Let’s take a culinary tour to find out the best vegetarian food in Georgia and find out some of the best Georgian dishes. Georgia is a paradise for vegetarians and therefore presenting you with vegetarian food in Georgia. If you are planning to visit Georgia, then try some of the authentic Georgian cuisines. Do we get Vegetarian food in Georgia? – A glimpse of Georgian cuisine
Georgian cuisine /dishes are vegan or vegetarian-friendly as Georgian soil is very fertile and cultivates many varieties of fruits and vegetables. Also, orthodox Christianity is prominent here and therefore people fast on most of the days and they eat vegetarian dishes. The main ingredients in their cuisine are eggplant, mushroom, cheese, flour, spinach, beans, fresh fruits, etc.
Best Georgian food | A glimpse of Georgian cuisine | Do we get Vegetarian food in Georgia?
Khinkali | One of the Best Vegetarian Georgian food | A glimpse of Georgian cuisine
Khinkali is one of the main staples of Georgian cuisine and is actually considered a national dish. Essentially a dumpling with a filling, this is Georgian take on dumplings you’d find mostly in Asia.
While most typical fillings contain meat, you can also enjoy mushroom or mashed potato khinkali. The mushroom filling is lighter, but if you need to fill up, choose the potato ones. At some restaurants, a cheese khinkali, with a mix of curd cheese from Imereti region and cottage cheese, can be available.
The dough is made of flour, water, and eggs. A lot of kneading needs to be done and the whole process is relatively laborious.
Khinkali are also eaten in a special way. Georgians grab it by the doughy top, bite into the khinkali, suck out the juice, and then eat up the lower part containing the filling. They end up just with the dough bit, which is usually not eaten. It helps to keep track of how many khinkali one’s had. 🙂
Khinkali dumplings are usually eaten as a main course, and you should of course always drink Georgian wine along.
Suggested by Veronika Primm from Travel Geekery.
Lobiani | One of the Best Vegetarian Georgian food | A glimpse of Georgian cuisine
Lobiani though eaten all year round but it is a special delicacy on the Georgian holiday of Barbaroba – St. Barbara’s Day on December 17th and also during fast.
The word “Lobiani” is derived from the Georgian word “Lobio” which means kidney beans and in many parts of India, a type of beans is also known as Lobia. This traditional and delicious dish is actually a bean filled bread just like Khachapuri. For making Lobiani, you can either you red or white kidney beans. Boiled kidney beans are mashed and then mixed with herbs, spices, chopped onions and then stuffed into flattened wheat flour dough. Then it is cooked into the oven or on the pan. Indians can relate this similar to Kulcha or stuffed Indian bread – Aloo Parantha – a very popular Indian bread.
Suggested by – Travel with me 24 x 7 (myself)
Lobio | One of the Best Vegetarian Georgian food | A glimpse of Georgian cuisine
A very popular vegetarian Georgian dish served hot in an earthen clay pot. Lobio, as you know, means kidney beans and so this spicy dish is a curry of kidney beans and it resembles like Rajma Masala (another very popular North Indian dish). It is served with pickled vegetables, flattened bread, and Mchadi. This hot, spicy dish is made by soaking beans overnight, then boiling it and seasoned with spices, garlic, chopped onions, spices, herbs, coriander, and walnut. Lobio and Lobiani are generally eaten together and can be also ordered separately. You can find these foods in Georgian style restaurants and one of the most famous restaurants in Tbilisi is located in the heart of the city center near Narikala fortress named Machakhela, Tbilisi.
Suggested By Travel with me 24 x 7 (myself)
Khinkali | One of the Best Vegetarian Georgian food | A glimpse of Georgian cuisine
Khinkali is the best dumpling you’ve never heard of. These Georgian traditional dumplings have a chewy flour outside and are filled with beef or pork, or mushrooms. Other vegetarian versions of Khinkali can be made with cheese or mashed potato fillings. The dumplings are boiled, not pan-fried or steamed like other types of dumplings around the world. They are then are eaten using your hands and without any sauce. Khinkali may be referred to as ‘soup dumplings’ because some khinkali contains a lot of juices from the meat or mushroom fillings. There is a three-step process to eating Khinkali like an expert. First, pick up the dumpling with your hand using the little knob of dough at the end, and flip it over to the base of the dumpling is facing up. Bite into the side and sip the filling (if there is liquid in it). After the juice is gone, THEN you can eat the rest of it! Leave the knob of dough back on the plate, since there’s a little flavor to this part. Doing so will also leave you with spare space in your stomach for more Khinkali!
Tip: Khinkali all looks the same on the outside, so make sure to pay attention when the waiter is explaining to you which Khinkali has which filling, especially when ordering with a non-vegetarian person!
Suggested by Erika Van’t Veld from Erika’s Travelventures.
Khachapuri | One of the Best Vegetarian Georgian food | A glimpse of Georgian cuisine
Kacha puri (pronounced HA-cha-PUR-ee) is a cheese bread from Georgia, The name comes from the words khacho meaning “cheese curd” and puri meaning “bread. The two kinds of cheese most commonly used in khachapuri are imeruli and sulguni. Imeruli is a freshly made, crumbly in texture, mountain cheese. It is made with a mixture of cow’s milk and the sour whey leftover from making other firmer cheeses. When combined and melted with Sulguni cheese, it comes out as a filling that is creamy and stretchy, with a feta-like tarted flavor.
The name might come naturally to Indians as puri in Hindi means a type of Indian bread which is deep fried and served with various curries. Here, in Georgia, Khachapuri is their own version of bread that can go along any type of food as a main course or you can indulge in it as a snack itself. It is available in all parts of Georgia.
