13 best Georgian food (the ultimate comfort food)


If you’ve ever considered visiting Georgia (Caucasus) or ever wondered why anyone goes there, I’ve got one word for you:


Georgian food is like nothing else you’ll ever taste. As a foodie, I know that I praise more or less anything edible, but this food? It’s just different.

It’s the best comfort food in the world. It makes you feel good. Like that favorite dish grandma always used to make on cold winter days. Hearty, flavorful, and like a warm hug. It’s downright satisfying!

Read on for the best Georgian dishes.

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Traditional Georgian food

What makes Georgian cuisine so incredibly tasty and delicious is the flavors. You’ve got flavors from the Mediterranean, as well as Turkey and the Middle East. The most common ingredients are walnuts, pomegranate, kidney beans, cheese, honey, coriander, and garlic.

In general, food in Georgia comes with a lot of bread, pastry, and cheese, so it’s not the most healthy cuisine. But the best ones usually aren’t, amirite? 

The thing I love the most about Georgian dishes – apart from the absolutely amazing taste – is the clay and iron pots they’re served in. Like, when you order lobio (bean soup), you’ll get it in this little witch pot. It’s so rustic. I love it.

Eating out in Georgia

Before we dig into the dishes, here are a few things to be aware of when it comes to eating out in Tbilisi:

Breakfast is not really a thing in Georgia. This means you should find a hotel with a breakfast option because you won’t find breakfast or brunch in any restaurants. It also means that restaurants are closed until 11.30-12 noon. 

Vegetarians will find lots of meatless dishes to choose from, while vegans will have a harder time because of the heavy doses of butter and cream in most dishes.

Tipping is appreciated, but not required.  

You can pay with a credit card at most restaurants and cafes in Tbilisi.

The best Georgian food

1. Khinkali

If you could only taste one Georgian dish, it should be khinkali – the national dish.

You know Chinese dumplings, right? Those small savory balls of dough with or without meat. Well, khinkali is dumplings on steroids. 

You’ve got this chunky dumpling with meat (lamb, beef, or pork) or vegetarian fillings of mushroom, spinach, and cheese. It has THE most delicious broth inside. And there’s a whole art to eating it right (find instructions below).

I had khinkali every day in Georgia and Armenia, and while the original khinkali is boiled, my favorite was the deep-fried edition. Deliciousnesssss!

Miriam’s tip:

At restaurants, you have to order at least three to five khinkali, and you can’t mix and match the varieties. The good news is that they’re so cheap – expect to pay around $0.17 per khinkali.


2. Shkmeruli (garlic chicken)

While khinkali is king in the Caucasus, my favorite dish, or one of them, was shkmeruli (garlic chicken). Here, you’ve got crispy chicken cooked in a creamy milk and garlic sauce.

It’s a basic dish with very few ingredients, but I’m telling you… You’ll want to try this.


3. Ostri

Another prime example of Georgian food is ostri. Ostri is a hot, spicy beef stew with garlic, parsley, and coriander. Like most other dishes in Georgia, it’s served sans side dishes, although some rice could have been lovely!


4. Khachapuri

Another dish you’re bound to hear about is khachapuri. And there’s a LOT of different khachapuris in Georgia.

These cheese breads come in an array of shapes, sizes, doughs, and fillings. The most popular version is the adjarian khachapuri, which is shaped like a boat, stuffed with melted cheese and butter, and topped with an egg. 

Pro tip: If you go for a megruli khachapuri (a plain cheese bread), just know that it’s kind of heavy – it’s cheese overload! It’s a big plate, so if there are two of you, you can split it and maybe order another dish on the side. 


Adjarian khachapuri


Spinach khachapuri


Megruli khachapuri

5. Kharcho

Kharcho is a traditional Georgian soup with beef, rice, cherry plum purée, and chopped walnuts. It’s usually topped with coriander like most other local dishes.


6. Lobio

Oooh, the lobio.

When I first heard about lobio, I honestly thought it sounded a bit meeh. But guys, there’s nothing meeh about this dish. 

Lobio is a slow-cooked bean stew with onion and herbs. A very flavorsome dish served in a little clay pot. There’s the thin soupy kind and then there’s the thick and creamy, which is the best. This is a great dish for a starter or if you’re not that hungry. 


7. Mtsvadi

Mtsvadi is skewered meat (pork, beef, lamb, or chicken), cooked over an open fire.

It’s a traditional Georgian barbecue tossed with raw onions and finished with freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. Sometimes it’s also served with sour plum sauce or wrapped in thin bread.


8. Potato and leek soup

Soups are also big in the Caucasus. And one soup in particular is super delish – that’s the potato and leek soup!


9.  Georgian bread (puri)

Georgian bread is baked like Indian naan; in a clay oven with the dough stuck to the side.

Almost every meal you order will be served with freshly baked bread, perfect for dipping in soups or stews.


10. Salad

A traditional Georgian salad consists of tomatoes, fresh parsley, basil, green peppers, red onion, and cucumber.

It’s sometimes served with cheese (imeritian) or chopped walnuts.


11. Tolma

Tolma is another Georgian traditional food consisting of minced meat and rice seasoned with oregano, onion, and mint.

All wrapped in fresh, crunchy grape leaves!


12. Churchkhela

Churchkhela is a popular, if not the most popular candy in Georgia. It’s a string of nuts dipped in grape juice syrup.

