GEORGIAN CUISINE
Culinary map of Georgian cuisine – Top dishes to try in each region
07 November, 2017
Georgian cuisine is the integral part of Georgian culture and traditions. Sampling Georgian dishes is one the most favorite activities for the foreigner tourists arriving in Georgia.

Rich with meat dishes and milk produce, the Georgian cuisine also offers a variety of vegetarian dishes. Each historical province of Georgia has its own distinct culinary tradition, with variations such as Megrelian, Kakhetian, Adjarian and Imeretian cuisines.

Each region has its trademark dish that is prepared at best in that very region
where it originates. In Eastern Georgia meat, wine and bread is mostly served, while Western Georgia's kitchen is distinguished with a variety of meals made with herbs such as Pkhali (dish of chopped and minced herbs, mostly spinach) and milk products.

All regions of Georgia stand out for their local delicious dishes and they make up the entire Georgian cuisine that captivates everyone who has tried it at least once.
Let us guide you to the top famous Georgian dishes of the country that one should definitely try in each region of Georgia.

Point and click each region and discover more about Georgian cuisine









Adjara
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Adjaruli Khachapuri is the most famous Georgian cheese bread. It originates from Georgia’s incredibly beautiful region of Adjara, located in the country's southwestern corner. Adjaruli Khachapuri is the king of Adjarian cuisine.

This kind of khachapuri has a boat-like shape and is served with partially cooked egg in the middle of cheese along with a generous chunk of butter on the top. Before consuming the filling is mixed well and only afterwards you have to tear a piece of bread and dip in the hearthy chessey souce. This is quite an enjoyable and fun process.

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Achma is a type of Khachapuri, Georgian cheese bread, from Adjara. Achma is often compared to lasagna for its texture and appearance. This kind of Georgian cheese bread has both a crisp top crust and tender cheesy, buttery layers inside.

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Borano is yet another traditional dish of Adjara Region, yet less known to the wider public. It is made with Adjarian cheese similar to sulguni (soft milky cheese) and melted specific salted butter (iaghi). Usually, melted butter is poured over soft cheese, causing it to melt and stretch. Borano is also often called Georgian fondue.


Kakheti

Kakheti, a region in eastern Georgia, is distinguished with its unique food traditions and wine culture. Kakhetian cuisine is famous throughout Georgia. The residents of Kakheti appreciate meet more than vegetarian dishes.

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Mtsvadi, an extraordinary Georgian barbeque, is favorite dish in Kakheti. Preparing it is an entire ritual for the residents of Kakheti. Mtsvadi can be made with pork, mutton or veal. Marinating the meat in pomegranate juice before roasting makes it especially tender, juicy and delicious.

Mtsvadi becomes more delicious with traditional Georgian bread shoti. This kind of bread has an amazing taste and flavor. Almost every local in Kakheti has traditional round clay oven called tone in the backyard, where the shoti bread is baked.

So, if you visit this gorgeous region of Georgia, you should not miss out the pleasure of tasting mtsvadi paired with shoti bread. Surely, you will never forget this taste.
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Churchkhela is energizing and healthy Georgian candy from Kakheti. The main ingredients are grape must, walnuts and flour. The walnuts are dipped in thickened grape juice and dried in the shape of a sausage.

It is noteworthy that the technique of making churchkhela in Kakheti was inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List of Georgia in 2015.
Apart from local cuisine Kakheti Region is most famous for its winemaking culture that counts over 8000 years. The province is the main and the most important Georgian winemaking region. Out of 18 registered varieties of Georgian wines that carry the name of the source region, 14 are produced in Kakheti: Tsinandali, Gurjaani, Vazisubani, Manavi, Kardenakhi, Tibaani, Kakheti, Kotekhi, Napareuli, Mukuzani, Teliani, Kindzmarauli, Akhasheni and Kvareli.

Imereti

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Imeruli (Imeretian) Khachapuri from the western Georgian region of Imereti is the most famous and classical type of Georgian cheese bread. This cheese-filled Georgian flatbread tastes amazing and is the favorite dish both for Georgians and foreigners.

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Imeretian cuisine is rich in various types of pkhali (Georgian appetizer made with herbs and walnuts) such as with spinach, beetroot leaves, cabbage etc.
Nigvziani badrijani - eggplant with walnut filling that is so popular with tourists is another unique dish from Imereti Region.In Imereti, you can taste the best version of this incomparable and piquant Georgian cold dish.

Kartli

Kartli is famous for its fruit growing traditions. In this region you can taste the best Georgian fruit. Peach and apple from Kartli is appreciated throughout the whole country.

The cuisine of Kartli is rich in various kinds of soups, such as Georgian soup Kharcho made with shoti bread and eggs.

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Still, the main trademark of the local cuisine is a wide variety of vegetarian meals made with various herbs and spices. Delicious Jonjoli should be mentioned as well.
Jonjoli is one of the famous Georgian appetizers. In particular, these are pickled sprouts from a bush that grows in the area. Jonjoli is consumed in various ways, sometimes it’s mixed with olive oil or with other pickled vegetables such as cucumber, pepper or tomatoes.

