6 Best Rome Cooking Class / Pasta Making Class in Rome

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Looking for the very best when it comes to booking a Rome Cooking Class? How about a Pasta making class in Rome? Then look no further as we have taken the hard work out for you in this handy little article to make sure you get well fed and have a fantastic Italian vacation.

Rome is ALL about the food and what better way to really learn about Italian cuisine than by taking a cooking class. But this is your trip of a lifetime right? You don’t want just any old cooking class, you’re after the BEST cooking classes in Rome! Something authentic, informative and above all else Tasty!

We hear you! That’s why we have put together the 6 Best Rome Cooking Classes for you to consider for your next vacation, we’ve also added in some fantastic Pasta Making Classes in Rome too as quite often this is a separate class to say pizza or gelato. 

6 Best Rome Cooking Class / Pasta Making Class in Rome

4-Hour Combo Pizza and Pasta Cooking Class

Rome cooking class – cooking classes in Rome Italy

 

Learn the art of making two of Italy’s finest dishes – pizza and pasta. In this 4 hour cooking class learn up to 10 different pasta shapes and also how to cook an authentic Neapolitan pizza. 

This class completely kid friendly as well so bring them along and all experience this tasty Rome cooking class together.

Click Here For More Information and to Check Prices and Availability 

 

Italian Food Half-Day Cooking Course in Rome

Rome cooking class - cooking classes in Rome Italy

Rome cooking class – cooking classes in Rome Italy

 

Learn the secrets of true Italian cooking with this half-day course. During this Rome cooking class, you’ll learn how to make 4 tasty Italian creations all expertly paired with Italian wine. With your International chef, you’ll learn how to pick the best seasonal ingredients and prepare a classic Italian meal. 

Click Here for more information and Check Price & Availability

 

Roman Pasta Class: Carbonara & More

Pasta Making Class Rome

Pasta Making Class Rome – Carbonara and more

 

Get a truly authentic Pasta Making Class experience by taking a cooking class with a local! Learn how to make 3 traditional Roman pastas in a private home right near the Colosseum. There’s no better way to learn how to cook real Italian pasta dishes than by taking a Pasta Making Class in someone’s home. 

Click Here for more Information and Check Prices & Availability 

 

Ice-Cream Making in Rome for Gelato Lovers

Gelato Making Class Rome

Gelato Making Class Rome

 

There is nothing quite like trying authentic gelato in Italy for the very first time….or second or third. Italian gelato is something special that you just can’t get anywhere else, we know people try to make gelato all over the world but nothing beats Italy – trust us!

In this Gelato Making Class Rome, you’ll discover the secrets to making the perfect gelato which includes learning how to make three different flavours, Produce your own gelato and get to taste other gelato flavours as well! A dessert lover dream! 

Click Here for more information and to Check Prices & Availability

 

The Home Pasta Factory: Fettuccine, Lasagne, Ravioli, Orecchiette, Gnocchi

Pasta Making Class Rome - best cooking classes in rome

Pasta Making Class Rome – best cooking classes in Rome

This Rome cooking class will teach you the right cooking techniques to make your own Italian homemade pasta. Impress your friends when you return from your Italian vacation with the ability to make pasta classics like fettuccine, ravioli, gnocchi, lasagna, cannelloni, and more all from scratch. 

At the end, everyone joins together to have a family meal accompanied with local Italian wine.

Click Here for more information and to Check Prices & Availability 

 

 

Pizza Making Class with Winery Tour and Wine Tasting in Rome’s Countryside

Rome cooking class - cooking classes in Rome Italy

Rome cooking class – cooking classes in Rome Italy

Last but certainly not least we wanted to add in a foodie experience that’s only 25 minutes away from Rome….not far at all! And it’s an experience any foodie is going to want to have on their trip to Italy. 

Head outside the hustle and bustle of Rome to Minardi Historic Farmhouse here you will get to see what life is like in the Italian countryside and also indulge in wine tasting and olive oil tasting before meeting their local Pizza Master who will teach you how to prepare traditional Roman pizza, including “Margherita” and “Capricciosa“ varieties. You might also learn a few of the secrets to preparing the perfect dough! 

Click Here for more information and to Check Prices & Availability 

>>>

So there you have it 6  amazing Rome cooking classes that will be the absolute highlight of your Italian vacation. If you are looking for restaurant or hotel recommendations in Rome we have those too! We also have some great posts about other areas of Italy that are sure to get you drooling. 

And Don’t Forget To Grab A Copy Of our Free Tourist Map Of Rome – 70+ Rome Tourist Attractions

We’ve put together a google map overlay with all our top picks of attractions, restaurants, foodie experiences, accommodation, transport locations and more! Save yourself a bunch of time by having our huge list of Rome highlights instantly at your fingertips. Get Our Rome Tourist Map NOW – Click Here.

  • Works on any device over 4G or wifi – follow the map as you travel
  • It’s FREE!
  • 70+ highlighted spots to visit
  • Super easy to use on google maps
  • Every Restaurant in the article – and more!

 

 

 

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Lisbon Food: What To Eat In Lisbon (35 Dishes)

Lisbon Cooking Class: Our Chef Helps One Of Our Fellow Guests

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Lisbon Food Experiences & What To Eat In Lisbon: For our foodies guide to Lisbon we search out typical Portuguese food both from the Lisbon restaurants where the locals eat and by checking out the Portuguese street food scene. We dig into the history and style of the cuisine with a guided Lisbon food tour as well as getting our hands messy taking a Lisbon cooking class.

As one of the most important maritime cities in world history, Lisbon has influenced and been influenced, by ingredients from all over the world, especially since the age of discovery in the 15th/16th century. Africa, India, The Americas and more. Find below a list of what to eat in Lisbon – more than 35 dishes to discover – as well as the stories behind the most typical Lisbon food.

Lisbon Food: A Historical Introduction

Portugal is a 35,000 square mile strip of land along the Atlantic Ocean. At the very end of southern continental Europe, bordered only by Spain and the Atlantic. With over 500 miles (800KM) of coastline, seafood takes an important place in typical Portuguese food culture.

But Portugal’s proximity to the ocean also played a part in their colonial past, as they both traded and conquered their way around the globe. The back and forth of ingredients from both east and west has shaped Portuguese cuisine. The Portuguese also left their culinary mark all over, from Brazil to Mozambique, Macau to Goa, and many more.

Portugal was once occupied by the Romans, who are attributed with introducing wheat, onions, garlic, olives, and grapes. Later, around 711 AD the Moors from North Africa invaded, bringing rice, figs, lemons, oranges, and almond trees.

Modern day Portugal found its roots in the north of the country where a Visigoth state eventually became called Portugal and slowly took back lands south towards the very south coast of the Peninsula, known as the Algarve coast today.

By the 15th century, the great Age of Discovery had begun. Before the Americas were discovered in 1492, Portuguese explorers had already claimed many Atlantic islands like Cape Verde, The Azores, Madeira and also taken lands south along the coast of Africa.

In the 15th century, Prince Henry the Navigator instructed Portuguese explorers to bring back any exotic fruits, nuts, and plants they found. New ingredients and the future spice trade would have a big effect on Portuguese cuisine.

As Portugal gained new lands, things like tomatoes and potatoes were brought back home. African coffee was sent to create massive plantations in Brazil. And vice versa, chilis from Brazil were brought to Portugal’s African colonies – and the little chilis are called “Piri Piri” in Portugal and used in many dishes. Also, spices like curry powder and cinnamon returned regularly from India.

The Lisbon area has been inhabited since Neanderthal times, with the first permanent settlements appearing around 2500 BC. Lisbon became the capital of Portugal in 1255 AD.

As a cosmopolitan capital, in Lisbon, you’ll find cuisine from all over Portugal, as well as plenty of international food, especially dishes from ex-Portuguese colonies, like Angola, Goa, Brazil and many more. And, more recently, immigrant cuisine from new arrivals on the culinary scene, like Nepal.

But, in this article, our focus is on traditional foods of Portugal that were either created in Lisbon or mainland Portugal and which are everyday favourites you can find all over Lisbon.

Before we get onto the list of what to eat in Lisbon, a couple of Lisbon food experiences that are ideal for visitors.

 

Lisbon Cooking Class

We love cooking classes. Learning about the food as you also learn hands-on how to make it, not only results in a delicious evening but also in getting the knowledge to take that little bit of flavour away and make it when you get back home. When it comes to what to eat in Lisbon, one of our top recommendations has to be the Portuguese food you learn to make yourself!

Lisbon Cooking Class: Our Chef Helps One Of Our Fellow Guests

We teamed up with Cookly who offer incredible cooking classes around the world including the one we did in Lisbon with Cooking Lisbon. We chose the gourmet cooking class to go a little beyond the standard class but there’s plenty to choose from.

Our expert chef shared some unexpected stories about Portuguese culinary culture. Like, the slang term for a spatula is the same as the name of the ex-dictator who was overthrown in 1974. Because he was very frugal and wouldn’t waste anything!

We also got some pro tips for cooking sea bass fillet perfectly (it was soooo tasty!). Plus some cool ideas that you might not find in restaurants, like making your own “Portuguese bacon bits”… Actually, they are churiço (chorizo), whizzed in a blender, then baked until crispy. Throw that on top of your creamy chicken fricassee for a salty-porky kick. How had we never thought of doing this!!!

Lisbon Cooking Class: Chicken Fricassee - Portuguese Style

Chicken Fricassee – Portuguese Style

Lisbon Cooking Class: Megsy get's stirring

Megsy get’s stirring

But, the biggest draw of the cooking class was definitely going hands-on in the cooking with the rest of the guests. It was a very interactive class, and our host was 100% on top of everything from start to finish. Keeping everyone happy. Keeping an eye that prep and cooking were being done just right and also that wine glasses were never empty. (very important!)

The highlight of the dishes we made (which do vary depending on the season and market that day) was the Pastéis de Tentúgal (pictured below). Crispy phyllo pastries from Tentúgal, in north-central Portugal. Sweet, eggy filled and oven crispy pastries. I had to eat quite a few, for quality control purposes. The technique for getting the filling just right involved mixing egg yolks with hot syrup. Something you could easily mess up and curdle. But our expert teacher helped us get them perfect.

Lisbon Cooking Class: Pastéis de Tentugal

Cooking Class Lisbon: Pastéis de Tentúgal

Check out the gourmet cooking class.

Or take a look at the other cooking classes & market tours available via Cookly

Book a cooking class in Portugal

Take A Lisbon Food Tour

Our preferred way to get rapidly orientated with a city and its food is to take a food tour with a local expert guide. To try as many things as possible in the shortest time, we took the “Lisbon’s Favourite Food Tour: The 10 Tastings” With Luciana @ WithLocals.

The tour company’s model is specifically to connect visitors with local guides for intimate small group or private tours where you can get personal attention from the guides. We ask a lot of questions, so smaller groups are ideal for us. You can even book the guide of your choice, rather than just the tour itself, so you can read their reviews and see who is the best fit for your style. Some are foodies, some are teachers, some are music lovers, and depending on the tour you want to take, With Locals will have the perfect guide to suit you and your travel tastes. 

Lisbon Food | Typical Portuguese Food: Bifana

Typical Portuguese Food: Bifana

On our tour date, we actually got a private tour – we have to admit we hadn’t actually paid attention to this part of the booking lol. It doesn’t bother us if we are with people or not but private tours are something this particular tour guarantees. Just your group and your guide ready to go out and eat what Lisbon has to offer! This was great for us as it meant we had a little bit of flexibility in the dishes we tried, based on the sorts of things we were most interested in.

As well as lots of food stops, we also got to see and learn a bit about the Barrio Alto & Chiado neighbourhoods, beginning with great views across Lisbon from Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara. Starting from the top of the hill means the tour is all downhill from there – perfect for a rapidly filling belly.

View From Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara

We don’t want to give away all of the dishes and locations on the tour but you will absolutely get to try what I rate as the BEST pasteis de nata (Portuguese egg custard tarts) I’ve ever tasted. After spending 5 months in Portugal and doing a lot of testing, I was blown away by how good these were. Suffice to say, we went back again a few days after the tour.

Expect pork & bacalhau – two of Portugal’s favourite proteins. And don’t worry about leaving hungry – you’ll be stuffed by the end of this tour!

We took “Lisbon’s Favourite Food Tour: The 10 Tastings” With Luciana @ WithLocals

Our guide Luciana was bubbly, chatty and fun, keeping us actively engaged and making us feel very welcome.

Check out all the WithLocals Lisbon Food tours

Learn More about the “Lisbon’s Favourite Food Tour: The 10 Tastings

 

 

Our Lisbon Food Podcast – COMING LATE JUNE 2019

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THE BELOW CONTENT IS A COMPANION, NOT A TRANSCRIPT, FOR THE PODCAST

Foodies Guide Lisbon

What To Eat In Lisbon: Soups, Snacks & Starters

Lisbon food to get you started. From Portuguese street food to typical Portuguese food that you just have to try in Lisbon.

Portuguese street food: Bolinhos de Bacalhau / Pasteis de Bacalhau

What To Eat In Lisbon: Pasteis de Bacalhau

What To Eat In Lisbon: Pasteis de Bacalhau

A popular Portuguese street food. Bolinhos de Bacalhau also called pasteis de Bacalhau – little cod and potato fritters, a bit like croquettes. More on why salt cod (bacalhau) is so popular in Lisbon, in the mains section below.

Bacalhau com Grao

What To Eat In Lisbon: Bacalhau com Grao (Cod & Chickpea Salad)

What To Eat In Lisbon: Bacalhau com Grao (Cod & Chickpea Salad)

Cod & chickpeas salad. A simple, cold dish for the summer. A dish you’ll get an opportunity to try on the WithLocals 10 tasting Lisbon Food Tour

Caldo Verde

Caldo Verde (Kale, Potato & chouriço soup)

Caldo Verde (Kale, Potato & chouriço soup)

Most Lisbon restaurants offer a Sopa do Dia (soup of the day). When it’s available, be sure to try Caldo Verde, a warm green soup made with simple ingredients like potatoes, kale, olive oil and salt. It was voted one of Portugal’s 7 gastronomic wonders by locals in 2011.

Octopus Salad

Octopus is another part of the extensive seafood variety that you’ll find with typical Portuguese food.

Quejio (Cheese) – Specifically Queijo de Azeitão

Typical Portuguese Food: Quejio (Cheese)

Typical Portuguese Food: Quejio (Cheese)

Portugal is definitely a cheese nation. You’ll find many unique types of Queijo but one of the most important to try is Queijo de Azeitão.

This unpasteurised sheep cheese has been awarded a PDO protected origin status and is produced in the town of Azeitão about 40KM east of Lisbon.

This is a hard rind cheese, you don’t eat the rind and instead, slice off the top and then spoon out the thick, creamy insides – preferably with a glass of Portuguese red wine.

Interestingly, the Azeitao cheese is vegetarian friendly as they use a special local thistle flower, rather than animal rennet, to separate the milk. This also contributes a slight herbal flavour.

Portuguese Street Food: Tostas

Lisbon Food | Typical Portuguese Food: Tostas

Typical Portuguese Food: Tostas

The humble toastie is available at almost every kiosk, pasteleria (pastry/bakery shop) and cafe in Lisbon. Upgrade to rustic Portuguese bread, rather than regular sliced bread, for a more delicious experience. Ham and cheese, or just cheese. It’s all good.

Petiscos – It’s not tapas

(Anchovas) Pickled Anchovies. One of many Petiscos

Tapas is Spanish. The tapas tradition started as a small snack that was brought with a drink and was used to cover the drink to stop dust and insects getting in. The word tapas comes from the word tapar mean “to cover”. But petiscos, while slightly similar to tapas in their portion size, were designed to just be small portions of bigger dishes. A lot of the dishes on this guide could also be served as petiscos.

What To Eat In Lisbon: Mains & Seafood

Portugal is famed for its seafood but you’ll also find excellent pork. What Lisbon Food are the locals eating? Here are some of the top main courses.

Bifana, Prego, Leitão (Meat Sandwiches)

Lisbon Food: Bifana Grelhado (Grilled Pork Sandwich)

Lisbon Food: Bifana Grelhado (Grilled Pork Sandwich)

The mainland animal protein in Portugal is Pork. The climate and landscape lend itself better to rearing pork than to beef, though beef is also popular.

Bifana is a simple fast food favourite – A Portuguese pork sandwich. Its cousin Prego, is the beef equivalent, and they also have Leitão, a pulled pork sandwich. They’re great as a cheap lunch, or late night snack, you can often grab one for a couple of Euros at sandwich shops, ideal Portuguese street food. But you’ll also find them in many Lisbon restaurants where locals eat and more touristy places too.

Recipes and styles of bifana differ a little, but the general principle is that thinly cut pork steaks are simmered in a white wine stock with garlic & olive oil, normally paprika, bay leaf, vinegar and sometimes piri-piri. You’ll see them simmering in the windows of snack bars around Lisbon and beyond.
Normally the meat is pulled straight from the big bubbling pot of sauce and all those juices soak into the bread roll with a soft inside to capture every drop. Then a firm outside to stop the bread falling apart.

It’s a salty meat bomb waiting to explode in your mouth!

Sometimes a whole pork cutlet is used, rather than thin slices.

The bifana grelhada is a grilled pork sandwich, rather than stewed. Though the name may be used interchangeably, so if you can’t see the pork bubbling away, ask how the pork is cooked before ordering.

The Bifana is so popular that McDonald’s released a McBifana – we are certainly not recommending McDonald’s as your ideal Lisbon food culture experience, just saying they jumped on the Portuguese pork sandwich bandwagon for a reason… It’s that popular.

The essential final ingredient is some cheap squirty yellow mustard, like you’d have on a hotdog, and optionally, some piri piri sauce for a bit of kick.

It’s worth noting that bifana styles vary across the country. In Lisbon and the south, the meat is pulled from the sauce. In Porto and the north, you often get a lot more sauce served onto the sandwich, for extra juicy mess.

The Bifana was invented in Vendas Novas, a small town in the Alentejo region – just 30KM east of Lisbon. We didn’t make it there but apparently most of the old places selling Bifana claim to have invented it. No one really knows which one did.

To try tasty bifana in Lisbon, check out a Parreirinha do Chile – though you will find Bifana everywhere!

Bacalhau (Salt Cod)

Typical Portuguese Food: Bacalhau

Typical Portuguese Food: Bacalhau (Salt Cod)

Bacalhau is salted dried codfish. It’s a lot more than one dish. Locals claim it’s at least 365 dishes – one for each day of the year – which make use of Portugal’s most popular ingredient bacalhau. If you want fresh cod it is usually referred to as bacalhau fresco.

In reality, there may be way more than 365 cod dishes popular in Portugal, some say close to 1000, but we didn’t have time to find them all!

So let’s talk a little bit about why Cod, a type of fish that does not swim in the waters around Portugal at all, has become Portugal’s national dish.

In the 16th century, after the discovery of the Americas, Portuguese fishermen headed on long voyages in search of new fishing grounds. The first and most important region they exploited was off the coast of Newfoundland.