Upon entering the geography of Georgia, I could smell the fresh air, and a few minutes later, as the taxi drove towards the main city, the air smelled of the Georgian delicacies. “Welcome to Tbilisi, Georgia”, The hotel personnel said. It was midnight but we still wanted to know more about this place, therefore, we enquired about the site seeing and the famous food options and we got some insight. The next morning, we went on a walking tour all by ourselves. We crossed the freedom square and what we saw there left us with amusement. This was a foodie’s heaven. This is Sherdeni Street in Tbilisi. One can witness local food, Art and much more.
There were about 15 restaurants serving the local cuisine in Al fresco dining style and people preferred outside seating despite being sunny. The chef himself came out and suggested the best of Georgian cuisine. A mix of vegetarian and nonvegetarian but I am a vegetarian so I was digging the menu so that I could actually eat. Amongst various options, there was Kacha puri. This is their own baked bread with loads of cheese on it and some hint of the local herbs. ( this place has almost everything locally produced) so, I was ready to relish the freshest of ingredients any minute now.
Khachapuri looks like a pizza and it tastes almost similar too but with much healthier ingredients and they have special ovens to bake them. khachapuri – my favorite Vegetarian food in Georgia. Yes, I survived with this delicacy. It is served in several styles. My favorite was the adjaruli, with local white salty cheese on the dough.
We also tried amazing local grapes, strawberries, and Churchkhela, which is a traditional Georgian Candle shaped candy with good shelf life.
Suggested by Deepa Jaisingh from Momislearning
Badrijani Nigvzit | One of the Best Vegetarian Georgian food | A glimpse of Georgian cuisine
These are thinly sliced eggplants, stuffed with walnut garlic paste, rolled into delicious bites and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. These are very popular in Georgia and available in every place that bills itself as a Georgian restaurant. They may just be listed simply as eggplant rolls on the menu.
The eggplant used is the longer, slender chinese eggplant that is less bitter than the large eggplants. It’s fried in a skillet until beautifully golden brown before preparing the rolls. The filling is a paste created from walnuts, garlic, vinegar and spices. Walnuts are copiously used in Georgian cuisine, which was definitely something new to me.
Each bite has a delicious earthy eggplant taste followed by the creamy nuttiness of the walnut paste. Here and again, the pomegranate seeds impart a pop of delicious sweet tanginess. Although these are often served as appetizers, I found them quite filling – a plate of 4-5 could easily serve as a light lunch.
One great place to try this dish is the incredibly affordable Mapshalia, an underground tavern in Tbilisi.
Suggested by Shimona Carvalho from Sidecar Photo.
Churchkela | One of the Best Vegetarian Georgian food | A glimpse of Georgian cuisine
A traditional Georgian candy which is very unique and a must try. Sausage shaped candy but a pure vegetarian and healthy option for in between snack. Georgians prepare this candy in Autumn after a harvest season of grapes. Churchkela is generally homemade and it is a long string of walnuts dipped in a thickened mixture of concentrated grape juice (tatara) and then dried in sun. It is naturally sweet and no sugar is added. They are mostly prepared and found in the Kakheti region of Georgia as this region is the cradle of wine and cultivates the largest amount of grapes in the country. Churchkela has many calories due to nuts and grape juice. So it is healthy in between snack option. As it can be preserved for a long time, you can purchase in large quantity and can bring back home too.
Suggested by Travel with me 24 x 7 (myself)
Georgian wine | One of the Best Vegetarian Georgian food | A glimpse of Georgian cuisine
Georgian wine dates back to 8000 years back and so Georgia is known as the cradle of wine or known to introduce the wine to the whole world. The Kakheti region of Georgia is known as the motherland of wine. Also, this country is known as the oldest winemaking country in the world. Traditional Georgian wines are made in clay pots or clay barrels known as Qvevri which are then dug into pits under the floor. And after natural fermentation, this grape juice forms a natural wine with amazing flavors. So if you are visiting Georgia then Georgian wine should be in your list and with meals, you can go for this traditional drink. Some of their famous classic wines are Saperavi (red wine), Tavkveri (red wine), Chkhaveri (red wine), Kisi (white wine), Mtsvane Kakhvri (white wine), Tsinandali (special white wine.) Georgian wines are generally sweet in taste.
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Food tours in Tbilisi | Culinary classes in Tbilisi
Food and wine walking tours can also be booked in Tbilisi with at least tasting 10 different foods. Click here to book culinary tour in Tbilisi. You can also learn how to make Khachapuri at local Georgian family and it is great that my tour guide/driver took me to his house to teach some culinary skills on Khachapuri. Click here to book your Georgian cooking class.
There are many other vegetarian dishes like Nigvziani Badrijani (eggplant rolls), baked mushrooms, vegetarian salads, etc. Read more about some valid reasons to be vegan.
So now if anyone asks you Do we get Vegetarian food in Georgia? – A glimpse of Georgian cuisine then you know that there are many varieties and types to select from. And also let me know your favorite Georgian food or please let me know your views on Georgian cuisine below in the comments.
If you are visiting Georgia then read these following posts to plan your Georgia trip –
- Georgia in Summers (many Itineraries)
- Georgia in Winters
- Day trip to winemaking and wine region – Kakheti / Signaghi
- Kazbegi trip from Georgia
- Mtskheta trip from Georgia
- Gori / Uplistsikhe caves trip from Georgia
- Rabati Castle trip from Georgia
- 25 Things to know before planning a trip to Georgia
- Tbilisi city tour details
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