You’ll see them hanging in markets and stalls around town, but the best ones are fresh and sold in small batches.


13. Georgian drinks

There are two drinks in Georgia that you have to try.

First, the wine, which is absolutely amazing! Georgia is the birthplace of wine (next to Armenian wine), and they’ve had more than 8000 years to perfect their craft.

What’s unique about Georgian wine is that it’s generally more rich, structured, and tannic due to being aged in qvevris (clay urns) that are buried in the ground. 

Three wines to try:

  • Mtsvane, fruity, and aromatic white wine.
  • Rkatsiteli, lightly honeyed and very fresh white wine.
  • Saperavi, a plummy, savory red.

The other drink to try is the Georgian lemonade, which is a carbonated soft drink originally with tarragon. If tarragon isn’t your cup of soda, you can try other flavors, such as pear, vanilla, lemon, or chocolate (pear is my favorite). 

Best restaurants in Tbilisi

Quality is more or less the same no matter where you eat in Tbilisi. I’ve been to taverns, high-end restaurants, and mid-range restaurants, and the service and interior were the only things that differed. 

These are some of the best restaurants in Tbilisi:

  • Pasanauri Rustaveli (best khinkali and ostri) is close to the Sulphur Baths
  • Barbarestan (best traditional food)
  • Maspindzelo (try the shkmeruli!) next to the Sulphur Baths
  • Vinoground (for vine samples)

How to eat a khinkali (the right way)

There’s a whole art to eating a khinkali, and it can quickly turn out messy if you don’t bite correctly. Here’s how to do it:

  • You hold the crown upside down (the crown is usually not eaten)
  • Slowly bite a small hole in the khinkali
  • Drink the deliiiiicious broth inside
  • Then bite in and eat the rest

Georgian cooking class

One of the best ways to experience a new country and its cuisine is through a food tour or a cooking class. I always try to join one when time allows. 

For a fun experience, you can take this food tour in Tbilisi. You’ll visit a local family and make khinkali, khachapuri, and more, and as a bonus, you’ll sample Georgian wine. You can also take a full-day wine tour to Kakheti. Find out more here.


Explore Georgia

Tbilisi is just one of the places in Georgia to taste the amazing Georgian food.

If time permits, do yourself a favor and explore more of Georgia to see what this beautiful country has to offer.

It’s easy to take day trips from Tbilisi or you could spend a few days in some of the best places, like Batumi, Svaneti, or Tusheti.


FAQ – Georgia country food

What is Georgia’s most famous food?

Georgia is most famous for its dish called “Khachapuri,” a cheese-filled bread that varies in shape and recipe by region.

The most iconic version is Adjarian khachapuri, shaped like a boat and topped with a raw egg and butter before serving.

What is authentic Georgian food?

These are some of the most traditional Georgian dishes:

  • Khachapuri: Cheese-stuffed bread.
  • Khinkali: Spiced meat and broth dumplings.
  • Churchkhela: Nut-filled grape must candy.
  • Satsivi: Walnut sauce poultry.
  • Lobio: Bean stew with herbs.

What do Georgians eat for dinner?

For dinner, Georgians often enjoy a variety of dishes that can include:

  • Khachapuri and Khinkali as starters or main dishes.
  • Grilled meats or fish, seasoned with Georgian spices.
  • A selection of salads, often with fresh vegetables, nuts, and beans.
  • Lobio, a hearty bean stew, served with cornbread.
  • Side dishes like roasted vegetables or Georgian-style potatoes.
  • Dinners are usually accompanied by Georgian wines or mineral water and concluded with fruits or sweets like Churchkhela.

Why is Georgian food so good?

Georgian food stands out because of its blend of spices, fresh ingredients, and the way meals bring people together. The mix of European and Asian influences creates unique and delicious flavors.

Fresh herbs, nuts, and local produce play a big role, in making dishes both tasty and healthy. Georgian meals are more than just eating; they’re about sharing and hospitality, making every meal feel special.

Before you go – read more from Georgia

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What to eat in Georgia (Caucasus): Traditional Georgian food you absolutely need to try. Don't miss these 13 typical Georgian dishes. #caucasus #georgia #food

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    1. Thanks, Megan. And me too. I haven’t been able to find Georgian food anywhere that tastes as good as it does in Georgia. I swear, I’m going back soon just for the food 😀

  1. Hey Miriam, your pics are simply mouthwatering. Love ostri. And mtsvadi tastes so good as a wrap with some salad to go along. Georgia is the place for foodies, with so many options.

  2. I make a really mean Khinkali and Tolma thanks to a lot of prior experience making pot stickers and stuffed grape leaves.

  3. I studied abroad in Russia twice and during the long winter months Georgian food was there to give me a hug. Years later and I still dream about khinkali and khachapuri.

  4. Hey Mriam, thanks for the suggestion, we are currently in Tblisi, dining at Pannausauri restaurant as per your suggestion and we are loving the food here, this is a very useful post, thanks for your help

  5. Hi Miriam,
    We were introduced to Georgian food last month in Amsterdam of all places! The food really made a real impression on us, and now back home in Canada I’ve been researching if/where we might find some closer to us. That research led me to your blog! Your post has me really intrigued to learn more about Georgia (the Caucasus in general now!) I think this region is going near the top of my Travel Bucket List! I’m bookmarking many of your links – thanks so much!

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