This was actually British territory, but as the Portuguese were allied with the British, they traded salt with the British – which was abundant in Portugal – in return for the right to fish in the region and for military protection.

With no refrigeration in those days, the only way to collect large amounts of fish and then transport it all the way back across the Atlantic was to preserve it by drying and salting. Certain types of fish lend themselves better to the salt preservation process than others – specifically fish where the flesh is less oily. This is why cod was the perfect fit for this.

The long shelf life and rich fishing ground led to bacalhau becoming a popular staple for both rich and poor in Portugal by the 18th century. It is a common part of dishes at Easter and Christmas and it’s possible that its connection to religious holidays, where land meat could not be eaten due to religious restrictions, also helped extend its presence in Portuguese cuisine.

Over time, political situations changed, as did refrigeration. Portuguese fishing in Newfoundland declined, much of the cod was being supplied to Portugal by British fleets instead and by the early 20th century, most cod was coming from waters around Iceland and Norway instead.

With meat and fresh fish being expensive at the time, poorer people relied on affordable salt cod. But importation raised the price. So after the Portuguese military dictatorship began in 1926, the government went on a mission to rebuild fishing fleets and increase production. They fixed cod prices and built a workforce, who suffered bad conditions in order to keep prices down.

The fishing process was a harsh form of labour. Individual fishermen would launch off the main ships and spend 8 or more hours collecting fish from a tiny boat before being collected and then beginning the work of processing the fish on board.

The death knell for this harsh industry was the fall of the dictatorship in 1974. Fishermen were freed from coerced labour, and supply returned to importation. Prices increased and every Cod had to go further on the table. Today, bacalhau is still massively popular and you can smell it as you walk into most supermarkets, stacked up in big piles.

So, if you are in Lisbon, how should you eat bacalhau?

Bacalhau a Bras

Lisbon Food: Bacalhau a Bras

Lisbon Food: Bacalhau a Bras

One of the most popular styles in Lisbon is Bacalhau a Bras – after rehydration, the cod is shredded and mixed with egg, finely chopped onion and crispy little fried matchstick potatoes, then baked and served with parsley and black olives. The name “a Bras” is said to refer to the name of the creator of the dish, which likely was first served in the Barrio Alto district of Lisbon, now a nightlife hub.

For a naughty treat, try Bacalhau com natas – Cod & fried potatoes baked in a cream sauce until golden.

Also, Bacalhau à Lagareiro, Cod baked confit style in olive oil with potatoes and onions.

Mentioned in the starters/snacks section above Bolinhos de BacalhauBacalhau com Grao. And, at least 360 other preparations of the bacalhau to discover!

Cozido

A stew considered by many as a Portugal national dish is “cozido à portuguesa”. A stew of vegetables with various kinds of meat. The most typical kind is pork, but a mix of meats can also be used including game like rabbit. Everything is thrown in one pot and boiled. The stock is served as a soup and then the meat and veg served on a plate separately. This is a popular dish from Portugal and Spain, so who invented it? We plan to look at that more in our what to Eat in Madrid Podcast – coming August 2019.

 

Sardinhas Assadas / Grelhado (Grilled/BBQ Sardines)

Lisbon Food: Sardinhas Assadas

Lisbon Food: Sardinhas Assadas

Sardines! They may not be fancy but they are certainly a big part of the Lisbon food scene. As Lisbon sits on a wide river estuary just 20KM from the Atlantic, sardines are a local catch. They’ve formed a part of the diet at least since the Moors ran the city from the early 8th century.

Though you’ll find them year round, the best time to enjoy them is during the biggest harvest of the year, in early June. The festival of st. Anthony, the patron saint of Lisbon, marks the beginning of the harvest. The busiest part of the sardine celebration is around June 13th, where you’ll find streetside grills barbecuing these tasty fishies. Other times of the year you may be getting sardines thawed from frozen, still great but not quite as perfect.

As well as grilled sardines, tinned sardines are super popular and you’ll even find restaurants devoted to “conservas” serving different specialist tinned foods along with garnishes and drinks.

Piri Piri Chicken

Piri Piri Chicken is Spatchcocked / butterflied whole chicken grilled over hot coals. The Piri Piri refers to the hot spice rub used to get the skin crispy and delicious. With its roots possibly coming from Portuguese colonies in Africa, we’ll be looking into the full story of Piri Piri chicken in another article. But if you are in Lisbon, search out this chicken that will put Nandos to shame.

Try at Frangasqueira Nacional

Chouriço (Portuguese Chorizo)

What To Eat In Lisbon: Chouriço (Portuguese Chorizo)

What To Eat In Lisbon: Chouriço (Portuguese Chorizo)

Portuguese Chouriço is quite different from dry cured Spanish Chorizo. The meat is softer. The tradition in Portugal is to take a whole Chouriço and bring it to the table on a ceramic dish and light flames underneath it to cook it and crisp up the skin. You’ll also find Chouriço used as an ingredient in many other dishes.

Polvo à lagareiro (Baked Octopus)

A whole octopus is first boiled, then roasted with lots of olive oil and garlic. Segments are served with boiled potatoes. It’s a classic you’ll find all over Portugal.

Choco Frito (Deep Fried Cuttlefish)

Typical Portuguese Food: Choco Frito (Cuttlefish)

Typical Portuguese Food: Choco Frito (Cuttlefish)

Cuttlefish is a big step above squid in my opinion. Softer flesh. And the Portuguese seem to get it just perfect every time. A fantastic version can be found at Taberna do Relojoeiro in Almada, south of the river. Reservations advised it’s a small place.

Moelas

Speaking of Taberna do Relojoeiro, they sometimes feature a homestyle Portuguese favourite: Moleas. Chicken gizzards. This may not sound appetizing but it’s a fantastic comfort food and if you didn’t know it was gizzards, you’d just yum it up. We actually didn’t know until we tasted it what it was as the waiter just recommended it and we went with it.

Arroz de Mariscos

A one pot rice and mixed seafood dish. Flavoured with white wine and garlic, and featuring a choice of shellfish and other seafood. The dish is believed to originate from the beach town of Vieira, 100km or so north of Lisbon, but is popular nationwide and is another of the 7 gastronomic wonders chosen by locals.

Feijoada (Pork & Beans Stew)

Typical Portuguese Food: Feijoada

Typical Portuguese Food: Feijoada

A rich and hearty beans stew containing various chunks of pork including Chouriço and blood sausage. A Portuguese dish which is also popular in Brazil.

Alheira Sausage de Mirandela

What To Eat In Lisbon: Alheira Sausage de Mirandela

What To Eat In Lisbon: Alheira Sausage de Mirandela

Another dish which is popular nationwide, this sausage comes from the far north of Portugal, from Mirandela and the surrounding area. It’s made from chicken and/or game meat mixed with bread and is typically served as a whole sausage, not as an ingredient in other dishes. It may be served with a fried egg and chips (fries).

Unlike Portugal’s typical pork sausages, the Alheira sausage was invented as a way for the Jewish population of the region to trick the Spanish Inquisition into thinking they had truly converted to Christianity. It was normal for Portuguese Catholic families to make all their pork sausages and hang them outside their homes to dry. So, Jewish households could avoid standing out by hanging their chicken sausages outside.

Lulas recheadas à lisbonense

Lisbon style stuffed squid. The squid is stuffed with sausages, garlic and onions and then baked.

Some other dishes to look out for:

Iscas com elas – Thin strips of calf’s liver sauteed in garlic and white wine. The dish was brought to Lisbon in the 19th century from Galicia in Spain.

Cataplana de mariscos – A popular seafood stew with rice which originates from the Algarve coast in the south.

Caldeirada – A slightly spiced seafood stew with piri-piri, black pepper, ginger and garlic.

Favas com Chouriço – A filling mix of fava beans cooked with Portuguese chouriço.

Torresmos – Crispy, fried pork fat. The Portuguese version of chicharron (Pork Scratchings/pork rinds).

Caracóis – Snails boiled with garlic and oregano.

Tripas – Traditional stew made with tripe, veg and white beans. The original dish likely dates back to the 14th century.

 

What To Eat In Lisbon: Desserts & Drinks

Finally, for our foodies guide Lisbon – Sweet treats and boozy beverages.

Pastéis de Nata

Lisbon Food: Pasteis de Nata (Egg Custard Tarts)

Lisbon Food: Pastéis de Nata (Egg Custard Tarts)

Egg custard tarts in crispy puff pastry. The Portuguese version of these was invented at a monastery in Belem, a suburb of Lisbon. They sold the recipe to a baker just over the street, and that original bakery now sells thousands of pastéis de nata every day – a Lisbon food icon. But, are they the best in Lisbon?

My top pick beats out the ones in Belem. Try out Mantegeria in Barrio Alto.

The fame of these little sweet treats has spread far and wide, but how did the original egg tart come to be? It’s a much more complicated story than the very brief version above. A full article and podcast on egg tarts is coming July 2019. 

Pao de Deus

What To Eat In Lisbon: Pao de Deus (Bread of God)

What To Eat In Lisbon: Pao de Deus (Bread of God)

A simple dessert/snack we fell in love with in Lisbon was Pao de Deus: The Bread Of God!

This is a brioche style bread roll with a thick, eggy, sweet coconut crust on top. It really is a bite of heaven, even for Megsy who is not a massive coconut fan.

Try Pão de Deus at A Padaria Portuguesa – a chain that you’ll find around Lisbon.

Ginjinha (Sour Cherry Liqueur)

Lisbon Drinks: Ginjinha

Lisbon Drinks: Ginjinha

Ginjinha is a liqueur made from Ginja (sour cherries) that originates from Lisbon.

The inventor of the Ginjinha was from Galicia, a region of Spain just North of Portugal. His name was Francisco Espinheira and he founded his little Ginjinha shop in 1840 and it’s still there! At least, it is the first dedicated shop known to sell the drink, it’s quite likely a similar drink has been made in Portugal since at least the 17th Century.

It’s easy to know you’re nearby A Ginjinha Espinheira as the stone tiles around the square next to this liquor shop start to get very sticky from all the little spillages of tasty liqueur.

Ginjinha is made by macerating sour cherries in brandy, the Portuguese name for these is ginja, which is where the name of the drink comes from. After maceration, the fruity brandy is then mixed with water, sugar and cinnamon. This produces a pleasing sweet and sour beverage to sip at.

You can have it served with or without a couple of whole cherries in the shot. I suggest getting them, they are booze saturated and give it more of a kick!

You can get your shot in a glass, or you can request an edible chocolate cup!

A Ginjinha Espinheira is not the only place in Lisbon to try this popular liqueur. You can even find it served by old ladies from their front room windows as you walk around the little neighbourhood of Alfama. Or you can buy a bottle in the supermarket.

Port Wine

Port wine is a sweet fortified wine (about 20% ABV) which hails from Porto but is available all over Portugal. If you won’t make it north, then try Port Wine in Lisbon.

Vinho Verde (Green Wine)

Vinho Verde translates as “green wine” but really means “young wine”. It refers to wines specifically made in and around the Minho province of North Portugal. The wine is not green, it can be red, white or rose. But these wines are drunk very young, bottled 3 to 6 months after harvest, and drunk soon after. Although this is not a Lisbon speciality, it is something you’ll find in wine shops and bars across the capital.

Beer

The most popular lager in Lisbon is Super Bock and Sagres. Sagres (my preference of the two) comes from the south and is a little maltier than Super Bock.

 

Accommodation in Lisbon:

Booking.com | Agoda | Hotels.com | Lastminute.comAirbnb (Get $25 Credit)

 

Book A Lisbon Tour:

 

 

 

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11 Best Cooking Classes In Italy

Cooking Classes In Italy, cooking schools in italy

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Wondering what are the best cooking classes in Italy? We have reached out to our favourite foodies who told us their all time favourite cooking school experiences in Italy. We cover quite a few of the most popular destinations in Italy so you can find the perfect cooking class experience in Italy to join no matter where you are on your tasty Italian vacation.

11 Best Cooking Classes In Italy, cooking schools in Italy

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which pay me a commission if you choose to purchase something. You do not pay extra using this link. Thank you for supporting this blog by purchasing through these links.

 

11 Must Do Cooking Classes In Italy – Best Cooking Schools in Italy

 

Taormina Cooking Class, Sicily

Cooking Classes In Italy - Best Cooking Schools in Italy

Cooking Classes In Italy – Best Cooking Schools in Italy

 

One Italian cooking class to try is at the Red & White Hostaria in Taormina, Sicily. This Hostaria was originally a wine bar, then the owner, Gianluca, launched his now top-rated, organic restaurant in the heart of town. 

The restaurant offers small classes, which is perfect since the kitchen is small. 

Your day starts with a typical Sicilian breakfast (bought, not made) so you can chat with Gianluca a bit. Then you head off to the local market to choose the fresh ingredients. We returned with our eggplant, fish, tomatoes, spices, and some pasta flour for our creations. 

In the kitchen with head chef, Davide, we made typical Eggplant Parmigiana and Macaroni with an eggplant sugo as starter and ‘Primo.’ I learned how to wrap the Macaroni around a wire to make the shape, which isn’t easy, and then I cleaned and prepared the baked fish. Gianluca picks the fresh fish each day at the recommendation of the fishmonger. 

All these courses are paired with amazing, regional Sicilian wines. I think I sampled five of them! I arrived at 9:30a and left at 3p, completely stuffed and with a new personalized apron. Great experience and the staff were top-notch. If you’re looking for a traditional Sicilian cooking class, this is one to try. 

Maureen – LifeOnTheMediterranean.com

 

Florence Cooking Class – Tuscany

Cooking Classes In Italy, Florence Cooking Class, Cooking Classes in Tuscany

11 Best Cooking Classes In Italy, Florence Cooking Class, Cooking Classes in Tuscany

 

One of the best cooking classes I have taken during my trips was in Florence, run by Eating Europe. During the half a day experience I have learned so much about the Italian cuisine but also about the lifestyle of Florence. We have started the tour with a visit to the market, from where we bought fresh vegetables for our pasta dishes. Then, we explored some of the local bread, cheese, and meat shops, to have a taste of the most local products.

This cooking class in Florence was held at a food studio that had a professional kitchen, in a house located in a non-touristy area of the city. It was a full hand on class, where each of the participants got to cook all of the dishes. We started with learning how to make pasta: spaghetti and ravioli. The pasta rolling machine was a lot of fun! In total, we cooked 4 different dishes: tomato bruschetta, tagliatelle al pomodoro with “Mamma’s” secret sauce recipe, spinach, and ricotta ravioli and caramel chocolate panna cota. During a well-deserved break, we enjoyed a platter of local hams and salami, washed down with a glass of homemade prosecco.

Joanna – The World In My Pocket

 

Pisa Cooking Class – Tuscany

Cooking Classes In Italy, Pisa Cooking Class, Cooking Classes in Tuscany

Cooking Classes In Italy, Pisa Cooking Class, Cooking Classes in Tuscany

 

Pizza is the greatest gift Italy has given to the world. If you happen to travel through Italy, you should definitely use the chance to learn how real Italian pizza is made. The pizza making class by Massimo on ToursByLocals will teach you all about it. And it does so in an incredible atmosphere in the countryside near the beautiful Tuscan city of Pisa.

After pickup from your hotel in Pisa, you will start with the first step of the pizza making process: the dough. You will need just the right amount of flour, water, oil, salt and yeast – and plenty of time. Later, it is time to fire up the wood oven and get the pizza ready. Fresh tomato sauce, juicy mozzarella and tasty vegetables right from the farm. A real pizza will only take a few minutes in the oven before it is ready to be enjoyed. After feasting on your own creation, you will be brought back to your hotel in Pisa. An incredible experience.

Mike – 197 TravelStamps.com

Even more tasty options….. 

 

Florence Cooking Class – Tuscany

Cooking Classes In Italy, Florence Cooking Class

Cooking Classes In Italy, Florence Cooking Class

 

Florence Italy is one of my favorite cities. During my last visit, I took the Wanna Be Italiano Cooking Class with a Central Market Tour. During the market tour, we learned what to look for when picking fresh ingredients. Back in the classroom with our groceries, we prepared Bruschetta. I was amazed by what a difference rubbing a clove of garlic on toasted bread can make. We then made hand-rolled tagliatelle pasta and ravioli with ricotta cheese and parmesan from scratch. I could not believe how simple the process was, all it takes is a little flour and an egg!

Moving on we prepared a fresh cherry tomato sauce and a meat sauce using Chianti wine. We prepared tiramisu for dessert. This actually required a little bit of work, by work I mean whisking egg whites. The class was composed of couples, solos, and groups of friends. We drank wine, chatted, laughed and had an amazing meal together. I highly recommend this experience.

Sherianne – OutOfOffice.Blog

 

Rome Cooking Class, Lazio

Cooking Classes in Italy, Rome Cooking Class

Cooking Classes in Italy, Rome Cooking Class

 

If you’re looking for the best pasta in Rome, look no further than Ristomama’s pasta-making class—a multi-hour, hands-on class that covers handmade pasta and several preparations.

When two young, entrepreneurial Italian fellows decided to start a series of cooking classes, they turned to their own favorite cooks—their mothers—and recruited them to teach small group lessons on traditional Italian cuisine in their beautiful Italian homes.

The result is spectacular. Traditional meals from all over Italy. Fresh ingredients harvested from Rafaella’s rooftop garden. Hand-rolled pastas. Kitchens full of laughter. And a perfectly poised lunch at the end of it all.

Gigi – Viciousfoodie.com

 

 

Cooking Classes in Italy, Rome Cooking Class

11 Best Cooking Classes In Italy, Rome Cooking Class

 

I took a pasta making class in Rome with Walks of Italy and loved it. The class is held in a chic roof-top apartment minutes from Piazza Navona with a terrace directly below a gorgeous church dome. We were welcomed with a glass of wine and some antipasti as we got to know our classmates. The two hosts/ teachers were a charming Italian couple with flawless English.

Everything was set up for us at a long outdoor table.  Making the dough from scratch was surprisingly easy.  We used a chitarra (named after a guitar, because it has rows of tight strings that cut the pasta into thin strips) to make spaghetti and a drinking glass to cut ravioli. The sauces were cooked by a volunteer as the rest of us watched the demonstration. They were simple, with quality fresh ingredients, and delicious.

The night we took the class, a nasty storm blew in and drove us inside. A huge dining room provided an indoor alternative to the terrace, and we were barely aware of the last-minute switch. The evening finished with a delightful dinner party with more wine and the spaghetti and ravioli we had all cooked.

At the end of the evening, we got the recipes, which I have used to make fresh pasta at home since.

James – Travel Collecting

 

Forlimpopoli Cooking Class, Emilia Romagna 

Cooking Classes In Italy - Best Cooking Schools in Italy

Cooking Classes In Italy – Best Cooking Schools in Italy

 

Casa Artusi is a museum, library, and cooking school, named after the Italian gastronome, Pellegrino Artusi. Artusi is often credited as being the father of Italian food. He created the first national cookbook. Artusi wasn’t even a chef, or a cook, just a passionate foodie; before being one became a thing. During a Casa Artusi cooking class, just an hour east of Bologna, it’s possible to learn each of the famous Emilia Romagna pasta dishes.

