map of georgia

What to eat in Georgia, if you are planning a trip here? This ultimate food guide to Georgia is formed from our experience travelling the country.

Deciding what to eat in Georgia is difficult because all of the food here is wonderful.

Our visits to simple family-run eateries, local markets, restaurants, and homestays along the way gave us a broad insight into Georgian food.

Georgian cuisine is considerably diverse. Every region has a specific speciality. Western Georgian cuisine is distinguished by dairy products, peppers, fresh herbs and nuts, while the food in East Georgia is abundant in bread, meat, animal fat, and fantastic wine.

So what to eat in Georgia might depend on the region you are visiting. 

Georgian Food Is Comfortable

The food accurately mirrors the culture and people of Georgia. Warm, welcoming and comforting. No matter the occasion, the time of day or the company you’re in – food always feels to be cooked and served with love here.

Georgian food is notoriously addictive, and it’s not uncommon to overindulge yourself at every mealtime.

Georgians even have a word for it, shemomedjamo – to continue eating past the point of being full just because the food tastes delicious.

We experienced shemomedjamo while searching for what to eat in Georgia – and we think you will too. Embrace it!

What to eat in Georgia? Here are 13 dishes you must try

1. Khinkali (Dumplings)

what to eat in georgia

The iconic Georgian soup dumplings that you will surely come to love. Dumplings are filled with broth and meat or vegetables such as potatoes, mushrooms, or cheese/curd with fresh herbs.

The best Khinkali are found in homestays scattered throughout the country.

However, the khinkali houses (restaurants that specialise in the dish) are the place to go in Tbilisi. Georgians can eat platefuls of these tasty delights.

Forget using cutlery, the dumplings are always eaten by hand. Grab your khinkali by the topknot, nibble from the bottom, slurp the broth out, and sink your teeth in. Finish and repeat.

Eating the topknot of dough from each khinkali is impolite, so just leave it on your plate. If you ask a local or tourist what to eat in Georgia, they will most likely mention this dish first.

Where to eat the best khinkali? Khinklis Sakhli and Zakhar Zakharich are favourite neighbourhood spots among locals in Tbilisi.

2. Badrijani Nigvzit

what to eat in georgia

Roasted eggplant (badrijan), topped with garlic and walnut paste – this was one of my favourite dishes and recommendation on what to eat in Georgia.

This is a staple on the Georgian table and not difficult to prepare. Served flat or rolled up, they’re usually topped with pomegranate seeds to balance the flavours.

3. Satsivi

Chicken (or turkey) served with a thick sauce of walnut, garlic, spices and herbs.

Considered a winter dish (“sivi” implies cold in Georgian), satsivi is usually eaten around the Christmas holiday and the New Year.

4. Kharcho

what to eat in georgia

Georgian comfort food at its finest. During the Winter, this is a regular contender at the dinner table. Seasoned with khmeli suneli (a Georgian five-spice blend), seared chicken or beef is tucked into a sauce enriched with walnuts, garlic and coriander.

The sauce has a sweet-and-sour taste and a lovely thick and nutty texture.

After several hours and once the meat falls off the bone, the kharcho is ready.

This dish is heaven and eaten alongside a basket of fresh shoti bread to soak up all that goodness.

5. Qababi (Kebabs)

Grilled minced meat sprinkled with sumac and onion slices and wrapped in a piece of thin lavash-like bread.

Always available and easily found, particularly in the smaller Georgian towns, just follow the aroma!

6. Lobio (bean soup)

what to eat in georgia

Lobio (which means kidney beans in Georgian) is a mix of bean soup and various kinds of cooked or stewed beans. The tastes vary depending on if it’s prepared with coriander, walnuts, garlic or onion. There are many varieties of lobio, depending on the region you’re in. 

You’ve probably gathered by now that Georgians have a knack for creating the most delicious dishes from simple, humble ingredients. The secret is packing fresh spices and herbs into the food to get the best from it. Lobio is one of these simple superstar meals.

Cooked with onion and spices and served in a quaint clay pot, a good lobio (stewed kidney beans) comes with all the trimmings – pickles, fresh spring onion, and mchadi cornbread.

If you get the chance, try lobio Racha, a version of the dish that incorporates ham hock in the soup, taking the depth of flavour to a whole new level.

Lobio reminds me of tavce gravce, a bean dish I enjoyed in Macedonia. If you love to travel for food, then you must put this gem on your bucket list! Read my post about what to eat in Macedonia – 8 Foods you must try for inspiration.

Where to eat the best lobio? Duqani, a traditional Georgian-style tavern in Tbilisi. Find other classic Georgian dishes here too.

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7. Mtsvadi 

Also known as meat skewers or shashlik, mtsvadi are found everywhere! Fire-roasted chunks of salted pork, mutton or veal – need I say more?

Often served with fresh sliced onions and bread, this is some of the best-barbequed meat we’ve eaten anywhere. The clear winner when looking for what to eat in Georgia, especially if you love your meat dishes.

8. Khachapuri (Cheese bread)

One of the most popular and traditional Georgian dishes. A gooey cheese-filled bread pie that looks a little like pizza. Super rich in carbohydrates and dairy, it’s a guilty pleasure for sure.

