Georgian Food is One of the World’s Most Unrecognized Cuisines

We had never been exposed to Georgian food before, but when we were, we loved it. Food in Georgia is an expression of culture that binds family, friends, and guests around a table full of love and tradition. Every time we ate at a home of someone, they served us a supra (ლხინის სუფრა), called a keipi, which is a traditional Georgian feast. We have never seen a table so full of different luscious foods such as Khachapuri (cheese-stuffed bread), Mtsvadi (meat skewers), Khinkali (Georgian dumplings), and so much more. 

A table is not complete without red wine, white wine, and of course, chacha. At all supras, regardless of size, there is a tamada, or toastmaster, one person who introduces each toast while sitting around the table enjoying their traditional dishes. 

Sharing a meal in their home

Georgian Citizens open their homes to help us understand their tradition and the importance of food and family. They would always invite us into the kitchen to cook and teach us some of their skills to create these exquisite Georgian dishes.  Eating and spending time with loved ones is a vital component of the Georgian culture. We felt so welcomed at all the different gatherings we got to experience.

A perfect place for vegetarians

As a vegetarian and allergic to eggs, I loved this food. I could enjoy so many delicious dishes. But, if you are a carnivore, no worries, they have unique mouthwatering meat dishes. The spices they use in their traditional dishes are basic ones like tarragon, flat parsley, garlic, dill, and coriander.  That said, many regions have unique blends of traditional spices with a twist. Nuts are a big part of their diet, walnuts and almonds are grown throughout Georgian, and they have found remarkable ways of using the nuts.  One of my favorites is the walnut salad dressing; it was super delicious. Other favorites were the warm gooey stuffed cheese bread (Khachapuri); it was even good cold. Finally, their traditional yogurt “matsoni” was super yummy.

I have put together a list of different traditional dishes we enjoyed so you can become familiar with them before visiting The Republic of Georgia. Some dishes we tried in people’s homes, others in restaurants, and others on the streets of Georgia. We traveled for over six weeks trying and enjoying different cuisines from different regions. First, of course, we enjoyed meals in the capital of Tbilisi. Then, we spent some time in the area of Kakheti. After that, we loved the city of Kutaisi in west-central Georgia, where we spent a week. Finally, the mountains of Georgia and we spend a week in Mestia and Ushguli in the Svaneti region, western Georgia.

The cuisine of the Republic of Georgia

Georgian bread

Tonis Puri (Georgian Flatbread)

Tonis puri also called puri is the Georgian bread staple found in every town, village, and city. As you walk the streets of Georgia, you will not miss the delicious smell of the bread being baked. It is prepared in a ceramic circular hearth oven with the dough stuck to the side (similar to Indian naan). Puri comes out moist and ready to eat.


It is a cornbread that I had the pleasure of making at Maia’s home.  It is simple to make and reminds me of tortillas from Nicaragua

Stuffed bread

Khachapuri (cheese-stuffed bread)

No visit to Georgia is complete without enjoying khachapuri. Khachapuri is homemade in almost every home of Georgia.  I got to make it from scratch three times during my stay in this beautiful land. Check out our video. When done, it is a warm, gooey cheese-stuffed bread that oozes and drips with heart-stopping goodness.

There are different variants of khachapuri. When eating at a restaurant, one of the most famous locals is topped by an egg (Adjarian khachapuri).

Lobiani (bean-stuffed bread)

We had the pleasure of trying Labiani in Mestia during our stay with Marian. Lobiani is like a croissant dough stuffed with bean paste and cut into squares. Another favorite of mine.

Kubdari (meat-stuffed bread)

Kubdari, a bread specialty originally from the Svaneti region. During our stay in Mestia, Marian made us the best Kubdari. It is a flour dough stuffed with small spiced chunks of meat and onions. This was Philipp’s favorites

Georgian cheese and yogurt

Matsoni (Georgian yogurt)

This was my breakfast in Georgia.  I loved Matsoni. It is a fresh sour yogurt. I enjoyed it topped with fresh honey or one of their delicious homemade jams.  I was lucky and tried it straight from the farm.  It is a culinary and cultural staple here in Georgia.

Sulguni (Georgian cheese)

Sulguni is the national cheese of the Republic of Georgia. A salty, water-soaked cheese. It is eaten by itself or with tonis puri bread or a slice of tomatoes. A table is not complete with a plate full of Sulguni.