Cooking classes at Casa Artusi are run by the Associazione delle Mariette. The association’s goal is to teach traditional forms of cooking Italian food. The Mariette are all volunteers who are dedicated to the goals of maintaining the traditions of Italian cooking. They teach how to roll the pasta as well as how to cut it or form it into small shapes, like tiny tortellini, or rolling it into garganelli.

One thing to note, the entire pasta-making course at Casa Artusi is in Italian. But that doesn’t seem to be a problem. Each Mariette will demonstrate the different pastas and help students along. They can arrange English-language classes for groups, on request. But, there is something just a little bit fun about taking a cooking class entirely in Italian.

Amber – Food & Drink Destinations

 

⇒ Looking for more to do in the Emilia Romagna Region? Check out our Day Trips From Bologna Post

 

Naples Cooking Class, Campania

naples italy cooking class, cooking classes in italy

Naples Italy cooking class, cooking classes in Italy

 

Napoli is the birthplace of pizza and the perfect destination to hone your pizza making skills. On a trip to find themust eat foods in Italy, learning to make pizza with Toffini Academy was an absolute highlight. We started by learning the history of pizza and then went onto make 3 different pizza dishes; pizza, pizza fritta and montanara. For those not familiar with the latter two (I wasn’t), they are both variations of pizza that are fried but using the same delicious ingredients. After learning to make each dish, we, of course, stopped to taste our creations. I would definitely recommend attending this class with an empty stomach, as there is plenty to eat throughout. The course is a great hands-on experience and the perfect way to immerse yourself in Neapolitan culture, and of course eat lots of delicious pizza!

Milan Cooking Class, Lombardy

Cooking Classes In Italy, Milan Cooking Class

Cooking Classes In Italy, Milan Cooking Class

 

While I was in Italy I was desperate to take a cooking class.  When I found Pietro’s pasta making cooking class in Milan on Airbnb Experiences it was the perfect chance to learn more about pasta with a local cook in his own home.  We would learn how to make (and eat!) our own homemade pasta as well as my favourite dessert – tiramisu.  Pietro was a fabulous host, friendly and fun, and his mum even came to help with the class which made it a lovely family affair. 

The food we made was incredible, ravioli with a leek and ricotta filling, and orecchiette with a simple tomato sauce.  And one of the best tiramisus I’ve ever tasted!  Pietro showed us every step in the pasta making process, from mixing the ingredients and kneading the dough, to making the orecchiette shapes with our bare hands, and rolling out the ravioli dough with his pasta maker.  I had no idea that making pasta was so simple, I can’t wait to try it again at home.  The best part was eating the ravioli, drizzled with melted butter and grated cheese, it was heavenly!  I loved this class and the food, and definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Milan.

Claire – This Travel Lover

 

San Gemini Cooking Class – Umbria

Cooking Classes In Italy, Umbria Cooking Class

Cooking Classes In Italy, Umbria Cooking Class

 

Each of Italy’s regions boast a distinctive and delicious cuisine – Umbria’s may be less well-known than some of the others, but it is well worth taking a class to explore its bold flavours while you are in the country. I took a cooking class with local chef and personality Loretta Autuori, who runs the cookery school Percosi con Gusto to delve a little deeper into Umbrian cuisine, and would highly recommend you do the same.

Umbrian cuisine is centred around local specialities such as cured sausages, truffles (the region is well-known for the quality and quantity of truffles it produces) and prosciutto. During the class, we learnt how to make gnocchi with truffles and a few antipasti to start the meal off. It was fabulous to see how such a simple dish could be elevated to absolute perfection by just paying attention to the small details.

Julianna –  The Discoveries Of

>>>

Tommo & Megsy’s Recommendation

With so many amazing cooking classes in Italy you might be wondering what we at Food Fun Travel think is the best cooking school in Italy…..

 

Bologna Cooking Class, Emilia Romagna

Le Sfogline Cooking Class 

Cooking Classes In Italy, cooking schools in italy

Cooking Classes In Italy, cooking schools in Italy

The sisters at Le Sfogline are well known in the region – famous even. They have been making hand made pasta for the locals for the past 20+ years and have also taught some celebrities how to do it as well. People like Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and more have stood in their quaint little pasta shop and learned the art of rolling pasta dough….and you can do it too!

Not only is Le Sfogline one of the best places to learn this craft, but the sisters are such incredible personalities you can’t help but have a fun time doing it too. 

They don’t accept reservations by email so you will need to call them to see if they have time to host a cooking class. But they both speak English so no need to worry there. 

Cooking Classes In Italy, cooking schools in Italy

Cooking Classes In Italy, cooking schools in Italy

These are just the tip of the iceberg for amazing cooking classes in Italy but it’s enough to get you started planning your next tasty adventure! 

Looking for more adventures during your trip to Italy? Here are a few great options: 

 

 



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50+ Typical Bulgarian Dishes & Drinks

Bulgarian Spices: Sharena Sol

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Traditional Bulgarian Food: Want to know what to eat in Bulgaria? Or what are the best Bulgarian dishes? This article takes a comprehensive look at typical Bulgarian cuisine, from famous Bulgarian salad (like Shopska Salad) to the Bulgarian national dish, Bulgarian breakfast, Bulgarian cheese and even some of the best Bulgarian alcohol to try.

We’ve visited Bulgaria multiple times in search of Bulgarian traditional food – photographing it, chatting with locals and learning all about the history of the cuisine. Why does Bulgarian Food have such a unique taste? Find out below.

Brief History & Introduction To Traditional Bulgarian Food

Food is always tied directly to history. The city of Plovdiv is not only Bulgaria’s oldest continuously inhabited city, but currently is considered Europe’s oldest city, having been lived in for over 6,000 years. So Bulgaria has seen a lot of human history!

Bulgarian Food is a mix of what grows well locally, especially dairy products and certain herbs and spices we’ll discuss below. Also, dishes influenced by Turkey, as Bulgaria was occupied by the Ottoman empire for some 500 years. You’ll even find elements in Bulgarian food culture going back to 1,500BC when parts of modern day Bulgaria were ruled by the Thracians, a society well known for making wine.

In the 20th century, Bulgaria was enveloped by communism, behind the Iron Curtain. Though industrialization damaged rural tradition, Bulgarian Food continues to hold onto its past into the 21st century, celebrating their delicious culinary history.

Some Essential Ingredients That Make Things Taste “Bulgarian”

The flavor profile of Bulgarian cuisine is produced by frequent use of some very specific local produce.

Common Spices

Bulgarian Spices: Sharena Sol

The unique spice blends of a country often form the basis of many dishes, representing the country as a whole. Some important spices and blends that characterize Bulgarian cuisine include:

Chubritsa (Summer Savoury) – Probably the most defining herb of Bulgaria, simply because it is rarely used in other countries. Chubritsa’s unique herbal character blends well with meats and other dishes.

Sharena Sol – Translates as “colorful salt”. The blend mixes chubritsa, paprika and salt as it’s key ingredients. Some recipes include fenugreek and/or cumin. Sharena salt brightens up meat dishes and more but it’s so good just mixed with a little olive oil and used as a dip for warm bread – a perfect Bulgarian snack.

Dzhodzhen (Spearmint) – Used in stews and soups which contain beans or lentils, also popular to accompany lamb and rice dishes.

Samardala (Bulgarian honey garlic) – A local garlic variety which is dried and salted before being crushed into a powder.

Devesil (Lovage) – A herb that makes fish and soups instantly taste Bulgarian. The flavor sits somewhere between celery and parsley.

Also essential in the Bulgarian spice cabinet are Cumin, Paprika and Fenugreek.

Kiselo Mlyako (Bulgarian Yoghurt)

The history of Yogurt deserves its own article (Which we’ll be releasing later in 2019). In brief, although the exact origin of yogurt is contested, Bulgaria and Turkey (specifically, the nomadic Turkic tribes from central Asia who preceded Turkey) both have strong claims to consider.

But it was a Bulgarian scientist, in 1905, that first identified the essential lactose eating bacteria (L. Bulgaricus) that leads milk to become yogurt.

Kiselo mlyako means “sour milk”. The thick and slightly sour Bulgarian yogurt is used in much traditional Bulgarian food and brings a unique flavor to Bulgarian cuisine.

Sirene – Bulgarian Cheese (Salty White Cheese)

Another essential dairy product is Sirene. This Bulgarian cheese is similar to Greek feta cheese, in that it is a salty white brined cheese. However, some Bulgarians contend that sirene is the original, or at least better version, of Greek feta cheese.. This is another topic that needs a longer investigation – coming soon.

Suffice to say, sirene brings a salty yet creamy taste to so much Traditional Bulgarian Food. It’s used in many of their most famous dishes. It’s almost more like a condiment or seasoning as it is used to pervasively throughout the cuisine. 

 

Bulgarian Traditional Food: Top 5 Must Eats

If you are on a short trip and only have time to briefly enjoy the food highlights of Bulgarian food, this top 5 features some of the most popular iconic dishes as well as my personal favorites.

Bulgarian National Dish 1: Shopska Salad

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Shopska Salad

Traditional Bulgarian Food: Shopska Salad (A Bulgarian National Dish)

Shopska salad makes use of the salad combo seen in so many salads in Europe and the Middle East: Tomato, cucumber, bell peppers, and onions. It focuses on the use of local ingredients that grow in Bulgaria. But what makes it uniquely Bulgarian is the addition of Sirene cheese. As Bulgaria is not a big olive oil producer, sunflower oil is more typical. Also in the dressing, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. A simple and refreshing summer classic.

You’d think a salad this simple had been around for hundreds of years… You’d be very wrong. Even though salad is plentiful and popular in Bulgarian cuisine today, historians believe that it was barely eaten at all until the 20th century. Furthermore, the Shopska salad appears to have been invented or adopted in the 1950s and ’60s by chefs at “BalkanTourist”, the state run tourism agency at the time, as a way to promote tourism to Bulgaria.

Apparently, other national salads were also created, each named after a region of Bulgaria, but Shopska salad (named after the Shopluk region) eventually won out over the years as the most popular Bulgarian salad. Today you’ll find Shopska on almost every restaurant menu.

The colors of the salad are said to represent the colors of the Bulgarian flag – Red, white and green. Giving it an even more nationalistic tone.

Bulgarian National Dish 2: Banitsa

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Banitsa

Bulgarian Traditional Food: Banitsa (cheese stuffed pastry – a Bulgarian National Dish)

In its most traditional form, Banitsa is a phyllo dough pastry filled with layers of egg and sirene cheese mixed together. But banitsa is made with many different fillings, including typical savory fillings like spinach or cabbage and at Christmas, pumpkin. It can also be made sweetened.

It’s most popular as a Bulgarian breakfast food, served with a glass of ayran (salty yogurt drink) but is also eaten as a snack or for some special holidays. Banitsa’s prolific existence within Bulgarian food culture may be one reason it is also a Bulgarian national dish. Similar layered phyllo dough dishes exist all around the Balkan region.

It’s said that in times gone by, mothers would choose a wife for their sons based on the woman’s banitsa making skills. Today, you don’t have to get married to enjoy some Banitsa – you’ll find it in bakeries, restaurants and bus station kiosks country-wide!

Bulgarian Cuisine: Gyuveche

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Gyuveche (Thracian Style)

Traditional Bulgarian Food: Gyuveche (Thracian Style)

Gyuveche is one of the most popular Bulgarian dishes but also one with the most variety. Recipes vary wildly and, in home kitchens, the dish is quite often prepared with whatever the cook has left that day. It’s normally prepared in a small pot (of the same name) as individual servings.

The base ingredient should be eggs whisked with sirene cheese – though I’ve actually seen recipes that don’t even have this. The cheesy mix may go on top, or be mixed with, various veg and meat – depending on who’s making it and the region you are in. Then it is topped with some additional ingredients of choice.

My favorite was at Restaurant Old Plovdiv where it includes lukanka (a cured Bulgarian sausage) and chili. This was described as “Thracian style”, referring to the region, though its best to ask your server exactly what ingredients you are going to get to avoid disappointment.

Elena Fillet

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Elena Filet

Bulgarian traditional food: Elena Fillet

Elena Fillet is cured/dried pork loin coated in pepper and the very Bulgarian chubritsa herb. While cured pork may be on the menu in countries all over the world, it’s the herb coating that makes this a unique Bulgarian food to try. We were told by a tour guide that Elena Fillet is a DOP (Origin protected) product of Bulgaria – though I have not been able to confirm this.

Bulgarian Traditional Food: Katak

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Katak

Bulgarian Cuisine: Katak

Katak dip is fermented katak curd (though Bulgarian yoghurt often substitutes) that is mixed with sirene cheese, roasted peppers and garlic to make a king of Bulgarian snacks.

Bulgaria has so many dips to choose from. We’ll go into more of them in the Bulgarian Salad section below. Katak was our top pick.

We saw katak on many Bulgarian menus but the version at Pavaj in Plovdiv was killer. Reservations essential.

 

Bulgarian Food Podcasts – Coming Mid 2019

Listen to episodes that are already released using the links below

Listen & Subscribe: iTunes | Spotify | Podbean | Google Play | Stitcher

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Support: Become a Patron | Tweet: @foodfuntravel | Email: [email protected]

 

Cold Starters: Dips & Bulgarian Salad

Already mentioned in our Top 5 above:

  • Shopska Salad
  • Elena Filet
  • Katak

Popular Bulgarian Salad Dips

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Dips: Lyutenitsa, Kiopoulu, Snezhanka, Katak

Some Bulgarian Dips

There are lots of great dips to choose from. Sometimes both the salads and the dips are called salads on the menu.

Lyutenitsa: Sort of like a relish made with grilled tomatoes, garlic, and peppers. Other ingredients may include carrots, eggplant, onions.

Kiopoulu: An eggplant puree with tomatoes and garlic

Snezhanka (Snow-white): A yoghurt based dip with cucumbers, walnuts, garlic, and dill, sometimes decorated with black olives.

Katak: Yogurt & sirene cheese mixed with roasted peppers.

Typical Bulgarian Sausage & Cold Cuts

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cold Cuts: Lukanka, kashkaval, elena filet

Bulgarian Sausage / Cold Cuts: Lukanka, kashkaval, elena filet

Bulgarians have a lot of sausages, and a few other cold cuts too. Here are some of the most popular. 

Lukanka: A semi-dry Bulgarian salami from pork, veal, and spices with a distinguishable flattened shape.

Kashkaval: A yellow mild cheese, popular all over the Balkans. Similar to mild cheddar cheese.

Pastirma: An air-dried, cured beef with some similarity to Italian bresaola. More popular in Turkey and Armenia.

Sudzhuk: Dry and spicy flat pork & beef sausage. Spiced with cumin, sumac, garlic, salt, and red pepper.

Nadenitsa: A dry-cured beef & pork sausage.

Banski Starets Sausage: Dry-cured pork sausage flavored with cumin, paprika, black pepper, and other spices. From the Bansko region in the Rila Mountains.

Fillet Elena & Bulgarian white sirene cheese (mentioned earlier) are also popular cold cuts.

Bulgur Wheat & Tomato Salad

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Bulgar Salad

Bulgarian Salad: Bulgur Salad

This salad is like Bulgarian Tabbouleh mixed with sirene cheese. Don’t be confused by the name, bulgur wheat originates from the middle east, not from Bulgaria, but this spin on tabbouleh really impressed us (tried at Pod Lipite, Sofia).

More Bulgarian Salad Options

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Salad: Ovcharska salata (Shepherd's salad)

Bulgarian Salad: Ovcharska salata (Shepherd’s salad)

Bulgaria is one of the few countries in the world we get truly excited to visit because of salad. So many to choose from. It’s like we can eat out every day without overeating – though overeating still happens quite a lot anyway…  We already mentioned the Shopska salad and Bulgarian tabbouleh. Here are some other salads to look out for:

Ovcharska salata – Shepherd’s salad (Pictured): tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onion, mushrooms, ham, boiled egg, and white cheese. Second to the Shopska salad on most menus.

Kalugerska salata: boiled haricot beans, gherkin, onion, chutney from roasted red pepper and tomatoes, olives

Starosofiska salata: roasted marinated red pepper, white cheese, walnuts, olive oil, garlic, and dill

Turshiya – Pickled Salad: Pickled vegetables, such as celery, beets, cauliflower, and cabbage, popular in winter. Variations are selska turshiya (country pickle) and tsarska turshiya (king’s pickles).

Tarator

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Tarator

Traditional Bulgarian Food: Tarator (cold cucumber yogurt soup)

A cold soup made with watered down Bulgarian yoghurt as the base. Flavored with cucumbers, walnuts, garlic, dill, salt, pepper, vinegar, and oil. It’s everywhere in the summer, harder to find the rest of the year. Locals go crazy for this Bulgarian traditional food.

 

Bulgarian Traditional Food: Hot Starters, Soups & Snacks

Already mentioned in Top 5 above:

Supa Topcheta (balls soup)

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Supa Topcheta (balls soup)

Traditional Bulgarian Food: Supa Topcheta (balls soup)

A buttery wonderland of a soup containing small pork meatballs and some vegetables. Definitely our top pick for Bulgarian soups. This version tried at Dayana-3 in Plovdiv. Most bad reviews on TripAdvisor were for the service, which I admit was hit and miss. Food was all good.

Shkembe (Tripe Soup) & Other Soups

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Shkembe (Tripe Soup)

Traditional Bulgarian Food: Shkembe (Tripe Soup)

Shkembe (Tripe Soup) is popular throughout the Balkans and is considered to be a hangover cure. It’s tripe cooked in milk and beef stock and normally involves a lot of butter, which could be doing more for the hangover than the tripe… Vinegar balances out the fat and salt. Another element for the hangover cure is you are supposed to pair it with rakia (Bulgarian alcohol – brandy)

Bob chorba (Beans Soup) – Bulgaria has plenty of beans to choose from and they actually make quite a few different beans soups. The most popular is bob chobra, which has beans in a tomato based broth, normally flavored with spearmint. Other varieties may be boiled with a ham hock or other meat and veg.

Chicken Soup Or Beef Soup – Bulgarian Style rich meat soups.

Teleshko vareno (veal soup) – Chunky pieces of potato, carrot, and onions boiled with veal.

Pacha (sour lamb’s-trotter soup) – Lamb’s trotters are boiled with pickles or vinegar or both.

Zelenchukova supa – A vegetable soup with lots of herbs like parsley, celery leaves, Chubritsa etc.

Gubena supa – A forest mushroom/boletus soup

Ribena chorba – fish soup made with thyme & fresh lovage

Kashkaval Pane

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Kashkaval Pane

Traditional Bulgarian Food: Kashkaval Pane (Deep fried, breaded kashkaval)

Yellow kashkaval cheese is breaded and deep fried. This may be served just as is – because what else do you need with deep fried cheese? A slightly less Bulgarian version that we enjoyed was at Hadji Nikoli in Veliko Tarnovo – which came with cranberry compote and orange pieces.

