Ten Cheap, Healthy Places to Eat in Tbilisi, Georgia
For digital nomads, one of the main attractions of Tbilisi, Georgia, is the low cost of living. Cheap food abounds.
But what are the best options? And — since even digital nomads need to worry about their health — which Tbilisi restaurants and cafes are cheap and healthy?
Here are our top picks. In all these restaurants, most meals come in at 20 lari per person (or $7 USD), and are often even less than that. (Note: There are street food options that cost even less. But they feel aimed more at the backpacker crowd than digital nomads.)
1) Entree Cafe
This chain of Georgian cafes now operates in fourteen locations in Tbilisi, and is a great place for a quick, healthy, inexpensive meal, especially for lunch. You can easily eat here for $5 USD. If you live or work in the Vake, Vera, or Saburtalo neighborhoods, there is probably an Entree no more than a five-minute walk away.
The food is all locally produced, and looks and tastes fantastic. The sandwiches re made with hearty Georgian breads and roasted red peppers bursting with flavors. There are quinoa and veggie bowls; roasted chicken with potatoes; salami and cheese sandwiches; breakfast skillets with omelets and potatoes; mushroom, potato, or beef pie (a kind of stuffed pastry); and fruit cups filled with fresh raspberries, blackberries and nectarines.
The dessert pastries are worthy of any French patisserie. There are brownies, cookies, slices of cakes, and chocolate-filled croissants. You can even buy a freshly baked loaf of one of the half-dozen kinds of hearty bread they bake right on site.
Bonus for English-speakers: The staff here speaks very good English, which makes ordering a little bit easier than some other places.
2) Fire Wok
16 Zakaria Paliashvili Street (Vake)
20 Shalva Dadiani St.
Want a quick, delicious Asian meal? Head to Fire Work where you choose your noodle, your sauce, your meat, and your veggies. And even if you order the most expensive combination, it’s still only going to cost you 9.5 lari, or about $3..20 USD.
And the portions are huge.
1 Korneli Kekelidze St.
Kekela’s cooks food that draw from a number of different culinary styles. There are Georgian dishes, including eggplant stuffed with walnuts; mushroom shila; and abkhazia. But there are Middle Eastern choices such as dolmas and kebab; Indian dishes like gupta with meat; and stews, salads, and plenty of vegetarian options.
4) Hummus Bar
3 Merab Kostava St, T'bilisi 0108
This vegetarian restaurant is very heavily influenced by Middle Eastern cuisine, not surprising since it’s run by an Israeli family. At Hummus Bar the offerings include a variety of fantastic hummus dishes, homemade pita bread, as well as msabaha (creamy mashed and un-mashed chickpeas cooked with tahini and extra virgin olive oil, and lemon juice, and served with homemade pickled vegetables), shakshuka (poached eggs in a tomato sauce with pita bread), baba ganoush, tabouli salad, and more.
We ordered a variety of dishes to share, including a head of roasted cauliflower with the leaves still attached — dubbed “vegetarian octopus” by the owner — that was delicious. Even better, the family running Hummus Bar was friendly and funny. Customer service is not typically Georgia’s forte, and when our waiter teased us by saying they were out of everything we ordered, I just about fell out of my chair.
Hummus Bar is slightly difficult to find, but trust your Google maps when it takes you down a slightly shady entry way and into a rundown courtyard. Just look for the small sign and ring the bell. Someone will be right there to take you upstairs for a fantastic meal.
7 Vakhtang Gorgasali St.
Located in Old Town, this restaurant serves traditional Georgian dishes such as khinkali (dumplings filled with spiced meat), khachapuri (cheese-filled bread), cheese, and lots of delicious bread.
You can either eat inside or outside, but be warned: Maspindzelo is traditional in more ways than one. Namely, service can be slow and your waiter will probably seem utterly indifferent to your existence. But, hey, this is Georgia, so go with the flow.
6) Mama Terra
20 Ingorokva St. (entrance via, Shio Chitadze St.
Vegans rejoice! In a country as meat and cheese-crazed as Georgia, a vegetarian can sometimes feel like their options are limited at best. Not to worry. Mama Terra has you covered. They say on their Facebook page, “Our mission is to have an alternative brand to which healthy conscious people can identify without compromising flavor in a relaxing atmosphere with a varied selection of healthy, vibrant, colorful, affordable and delicious vegetarian, vegan and raw food.“
Even better, their menu has an international flair, including Indian, Thai, Korean, and Japanese dishes. Plus there are smoothies, coffee, and even kombucha.
7) Akasaka Noodle Bar
33a Zakaria Paliashvili St.
This Asian restaurant is right in the heart of the Vake neighborhood and serves a wide variety of noodle dishes, good ramen, sushi, dumplings, and edame. Be sure to check out their lunch specials, which are a great deal.
7, Tamar Chovelidze St.
This restaurant is frequently mobbed, and for good reason: it offers a nice selection of Western and traditional Georgian dishes, all at affordable prices. We especially liked the roast chicken, which comes in “whole” and “half” orders.
Looking for a cheap place to take a date? Lolita is the place. Better still, the staff is super friendly.
Hey, it’s another restaurant for vegetarians! Take a look at the menu, below:
Next to Vera Park just off of Niko Nikoladze St.
Fantastic Mexican food at the edge of Vera Park. But be forewarned: they’re moving to (nearby) location in the months ahead.
The burritos are excellent: spicy and unusual (but not massive — definitely not big enough for sharing). We also enjoyed the quesadillas and sesame rice balls., which sounded more Asian than Mexican to us, but what do we know?
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