Mountain regions -Tusheti, Pshavi, Khevsureti

The cuisine of Georgia’s highlands is distinguished for the huge variety of hearty dishes.
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Tusheti, historic region in northeast Georgia, is famous for the local cuisine, especially for traditional Guda cheese.

Tushetian guda cheese is made with sheep’s milk in this picturesque mountainous region, where sheep comes in abundance. Traditionally, guda cheese is aged in bag made with sheep’s skin (Guda simply means a sack in Georgian).

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Dambalkhacho is an ancient dish from Pshavi, mountainous region of northern Georgia, lying chiefly among the southern foothills of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Dambalkhacho is made from buttermilk cottage cheese that remains after churning butter. This mountain delicacy became quite popular abroad. Dambalkhacho was awarded the status of non-material cultural heritage in 2014.

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Khinkali, Georgianstyle dumpling, is the favorite dish in mountainous regions of, Pshavi and Khevsureti. Later Khinkali varieties spread across the Caucasus Region. They are made with mixed pork and beef, sometimes with lamb.

Svaneti
Svaneti, a historic province in the northwestern part of the country and highest inhabited place in Europe, is famous for its unique food traditions.

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Kubdari is a meat filled pastry that originates from Svaneti region, where it is also called ‘kuptaari’. It can be made with either beef or pork but the most popular version uses both. Authentic Kubdari is made with cut meat and not minced meat.

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Svanuri salt is traditional spicy salt and another trademark of the region. It is a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic and various spices. Svanetian salt has piquant flavour and taste and is traditionally used for seasoning meat, fish, potato and soup dishes as well as a condiment instead of table salt.


Racha

Racha is a highland area in western Georgia, located in the upper Rioni river valley and hemmed in by the Greater Caucasus Mountains. The most famous dishes of Racha’s cuisine are Shkmeruli and Lobiani.
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Lobiani is one of the most beloved traditional Georgian dishes. The main ingredient of the dish is beans and this is where the name ‘Lobiani’ comes from – ‘Lobio’ in Georgian means beans. In Racha Lobiani is usually baked with small pieces of ham inside.So, if you visit this picturesque beautiful region of Georgia, you should definitely taste these two dishes first.

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Shkmeruli is a chicken dish from the village of Shkmeri, Racha region of Georgia. Fried chicken in creamy garlic sauce becomes even more delicious if cooked in a clay pan “Ketsi”.

Samegrelo

Samegrelo, a historic province in the western part of Georgia, boasting a wide variety of spicy and hot dishes. The secrets of Megrelian cuisine has been passed on from generation to generation. Once you visit Samegrelo don’t forget to taste following dishes:

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Elarji - one variety of ghomi (a traditional dish made with cornmeal) with cheese added during boiling. Samegrelo is famous for vast variety of cheese, among which the most famous are: sulguni, smoked sulguni, gebzhalia (seasoned with mint) and others.

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Gebzhalia – Soft cheese rolls stuffed with curd cheese and mint.

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Ajika – A hot and spicy sauce made from red pepper, garlic and dried spices.

Guria

Guria is one of the amazing regions of the west Georgia. Guria region stands out for its delicious local cuisine. Gurian people are proud of their cuisine traditions.

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Gurian pie can be considered as one of the most delicious dishes of Gurian cuisine. Gurian pie is a kind of crescent shaped Khachapuri (cheese bread) stuffed with cheese and boiled egg. As a rule, Gurians bake this traditional pie on Orthodox Christmas, on January 7, as it is called “Christmas Pie”.

Yet another must try dish of Guria is janjukha. Actually janjukha is similar to churchkhela (Georgian candy made with walnuts and grape juice) yet instead of walnuts its core ingredient are nuts. Gurians appreciate cornmeal more than bread.
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Mchadi is very popular dish in Guria, it is a very delicious flat cornbread traditionally consumed with lobio (beans) and cheese. Mchadi has always been the favorite dish for every single Gurian.


Abkhazia

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Abkhazian-style roasted chicken with ajika sauce is the distinguished dish of Georgia’s Abkhazia Region. The meat is crispy on the outside and soft inside. The chicken is brushed with ajika sauce and fried on a pan. Spicy ajika sauce gives the meat an incredible flavor.

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Abkhazura, fried spicy meatballs similar to sausage is another must try dish of the seaside region of Georgia.


Samtskhe-Javakheti

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Samtskhe-Javakheti is a region in southern Georgia from the historical provinces of Meskheti (Samtskhe), Javakheti and Tori (Borjomi gorge). The province is most notable for Tatarberak traditional dish made from tiny pieces of dough that are boiled and served with the sauce of melted butter and fried onion. The dish is garnished with matsoni (Georgian plain yogurt). Although it is quite a simple meal ,it is extremely delicious.


Tskhinvali Region

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Khabizgina is  traditional dish similar to Georgian khachapuri. In originates from Georgia's Tskhinvali Region also referred to as South Ossetia. Its main ingredient, along with cheese, is potato.

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