Chushki Burek (Чушки Бурек)

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Chushki Burek (Peppers stuffed with white cheese)

Traditional Bulgarian Food: Chushki Burek (Peppers stuffed with white cheese)

Not to be confused with Bourek (A Balkan pastry similar to Banitsa). Chushki Burek is bell pepper stuffed with sirene cheese and deep fried with an egg coating.

Zelevi Sarmi & Lozovi Sarmi

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Sarmi (Cabbage Rolls)

Traditional Bulgarian Food: Sarmi (Cabbage Rolls)

Zelevi Sarmi are cabbage rolls – filled with minced pork and rice. They are popular all over the Balkans. They are considered a national dish in Romanian Cuisine, where they are called sarmale. The Lozovi Sarmi are the same concept but rolled in a vine leaf, not cabbage.

Grilled Kashkaval Cheese With Honey & Walnuts

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Grilled Kashkaval Cheese With Honey & Walnuts

Bulgarian Cuisine: Grilled Kashkaval Cheese With Honey & Walnuts

Take kashkaval cheese, grill it on the hot plate, smother it in honey and ground walnuts. Enough said.

 

Bulgarian Food: Meats, Fish & Baked/Grilled/Stewed Mains

Already mentioned in Top 5 Above:

Sach

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Sach

Traditional Bulgarian Food: Sach

The word “sach” refers to the clay dish the food is served on. The food is cooked on the dish and it comes out searingly hot and keeps the food warm for ages. The ingredients thrown on the sach can really include anything! Pictured, a sach with potatoes, Bulgarian sausage, chicken and plenty of melty cheese.

Bulgarian Moussaka

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Moussaka

Bulgarian Moussaka

Who invented the Moussaka? Turkey, Bulgaria, and Greece all claim to have invented the dish. We intend to do some full research into this complicated origin story in the future. For now, what you need to know is, eat it! Bulgarian moussaka, unlike Greek, is focused on the potato and meat and typically does not include a layer of eggplant.

Kyufte – Bulgarian Meatballs

Kyufte - Bulgarian Meatballs

Kyufte – Bulgarian Meatballs

Kyufte is another dish that is contested to be of Turkish origin (kofte). It’s juicy Bulgarian meatballs.

Kyufte Stuffed With Cheese

Kyufte Stuffed With Cheese (Bulgarian Food)

Kyufte Stuffed With Cheese

The only way to make kyufte better… stuff it with oozy yellow cheese. I don’t know how they make them so juicy.

Tongue In Butter

Beef Tongue Fried In Butter (Bulgarian Food)

Beef Tongue Fried In Butter

Simple but perfect. There’s nothing like frying something in butter to make it better. Even better when the tongue goes just a little crispy on the outside, without drying out on the inside.

Duck Hearts

Grilled Duck Hearts (Plovdiv Bulgaria)

Grilled Duck Hearts

A big old plate of duck hearts. This seems to be a favourite meaty course in Plovdiv. Great with a glass of red Bulgarian wine.

Karnache

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Karnache

Bulgarian Food: Karnache

Karnache is a spiral sausage normally made from fresh pork, sometimes lamb, in a sheep casing.

Kebapche

Bulgarian Kebapche: Skinless Kebab Sausages

Bulgarian Kebapche: Skinless Kebab Sausages

Kebapche is the caseless minced meat kebab of the Balkans. It’s actually the national dish of Bosnia Herzegovina, where each kebab is small. In Bosnia, it is made from beef, but in Bulgaria expect a long kebab of pork or a pork/beef mix.

Stuffed Peppers / пълнени чушки (pŭlneni chushki)

pŭlneni chushki - Peppers stuffed with rice

pŭlneni chushki – Peppers stuffed with rice

Peppers stuffed with meat and rice – similar to Turkish dolma. Once peppers arrived in Europe from the Americas, it was only a matter of time before someone in the Balkans stuffed rice and meat in them.

Keremida

Keremida - Chicken cooked in a roofing tile (Plovdiv Bulgaria)

Keremida – Chicken cooked in a roofing tile

Bulgarians love naming dishes after the thing they are cooked in. The word “Keremida” refers to a roofing tile. Similar to sach (above) meat/veg/cheese is cooked in the tile. This is certainly not the most common dish. We tracked it down at Anita restaurant, spa & guest house in a small village south of Plovdiv.

Grilled Trout

Grilled Trout - Bulgarian Food

Grilled Trout

Aside from on the Black Sea coast, the most common fish on the menu in Bulgaria is Trout. Grilling with lovage as the herb seasoning is the classic way.

Potatnik / Patatnik

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Potatnik - baked mashed potato pie

Traditional Bulgarian Food: Potatnik – baked mashed potato pie

Patatnik is a potato pie cooked in the Sach or sometimes another clay dish, in an oven or heated from below. Get ready for buttery indulgence. This baked mash is laced with bubbling fat and mixed with onions and Bulgarian spearmint. The dish originates from the Rhodope Mountains, south of Plovdiv on the way to the Greek border. The original dish, in it’s simplest form, doesn’t have egg or cheese mixed into the mash but that seems to have become a popular choice in restaurants – which is no surprise because it’s awesome.

This regional dish was until recently only available in the mountains but is now being seen on some restaurant menus in Plovdiv and elsewhere. Eaten at Rahat Tepe, Plovdiv.

Katino Meze

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Katino Meze

Bulgarian Cuisine: Katino Meze

Katino Meze is a meat in gravy dish, normally with chopped pork and onions – traditionally served in a copper pan, though the version we got in Sofia was an obviously lazy presentation – just using the Sach. Sometimes it’s spiced up with hot pepper. Without cheese is more traditional but what can I say, we like cheese…

Shishche / Shashlik

Shishche / Shashlik - Bulgarian Skewered Meats

Shishche / Shashlik – Bulgarian Skewered Meats

Marinated meat, grilled on a skewer.

Kavarma / Kapama

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Kavarma

Traditional Bulgarian Food: Kavarma – Stew in a clay pot

Kavarma is a slow cooked stew with a choice of meat, onions, and spices – normally with chubritsa too. It’s supposed to be baked in the traditional gyuvech clay pot but some restaurants speed things up by pan cooking it and just serving it in the pot – or just on a plate.

Fancy versions may feature multiple types of meat (pork, chicken, lamb, rabbit, veal, and sausage), and have other ingredients added like sauerkraut, dried plums and spices, and red or white wine. Some say this version is called kapama rather than kavarma but we were unable to track down kapama.

Zelen Fasul – Green Beans Stew

Traditional Bulgarian Food | Bulgarian Cuisine: Zelen Fasul - Green Beans Stew

Traditional Bulgarian Food: Zelen Fasul – Green Beans Stew

A traditional Bulgarian Food that is typically Bulgarianized with all the essential herbs: spearmint, chubritsa. 

 


 

Sides, Breads & Other Traditional Bulgarian Food

Some additions to accompany your mains…

Bulgarian Breads: Pita & Palenka

Bulgarian Pita Bread

Bulgarian Pita Filled with Egg and Cheese

Bulgarian pita bread is sometimes called Greek bread on menus, it’s one of the few dishes Bulgaria freely attributes to Greece, it seems. However, they sometimes choose to take pita to the next level by filling it with a cheesey-egg mix (pictured).

Palenka is also called Arabic Bread on some menus and is a thin flatbread.

Kachamak (Polenta With Cheese, Sometimes Bacon)

Kachamak (Polenta With Cheese, Sometimes Bacon)

Kachamak (Polenta With Cheese, Sometimes Bacon)

Polenta mixed with white cheese and butter is a favorite through Bulgaria and Romania / Moldova – where it is called Mamaliga. We discussed it in our Romania food podcast and we believe it came to Bulgaria from Romania, not the other way around. That said, the Bulgarian version with sirene cheese is always a winner too. 

Drob sarma

A rice dish which is typically mixed with chopped offal and Bulgarian spice, sometimes with mushrooms. Good as a side but sometimes served as a main.

 

Bulgarian Breakfast

Already Mentioned in Top 5 above:

  • Banitsa – Bulgaria’s national cheese pastry. A perfect Bulgarian breakfast as well as an anytime snack!

Other Bulgarian Breakfast Choices:

Popara – A cheeky little Bulgarian breakfast that resembles a quick bread pudding. Chopped bread, milk, butter, sugar (optional) and the most important ingredient, Sirene (white cheese).

Princesses – A variety of things on toast, though the most common with this name features ground meat mixed with some herbs/spices and spread on toast then grilled. Add a slice of kashkaval yellow cheese too if you like. You might also find egg whisked with white cheese as a topping.

Mekitsas – Deep fried dough pieces made from flour, baking powder, eggs, yogurt, water, oil, and salt.

Boza – A popular Bulgarian breakfast drink. Boza is a malt drink made from millet flour. Boza is mildly alcoholic (1%) and has a thick consistency, with a slightly sweet and sour flavor.

 

Bulgarian Desserts

Bulgarian Desserts: Baklava

Bulgarian Baklava

Bulgarian Desserts To Try:

Baklava – This famous phyllo pastry dessert is found all over the Balkan region and beyond. Everyone does it just a little different. The Bulgarian dessert version uses walnuts, layered with phyllo and soaked in sugar syrup, with cinnamon.

Tikvenik – A sweet variation of the Bulgarian national dish, Banitsa, stuffed with walnuts and pumpkin.

Orehovki – A Bulgarian cookie made with ground walnuts, egg whites, and sugar.

Tulumba – Fried choux pastry, sort of resembling short pieces of churros, coated in a thick sugar syrup.

Palachinki – Bulgarian crepes.

Garash cake – A popular layered chocolate cake invented in the late 19th century.

 

Bulgarian Drinks & Bulgarian Alcohol

Menta

Bulgarian Drink / Bulgarian Alcohol: Menta

Bulgarian Alcohol: Menta (Mixed with sprite)

Menta is a mint spirit with about 25% alcohol. We fell in love with this during our most recent visit to Bulgaria. It’s the quintessential Bulgarian summer drink, normally mixed with sprite, or sometimes milk. Super refreshing on a hot day.

Rakia

Bulgarian Drink / Bulgarian Alcohol: Rakia

Bulgarian Alcohol: Rakia (Fruit Brandy)

Rakia is a fruit brandy. It’s a popular spirit around the whole Balkan region. In Bulgaria grape rakia is the most popular, though plum, apricot, peach, apple, cherry, and quince are also available. It’s about 40% alcohol normally. Order a shot of rakia with a Shopska salad to begin any meal like a local.

Bulgarian Wine

Bulgarian Alcohol: Wine

Bulgarian Wines From the Thracian Valley Region

Did you know that Bulgarian Wine has some unique varietals? Almost the whole country produces wine and you’ll find a big selection while there which is hard to find internationally. Here are some to look out for:

  • Mavrud: An indigenous red grape, with a profile somewhere between CabSav and Shiraz. You can get bold, tannic, spicy wine
  • Rubin: A hybrid red grape created in the 1940s as a combination of Shiraz and Nebbiolo. Rubin produces dry, semi-dry and sweet wines with pungent red berry flavors.
  • Gamza: Used to produce both dry and sweet red wines with deep aroma and color.
  • Pamid: One of the oldest winemaking grapes in Bulgaria – used back in Thracian times. Pamid is low acidity, ideal for making young wines with some similarity to Beaujolais.
  • Shiroka Melniska: A red grape from the south of Bulgaria, near the Greek border. Produces tobacco notes, ages very well in oak and has similar characteristics to Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
  • Rkatsiteli – Bulgaria’s most popular white grape – but it actually originates in Georgia, the birth country of wine.
  • Dimiat: An indigenous Bulgarian grape and second most popular white grape after Rkatsiteli. Normally light bodied and highly aromatic.

Bulgarian Beers & Craft Beers

Bulgarian Beers (Megsy enjoying a brew in Veliko Tarnovo)

Bulgarian Beers (Megsy enjoying a Shumensko brew in Veliko Tarnovo)

Bulgaria was historically a wine & Rakia drinking country until the 19th century. Now beer is everywhere with Bulgaria ranking 15th in the beer drinking per capita chart! There is even a fledgling craft beer scene kicking out some domestic brews.

Some of the mass produced beers you’ll find around:

  • Shumensko (Our Top Pick) – A malty easy drinking lager.
  • Astika – A blond pilsner from South Bulgaria, definitely worth a chug.
  • Zagorka – A Czech style lager
  • Kamenitza (Not A Fan) – The most pervasive lager in Bulgaria, brewed in Plovdiv. Simply a boring, average beer in my opinion.

Non-Alcoholic Bulgarian Drinks

Ayran – A salty thin yogurt drink also popular in Turkey and around the region.

Boza – Discussed in Bulgarian Breakfast section above.

—-

That’s it for our Bulgarian Food & Bulgarian Drink guide!

 

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50+ Things To Do In Palma De Mallorca & Palma Shopping

Palma de Mallorca Map / Palma Map

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Things To Do In Palma de Mallorca Spain (Including Palma Map): This guide highlights the best things to do in Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the island of Mallorca. From architecture and historic sites to art galleries, markets and foodie experiences. We also discuss the best of Palma shopping: The emblematic shops of Palma selling regional artisan products.

Our interactive Palma de Mallorca map for tourists at the bottom of this article features everything listed in the article as well as additional attractions, Palma beaches, restaurants and activities and more.

 

A Very Brief Intro to Palma de Mallorca

The modern history of the city of Palma was established by the Romans who built a substantial settlement upon the remnants of an old bronze age town. Like most of the Mediterranean, Mallorca changed hands many times over history, most notably being taken by the Moors from north Africa. Then by the crown of Aragon (Barcelona/Catalonia) in 1229, when the capital was renamed Palma

The war of the Spanish Succession in the 18th century led to the end of the crown of Aragon and the islands around Mallorca became part of Spain. 

Mass tourism arrived in the 1950’s and by 1983 Mallorca and the other Balearic islands were declared an autonomous region of Spain.

The Palma de Mallorca old town is characterised by typical Catalonian style architecture, from gothic religious buildings to modernist 20th century from famous artists like Gaudi. The city’s location on a large south facing bay make it an ideal tourist destination year round.

Mallorca or Majorca?

Mallorca is the Spanish spelling. Majorca is the British spelling. It’s pronounced Ma-Yor-Ka. It seems that England decided to change the spelling as Brits found it tricky to pronounce the “ll” sound in Spanish.

Things To Do In Palma de Mallorca: Top 10 Tourist Attractions (Architecture / Culture)

La Seu (Palma de Mallorca Cathedral)

Things To Do In Palma: Visit Palma Cathedral (La Seu)

The Mallorca Cathedral is one of the biggest in Europe and is built in the Catalan gothic style. It’s an iconic Palma sightseeing spot from any angle and sits between the Palma de Mallorca old town and the sea.

Construction began in 1229, shortly after Mallorca was taken by Catalonia after they defeated the Moors. The cathedral was not completed until 1601. From 1901 to 1914 Gaudi was contracted to work on the interior design of the cathedral, some of his work is still preserved today, most notably, the canopy.

Things To Do In Palma: Bellver Castle

Palma de Mallorca Map / Palma Map | Things To Do In Palma: Bellver Castle

Things To Do In Palma: Inside Bellver Castle

Bellver Castle is a 14th century circular gothic style castle in Palma de Mallorca. The castle was originally the residence of the kings of Mallorca, it later became used as a prison, mainly for political prisoners and most recently, in 1932, it became a museum. Learn about the history of Palma de Mallorca and the island as well as getting great views from the hilltop location. Definitely one of the most essential things to do in Palma. Find the location on our Palma Map below.

Palma Shopping Street: Passeig des Born

Palma de Mallorca Map / Palma Map | Things To Do In Palma: Passeig Des Born

Palma Shopping: Passeig Des Born

A grand tree lined avenue that is a hub for shopping in Palma de Mallorca. A mix of name brands (zara, H&M) as well as independent retailers, cafes, and restaurants. Passeig des Born is the sophisticated street to shop and socialise during the day. Much more info on Palma shopping below.

Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum & Bar Lounge

Palma de Mallorca Map / Palma Map | Things To Do In Palma: Es Baluard

The Canal Outside Es Baluard

Palma de Mallorca Map / Palma Map | Things To Do In Palma: Es Baluard

Contemporary Art Inside Es Baluard

Es Baluard is a contemporary art museum housed in the historic Sant Pere Bastion which was constructed in the 16th century, strategically placed to defend the city against attack. Opened as an art museum in 2004, visit to see some of Picasso’s unusual ceramics, as well as works by famous Spanish artists like Joan Miro and Miguel Barcelo. The Bar/lounge at Es Baluard also gives you the perfect spot for a scenic view of the harbor.

Placa Major

Palma Shopping | Palma Sightseeing: Placa Major

Palma Shopping & Sightseeing: Placa Major

One of Palma’s largest traditional squares, built during the 19th century. As well as restaurants and cafes for people watching, the square hosts artisanal markets daily from July to September. Less frequently the rest of the year. You’ll also find street performers and musicians periodically entertaining passers by.

Things To Do In Palma: Royal Palace of La Almudaina

Palma de Mallorca Map / Palma Map | Things To Do In Palma: Royal Palace of La Almudaina

Things To Do In Palma: Royal Palace of La Almudaina

Palma de Mallorca’s Alcázar (fortified palace) was rebuilt in the 14th century and is still used today to host the king of Spain, on occasion. That said, the palace is open to the public (entry fee applies). The ground floor recreates the medieval feel of the palace, with the upper floor showcasing furniture from the 17th to 19th centuries.

Palma Sightseeing: Can Forteza Rey

Palma Sightseeing: Can Forteza Rey

Palma Sightseeing: Can Forteza Rey

Can Forteza Rey is a clear example of Modernist Art Nouveau, influenced by Gaudi’s presence in Mallorca. The architect Lluís Forteza Rey used a combination of multicoloured broken tiles, iron, glass, wood and ceramic plates to create the outside design.

Find this building, and everything else in this article, using our free Palma map.

What To Do In Palma de Mallorca: Paseo Maritimo

Palma Map | Things To Do In Palma: Passeo Maritimo

Things To Do In Palma: Take A Walk Along Paseo Maritimo

One of the best casual walking routes in Palma. Follow the harbor front along the Paseo Maritimo for views of the boats and the windmills on the hill behind the harbor.

Take A Boat trip

With great weather all year, one of the top things to do in Palma de Mallorca is jump on a boat and see the city from the water, or get out of the city and explore the stunning coastlines:

 

 

Palma Sightseeing: Gran Hotel & Fundacio La Caixa (Caixa Forum)

Things To Do In Palma | Palma Sightseeing: Gran Hotel & Caixa Fundacio

Palma Sightseeing: Gran Hotel & Fundacio la Caixa

The Gran hotel opened in 1903. Designed by Lluis Domenech I Montaner, it is the first landmark building in Palma built in the modern Art Nouveau style. As well as the Gran hotel and their in-house cafe, the building houses the Fundacio La Caixa art gallery.

 

Palma de Mallorca Shopping & Emblematic Shops

Palma and the island of Mallorca produce a number of unique local products which are represented in the emblematic shops of Palma. Pick yourself up one-of-a-kind local goods when you go shopping Palma de Mallorca.