Traditional dishes

Khinkali (Georgian dumplings)

Khinkali can be filled with different fillings like meat, cheese, potatoes, or mushrooms. They are beautifully twisted knobs of dough. Leila and Temo invited us into their home and taught me how to make khinkali from scratch. They were so impressed with how quickly I got the hang of turning and tucking the dough. The original khinkali is filled with meat and spices, which creates a delicious broth inside while they are being boiled or steamed. Locals eat khinkali with their hands, and the trick is not to make a mess or spilling the hot broth inside all over themselves.

The trick to eating khinkali: grab the dumpling by the handle and turn it upside down. Take small bites from the side, slurping some broth as you go.

Badrijani Nigvzit

Roasted eggplant strips are badrijani. A traditional appetizer is an eggplant rolled up with a walnut paste. Sweet and savory, this dish is one of my favorites.

Lobio (bean soup)

It is remarkably similar to Latin American bean soup. The difference is the spices that go into the soup. The consistency and taste of lobio vary widely depending on the region. Generally, it is topped with Georgian cornbread (mchadi.)

Qababi (kebabs)

Minced meat sprinkled with sumac and onion slices in a shape of a hotdog grilled with a wooden stick like a corn dog. This typical food is found in most small Georgian towns and sometimes the only dish available.


Traditional herbed lamb stew from Kakheti region. Chakapuli typically features meat like veal or lamb and is further flavored by onions, tkemali (sour plums), white wine, garlic, and mixed herbs.

Mtsvadi (meat skewers)

Fire-roasted chunks of pork or chicken salted and marinated. For the perfect mtsvadi, cut some fresh onions and place them in a metal bowl; when well marinated, put them on the skewers, then cook them over an open fire. Finally, the meat is placed on a plate and shared among all sitting at the table.

Cheesy Mashed potatoes

We enjoyed this dish in Mestia.  It is traditional Mashed potatoes mixed with plenty of Georgian cheese.  It is commonly eaten in the mountains of Georgia as a side dish or for breakfast before the farmer goes out to work for the day.  This was so good. I will be making it once I have a home. It is a very filling dish, yummy what is not good about potatoes and cheese together.


Pkhali is an appetizer served in homes and restaurants. There are many varieties of pkhali. A paste made from spinach or pumpkin or red pepper, walnuts, and garlic made into a thick-like spread. They love to shape them into a ball or patties. Excellent with tonis puri bread.

Georgian condiment

Tkemali sauce (sour plum sauce)

Taken in small doses alongside cheese, khachapuri, or meat, this sour plum sauce is said to be a cleanser. So whenever we had a meal with a family, out came the canning jar of tkemali sauce.

Svaneti salt

I had to buy some and bring it with me. This salt is the perfect complement to vegetables, cheese, or salad. Made from salt, dried garlic, chili pepper, and a blend of various spices and herbs like fenugreek and coriander, Svaneti salt is a staple in Mestia and Ushguli.

Georgian sweets


Referred to as “Georgian Snickers,” this brown rubbery truncheon is made from stringed walnuts dipped in Tatara and dried. You will find it hanging all over town; I thought it was a type of sausage when I first saw it.

Fruit plater

A plate with various fresh fruit or a bowl with mini strawberries sprinkled with sugar to complete the dinner.

Georgian drinks

Georgian love their wine and traditional spirits.  Every table has a toastmaster (person) that gives toast every few minutes.  You always hold you glass in your right hand and lift your glass as the toastmaster provides the toast; sometimes, it’s storytelling time. I loved this tradition.

Georgian wine

Georgia is believed to be the birthplace of wine, with the winemakers dating back 8,000 years.  It feels like every home has a grapevine growing, almost like they have their private vineyard producing wine for themselves. You will find any wine in every region, but Kakheti’s best-known wine region. No meal is complete without a glass of wine.

Traditional Georgian winemaking used gvevri, a terra-cotta container buried underground to store and ferment the grape juice after it was pressed and stomped.

Chacha (Georgian grappa)

The Georgian grappa-like firewater called cha-cha is the choice of toast-makers, particularly as the night or occasion advances. When glasses clink, you hear Gaumarjos (cheers). Georgians, in general, do not drink to get drunk but to celebrate life.  

A small glass of cha-cha in the morning is typical to start the day in many countryside villages.

All I can say Georgian food is at the top of my favorite foods globally. It is vegetarian friendly as well fantastic for the meat-eater.  Food is culture in Georgia.

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