Coffee House: New family-run cafe with homemade wine
We popped into Coffee House for a drink on our first morning in Tbilisi in February 2013.
This newly-opened family-run venture is located on Ghvinis Agmarti (Wine Ascent), a steep cobbled hill that leads down from Ejmiatsin Armenian Church to Europe Square in the Avlabari area of the city.
We were greeted by a friendly couple who keenly ushered us into their cafe, clearly proud of their new business. They had decorated the interior to resemble a cave and furnished it with wooden tables and chairs, with vine leaves, wine bottles, wooden barrels and wine jugs on the walls. A primitive looking stove was cooking bread and puffing smoke out of the side of the building through a large pipe.
We communicated with the husband and wife team through a mixture of English and German. We learnt that they grow their own grapes and produce their own wine and coffee.
We sat ourselves down at a small table that contained a basket of brown and white bread croutons. There was no menu for us to look at, but we ascertained that they served both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks produced from their own saperavi grapes: a dry red wine, a sweet red wine and a non-alcoholic grape juice. We both ordered a glass of the grape juice, I had a glass of sweet red wine and Emma had a glass of dry red wine.
As we enjoyed our drinks, our hosts brought us a dish of Georgian sulguni cheese and a bowl of tiny saperavi grapes. They also insisted that we sample a slice of the churchkhela (the so-called "Georgian Snickers" consisting of walnuts in a thickened grape juice) that was hanging behind the bar. You'll find churchkhela for sale all over Tbilisi and it is a very nice alternative to a chocolate bar!
When we came to pay our bill we weren't sure what to expect. I got the impression that they charged us a price that they felt they could get away with and, had we been locals, we'd have probably paid less.
The total bill was 16 GEL (£6.40) which, for two glasses of wine, two soft drinks and a host of nibbles, would have been a bargain back in the UK. However, it was a little expensive by Georgian standards, as we discovered during our stay in Tbilisi.
A friendly new family-run cafe on Wine Ascent. Homemade grape juice, wine and coffee and freshly cooked bread. A little expensive by Tbilisi standards.
Coffee Time: Starbucks in Tbilisi!
Coffee Time is a small stand-alone cafe in a small park behind the Goodwill in Vake. The most important point about this cafe is that it claims to serve Starbucks coffee. It operates as both a coffeehouse and a bar, and serves a wide-variety of easy-to-make meals, such as breakfasts, salads, and paninis. On Internet websites the cafe hours are listed as open 24 hours a day or opening at 9:00 am, but I question both of those claims. When we got there at 11:00 am on a Sunday they were opening the doors and lifting the window shades. One table was covered in beer glasses and ashtrays, which appeared to be left over from the night before. They also advertise Wi-Fi, although I did not test it.
We were the only customers there at the time and the barrista, a young man with medium-length curly hair, waited on us with excellent attention. While he was uncomfortable using English or Russian and we haven't learned Georgian yet, we had no problem communicating as the menu was written in both Georgian and English. There is plenty of parking in front of Coffee Time, and for those of you with young children, there is the added bonus of playground equipment within eyesight of the outdoor seating. Despite the presence of stagnant cigarette smell, we will definately return to this coffeehouse and recommend it to others.
Favorite Dish: During our first-time visit, we ordered a ham and cheese omelette, a bacon omelette, a chocolate crepe, an americano cafe, and a vanilla latte. The omelettes were thin (not American portioned) but tasty, and served with a fresh cucumber and tomato garnish. The crepe was also good with a smooth dark chocolate sauce. There were Starbucks decor, Starbucks paper bags, and Starbucks coffee packages all around, and the coffee might be Starbucks, but the portions were not Starbucks-sized. My husband said his coffee was strong (a good thing) and I throughly enjoyed my vanilla latte, so we're not complaining.
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Angelato: Fun and Fancy Italian Ice Cream Desserts!
Angelato is Tbilisi's largest ice cream & coffee café. It probably has more indoor and outdoor seating than all of the ice cream & coffee cafés in Tbilisi put together. Popular with the locals, it boasts soft homemade Italian ice cream made from natural ingredients, diabetic ice creams, waffle cones, milkshakes, frapuccinos, fancy ice cream desserts, hot and cold coffee drinks, hot chocolate, tea, and gluhwein during the winter. Each scoop of ice cream costs 2.50 lari, a caffe latte is 6.00 lari. They also offer omlettes, soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta and pizza. I had a chicken salad wrap and a chicken quesadilla with pico de gallo and sour cream (possibly spiced with chipoltle chili and cumin?). Both were quite good. You can dine in, or take-away. They are open from 8:00am to 1:00am every day. The restrooms are clean and free, but already in need of some repair.
Favorite Dish: The ice cream was really good and so were the coffee drinks I have had. The frapuccinos are not like those from Starbucks': they are more like iced coffee drinks, but still quite enjoyable. I want to go back and try some of the ice cream desserts and food items they offer in their menu, which can be seen on their website http://www.angelato.ge/.