Palma Shopping: Vidrería Gordiola – Art Of Glass

Palma de Mallorca Map / Palma Map | Palma Shopping: Gordiola Glass

Palma Shopping: Gordiola Artisan Glass Blowing

The Gordiola family of Mallorca have been practicing the traditional art of blowing glass by hand (and by mouth!) since 1719. The glass is heated to 1,250 degrees celsius before being blown and shaped into any wonderous number of glassy delights. From a beautiful vase to an olive oil decanter (pictured). The artisanal nature of their production makes every single piece unique.  Gordiola glass has made it all round the world to Rio, Buenos Aires, Brussels, New York and more, but buying an original piece right from the source is even better.

You can see the glass blowing first hand at their factory and museum a short distance from Palma. Or you can explore a whole shop full of glass right in the centre of Palma. Find the Palma shop location on our Palma Tourist Map below as a regular google map search normally seems to only show you to their factory location.

Mimbreria Vidal – Wicker

shopping palma de mallorca: Mimbreria Vidal

Shopping Palma de Mallorca: Mimbreria Vidal (Wicker)

Mallorca has a long tradition of wicker products made locally. The dwarf palm (palmito) is perfect for wickerwork, also other tough grasses and jute may be used.

Mimbreria Vidal has been open in Palma since 1925 and was taken over in 1955 by the Vidal family. The store is still operated by the father and son team today.

Palma Shopping: Carmina Shoemaker

Palma Shopping: Carmina Shoemaker

Palma Shopping: Carmina Artisanal Shoemaker

Another emblematic shop of Mallorca, Carmina, focuses on the highest quality shoes made from leather produced on the island. The town of Inca, in central Mallorca is famous for their leather production. But you can get your shoes made to order, or off the rack, right in Palma at Carmina.

Carmina are a 6th generation family artisan shoemaker open since 1866. Their brand has now made it all over the world with stores from Singapore to San Francisco.

Estilo Sant Feliu – Pottery & Textiles

Palma Shopping: Traditional Ceramics

Palma Shopping: Traditional Ceramics

Mallorca have their own distinctive style of ceramics and textiles. Mallorca was the first place in Europe where Hispanic-Moorish pottery was developed. It was exported to Italy where it’s Arab influence was slowly replaced by a more European style. It gave rise to Majolica pottery – red earthenware that is then glazed white and painted with colorful patterns.

At Estilo Sant Feliu you’ll find that tradition represented with their high quality pottery. Their fabrics also reflect the traditional designs of the island.

Juguetería La Industrial – Toy Shop

Palma Shopping: Emblematic Toy Shop

Palma Shopping: Emblematic Toy Shop (La Industrial)

If you want to take your kids shopping in Palma, La Industrial is an historic toy shop that has been making kids smile since at least the 19th century. The Aguillo family took over the store in 1929 and the granddaughter still runs La Industrial today. Inside you’ll find some truly iconic Spanish toys, like some original Mariquita Perez dolls from the 1940s. These were some of the most popular dolls in Spain from that era, which only the rich could afford.

If visiting around Christmas, you’ll be overjoyed by La Industrial’s extravagant and fun annual Christmas display.

La Pajarita – Bombonería – Chocolate Shop & Charcuterie

Palma Shopping: La Pajarita - Emblematic Chocolate Shop & Cafe

Palma Shopping: La Pajarita – Emblematic Chocolate Shop & Charcuterie

La Pajarita is another classic family owned emblematic store. Opened in 1872 and still operated by the 5th generation of that family today. They have a unique mix – half sweet shop, half charcuterie (deli) – gourmet products both salty and sweet.

Their other claim to fame is that they were the first store in Mallorca to sell Möet Chandon.

Find Every Shop And Other Attraction On This List, Plus Many More, On Our Palma Map Below.

If your Palma Shopping needs include buying some tasty local foods, keep reading the next section for food shopping in Palma.

 

Things To Do In Palma de Mallorca For Foodies

Food is our primary motivation when choosing a destination to travel to. Happy belly, happy soul. More than that, happy taste buds, happy food blogger. If you love food, or just want to discover some new flavors on your trip, Mallorca has you covered.

Eat & Buy At A Traditional Food Market

Food markets in Mallorca are about more than just buying produce. A market visit is a lively affair where, as a tourist, you’ll always discover something new and learn about the culinary traditions and preferences of local Mallorcans – through food. Most importantly, in my opinion, markets are a place to eat and socialise. Cooked food stalls are dotted between the produce stalls, where you can feast on the freshest dishes from that day’s market ingredients.

Here are some markets to consider for both eating out and grabbing some interesting products to take home. Want to know what foods to eat and buy, check out our Mallorcan Food guide.

Note: If taking home fresh produce, sausages, cheese etc. Your home country may require produce to be vacuum sealed. You can ask market traders to do this for you upon purchase.

Palma Shopping: Mercat de l’Olivar

Palma Shopping: Sobrasada & Cheese @ Mercat de l'Olivar

Palma Shopping: Sobrasada & Cheese @ Mercat de l’Olivar

Opened in 1951, Mercat de l’Olivar has become the most popular market for tourists to do their food shopping in Palma – but is still very much frequented by locals too.

It’s an organised, bright and light space with two floors. The ground floor is mainly market stalls with produce or cooked food, with everything from fresh sea urchins to Mallorca’s most famous meat product, Sobrasada (DOP protected, cured sausage). Upstairs, a regular supermarket and some fantastic restaurants to discover.

Queseria Sagla @ Mercat de l’Olivar

Queseria Sagla @ Mercat de l'Olivar

Queseria Sagla @ Mercat de l’Olivar

Of particular note on the ground floor of Mercat de l’Olivar, Queseria Sagla is an artisan cheese shop offering a world of salty wonder in the form of local and international cheeses. Cheese lovers should not miss the chance for a quick taste test or to take home a little cheesy taste of the Balearic islands.

Mercat de Santa Catalina

Santa Catalina is a popular part of town for nightlife, with restaurants and bars. However, if you want to make a stop at Mercat de Santa Catalina, go for lunch or arrive before your evening frivolities because they close at 5pm. It’s a fully featured market, just like Mercat de l’Olivar, but a little further outside the tourist bubble.

Mercat de Pere Garau

If you are looking for a local market where you are less likely to bump into tourists, take a walk out to Mercat de Pere Garau. At time of writing, this market is still way off the tourist trail – perfect for a really local Palma Shopping Experience and lower prices too. Like the other markets above, expect produce and cooked food stalls. 

Take A Food Tour

Let a local guide introduce you to the best of Mallorcan cuisine and get your foodie questions answered.

 

 

Things To Do In Palma: Clandestí Restaurant & Cooking Class

Palma de Mallorca Map / Palma Map | Things To Do In Palma: Clandestí Restaurant & Cooking Class

Things To Do In Palma: Clandestí Restaurant & Cooking Class

Clandestí is a reservation only food experience where everyone eats at the chef’s table. Chef Pau Navarro and Chef Ariadna Salvador believe that “everyone must enjoy and have fun with cooking”.  They offer contemporary twists on Mallorcan classic cuisine, resurrecting lesser known dishes as well as perfecting favorites like coca de trempò (A Mallorcan flatbread) and burballes (The traditional pasta of Mallorca).

Whether you participate in a cooking class, where you can get in on the culinary action, or if you attend the restaurant just to dine, you’ll find something seasonal and unique every time. There is no a la carte menu. Each dining event is a fixed price and the dishes will be a surprise.

Gastroteca Mauricio

Palma de Mallorca Map / Palma Map | Things To Do In Palma: Gastroteca Mauricio

Explore Fresh Mallorcan Cuisine @ Gastroteca Mauricio

Gastroteca Mauricio celebrates the fresh local produce of Mallorca from the 1st floor above Mercat de l’Olivar. Chef Mauricio has been organizing gastronomic events for more than 25 years and along with his Josper charcoal oven, is giving life to every ingredient that comes direct from the market, daily.

As well as their regular restaurant, reservations required, Gastroteca offers bespoke events, cooking classes and afternoon tasting menus from 1pm to 4pm (Thurs to Sat). Contact them for reservations.

What To Do In Palma de Mallorca: Eat Traditional Mallorcan Pastries & Baked Goods

Of all the traditional food in Mallorca, the pastries and baked goods seem to be some of the most beloved in the hearts and minds of locals. The airy-light ensaimada, a delectable flaky pastry made with heart stopping amounts of lard, has achieved IGP/PGI status (Protected Geographical Indication). It represents hundreds of years of history and eating an ensaimada is on of the essential things to do in Palma for any visitor – foodie or not.

Beyond the ensaimada, you’ll find Mallorcan empanadas & coccarois (pies) as well the coca de mallorquin (flatbread) and many more.

There are so many bakeries in Palma but here are a few of the tastiest and most historic.

Fornet de la Soca

What to do in Palma de Mallorca: Eat Ensaimada

What to do in Palma de Mallorca: Eat Ensaimada

Fornet de la Soca is the new kid on the block, comparatively, when it comes to Palma bakeries. But the philosophy behind chef Tomeu Arbona’s El Fornet de la Soca, is re-discovering ancient ingredients of the island as well as traditional recipes and re-creating those historic dishes.

As well as celebrated classics that you’ll find everywhere, like the ensaimada (pictured) you’ll find delicious versions of lesser known dishes. The ambience of the shop also offers a feeling of days gone by and it is inside a building that was also a former bakery, though the original basement oven is no longer functioning.

Forn Fondo

An historic bakery opened in 1745. The Current family have been running Forn Fondo since 1911. The updated exterior reflects the early 20th century modernist movement that was happening throughout Palma at that time.

Horno San Cristo

Serving up flaky pastries since 1910. Though Horno San Cristo has changed hands a couple of times since then, it’s an historic favorite in central Palma.

Ca’n Joan De S’aigo

Joan de s’Aigo was a famous 19th century businessman who worked in the ice trade in Mallorca. Storing and delivering ice from the mountains during the spring and early summer. When unsold ice had partially melted, he would mix it with fruit to create a rudimentary sort of sorbet. Joan De S’aigo had his fingers in a lot of pies… literally. He dabbled in the pie business – baked goods and pastries. He is said to have popularised drinking hot chocolate with the ensaimada – now a christmas eve tradition. Though this is something you can still do today, everyday, at Ca’n Joan De S’aigo.

Although there original location on Calle Sanc only opened in 1977, it’s situated in a 300 year old shop. Were they making ensaimadas here back in the early 1700’s? It seems unlikely but they are certainly doing justice to the legacy of Mallorca’s favorite pastry today. Find the exact location of the original bakery on our Palma Map below.

Mallorcan Wine – Restaurante Wineing

What to do in Palma de Mallorca: Wine Tasting

What to do in Palma de Mallorca: Wine Tasting

One of the easiest ways to enjoy a great selection of local wines is at Restaurante Wineing. Local Wine, dispensed by the glass from temperature controlled cabinets. It’s pay as you go wine tasting (And a full food menu) with many more bottles to choose from, by the glass, than at any regular wine tasting.

If you’d like a more guided wine tasting experience, check out some of these wine tasting and wine tour options:

 

 

 

Mallorca Map (Palma Map) – Our Interactive Tourist Map (google Map)

Our Palma map includes our Mallorca top 10 as well as all the other things to do in Palma de Mallorca that are listed in this article above. PLUS restaurant suggestions, accommodation and more.

 

Palma de Mallorca Accommodation

Booking.com | Agoda | Expedia | Hotels.com | (Opens in new tab)

Our Top Pick: Brondo Architect Hotel: Booking.com | Agoda | Expedia | Hotels.com | Tripadvisor Reviews

 

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17 Best Restaurants In Tbilisi inc. Cafes in Tbilisi & Best Khinkali in Tbilisi

17 Best Restaurants In Tbilisi inc. Cafes in Tbilisi & Best Khinkali in Tbilisi

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What are the best restaurants in Tbilisi? Good question!

If you are a foodie like us (and I assume that’s why you are here on our foodie website) You’ll be wondering how you’re going to find the best food to eat while in Tbilisi Georgia. The good news is, I have rarely had a bad meal in Tbilisi. The bad news is that prices in the old town are quite inflated and you really need to venture out a bit to find some of the real best restaurants in Tbilisi (in our opinion)

In this article, we asked some of our favourite travelling foodies what places they think are the best restaurants in Tbilisi – so you don’t just have to take our word for it! These guys have come up with so many super tasty options that you are going to have purchase a bunch of stretchy pants in anticipation of how much food you’re going to consume – trust me! 

 

Visiting Georgia? Get Our Food Fun Travel Tbilisi Map – Free:

As well as top attractions and other points of interest, the map includes every restaurant listed in this Best Restaurants In Tbilisi article – plus many more. Make it easy to find the best of Tbilisi all on one easy to use google map overlay. Works on any device. Get The Map.


 

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi

Thanks to guest contributors for their suggestions.

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi – For Georgian Cuisine (inc. Tsiskvili)

Pasanauri – Bilyana, Owl Over The World 

One of the first Georgian foods that I tried and fell in love with was khinkali. Khinkali is the Georgian version of dumplings. You can find them pretty much in every restaurant in Georgia and they are being offered with varieties of fillings – cheese, potatoes, cheese & potatoes, meat, mushrooms, spices, etc. My favorites are with meat and with cheese.

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi - For Georgian Cuisine

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi – For Georgian Cuisine

For the best khinkali in Tbilisi, you need to go to Pasanauri restaurant. The restaurant is located in the center of the city, on an intersection of Rustaveli Avenu, 5 minutes walk from Rustaveli metro station.

The first time when I visited this restaurant, I was taken there by a local friend who loves the place and their khinkali. The interior of the restaurant is pretty nice, too.

Visit Pasanauri with friends and make the famous Georgian competition of who will eat the most khinkali (trust me, it’s a thing in Georgia).

 

Bina N37 – Margherita,  The Crowded Planet

Any person who’s been to Georgia will tell you how amazing Georgian food is, and I totally agree! On top of that, Tbilisi is full of quirky and unusual restaurants where you can experience the delights of this incredible cuisine – just like Bina N37, my favourite restaurant in town. Bina N37 means ‘apartment n.37’ because the restaurant is located in an eighth-floor apartment, in the Vedzisi neighbourhood of Tbilisi.

It’s actually the spin-off of another unusual and typically-Georgian business – a rooftop winery! It was opened by a doctor who started making wine in terracotta urns buried on his balcony, into what used to be his son’s swimming pool.

The wine business was successful and he started preparing simple dishes for guests who came to taste wine – and then cooking became more and more elaborate, and Bina N37 became a full restaurant. It’s a great place to visit not just because of the quirky vibe, but also because Georgian favourites like khinkali and vegetables stuffed with walnut paste are truly on point!

 

Old Vake – Sean & Jen, Venturists

Old Vake is this small, family-run restaurant outside the center of Tbilisi. The service is attentive, with the waiters more than willing to make recommendations or describe their specialties. And because of its location, you’ll usually just find Tbilisi locals at this lively place, but intrepid tourists can find it easily enough.

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi - For Georgian Cuisine

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi – For Georgian Cuisine

Old Vake has all the standard Georgian cuisine, and they’re all fantastic. But it’s the shkermuli that stands out, and had us coming back again and again. The crispy roasted chicken is moist and tender, with a rich sauce made from milk and lots of garlic. Rich, creamy, luxurious, and a million other taste bud tantalizing adjectives can’t do this dish justice. Make sure to order some Georgian bread to sop up the delicious sauce.

You can find it at 32 Paliashvili Street in Tbilisi

 

Samikitno – Sarah,  A Social Nomad

There are 2 branches of this popular chain to be found in downtown Tbilisi. The first is in Meidani Square and it’s usually pretty busy. For a quieter time head to the Freedom Square location. Both serve the same menu and if you’re looking to knock off a few items on your Georgian Food bucket list then this is the place to come to.

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi - For Georgian Cuisine (inc. Tsiskvili)

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi – For Georgian Cuisine (inc. Tsiskvili)

You’ll be able to try all your Georgian food favorites – although we recommend going as a group and ordering family style to be able to try absolutely everything, alternatively, go for a cold or hot tasting menu where you’ll get a small amount of a huge variety of dishes including chicken with garlic sauce, veal stew, gomi, steamed beef with walnuts and sulguni cheese (there’s a lot on the menu, these are just examples!)

The restaurants are well priced and provide menus in English, Georgian and Russian – and there are also photos so it’s easy to see what you’re going to get too!

 

Check out Our full and extensive article on What to Eat in Georgia + 2 part Podcast: HERE

 

Culinarium Khasheria – Nadine,  Le Long Weekend

Cosy, yet contemporary, Culinarium Khasheria is the perfect pit stop when touring Tbilisi’s old town. Located in the bath district, its inviting exterior is sure to pull your attention, as it did mine! Inside, the social theme continues with large tables to share a meal, and homely touches in the décor. Named after a traditional dish known to be a hangover cure, you’d do well to stop in here after a night on the town.

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi - For Georgian Cuisine (inc. Tsiskvili)

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi – For Georgian Cuisine

The food is famously good, and that makes this a popular spot for the locals to indulge in their favourite traditional dishes, with a modern twist. It was hard to decide what to order from the veggie-friendly menu, so we got a bunch of dishes to share. I found the flavours incredible – fresh, vibrant and so varied. Do yourself a favour and order a large jar of Ajika to accompany your meal too – they make the best in town!

 
Ethno Tsiskvili – Megan MeganStarr.com

There is something about food in the Caucasus – whether it is eating by the Caspian Sea in Baku or sitting at a sidewalk cafe in Yerevan. And then there is Tbilisi- a city that is anything but void of delicious food. My favorite restaurant in Tbilisi is Ethno Tsiskvili, a very local restaurant located a bit outside of the touristy Old Town. I was first taken there after making dinner plans with a friend who is from Tbilisi. When I told her to come to my area close to the Old Town, she instructed me that she would not eat food anywhere in that vicinity. She then gathered a group and took me to Ethno Tsiskvili via a taxi.

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi - For Georgian Cuisine (inc. Tsiskvili)

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi – For Georgian Cuisine (inc. Tsiskvili)

We arrived there and the restaurant had no other languages aside from Georgian on it. There were locals having parties and copious amounts of wine all while eating delicious Georgian food. We ordered a plate of khinkali, several bottles of wine, and some khachapuri and had an incredible night. The food stood head and shoulders above anything I had eaten in Tbilisi’s city center. If you have time, definitely take a taxi to Ethno Tsiskvili and enjoy a genuinely local dinner experience.

 

Racha – Kamila, Kami And The Rest Of The World

One of the places you can’t miss when you travel to Tbilisi is Racha. Located only a few steps away from Liberty Square, at the corner of Lermontov and Dadiani streets, it’s easy to miss the place. The random door you most likely wouldn’t notice lead you to the underground restaurant where the time has stopped.

