Now living in Batumi, Rebecca lived in Tbilisi for five months after relocating from the UK in September 2020.
Tbilisi is the largest city in Georgia, and as you would expect, is full of great places to eat. In the current situation, getting your food to take away rather than eating in is by far the safest choice.
In this article, I will recommend five takeaways that offer something a little bit different from the mainstream outlets but still deliver outstanding taste for a low price.
My number one choice for fast, delicious and healthy food in Tbilisi, Muhudo serves the best falafel wraps in town. An unassuming hut located between Rustaveli Metro station and McDonald's, Muhudo is an excellent choice for lunch.
Their wraps come in three sizes, small (8GEL), medium (10GEL) and large (12GEL) and are filled with falafel, salad, pickles and the most incredible peanut sauce. Chilli sauce can be added for an extra kick. They also sell fruit juice and beer.
You can order in person or online.
2. The Cone Culture
The Cone Culture is the place in Tbilisi for delicious handmade ice cream and sweet treats. Easy to miss if you're not looking for it, The Cone Culture has a hole-in-the-wall store that is located on Taras Shevchenko Street, just off Rustaveli Avenue.
The flavours change every day and there is usually a dairy-free option available. The homemade cones are outstanding or you can choose a tub for a gluten-free option. A single serving costs around 4GEL.
They also sell hot drinks, homemade sweet treats such as brownies, and milkshakes. In the winter, the mulled wine is exceptional.
You can order in person or online (larger tubs only). The Cone Culture Ice Cream is also available at Radio Cafe at the bottom on 9th April Park.
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3. Fire Wok
For fast, cheap and delicious Asian food, Fire Wok is the place to go. A simple menu asks you to choose a base of thick handmade noodles, rice noodles or rice, meat or vegetables and a sauce (sweet-spicy, sweet-sour, chilli or teriyaki).
There are four branches in Tbilisi so most districts are covered. The Vake, Saburtalo and Dighomi branches offer a more extensive menu than Dadiani, including ramen and curry. Prices range from 8-12GEL for a generous portion.
Order in person or online.
Shawarma, sometimes spelt 'shaurma', is fast, delicious and easy to find everywhere in Georgia. Made with spit-roasted chicken or pork and wrapped in lavash bread, shawarma is a cheap and satisfying meal for lunch or dinner.
Most shawarma places will be pretty good but it can be a bit daunting to choose one at random. One benefit of ordering online is you can choose one with a high rating, and easily ask for customisations, for example, I like mine without onions or pickled peppers.
There is an excellent shawarma place on Liberty Square, next to Terabank. When we visited they didn't speak much English, but communication was possible! I can also recommend Qute's Shaurma which you can order online.
5. Georgian Bakeries
Bread is a big part of Georgian cuisine, and Tbilisi is full of super cheap bakeries with plenty of choices for a quick bite. Depending on which part of town you are in, labels aren't often written in English, so it pays to have a few go-to choices that you can ask for.
- Lobiani: filled with mashed kidney beans
- Khachapuri: filled with cheese, sometimes with the addition of egg
- Rachuli: filled with cheese and ham
- Kubdari: filled with spiced meat
- Sausage roll and potato pie: I'm not sure what the Georgian name for these is, but they always seem to understand 'sausage' or 'potato'!
You can't really go wrong with a Georgian bakery, they are all super cheap and generally very tasty. I recommend the small restaurant next to the playpark on Oreliani Square for lobiani (they do takeaway or there is an outdoor seating area), Good Mood Food on Kote Afkhazi St for rachuli, and Goodi's near the Isani Carrefour for sausage rolls.
Vegan/Veg Option: Mama Terra Veggie Corner
I would also like to make a special mention here of an excellent vegan and vegetarian restaurant on Ingorokva Street just off Rustaveli, called Mama Terra. I haven't included it in the main list because I have never had a takeaway from there, but the food we ate in the restaurant was outstanding and I encourage you to give it a try.
You can order in person or online.
© 2021 R L Blackmore