- Family Travel
Luca Polare: Best Gelato in Tbilisi
After sampling various types of ice cream and frozen yogurt at four other dessert cafes in Tbilisi, the gelato served at Luca Polare is still my favorate. There are three locations: 7a Pekini Street, 34 Leselidze Street, and 12 Eristavi Street (Round Garden). You have about 25 flavors to choose from and the gelato is just the right texture. In addition to regular vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, they also have special flavors like: almond caramel, walnut, Nutella, coffee, amarena cherry, kiwi, banana, sea buckthorn, honey meringa, tartufo, tiramisu, and many more. Luca Polare shops may be small and crowded (the one on Pekini is the largest and has the most seating) but they serve customers quickly and they put good-sized scoops in the cups and cones. There are few places in Tbilisi where you can get chocolate-chip or chocolate crinkle cookies, brownies, flavored lattes, iced coffees, and frozen coffees to-go, and they are all right here. It opens at 8:00am and closes at 1:00am during the winter and 2:00am in the summer.
Favorite Dish: With so many yummy gelato flavors, it's hard to decide which one is my favorate. They are so rich and smooth and creamy!
Carousel: Frozen Yogurt, Belgian Waffles, Rombouts Coffee
Carousel Frozen Yogurt and Belgian Waffles opened at the end of 2012 right next to Luca Polare in Old Tbilisi. Everything in this cafe falls into the desert category. Besides waffles and yogurt, you can get crepes, fruit "shakes", and coffee drinks. I had a fruit shake of frozen strawberries and frozen slices of peach blended with apple juice. It was thinner than I had expected but it would be refreshing in the summer. The chocolate and mousse waffle with real melted chocolate on it was a little crunchy but heavenly in taste. Carousel is open from 8:00am to 2:00am, there are seats for about 20 people, they advertise WiFi, and have some benches outside, but no restrooms.
- Family Travel
Café Flowers: The Dumplings (Pelmeni) in a Pot Was Fantastic!
Café Flowers sits at the top of the hill above the water fountains at Europe Square and provides a romantic view of Old Town Tbilisi by night as well as by day. Its menu is best described as intercontinental, offering a wide mix of dishes such as Spaghetti Carbonera, Mexican Fajitas, Beef Stroganoff, Pizza, and Cuba Libre as well as Khachapuri. According to the Georgia Times Online, an independent English-langauge newspaper, the owner of this establishment originally opened a flower and plant shop called "Orchid and Bamboo", which is still there. "Customers used to sit at a little table and ask for the chance to have a cup of coffee or tea enjoying the views. Then two years ago the idea came in: Why not start a café next to the flower shop?" And thus, Café Flowers came to be.
It is a small restaurant having a small garden, a narrow balcony, a indoor overlook of the city, and a small lounge, seating about 50-60 people at full capacity. It has not been too busy on the weekdays in the evenings and therefore it wasn't too stuffy with cigarette smoke.
I have gone here a couple of times and think their Georgian Shoti Bread, Cucumber-Tomato Salad with Chopped Walnuts, Imeretian Khachapuri, Chicken Kiev have been about average. Their Eggplant with Walnut (spread), Chicken Salad appetizer, and their fries have been quite good, plus you can get real ketchup for your fries here. The Chicken and Beef Shashlik have also been quite good: they were tender and moist, not overcooked, dry or overly salty like some places. The Veal in a Pot is delicious, similar to the Dumplings in a Pot (see below), however, I think the veal was closer to steak as it wasn't as tender as I would have expected it to be. I can't wait to eat at Cafe Flowers again and I will highly recommend it to everyone.
Favorite Dish: You've got to try the Dumplings/Pelmeni in a Pot! This dish is Siberian pelmeni in a cream sauce with shreds of chicken, and sautéd onions and mushrooms, baked in a clay pot topped by a thin flatbread. I ordered this dish to be sampled by a group of seven Americans and three Armenians. All eleven of us agreed that the Dumplings in a Pot was the best dish of the night. We ordered several dishes, but had one bill. The overall cost, including drinks, was about 22.5 GEL per person. I daydream about the Dumplings in a Pot... it was that good.
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MCDONALDS: IF YOU JUST HAVE TO
So you came half-way around the world to sample local Georgia Cuisine? Hmmm….but a sneaky McDonalds hamburger never hurt anyone did it?
Some of you will, some of you won’t, and no I did not.
If you absolutely have to - it is located right outside of the Rustaveli Metro Station. This is the Republic Square area.
When I came out of the station for the first time there was a dead body on a bench between me and the McDonalds. If that doesn’t put you off food, I don’t know what does. And no, I was not going there.
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Attached to the Kartli hotel, and called Rainers pizzeria, while pizzas do feature on the menu there is much more to choose from as well, a truly international menu.