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi - For Georgian Cuisine

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi – For Georgian Cuisine

The site has improved a lot over the years (I’ve been a frequent visitor since 2011), there is now the menu in other languages than just Georgian (English and Russian) and proper chairs to sit on (before there were only stools), but Racha didn’t lose its charm. The lady behind the counter doesn’t use the proper cash register but the old school abacus. You can see how the food is prepared in the open kitchen in the next room.

Racha serves all the classic Georgian dishes as well as the local home-made wine or chacha, and everything is delicious here. Prices are very affordable, among the cheapest ones in Tbilisi. The place might not look very fancy, but it is part of the Tbilisi experience.

 

Ezo – Rohan, Travels of a Bookpacker 

One of the best things to do in Tbilisi is eat! There is a huge range of local restaurants selling everything from tourist versions on mass to homecooked meals by someone’s grandmother. Ezo (means ‘yard’ in Georgian) is the perfect mix of atmosphere, fresh ingredients and local cuisine. Set in a gorgeous hidden courtyard you won’t stumble upon this place walking through the main tourist streets. Popular with visitors and locals alike this place always has a lively atmosphere and, in the summer, the outdoor area is filled with candle-lit seating and a small bar.

The food is nothing short of brilliant, offering seasonal and staple dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. Everything comes in decent portions and is, in true Georgian style, flavoursome and hearty. The waiters speak excellent English and are happy to explain the items on the menu or you can simply take a lucky dip and see what you end up with!

 

Barbarestan – Gigi, Vicousfoodie.com

At Barbarestan, Tbilisi’s fanciest fine dining restaurant, the cookbook is the star of the show. Why? Because this isn’t any old cookbook. It’s a book authored by a 19th century Duchess who also happens to be Georgia’s first feminist.

Inside, you’ll find hundreds of recipes that take Georgian cuisine and merge it with specialties and techniques from around the world. Every two years, Barbarestan hires on a new chef to interpret those recipes with their own twist.

Cafes in Tbilisi - Barbarestan

Cafes in Tbilisi – Barbarestan

If you go, expect romantic low lighting, excellent wines. Try the Winiveria or ask the waiters for pairing recommendations, and a menu that changes with the seasons. Order the cheese plate if you see it on the menu and don’t skip the spicy, crisp walnut bread served up shaped like pizza slices.

 

Keto and Kote – Emily, Wander-Lush

Perched high above Tbilisi inside a beautifully restored home, Keto and Kote (ქეთო და კოტე) is one of Tbilisi’s finest Georgian restaurants.

The menu at Keto and Kote is typical Georgian with a modern European twist. The Megrelian-born chef specialises in western Georgian dishes, such as Gebjalia and Elarji. Every time I eat there, I can’t go past the classic Georgian salad. Keto and Kote’s rendition of the deceptively-simple-yet-utterly-addictive tomato and cucumber salad is the freshest and tastiest I’ve eaten anywhere in Georgia. Make sure you request a side of walnut paste, a slice of sulguni cheese and a piece of house-baked bread to go with it.

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi - For Georgian Cuisine

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi – For Georgian Cuisine

A big part of Keto and Kote’s charm is its ‘hidden location’. To get there, you need to walk through a specific archway off Merab Kostava Street, down an alley behind Rustaveli Metro Station, and finally up a steep flight of stone stairs. Outdoor terrace seating and a balcony both command beautiful views of Vera, while inside, the interior is old-world Tbilisi chic at its finest.

 

⇒ Looking for somewhere to sleep off your food coma? Discover the best areas in Tbilisi to stay & best hotels in Tbilisi

 

Cafes in Tbilisi

Cafe Littera – Kiara, Gallop Around The Globe

 
One of my favourite restaurants in Tbilisi was Cafe Littera – as much for the setting as the food itself (although, admittedly, the food was delicious).

Cafe Littera is hidden away the lovely leafy walled garden of the 120-year-old Georgian Writers’ Union Building. Although the entrance is a little tricky to find (yup, this is not a restaurant you’re just going to ‘stumble upon’), when you do so you’ll feel as though you’ve discovered one of Tbilisi’s best kept secrets.

Chef Tekuna Gachechiladze ran her own cooking school in Tbilisi before opening Literra in 2015. She serves traditional Georgian food with a modern twist, taking influences from the latest tastes and trends.

Cafes in Tbilisi

Cafes in Tbilisi

As you’ve probably gathered, this isn’t a budget eatery in the city, but it’s totally worth blowing the budget for one night to eat here.

I can personally recommend trying a selection of local dips as a starter. We ordered smoked eggplant pkhali with pomegranate, pumpkin pkhali with walnuts and red adjuka, and homemade nadugi with red adjuka and mint, all served with lavash – the local flatbread. And then, if you’re a fish lover, the seared scallops on Sheela-pilaf with Georgian truffle sauce were amazing!

 

Cafe Linville – Lauda, Adventures With Luda

 
Cafe Linville may be hard to find (look for the metal door and go upstairs) but once you do, you’re rewarded with one of the kitschiest and best-decorated cafes in all of Tbilisi!

The place has a very unique style that looks like something out of your great-grandmother’s house (if she lived in Georgia) combined with little surprises like an aquarium made out of an old television; antique chairs that look like they came straight out of Versailles; and charming decor.

Cafes in Tbilisi - Cafe Linville

Cafes in Tbilisi – Cafe Linville

Like any good restaurant in Georgia, Linville has a wonderful selection of wines, along with classic dishes like meats, pizza, sandwiches, and desserts. If the weather is nice, you can sit on the balcony and enjoy watching people go by — especially since Linville is conveniently located in the old town.

If you have an hour or so, I definitely recommend taking a break and hanging out at Cafe Linville – you might even see the weekly tango class dancing in the main hall!

 

Café Leila – Annie Symonds, Londoner In Sydney 

Café Leila is one of Tbilisi’s brilliant little gems, located around the corner from the very touristy Leaning Clock Tower. You probably wouldn’t even notice this unassuming restaurant if you walked past it but what awaits you inside is an absolute delight. Café Leila is completely decked out in the most beautiful Persian theme you’ve ever witnessed. The ceiling is completely covered, as well as the walls and furniture is what can only be described as an Instagrammers dream.

With Georgian cuisine being a tad heavy on the bread and pastry side, Café Leila brings a welcomed break from the excess carbs and offers up a healthy food that’s locally grown, and non-processed. Expect a mainly vegan and vegetarian menu with a few fish options that will have you wanting to go back for more.

 

Best Khinkali In Tbilisi – Our Top 3 Picks

 

Golden Mug 

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi - Best Khinkali in Tbilisi

Image By Golden Mug – Best Khinkali in Tbilisi

This restaurant in Tbilisi is a bit out of town so can often be undiscovered by tourists who tend to stay closer to the old

town of Tbilisi, but, for the cost of a very affordable uber ride you are sure to find out that this restaurant is a gem and a must visit during your stay in Tbilisi.

We have been there a few times before because of their live music and tasty beer but it wasn’t until our most recent visit when we ran into the owner of Baia’s Winery who told us that Golden Mug was her favourite place for Khinkali and that we should absolutely try the spicy meat khinkali. We didn’t need to be told twice! And she was right, the spicy meat khinkali is very possibly our pick for The Best Khinkali in Tbilisi! You have to go and try it for yourself…trust us! 

 

Zakhar Zakharich

 

 This little restaurant is for us the best restaurant in Tbilisi for hand made khinkali. You may not know this but today they often have a special device that helps restaurants make loads of khinkali without them having to all be made individually by hand. You can often tell the difference between ‘machine’ made and ‘hand’ made through the thickness of the dough. The dough is often fatter and not as smooth with hand made khinkali and you can feel like you’re eating more dough than filling. That said Zakhar Zakharich is doing a GREAT job at making hand made khinkali. Their khinkali are just flavour central, and a must try for sure! 

Situated right by the Dry Bridge Market, this is a great little traditional and very local place to get some delicious authentic Georgian food.  

 

Samikitno / Machakhela Restaurants 

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi - Best Khinkali in Tbilisi

Best Restaurants In Tbilisi – Best Khinkali in Tbilisi

While this may be a chain restaurant that you can find in quite a few locations around the city – they still offer super tasty khinkali and more options of fillings than most other restaurants. If you are looking for more than just a meat or cheese filling you can try their mushroom, red beans, or potato and cheese khinkali (a great option for vegetarians). They also have a creamy spinach khinkali which is one of the best khinkali in Tbilisi in our books! (They are listed sometimes as Samikitno and sometimes as Machakhela – or both!)

 

Best Khachapuri In Tbilisi – There is really only one…

Retro

Best Khachapuri In Tbilisi - Best Restaurants in Tbilisi

Best Khachapuri In Tbilisi – Best Restaurants in Tbilisi

Yes, of course, you can find khachapuri all over Tbilisi. Yes, it is pretty much amazing wherever you have it… Because it’s bready, cheesy, heaven on earth. But if you are seeking the Best Khachapuri in Tbilisi there is only one place that holds the crown – Retro.

In our opinion, its the best because the dough is less eggy/cakey and more bready. Also, ask any local about Retro and they will ALL know it – their khachapuri is legendary in Tbilisi. Come here to indulge in a single serving or take on the Titanic challenge (we couldn’t even finish it it’s that big). 

Best Khachapuri In Tbilisi - Best Restaurants in Tbilisi

Best Khachapuri In Tbilisi – The Titanic

 

There is an abundance of authentic Georgian food to find and try in Tbilisi and this Tbilisi food guide will help you to find the best Tbilisi Restaurants from the get go, to make sure you always get a tasty meal! From the best khinkali in Tbilisi to the best khachapuri in Tbilisi and all the other incredible foods in between we know that you will fall in love with Georgian cuisine just like everyone in this post did. Us especially! 

 

Visiting Georgia? Get Our Food Fun Travel Tbilisi Map – Free:

As well as top attractions and other points of interest, the map includes every restaurant listed in this Best Restaurants In Tbilisi article – plus many more. Make it easy to find the best of Tbilisi all on one easy to use google map overlay. Works on any device. Get The Map.

 

 

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15 Best Places To Eat In Rome

Rome Food Guide - Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

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Heading to Rome and want to only dine at the best places to eat in Rome? We are heading there again soon (yay) but it’s been almost 10 years since I (megsy) was last in Rome – I can’t believe it’s been sooo long! So, I wanted to reach out to some of our favourite travelling foodies to put together Rome Travel Guide of the best food in Rome. Use this Rome food guide to decide where to eat and get the best food experiences in Rome. 

Rome Food Guide – Best Places To Eat In Rome – A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links which generate a commission for us if you purchase something through a provider we recommend. Please use our links, rather than searching google, in order to help support our blog so we can keep providing you free content.

 

Rome Food Guide – 15 Best Places To Eat In Rome

Ba’Ghetto – Vanessa, Wanderlust Crew

Rome Food Guide - Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

Best Places To Eat In Rome – A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

 
The only thing I love more than food and travel is history, but when the three come together, it’s a recipe for something amazing. Ba’Ghetto offers all of these plus an incredible ambience. Baghetto is the oldest Jewish restaurant in Rome and a symbol of the traditional Jewish food in the heart of the capital city of Italy.

Ba’Ghetto is located in the Jewish district of Rome, in what used to be the Jewish Ghetto. You can still see part of the wall the kept them separate from the rest of the city of Rome from 1555 to 1888. More than 300 years!

Perhaps Ba’Ghetto’s most famous dish, carciofo alla giudia, or Jewish-style artichoke, actually got its start in the Jewish Ghetto more than 5 centuries ago. This dish, that is essentially an edible thistle was sold by Jewish vendors in the 1500s who were highly restricted in their employment but could work as food vendors. This often undersold item found many uses in Jewish cooking and is now symbol and specialty in the Jewish community in Rome that can be found being sold in the outdoor markets of Rome and also at restaurants like Ba’Ghetto.

At Ba’Ghetto you’ll also find other incredible kosher dishes such as fish, beef, chicken, and lamb. I love classic Italian food but can often tire quickly of carb loading on pizza and pasta for almost every meal. So dining on traditional Roman Jewish cuisine in the eternal city is quite a treat!

 

⇒ Looking for the best areas to stay and hotels in Rome? Check out our full article 
 

 

Ginger – Abigail, Inside The Travel Lab

Rome Food Guide - 15 Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

Rome Food Guide – 15 Best Places To Eat In Rome – A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

 

Rome. You’re beautiful but there comes a time when a splash of bright white and clean lines needs to balance up your ancient, honey-stoned curves. A time when crushed lime and hot chilli flakes serve as a tonic to your world class selection of carbs.

And when that time comes. When you’re looking for something unusual to do in Rome, it’s time to head to Ginger.

With one branch in Spagna and one near the Pantheon, you can quickly dip in from the tourist trail. Breakfast starts with pancakes, cold cuts or their signature açaí bowl. And organic coffee comes with a ginger cookie or flaky croissant.

After that, comes the mission to change how people have lunch. “Too often hasty and unbalanced,” Ginger wants people to rediscover the pleasure of a relaxed and healthy lunch.

Steamed baskets, vegan and vegetarian menus, organic quinoa salads make an appearance. But so, too, do beef burgers and grilled octopus.

The pleasure comes from the food, for sure, but also from the refreshingly modern interior.

 

Come il Latte – Dhara, It’s Not About the Miles

 

 
If you are looking for the most delicious gelato in Rome, head to Come il Latte. Yes, it’s outside the historic center and a bit of a walk to get there, but, trust me, you will not be sorry you made the effort.

Come il Latte has a wide variety of flavors, but what sets them apart is the creamy luscious texture of their artisanal gelato. And the handmade cones. And the drizzle of dark or white chocolate inside the cone before the gelato is scooped in. Top it all with Chantilly cream and a crisp wafer, and you have a dessert made in heaven.

The experience is fabulous as well: the staff will patiently let you try umpteen flavors, and the prices are reasonable as well.

Come il Latte is not very far from the Borghese Gallery, so if you plan to visit the museum, make sure to stop at the gelateria on your way back to the center. Gorging on gelato at Come il Latte is one of the best things to do in Rome!

 

 Spaghetteria L’archetto – Jyoti and Nirmal, Story At Every Corner

Rome Food Guide - 15 Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

Best Places To Eat In Rome – A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

 

Right below our Airbnb apartment in Rome, in a little side ally, was this tiny hole in the wall restaurant called Spaghetteria L’archetto. Most of the seating was in the ally as the interior was quite small and looked too tight. So, from our window, we saw a steady stream of patrons enjoying dinner and usually there was quite a line too. On Friday evening we decided to have dinner there, only to realize that they had a long wait but they took a reservation for us and held a table for us. I would advice, always make a reservation before you come over.

The dinner was amazing, I still remember the pasta we ate. They had the most extensive pasta menu I have ever seen with many unique flavors. At that time, there wasn’t pizza on the menu, but reviews tell me they do have pizza now. We had a very pleasant experience with a friendly waiter, quick service and delicious food. Some reviews on trip advisor say they’ve had issues paying by credit card, so plan to carry cash. We returned another day during our trip for more awesome spaghetti. It did not disappoint.

 

Forno Campo De Fiori – Sima, The Curious Pixie

Rome Food Guide - 15 Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

Rome Food Guide – 15 Best Places To Eat In Rome – A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

 
Campo Di Fiori is home to one of Rome’s most ancient markets and also one of the best pizza bakeries. The master bakers at Forno Campo De Fiori’s have been delighting customers with their baked specialties for the past 30 years.

Famous for its takeaway homemade rectangle sliced pizzas, the secret to their success apparently lies in the long fermentation process.

It’s the place to come for fresh crisp pizza bianca sprinkled with salt and dressed in extra virgin olive oil. Wrapped in brown paper and traditionally eaten as a snack, you’ll feel like a true Roman with one in your hand. Don’t forget to try the utterly delicious margarita and zucchini versions too. You’ll also be asked how wide you like your slice as you pay by weight.

Be prepared to queue, the small bakery is usually packed with tourists trying to get their hands on a slice of the best street food in Rome.

 

Free Tourist Map Of Rome – 70+ Rome Tourist Attractions

We’ve put together a google map overlay with all our top picks of attractions, restaurants, foodie experiences, accommodation, transport locations and more! Save yourself a bunch of time by having our huge list of Rome highlights instantly at your fingertips. Get Our Rome Tourist Map NOW – Click Here.

  • Works on any device over 4G or wifi – follow the map as you travel
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  • 70+ highlighted spots to visit
  • Super easy to use on google maps
  • Every Restaurant in the article – and more!

Our Comprehensive tourist map of Rome featuring all of the top Rome tourist attractions, viewpoints, history, museums and restaurants.

 

Flavio al Velavevodetto – Erin, Never Ending Voyage

 
Flavio al Velavevodetto is located in the slightly off-the-beaten-track Testaccio neighbourhood of Rome, not far from Rome Food Guide - Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Romethe much more popular Trastevere area. There are many fantastic restaurants here but our favourite is Flavio al Velavevodetto. It’s built against the Monte Testaccio, a hill made of broken olive oil amphorae from Roman times, and you can see the amphorae if you sit inside the main dining room. In the summer there are a couple of terraces too.

This is a fantastic place to try classic Roman pasta dishes and there are always a few vegetarian options. Our favourite dish is the tonnarelli cacio e pepe, thick spaghetti in pecorino cheese and black pepper— creamy, slightly spicy and perfect comfort food. We also enjoy their ravioli and vegetable antipasti like caponata (sweet and sour aubergine) and zucchine alla scapece (vinegary courgette).

Whatever you decide on as your main dish, don’t miss the tiramisu! I’m not usually a fan of this creamy dessert but the chocolate version they serve here in a glass is absolutely delicious.

Flavio al Velavevodetto is very popular, so I recommend booking a table in advance on their website.

 

 
Goose Restaurant Pizzeria in Rome –  Abby from TheWingedFork

Rome Food Guide - 15 Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

Best Places To Eat In Rome – A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

 

When you visit Rome and plan on tasting the local culture, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There are many options to satisfy your tastebuds in Rome, from pasta to pizza, from dessert to limoncello. But sometimes, it’s difficult to find authentic cuisine.

On a recent visit to Rome, we visited the Goose Ristorante Pizzeria that was a short walk from the Vatican has been serving authentic Italian food since 1998. This restaurant is loved by locals and foreigners alike, more so by locals because of the traditional fare.

We loved everything we ate here, from the pumpkin flowers or Fiori Di Zucca that we had for starters, to the Tagliolini Al Frutti Mare (Seafood Platter) and Grigliata Carne (mixed meat grill) and finally the to-die-for crème brulee.

If you’re looking for truly authentic Italian Cuisine, head on down the Piazzale Greggrorio VII
to the Goose Ristorante Pizzeria and you’ll love it!

 

Nonna Betta – Katy, Untold Morsels

Rome Food Guide - 15 Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

Rome Food Guide – Best Places To Eat In Rome – A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

 
Like all cities in Italy, Rome has specialty dishes that have evolved over the centuries. The Jewish community has had a huge influence on Roman cuisine and one of the best places to try their traditional dishes is at Nonna Betta.