Cheap and filling – this dish you will certainly eat more than once during your time in Georgia.

There are several different kinds of khachapuri. The standard one is the Imeruli khachapuri – bread stuffed with melted cheese. Another is Megruli khachapuri, with cheese added on top.

My favourite is the Adjaruli khachapuri – hot bread with cheese melted in the middle and topped with hunks of butter and a cracked egg.

As soon as it’s served, you need to mix the ingredients with a chunk of hot bread until the egg and butter blend with the mass of cheese.

Then dunk the bread in and enjoy!

what to eat in georgia

9. Georgian Bread

In Georgia, bread is called puri (pronounced “poo-ree”) and is traditionally baked until golden brown in a deep, circular clay oven called a tone (pronounced “ton-AY”) – another excellent addition to our ultimate food guide to Georgia and to what to eat in Georgia list.

what to eat in georgia

Here are 3 types of bread:

Shotis puri – Shotis puri or shoti is a Georgian baton-like bread made with whole wheat flour, salt, water, and yeast. This is the most traditional bread in the country, usually served with every meal.

Mchadi – Mchadi is a popular, traditional Georgian bread consisting of cornmeal, salt, and water. The dough is usually fried in hot oil until golden brown. Mchadi is best served warm with kidney beans and cheese on the side.

Lobiani – Lobiani is a bread filled with mashed kidney beans and flavored with onions, parsley, coriander, and black pepper. The dough consists of flour, yeast, salt, and water. It may sound like an odd combination but it’s so tasty! The bread is baked in a wood-fired oven and once you bite into it, the yummy bacon-infused bean filling oozes out.

Where to find the best lobiani? Head across the road from the History Museum in Tbilisi and down an underground staircase. This is where you’ll find one of the city’s oldest bread bakeries churning out the best lobiani in the country.

Georgian Sweets

10. Churchkhela

what to eat in georgia

From afar, the churchkhela looks like a hanging sausage or colourful decoration, but you’ll quickly learn that this is traditional Georgian candy. 

The main ingredients are walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and sometimes raisins that are threaded onto a string.

The string is repeatedly dipped in concentrated fresh grape juice, dries into a chewy gelatin-like coating around the nuts.

Churchkhela is made at harvest time, with grape must, nuts and flour, and can be preserved for months.

If you love sweets, then eat churchkhela in Georgia at least once.

11. Gozinaki

A traditional Georgian dessert with a crunchy texture. It’s prepared by caramelizing nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts in honey.

12. Tklapi

Basically, a fruit roll-up. A unique Georgian dessert consisting of cooked fruit puree that is poured on a tray in a very thin layer and left to dry in the sun for a few days.

It is typically prepared with fruits such as pears, figs, wild plums, apples or mulberries. My favourite is the wild plum flavour.

13. Nazuki

What to eat in Georgia - Nazuki

This is a sweet, spicy bread. Prepared with cinnamon, vanilla, coriander, ground cloves, and sugar. The best ones are eaten in homestays or purchased from market-sellers.

We loved eating this bread with a slab of butter on top and a hot pot of fresh Georgian tea.

We know you are looking for what to eat in Georgia information, but our Ultimate Food Guide would not be complete if we didn’t mention the wine of Georgia.

Georgian Wine

Georgia is one of the world’s oldest winemaking countries, they’ve been making the stuff for more than 8000 years. For that many years of practice, they’ve certainly perfected the art of winemaking – Georgian wine is special.

Traditional Georgian winemaking used qvevri, terra-cotta containers that are buried underground to store and ferment the grape juice after it has been pressed.

There are many different kinds of wine made here, yet our recommendation: try the Saperavi (red wine) – it’s a clear leader.

Want to see how and where Georgian wine is made? You can visit Kakheti wine region on a private day tour from Tbilisi. If you’d prefer to stay in the capital, why not join a food and wine tour of Tbilisi and let a local share their knowledge with you.

To experience the best of Georgian food – book this food tour and eat your way around the historic neighbourhoods of Tbilisi.

Check out our post about where to stay in Tbilisi. We’ve got the best accommodation options to suit any budget.

We hope you’re excited to visit Georgia now that you know what to eat in Georgia. Taste everything you possibly can along the way.

We cannot wait to return to experience more of the Georgian people’s comforting food, stunning scenery, and warm hospitality.

Travel Tips for Georgia

You may enjoy reading about the 9 best cafes in Tbilisi or where to stay in Tbilisi, as the neighbourhoods all offer something a little different.

Georgian food is quite similar to the flavours of Azerbaijan too. We recommend you try these 10 popular dishes in Azerbaijan if you travel there. A visit to Nakhchivan, the fascinating exclave of Azerbaijan is highly recommended, we loved our trip there, an easy flight from the capital city of Baku. 

We’ve got the perfect Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan Itinerary if you’re considering it. Check out our Food Map of Asia for more tasty foods and snacks to eat in this region.

Finally, for our best travel tips, advice, and websites and apps we use to travel the world, head to our Travel Resources Page.