There is a beergarden outside but rain meant we were inside in a comfortable restaurant. Mrs B did go for pizza with fresh ruccola and cevapici, an old favourite, for me!
Both enjoyed our meals here very much.
Kaiser Bräu: Bavarian Brauhaus
Fortunate to be very near here when a heavy shower arrived so an ideal place for a lunch stop. As the name suggests German style beer brewed here, it's pretty good too. Food is more Georgian in style, some German favourites though, and was excellent - Mrs B particularly enjoyed her mushrooms!
Good place to visit.
Several Machakhela restaurants around T'bilisi and also visited one in Batumi. Pleasant places to visit for a meal, good food, lobia a particular favourite! and also a decent pint on offer too.
Enjoyed our visit here.
Mirzaani: Mirzaani microbrewery, restaurant
Found two outlets for Mirzaani on our wanderings around the city, happily both at meal times!
Firstly the beers are brewed on site so a fresh and tasty beer guaranteed and now the food, both meals we had were particularly good, lobia a kidney bean stew a real favourite!
Staff in both places friendly and helpful, English menu available and both places comfortable and pretty busy.
Enjoyed both visits.
Pasanauri restaurant: Traditional Georgian cuisine
Georgian cuisine is very various and you can have some (very good) fast food type lunches with kebabs and fries or the famous katchapuris, (round flat bread stuffed with cheese and eggs on top, to be eaten warm), and at the other end, very elaborate dishes which take hours to prepare and cook. If you like food, you will not be deceived in the good restaurants.
Pasanauri is the name of a village in southern area of the Great Caucasus which you go through when going to the higher areas of the mountains in the Mt Kazbeg area, but it is also the name of a very good restaurant you easily find some 100 m from Rustaveli metro station.
Georgian cuisine is famous and has a lot of various dishes, and it is not easy to choose from the menu; I decided for marinated vegetables (pepperoni, eggplants, . . . ) for entrée, tchanaki (pork with vegetables, baked in a ketsi (ceramic plate, a bit in the Tajine or Tandoori style)) and local fruits (peaches). Local wine would have been the best drink for this meal, but I had beer (by principle, I do not drink wine if there is not somebody to share the wine with me).
The food was good (but not unforgettable), I liked a lot how he onions of the tchanaki enhanced to taste of the meat, and of course the marinated Mediterranean vegetables are always a delight.
The service was a bit long, I had time to drink a beer (but may be the waitresses waited I finished one) before I got the entrée; the room is big, and there are sorts of boxes in some areas, so you do not hear the conversations from the surrounding tables. I do not know exactly what the décor on the ceiling means, a strange inverted table with food; examples of what you can order in the restaurant.
15-20 Euros for a good dinner (without drinks)
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Khinklis sakhli: Hidden
Georgian Khinkali, so well known for the gourmands, is a delicious dish for everyone and takes one of the most honorable places among the tastiest dishes of the world. The history of making Khinkali comes from the ancient times, has stood through the centuries and is one of the first most welcomed dishes. Khinkali is made almost in every region of Georgia, but if you wish to have real Georgian Khinkali, feel its unique taste and enjoy its delicate smell, in this restaurant "sakhli" means "hidden" in turkish.The restaurant is a little hidden but you will find it easily ....
Favorite Dish: Khinkalis
- Food and Dining
BUFFALO BILL SALOON: DO NOT TRUST THESE PEOPLE (2)
Ok – let’s due the legal niceties first. This Tip is my opinion and I am allowed to write my opinion.
Now – I recommend you do not eat or drink here. I was lucky. I walked in and asked to see the menu first. On EVERY page were the words ”EXTRA CHARGE 15%” For what? Seriously. There is a photo below showing one of the pages. I walked out and never went back. Then something interesting happened later in the day. I went into the nearby DUBLIN PUB and something weird occurred. Their menu – except for the first page naming the restaurant – was identical! Exact same pages, words, menu items, same order, same ugly orange color. I then was then asked to pay a 40% surcharge on a single beer!
This place is geared up to attract Tourists. It attracted me. There is absolutely no reason for an extra 15% charge. This place and the Dublin Pub seem to be owned by the same people. They are also the only businesses in Georgia where I have seen a mandatory 15arge on each and everything.
I recommend you try many of the excellent local restaurants here in Tbilisi that do not have any extra charges.
I don’t trust these people. I recommend you don’t either.
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A balcony looks through the Mtkvari. Here, you can relax with the exceptionnal atmosphere There is a special ritual of bringing the dishes, for example you can cut a wedding-cake by a silver knife under Mendelsons's melody.You can get all these pleasure with live music and fireplace
Favorite Dish: A menus consists many different salads, firm-wines, cocktails, hot cool drinks, and of course a fish, a pie and chicken roasted on spits. You can get all these pleasure with on alive music.
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