Most people dine at Nonna Betta to try one of Rome’s iconic dishes – the famous carciofo alla giudia – Jewish style artichokes. The vegetable is deep fried and seasoned with salt and chilli and is the perfect start to your home style kosher meal. This is also the place to go to try hearty dishes like agnolotti pasta with stracotto (pot roast sauce), pumpkin flowers and baccalà (codfish) with tomato and onion sauce. If you have room for dessert, Middle Eastern style treats like baclava and or the house specialty ricotta cheese cake are delicious.

You will find the restaurant down a pedestrianised cobbled street in Rome’s Jewish Ghetto district close to the ruins of the Portico d’Ottavia, an ancient Roman walkway and Teatro Marcello, a huge amphitheatre and entertainment space founded by Julius Caesar, that predates the Colosseum. A two course meal without wine costs around €20-30 and bookings are recommended.

 

Cul de sac – Marta, Learning Escapes

Rome Food Guide - Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In RomeMy favourite place to eat in Rome and one I recommend to everyone for either lunch or dinner, is the small city centre enoteca called Cul de sac (address: Piazza di Pasquino 73).

Located just beside famous Piazza Navona, this is a small establishment with both indoor and outdoor seating areas and informal atmosphere. Inside, walls covered with dark shelves and wine bottles make this restaurant cozy for a winter night while the tables outside area great vantage point for people watching in summer.

The menu is extensive and covers typical Roman dishes and Italian staples such as lasagne and tiramisu. It is hard to go wrong with your order here but for something really special I recommend you try their country terrine, served with crispy bread, trippa, which is a Rome specialty and their vegetarian options (artichoke, aubergine tart etc) . All of them are surprisingly tasty and generous in size, without being overpriced, something rare to come by in this part of the city!

This is an excellent restaurant for solo diners and couples but is also welcoming to kids, making it an excellent choice for pretty much any type of traveller.

 

Bonci  – Nicholas, Rambling Feet

Rome Food Guide - 15 Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

Best Places To Eat In Rome – A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

 

When I visited Italy for the first time, I imagined there was no way they’d mess with traditional pizza recipes. A visit to Bonci upended that notion, however.

The shop near the Vatican Museums entrance serves up pizza al taglio (by the slice) and you pay for the weight of your order. While you won’t find Hawaiian pizza (thank goodness), the toppings aren’t what you’d typically find on menus elsewhere either – think potatoes, nuts and other local produce. I had a white pizza with fennel sausage and stracchino cheese; the crust, with its beautiful crunch and chewiness, was the perfect foil for those ingredients. I paired it with suppli (breaded and stuffed rice balls) and local craft beer to complete my meal.

There is another outlet in the Prati neighbourhood called Panificio Bonci that also sells other baked goods like bread, biscotti and pastries and jars of local produce. If you don’t want to mosh with other tourists to taste some of the best pizza you’ll ever get, go for a late lunch or a very un-Italian early dinner.

 

Hostaria Costanza – Carol, Wandering Carol

Rome Food Guide - 15 Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

Rome Food Guide – Best Places To Eat In Rome – A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

 

Talk about atmospheric eats. The foundations of Hostaria Costanza, a classic Roman restaurant located at Piazza Paradiso 63/65, run deep. The restaurant is set within the subterranean ruins of the Theatre of Pompey, an ancient Roman structure built by Pompey the Great in 55 BC. The vast theatre, which could hold up to 20,000 people, is also famous for being the site of the murder of Julius Caesar, who was stabbed 23 times next to it in 44 BC.

The historic setting might take you there but the food will bring you back. Very near the Campo de ‘Fiori, Hostaria Costanza offers an upscale yet casual dining ambience complete with curved stone arches and white tablecloths. The focus is on fresh local ingredients and authentic Italian cuisine: Think Tagliolini with baby octopus and bottarga, Rigatoni alla Norcina, Jewish-style artichoke and Lamb with Scottadito. It’s a tantalizing way to explore taste and history at the same time. For reservations telephone +39 06 68801002

For more travel ideas visit unusual things to do in Rome.

 

Rifugio Romano – Wendy, The Nomadic Vegan

Rome Food Guide - 15 Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

Rome Food Guide – Best Places To Eat In Rome – Vegan Rome

 

Rifugio Romano is a typical Roman restaurant and pizzeria, and yet it’s also much more than that. In addition to all the traditional Roman specialties on the menu, the kitchen also prepares veganized versions of these same local dishes.

 

Vegetarians, vegans, and people with egg or milk allergies don’t have to miss out on tasting gnocchi alla Sorrentina or spaghetti alla carbonara. Even a dairy-free version of tiramisu is available for dessert! And since Rifugio Romano serves both vegan and non-vegan versions of these dishes, it’s the perfect place for couples or groups of friends with mixed diets.

 

The restaurant’s location, near Termini Station, is convenient if not inspiring. I normally don’t recommend the restaurants in this area, but Rifugio Romano is the stand-out exception. I’ve brought plenty of people here over the years, and all of them have been impressed. It’s my number one recommendation for vegan food in central Rome, and meat eaters will love it too.

 

Trattoria Pennestri – Angela, Rome Actually

Rome Food Guide - 15 Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

Rome Food Guide – Best Places To Eat In Rome – A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

 

Trattoria Pennestri is a relatively new restaurant in Rome and was definitely a pleasant surprise. It’s located in the lovely and trendy Ostiense neighbourhood, the area of Rome’s industrial archaeology.

 

The attention for the detail and the combination of flavours, the respect for the Roman tradition yet presented with a contemporary twist are what made this restaurant immediately popular and well-appreciated in the city’s food landscape.

 

The dishes on the menu change depending on the season. Some great options in the winter menu are gnocchetti pasta on a prawn cream and stracciatella cheese or rigatoni pasta on a pajata sauce among the first courses. 

 

Some of the favourite main dishes are salted codfish on a potato cream with garlic, oil and chilli pepper, fish soup with fried bread, or roasted piglet with apple chutney and chicory. Not mentioned on the menu but always available are also typical Roman dishes such as pasta carbonara, amatriciana, gricia and cacio cheese and pepper.

 

Decorated with a minimalist homey touch, the restaurant is not huge and guests immediately feel cozy and at ease.

 

Sora Lella – Sherrie at Travel By A Sherrie Affair

Rome Food Guide - Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

Located on the only little island on the Tiber River that runs through the city is the iconic and one of most historic restaurants in Rome is the Sora Lella. Italy’s famous actor Aldo Fabrizi’s sister Elena “Lella” Fabrizi an actor herself, opened Sora Lella in 1959 by. It immediately became a popular place for movie stars visiting the city like Alberto Sordi and Aldo himself.

Elena was an amazing cook and taught her family how to cook Roman style today the restaurant is still run by family members. The wonderful tradition of making delicious and very authentic Italian dishes continues. You will find some items on the menu that you will recognize but its the regional food that they are famous for. Like Sweetbreads of Lamb with Marsala wine, Roman-Style Veal tripe with tomato sauce flavored with mint and pecorino cheese, Home-made Gnocchi in a classic Roman sauce with seasoned pork cheeks, tomatoes and Roman pecorino cheese. The desserts especially their Tiramisu are delizioso! A well-deserved Michelin Star has been earned.

The best part is the family atmosphere and the history that follows this trattoria. We enjoy going every time we are in Rome. Letting them know that we are distant relatives when we take our seats, they treat us like close family members each and every time. The Roman people may have turned their backs on the Tiber River, but they will never turn their backs on Sora Lella.

 

Momart Cafe and Restaurant  – Annalisa, Travel Connect Experience 

Rome Food Guide - 15 Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

Best Places To Eat In Rome – A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

 

Momart is one of the most popular places where to have an “aperitivo” in Rome. Aperitivo is a light meal with a drink to have as soon as you’re off work, an occasion to see your friends and have a cheerful chat before you head home. The locals’ favorite “aperitivo” cafes are the ones that offer a buffet meal with your drink for a fixed price, like the Momart. For about €11 you’ll have a wide choice of pasta and rice dishes, veggie salads, sliced pizza, desserts, and more, with a bunch of vegan options.

 

Far enough from the historical center, so to avoid the crowds and the “tourist traps”, but still in a very nice neighbourhood with villas-like houses and close to the First University and the Central Station. To get to the Momart, get on the blue line subway (MB) and get off at Bologna, then it takes only a 10 minutes’ walk to reach the restaurant.

 

The Momart represents an excellent choice with regards to quality/price ratio. Furthermore, you can refill your plate as needed. 

 

 

Rome Food Guide - Best Places To Eat In Rome - A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

Rome Food Guide – Best Places To Eat In Rome – A Guide To The Best Food In Rome

 

 

Don’t Forget To Grab A Copy Of our Free Tourist Map Of Rome – 70+ Rome Tourist Attractions

We’ve put together a google map overlay with all our top picks of attractions, restaurants, foodie experiences, accommodation, transport locations and more! Save yourself a bunch of time by having our huge list of Rome highlights instantly at your fingertips. Get Our Rome Tourist Map NOW – Click Here.

  • Works on any device over 4G or wifi – follow the map as you travel
  • It’s FREE!
  • 70+ highlighted spots to visit
  • Super easy to use on google maps
  • Every Restaurant in the article – and more!

 

 

 

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40 Activities & Places to Visit in Tbilisi

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions

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Things To Do in Tbilisi & Free Tbilisi Map: Our Tbilisi Travel Guide includes an extensive list of places to visit in Tbilisi and fun things to do in Tbilisi. Whether you are after food, culture, history or nightlife we cover the best Tbilisi Attractions and activities.

As well as this guide with more than 40 things to do in Tbilisi, or Tbilisi Map (Interactive Google Map Overlay) features a total of 100+ items including everything in this article and our top restaurant choices, Tbilisi cafes, bars, clubs, accommodation and essential transport locations.

Discover what to do in Tbilisi with our comprehensive guide. Plus our Top 5 Tbilisi must see list to help you prioritize if you are on a very short trip. So let’s get started!

A Brief Intro To Tbilisi

Tbilisi is the capital of the Republic of Georgia. It has a turbulent history of conquest and trade. Being repeatedly occupied over the years by the Romans, Ottomans, Persians, Russians and more. Tbilisi was an East-meets-West hub for the silk road. Through all this change, and even after 70 years of communism, the spirit of the people of Georgia remains infectiously and proudly Georgian.

Georgia has a unique alphabet, unrelated to its neighbours. Their influence on regional cuisine makes them stand out as a food destination in their own right that has not been subdued by strong influences from Turkey, Iran and Russia. Just south of Tbilisi, the oldest archaeological evidence of winemaking in the world – from about 6000 BC. Wine is still made around Georgia as it was 8000 years ago.

Tbilisi brings together flavors and culture from all over the country into a city where the modern and the historic writhe together, fighting to be seen. It’s said that those who enter Georgia as a guest, will be treated with more hospitality than anywhere else in the world because it’s a welcome change to have people visit who are not trying to invade them! I can confirm that Georgian hospitality is certainly some of the best I’ve ever experienced.

 

Top Things To Do in Tbilisi: 5 Essentials (Tbilisi Must See)

These are our top choices for things to do in Tbilisi if you only have limited time (24 to 48 hours in Tbilisi). Hopefully, you’ll have more time than that though, so you can enjoy all the other fun things to do in Tbilisi – all of which are listed on our Free Tbilisi Tourist Map.

Take The Cable Car For Views Of The Old Town: Visit Narikala Fortress & Mother Of Georgia

Top Things To Do in Tbilisi: City Views From Narikala Fortress

Our number 1 Tbilisi must see: take the cable car from Rike Park (It only costs a couple of dollars!) and up to the top station near Narikala Fortress for sensational views across Tbilisi. The cable car runs late, so it’s easy to head up there a couple of hours before sunset, visit the fortress and the Mother of Georgia statue, then grab a seat at Grilisi bar and watch the city lights turn on while sipping on a tasty beverage. In the view, you see the Peace Bridge (middle left), the old town (bottom left), Rike Park and the parliament building (centre) and St Trinity Cathedral (top right). Out of the photo, views all the way up the river valley of the whole city.

Eat Traditional Georgian Food

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Eat Traditional Georgian Food

Top Things To Do in Tbilisi: Eat Traditional Georgian Food

Georgia very quickly landed as one of our top 5 foodie destinations in the world! It’s not hard to fall in love with almost every traditional dish – especially the most famous national dishes Khachapuri (Cheese filled bread – pictured) & Khinkali (giant soup dumplings). Finding fantastic restaurants and trying Georgian food should be right at the top of your what to do in Tbilisi and Georgia list.

Check out our Georgian Cuisine Mega Guide & Podcast (With 60+ dishes to try)

Things To Do In Tbilisi: Tbilisi Free Walking Tours

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Take A Tbilisi Walking Tour

Top Things To Do in Tbilisi: Take A Tbilisi Walking Tour

Get oriented in Tbilisi and learn from an expert guide – for free (well, for tips, so for very cheap!). One of the fastest ways to get a taste of Tbilisi, without getting lost, is to take one of the Tbilisi Free Walking tours. Aside from the classic free tour, which will take you to some of the most iconic sites of the city, they also offer backstreet tours that help you discover lesser visited spots. Although we’ll mention a couple of our favorite Tbilisi must see secret spots in this article, to find the rest, you should take some of the tours.

From communist history (Did you know Stalin was born in Georgia?) to street art: see a list of all the Tbilisi Walking Tours. (Free & Premium Tours Available)

Explore The Meidan & Streets/Architecture Of The Old Town

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Explore Tbilisi Old Town

Tbilisi Attractions: Explore Tbilisi Old Town

The Meidan is the bustling central square of Old Tbilisi. Classic Georgian architecture, with colourful wooden balconies, cobbled streets, and a constant throng of people from morning until very late at night. From the Meidan, head up in any direction away from the river to explore the attractive side streets and historic buildings. Easily find your way around the sights of the Meidan and Old Tbilisi with our free interactive Tbilisi map.

What To Do In Tbilisi: Drink Traditional Wine In An Old Cellar

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Discover The Old Wine Cellars

Places To Visit In Tbilisi: Discover The Old Wine Cellars. Photo Credit: https://mywed.com/en/photographer/Ioseb/

Georgia is famed for their wine culture – being that archeological evidence shows Georgia as being the birthplace of winemaking, around 6000 BC. Many natural wines are still made using the ancient traditional process. This is not a gimmick that was brought back recently, it’s a long standing tradition of family winemaking across the country, where wine is fermented in buried clay pots, called qvevris. 

Although you can find qvevri wine in restaurants and bars across Tbilisi, our favourite wine experience in the old town is to enjoy wine in one the wine cellars. Our top pick is Karalashvili wine cellar – it’s just on the fringe of the tourist centre so it’s a little less touristified. Most importantly, they take real care and pride in their wine and we love the subterranean atmosphere – and the old piano. So much so, when we got married in Tbilisi, we stopped in to get some wedding photos done there (Since then they’ve now got amazing ratings on Tripadvisor too).

They offer lots of different wines and a wine tasting option.

If you have more time in Tbilisi, take a full wine tasting class (See more below in the Things to do In Tbilisi For Foodies section)

 

 

Tbilisi Map (Interactive Google Map): 100+ Points of interest – Get Free Access Now

We’ve put together a Tbilisi google map overlay with all our top picks of attractions, restaurants, foodie experiences, accommodation, transport locations and more! Save yourself a bunch of time by having our huge list of Tbilisi highlights instantly at your fingertips. Get Our Tbilisi Map NOW – Click Here.

  • Works on any device over 4G or wifi – follow the Tbilisi map as you travel
  • It’s FREE!
  • 100+ highlighted spots to visit / eat
  • Super easy to use on google maps app or on any browser

 

Places to Visit in Tbilisi: Top Tbilisi Attractions

Already covered in our Top 5 Things To Do In Tbilisi above:

  • Take The Cable Car For Views Of The Old Town
  • Explore The Meidan & Streets/Architecture Of The Old Town

Sulphur Baths Tbilisi

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Sulphur Baths Tbilisi

Places To Visit In Tbilisi: Take a soak in the Sulphur Baths (Hot Springs)

The sulphur baths are considered by most guides to be one of the main Tbilisi tourist attraction.

Tbilisi sits on a natural thermal spring which is used to supply 40-50 degrees C water to about 10 bathhouses in the Abanotubani area. Legend says that Tbilisi was founded exactly where it is because the ruler of the region at the time, King Vakhtang Gorgasali, discovered the hot springs while out hunting. 

Aside from strolling around the baths to admire their exteriors, you’ll probably want to get in and enjoy the healing waters for yourself. It’s typical to get a private room which you can share with your own group. This will include your own hot-spring bath, and varying levels of sophistication and design depending on the price. A private room tends to cost between 3o and 200 GEL ($12 to $90 USD) per hour. Extra for massage services. Though prices are increasing rapidly as tourism grows in the city. 

Some Sulphur Baths Tbilisi You Can visit:

  • Orbeliani Baths – Beautiful Mosaic Exterior. Reasonable prices.
  • Bathhouse No. 5 – Supposedly the oldest traditional bathhouse. Higher prices, busy.
  • Queen’s Sulphur Bath – A more modern facility
  • Gulo’s Baths
  • Royal Bath Tbilisi

Gallery 27 – Kaleidoscope House

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Gallery 27 (Kaleidoscope house)

Tbilisi attractions: Gallery 27 (Kaleidoscope House)

Gallery 27 is actually a residential home with apartments where locals live. But you can visit the entrance way and deck area, as well as little arts & crafts gift shop. The stained glass is beautiful and it’s free to walk around. A quirky sidestreet attraction away from the main tourist zone.

Discover The Secret Downtown Waterfall & City Walls

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Behind the Sulphur Baths Tbilisi

Places To Visit In Tbilisi: Explore Behind the Sulphur Baths To Find The Secret Waterfall

Behind the Sulphur Baths Tbilisi, follow the river upstream and you’ll pass the rear part of the baths and old town. In this photo, you see a mosque and a church in the same vista, as well as the domes of the baths and colored balconies. If you keep following the river towards the cliff face, you will eventually find a waterfall just behind the old town. You can swim there too.

Georgian National Museum

Tbilisi’s main museum features collections highlighting the history of Georgia. The ideal place to gain more depth of knowledge of their turbulent past. Plus, discover the archeological history of the oldest winemaking tradition in the world.

Anchiskhati Basilica

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Anchiskhati Basilica - Tbilisi's Oldest Church

Tbilisi attractions: Anchiskhati Basilica – Tbilisi’s Oldest Church

The Anchiskhati Basilica is the oldest surviving church in Tbilisi built by the King Dachi of Iberia in the 6th Century, shortly after Tbilisi became capital of the region. 

What To Do In Tbilisi: The Italian Courtyards

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Anchiskhati Basilica - Tbilisi's Oldest Church

Things To See In Tbilisi: The Italian Courtyards

One of the most surprising things about Georgian culture is their openness to interaction with guests. Tbilisi is littered with courtyards which, to foreigners at least, probably seem like private property. Actually, it’s a completely acceptable thing to do in Tbilisi to just walk into these shared courtyards and socialise. On occasions, stumbling in unannounced may lead to being offered free drinks or snacks too! Called “Italian courtyards”, but really more Persian in design. Expect grape vines, laundry and a real local atmosphere. If you don’t feel comfortable just walking in, it’s best to join one of the free walking tours.

