not 5, but 6 cheese burger stacked sky-high; there’s something for everyone. They’ve also got the grill fired up right outside with the seating so you can smell charred-to-perfection patties from Vazha-Pshavela metro.
Alubali, or Sour Cherry in Georgian, is quite literally the artisan cafe of your dreams. Sat in a nondescript courtyard off Ekaladze, covered with vines and plants of every kind and long supper tables that scream family time! It’s hard not to love this place. Then, there’s the food. Alubali prides itself on sourcing only the freshest ingredients from villages that aid in enfranchising local farmers, and home makes everything from the heart. Even the cheese, which has become a bit of a local legend and the bio qvevri wine, a beast in its own right.
Sat in the heart of the restored Orbeliani quarter, catty-cornered from Alexander Park, you’ll find Radio Cafe. This quirky corner spot is brought to life with live piano tunes and an upbeat ambiance that’ll make you want to stay all night. Well, until curfew, at least. While the atmosphere is nothing short of amazing, the khachapuri is its real claim to fame. At Radio Cafe, Adjaruli khachapuri is no longer just a love affair between cheese, butter, and egg. No, it’s shkmeruli, spinach and cheese, lobio with jonjoli and pickled garlic, and even – wait for it – Italian capricciosa. Don’t knock it till ya try it.
Chveni is one of those places that just exudes passion. From the killer menu to the quirky bohemian design to the incredibly devoted staff, the whole place is a tribute to Georgian hospitality and damn. good. food. At the helm is beloved Georgian chef Guram Baghdoshvili who goes above and beyond to be sure his food is raved about for days after – and it always is. The most popular items? Well, Chveni’s specialty is Georgian fusion, and with winners like kharcho with polenta and pelamushi with dark chocolate, they punch way above their weight.
Did you know you can get top-notch Japanese street food in Tbilisi of all places? It’s true. Where Janashia Street and Melikishvili Avenue meet in Lower Vera, you’ll find husband and wife duo Shin and Yuki Ito churning out the best Japanese bites in Tbilisi from donburi to okonomiyaki and taiyaki. And while the outdoor seating space is small, it’s worth the wait to experience the Itos deep love for Japanese street food that far surpasses anything else like it in Tbilisi.
Here’s the thing. Good Mexican food just doesn’t exist in Tbilisi. And it makes sense. After all, the two nations are more than 12,000 kilometers away and, in a lot of ways, in their own culinary bubbles. That said, Taqueria Teko’s Tacos throws together the best tacos in Tbilisi, has outdoor seating in the super buzzy Wine Factory area, and a great drink list to go with it. These aren’t knock off tex-mex tacos, either. You’ll find all sorts of concoctions like classic baja-style shrimp tacos with guac and salsa verde; alongside more innovative spins like the beef tongue tacos with red tkemali and marinated onion.
This uber charming and romantic cafe is the perfect spot to chat, sip and munch the day away. Nestled in the heart of Old Tbilisi, the building is preserved from its Soviet days when it functioned as a Middle-Eastern candy shop. And, it’s oozing with all the vintage prettiness you’d expect from the antique dishware to the countless trinkets from an era long gone. They prepare a wide array of dishes but are mainly famous for their fish-based, vegetarian bites and homemade lemonade that packs a punch.
Run by the same mastermind behind Veriko is 2Wine, which can only be described as a perfect union of rare Georgian wine and mouthwatering Italian dishes. Has there ever been a better pair? Red and white checkered tablecloths dotted with plates of handmade pasta complimented by a wine selection of over 100 labels – do you need anything more on a spring afternoon? And did I mention they whip up a mean pizza Napoletana? Located in the Wine Factory area, there’s ample outdoor seating and plenty of other patio joints to grab a cocktail if you get your fill of wine, if that’s even possible.
A beautiful atmosphere, warm staff, and divine desserts are just a few things you’ll find at this Kostava street staple. Cafe Stamba has been a big name in Tbilisi’s foodie scene for a while, and it’s certainly a deserved title. Calling themselves a tangible celebration of Georgia’s culinary heritage, you’ll find a whole host of classic Georgian dishes, some evolved and some strictly traditional, along with a hefty mix of modern international cuisine. So whether you fancy some veg curry or veal kharcho, they’ve got you covered. They’ve also got an impressive drink line up including lifechanging house lemonades, tons of caffeinated picks like golden chai lattes and Chemex brews, and a plethora of craft cocktails for every type of drinker.
Lobiani with sharp jonjoli, steamy phlovani with gooey sulguni, and expert level Adjarian khachapuri equal parts salty, buttery and eggy are just a few of the usual offenders at Puri Guliani. In short, you come here for carbs and you never ever regret it. The biggest perk about this classic sakhabazo (bakery) is its artisan bread, pastries, and traditional dishes that are all made with Georgian wheat and regional ingredients. Even better? The kitchen is entirely open so you get to see the magic happen from start to finish.
Green Terrace is exactly what it sounds like; an airy, sunny, and verdant terrace perfect for afternoon hangs and evening drinks. On the menu, you’ll find an arrangement of international dishes see: chicken schnitzel, quesadillas, and brunch classics. But the burgers are really where the party’s at. As you can imagine, the atmosphere doesn’t hurt either; its cocktail menu combined with the food picks are enough to temporarily distract from, albeit delicious, wine and khachapuri.
A little of this, and a little of that; Dinehall cherry-picks from all sorts of different cuisines to make for one extremely diverse gastropub. We’re talkin’ chicken tikka masala, saffron risotto, fresh gazpacho, shakshuka, plus a nice selection of chops and steaks. Moreover, they (in normal times, at least) host regular art exhibitions that shine a spotlight on Georgian creatives; they also have a unique wine selection almost as diverse as their food menu.