Liberty Square (Freedom Square) & Rustaveli Avenue

Like all many ex-communist capitals, a bombastic square with bold architecture has been renamed to reflect newfound independence. Freedom Square has had many names over the years, including being previously called Freedom Square back in 1918 when Georgia had also briefly won their independence. During the communist time, this was Lenin Square, now Freedom Square once again.

Running North-West from Freedom Square is Rustaveli Avenue. An important street for trade and culture. Along Rustaveli you’ll find the Opera House, National Museum and many shops, cafes and restaurants. As you head to the north end of Rustaveli, you eventually reach a quieter district with tree lined and cobbled streets.

What To See In Tbilisi: The Sioni Cathedral

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Sioni Cathedral

Tbilisi attractions: Sioni Cathedral

Sioni Cathedral is right in Old Tbilisi. Its construction began in the 5th century, but was not completed until 639AD. It’s been destroyed and rebuilt in part many times and the current structure is mostly from the period of King David the Builder – one of Georgia’s most important rulers from the 11th/12th century. Find Sioni Cathedral, and every other item listed in this article, on our free interactive map of Tbilisi.

The National Botanical Garden of Georgia (Tbilisi Botanical Garden)

The Tbilisi Botanical Garden is a 161 Hectare parkland which can be accessed from the top of the Cable Car, departing from Rike Park. The gardens were first established in 1625, or perhaps earlier, as a royal garden. Today they can be enjoyed by all. You’ll find over 4,500 different plants etc.

Things To See In Tbilisi: The Bridge Of Peace

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: The Bridge Of Peace

Places To Visit In Tbilisi: The Bridge Of Peace

The 150 meter long bridge of peace (pedestrians only) connects Old Tbilisi on the west bank, with Rike Park and newer parts of Tbilisi on the east. This modern bridge was completed in 2010 and is lit with LED lights. The structure was considered controversial by many residents of the city for being a grossly modern design pulling attention away from historical buildings nearby. Love it or hate it, it’s become a popular crossing for tourists taking photos, and for locals going about their daily business.

Places To Visit in Tbilisi: Saint Trinity Cathedral

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: St. Trinity Cathedral

Places To Visit In Tbilisi: St. Trinity Cathedral

The distinctive golden roof of St. Trinity Cathedral has become another icon of the Tbilisi skyline. But St. Trinity Cathedral is also a new addition, completed in 2004. It was built to commemorate 1,500 years of the Georgian Orthodox church. It also became a symbol to the return to freedom of religion after the end of Communism.

Views From Vera Park

Although we prefer the panoramic views of Tbilisi from the top of the Rike Park cable car, Vera Park, north of Rustaveli Avenue is a less crowded spot offering city views looking south, rather than north. Vera park is also a popular choice for people watching and relaxing.

Street Art

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Tbilisi Street Art

Making a boring window more fun: Tbilisi Street Art

Like many big cities, street art is a popular form of expression in Tbilisi. The highest concentration of art pieces are found near Fabrika and the new (19th century) Tbilisi area on the east side of the river. Join the Backstreets Of Tbilisi Free Walking Tour to be guided to some of the best pieces.

 

What to do in Tbilisi: Fun Activities & Tbilisi Nightlife

Already Mentioned in Top 5 Above:

  • Free Walking Tours
  • Drink Traditional Wine In A Cellar

Traditional Dancing & Polyphonic Singing

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Traditional Polyphonic Singing & Dancing

Things To Do in Tbilisi: See Traditional Polyphonic Singing & Georgian Dancing

The first time we heard traditional Georgian polyphonic singing we were sitting in a 24/7 beerhouse at 2 am. 3 Guys in the corner spontaneously broke into song. Quite a unique experience, or so we thought. But after spending many months living in Tbilisi, we found that spontaneous harmonising is in the fabric of the culture and it’s typical in the more local restaurants to find groups of Georgians singing at their tables.

Of course, if you don’t want to rely on luck, there are some restaurants that have dinner theatre with sword dancing and live Georgian singing. Some to consider:

  • Ethno Tsiskvili – Amazing venue with a purpose built waterfall in the courtyard, wine tasting room and a variety of song and dance entertainment in multiple venues. Dress Code: Shoes and long trousers. Reservations essential. For Polyphonic singing, ask on the phone for times. This is way out of town, but taxis are cheap and it’s totally worth it.
  • In The Shadow Of Metekhi – Central venue with daily traditional music and dancing. On Fridays, they have singing waiters. Contact in advance to check the music program and times.
  • Phaetoni (Pictured) – Best example of polyphonic singing, in my opinion. Food at a lower standard than Tsiskvili. After the main band finished, the lead singer came back out to host karaoke… Things went downhill from there. So check times of main performance in advance.

Fun Things To Do In Tbilisi: Mtatsminda Park & Funicular Tbilisi

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Funicular Tbilisi

Take The Tbilisi Funicular

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Mtatsminda Park

Explore Mtatsminda Park At The Top Of Tbilisi Funicular

A short walk west of Freedom Square you’ll find the Tbilisi Funicular which takes you up to Mtatsminda Park and the Funicular restaurant. From here you are much higher than at the Rike Park cable car viewpoint, so you can see the whole city spread out around you. The Tbilisi Funicular restaurant is surprisingly affordable and a great place to eat or drink and enjoy the view – day or night.

Mtatsminda Park, just a few minutes walk from the Tbilisi Funicular top station is a quirky amusement park with an old time ghost house, 4D cinema for kids and more.

Places To Visit In Tbilisi: Fabrika

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Party At Fabrika

Things To Do in Tbilisi: Party at Fabrika

Fabrika is the number 1 hipster hot spot in Tbilisi right now. Built into an old communist textiles factory, Fabrika has multiple bars and restaurants backing onto an inner courtyard, a hostel (With dorms and private rooms) and a co-working space. Expect a lively atmosphere most nights, especially in the summer – you don’t have to be a guest to party there. A night at Fabrika is definitely one of the top things to do in Tbilisi for the under 40’s.

What To Do In Tbilisi: Dry Bridge Market

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Dry Bridge Market

Things To Do in Tbilisi: Hunt For Russian Memorabilia @ Dry Bridge Market

The old Russian antiques and flea market. During communism, free commerce and capitalism were illegal. When communism collapsed, Georgians looking to make ends meet came to the dry bridge – a busy crossing with lots of passing trade – in order to buy and sell. Soviet memorabilia and pretty much any non-food item that could be sold became a part of the market.

Want to find this market and everything else on this list + restaurants, bars and more? Get our free interactive Tbilisi Map (powered by Google maps)

Davit Agmashenebeli St – Alternative Dining & Entertainment Street

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Things To Do in Tbilisi: Dine Al Fresco @ Davit Agmashenebeli St

Tbilisi is certainly a top dining and nightlife city. Most tourists quickly find the excellent Erekle II dining street and stumble into the overly touristy Jan Shardeni St (avoid at all costs – unless you love overpaying for average quality food). But a third choice for a vibrant atmosphere in the evening is the south end of Davit Agmashenebeli St.

Chacha time – Drink Traditional Georgian Spirits

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Drink Georgia's Famous Chacha

Things To Do in Tbilisi: Drink Georgia’s Famous Chacha

Chacha is Georgia’s traditional grape based spirit – similar to grappa. Chacha is a protected drink that can only use that name if it is made in Georgia. At many restaurants and bars, you’ll find some pretty rough chacha. At Chacha Time, you’ll find an extensive, sophisticated selection with knowledgeable staff waiting to guide you through the finer side of flavored and aged Chachas from the best producers in Georgia.

Rezo Gabriadze Puppet Theatre & Clock Tower

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Things To Do in Tbilisi: Rezo Gabriadze Puppet Theatre Clock Tower & Shows

The small 80 seat Rezo Gabriadze puppet theatre opened in 1981. The clock tower outside was added in 2010 and now draws crowds every hour during the day, waiting to see the hourly clockwork puppet show. Show performance in the theatre are in varying languages, check the Rezo Gabriadze website for more details.

Where To Go In Tbilisi: Rike Park

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Rike Park

Places To Visit In Tbilisi: Rike Park

Rike Park, as well as containing the Cable Car base station, also hosts art exhibits, free cultural shows and is just a pleasant place to hang out.

Fun Things To Do In Tbilisi: 24/7 Food & Wine

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: 24/7 food and wine at Khinkali house

Things To Do in Tbilisi: 24/7 food and wine – our late night khinkali feast

Tbilisi’s 24/7 food and wine culture is certainly a novelty for many visitors who didn’t grow up in a 24/7 dining culture. If you want a big plate of khinkali and a jug of wine at 4am… you are in the right city. Not every restaurant is 24 hour, of course. We always seemed to end up at Khinkali house on Rustaveli after a night out – there are other branches around Tbilisi though. There is nothing remotely classy about Khinkali house, but at 4am, who cares?

Easy Wine – 100+ Wines In Dispensers

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Things To Do in Tbilisi: Try 100+ wines and spirits on tap @ Easy Wine

Wine tasting is an easy thing to do in Tbilisi. But few venues have anything like the selection of wines by the glass as easy wine. Normally more than 100 Georgian wines and spirits from easy dispensers – with a card system to track spending. If you turn up during the afternoon, before dinner gets going, you may also get some individual attention from the head sommelier, like we did.

Enjoy Some Tbilisi Craft Beer

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Craft Beer Tbilisi @ no.8 Bar and grill

Craft Beer Tbilisi @ No.8 Bar and Grill

The craft beer revolution has started to find a footing in Tbilisi – fighting the historic tradition of wine drinking. Though the offerings of quality craft beer are still limited and require a bit of work to find, we pick No. 8 Bar & Grill as our top microbrewery. The Zulu Run IPA was a winner, their English bitter was also a slice of malt heaven which was hard to stop drinking. Their house made mustard and smoked meats were a bonus to accompany the beer too.

 

Things To Do In Tbilisi For Foodies

Already mentioned in our Top 5 Above:

  • Eat Traditional Georgian Food

NOTE: Our Where To Eat In Tbilisi Guide Is Coming Very Soon – 25+ restaurants & cafes you must try.

 

Wine Tasting Class – Learn About Georgian Wine Tradition

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Wine Tasting Class at 8000 Vintages Tbilisi

Things To Do in Tbilisi: Wine Tasting Class at 8000 Vintages

Instead of just doing some basic wine tasting, you can experience a full guided class and meet some other people while learning about the styles and history of Georgian traditional wine. Our top pick for wine tasting in Tbilisi is at 8000 vintages. Contact them on Facebook in advance for dates and times of classes.

As well as the wine tasting, they are also a wine bar with charcuterie and cheese plates of local products and they are a very well stocked wine shop. The sommelier and staff blind taste every new wine (tough job!) which they intend to stock, to make sure it’s good enough to hit the shelves.

Take A Tbilisi Cooking Class

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Things To Do in Tbilisi: Take A Tbilisi Cooking Class To Make Traditional Georgian Cuisine

Not only should you eat a lot of Georgian food, but you should learn how to cook it! Over our extended time in Georgia, I’ve learned a few classics and re-created them back home – Khachapuri, Khinkali, Ostri and a few others. As it’s tricky to find Georgian food outside of the Caucasus region, you are going to miss it once you leave. So you better learn the secrets!

Explore a selection of cooking classes in Tbilisi.

What To Do In Tbilisi: Visit The Dezerter Bazaar

Although Tbilisi’s largest municipal market (about 2,000 square metres) was refurbished in 2012, it still retains the charm and atmosphere of the last 100+ years. Mainly because of Georgia’s fierce commitment to local produce and local vendors. It’s pretty typical for products you buy to have moved down the family chain. Everyone in Tbilisi seems to have relatives who live in the country and local shops and traders almost always bring that family supply direct to their own stores.  

The Dezerter Bazaar got its name in the 1920s when Russian soldiers who deserted the fighting in the region were known to sell off their weapons and belongings in the market.

Today, produce is the main thing for sale. And one thing you’ll find is the most famous Georgian dessert…

Eat Traditional Sweets

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Things To Do in Tbilisi: Eat Churchkhela – Traditional Georgian Dessert

Churchkhela: A smart use of the byproducts of winemaking. Grape must is boiled and then thickened with flour. The thick mixture formed is used to encase nuts (often walnuts) into these long sausage like sweets. They are often referred to by locals as “Georgian Snickers”. Unlike snickers, they are naturally sweet and sugar is not added. A much healthier alternative!

Try An Extensive Range Of Georgian Cheese

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Cheese House Tbilisi

Things To Do in Tbilisi: Try Georgian Cheese @ Cheese House, Vake

The King of Georgian cheese is Sulguni – it’s on every restaurant menu and it’s a bit like a firm mozzarella. Great for melty cheesey cooking. When it comes to eating cheese raw though, we found restaurants were not so well stocked. To try some truly interesting Georgian cheeses we headed to Cheese House in Vake – just north of Rustaveli. The owners went sample crazy and we got to try quite a few before settling on a firm cheese with rosemary and thyme in it to buy.

Visit A Traditional Wine Shop – Shumi Cellars

It’s traditional to get wine (and beer) on tap at shops in Georgia – even at the modern supermarkets you may find taps. Many of the large wineries in Georgia are represented with their own cellar doors in Tbilisi. Though these are normally purpose built, some have been designed to re-create a little more faux country atmosphere. My top pick for the most interesting cellar door is the Shumi Wine Shop on Sulkhan Tsintsadze St. Get the exact location with our free interactive Tbilisi Map.

See Traditional Georgian Shoti Bread Made

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: See Georgian Shoti Bread Being Made

Things To Do in Tbilisi: See Georgian Shoti Bread Being Made @ Bread House

Salty perfect bread! I have to say that Georgian Shoti bread is up there in my top 2 favorite breads along with proper artisanal baguettes in France (not the factory stuff they sell in supermarkets). And the reason, I believe, is both these types of bread are a little salt heavy and feature a rustic crispy outside with a soft inside.

Shoti bread is closer to naan bread in shape, and is cooked in a similar way – stuck to the side of a round stone oven. But it tastes nothing like naan. You Have to try it! Most little bakeries around town are happy to let you see them make the bread, even if they don’t speak English. To see it made in an open kitchen, drop into Bread House, a downtown Tbilisi restaurant, and enjoy some bread and a glass of wine.

 

Things To Do Outside Central Tbilisi

We loved central Tbilisi, but there are a few locations within 30 minutes drive of the centre that are worth getting out of town to see. 

Jvari Monastery

Things To Do near Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Jvari Monastery, Mtskheta

Things To Do Near Tbilisi: Jvari Monastery, Mtskheta

The Jvari monastery is perched on a hill north of Tbilisi, overlooking the confluence of the Aragvi & Mtkvari rivers. Though most visitors drive up there for the view, less realise the significance of the site. Legend says it is here that King Mirian III was converted to Christianity here in the early 4th century AD by the evangelist Saint Nino. A cross was erected and eventually a church as the kingdom became Christian. The current Jvari Monastery was completed on the site around 605 AD and is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Mtskheta & Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

Things To Do near Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Visit Mtskheta & Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

Visit Mtskheta & Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

The city of Mtskheta was founded in the 5th century BC and became the capital of the region in the 3rd century BC until the capital was moved to Tbilisi in the 6th century AD. It is where the Georgian Orthodox Church was founded and still where they have their HQ.

As well as the Jvari Monastery (Seen on the hill far behind the Cathedral – pictured) the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (1029 AD) is another important UNESCO site. The cathedral was built on an older site from the 4th century AD.

Jvari Monastery and Mtskheta are most easily reached by car or tour (It’s not so possible to walk between the two as there is no nearby river crossing). We could not find a bus to Jvari. Given the low price of taxis and shared tours in Georgia, it’s easier just to take one of those options anyway. See This Affordable Tour Option.

 

 

Outdoor Ethnographic Museum

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Things To Do in Tbilisi: Outdoor Ethnographic Museum of Georgia

One of our surprise favorite museums in Tbilisi, or anywhere. We went in with very low expectations as the Ethnographic museum is a little run down – though is under slow refurbishment. However, for a dollar or two entry, we were impressed. For 50+ years, the museum has been moving traditional dwellings from all over Georgia to this one outdoor location on the hill above Vake. With a huge variance in climate across Georgia, the types of dwellings are all surprisingly different.

The best draw of the museum was that they have volunteers hanging out in some of the dwellings who will explain to you how people used to live in them and what each room was used for. That personal interaction with locals who spoke English, combined with being in the authentic buildings was a great experience. Don’t expect light shows and choreography but the museum was charming.

Why spend forever searching google maps for all the places on this list – Just get our free interactive map and you’ll find every point of interest PLUS restaurants and accommodation all highlighted in one easy tourist map of Tbilisi.

Tbilisi Sea & Water Park

A huge reservoir to the North East of Tbilisi is known to locals as the Tbilisi Sea. In one location they have an artificial beach. In another, you’ll find the Gino Paradise Waterpark. Locals flood to the beach and waterpark during the hot mid-summer days to cool off.

Turtle Lake

Things To Do in Tbilisi attractions | Places To Visit In Tbilisi Map Google: Turtle Lake Tbilisi

Things To Do Near Tbilisi: Turtle Lake

Dining and swimming at Turtle Lake is another spot to escape the heat, and the tourists, as this is almost exclusively a local spot. You can reach it by taxi/car or by taking the lesser known small cable car from Vake Park.

What To Do In Tbilisi: Chronicles of Georgia

A giant stone monument and statue park created by Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli in 1985 – but never finished. The project was designed to chronicle the history of Georgia. It’s not that well known by locals (and taxi drivers!) so we suggest using an app like Taxify (Better than Uber in Tbilisi) so the driver knows where to go.

Take A Wine Tour Or Day Trip

We released a guide to Georgian Wineries including a map.

Some of the best scenery and history in Georgia is outside of Tbilisi. Although you can rent a car, some of the roads (and road rules) are pretty terrible. Even google maps should not be trusted outside of Tbilisi as some routes marked as roads are just rocky tracks – we found this out the hard way when trying to self drive to David Gareji monastery. Plus, if you want to try lots of the amazing Georgian wine and stop in at one of a huge selection of vineyards, getting a guide is the best choice. Here are some popular tour options:

 

 

 

Accommodation in Tbilisi

Accommodation in Tbilisi (Best Hotels – opens in new Tab) – Our Popular Tbilisi Accommodation article outlines some of our top picks for where to stay in Tbilisi.

 

Or Browse Tbilisi Hotels On: Booking.com | Agoda | Expedia | Hotels.com

We stayed in an Airbnb apartment during our extended trips in Tbilisi. Get $25 Off Your First Stay With AirBnB by using our link.

*Please support our blog by using our hotel links, rather than searching on google.

 

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We’ve put together a Tbilisi google map overlay with all our top picks of attractions, restaurants, foodie experiences, accommodation, transport locations and more! Save yourself a bunch of time by having our huge list of Tbilisi highlights instantly at your fingertips. Get Our Tbilisi Map NOW – Click Here.

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