We began our first day in Tbilisi by having breakfast at our hostel and it was amazing! Especially after the disappointing breakfast we had in Baku this felt luxurious. Great selection and everything was fresh and tasted good.
After that we focused on doing laundry. This is the great thing about hostels. They have everything you need. After spending a week in Baku we effectively sweated through everything we brought with us on this trip. I was also writing with Envoy Tours about a tour we wanted to do the next day, but unfortunately they didn’t get enough people to sign up for it, so it was cancelled. We stayed at Envoy Hostel a few years ago when I was in Armenia with a friend of mine and I remembered that their tours were really good and not even pricey, so we eventually ended up booking two tours with them. Now that our tour for the next day was cancelled, we also needed to figure out what we are going to do. By accident we stumbled upon Culinary Backstreets Tbilisi and managed to book a tour with them for the next day.
After taking care of the laundry and the plans for the next day we headed out without any solid plan. We loosely followed the guided walk in the Lonely Planet guidebook, but mostly tried to get the feel of the city. While Baku was somewhat sterile, Tbilisi was definitely more gritty, but it also seemed to be more full of life. Quite surprisingly there were plenty of US flags everywhere. We learned that there is an US army base in Georgia but also US vice president Mike Pence was visiting Tbilisi at the same time. We had to wait on the side of the road for their convoy to pass center of Tbilisi. 🙂
My boyfriend is very into craft beers and this was the place to score some rare ones, so he looked up a few places we decided to visit. First place we visited was Black Dog Bar, which turned out to be the best. Cool decor, bartender who spoke quite decent English, and nice beers. The downside was that the opening times weren’t correct on the internet, so we had to wait for about half an hour for it to open. There was a craft beer shop on the same street, which was closed and a cellar bar, which decided to lure people in with a “Craft Beer” sign, but actually had just one type of beer on tap altogether.
As we managed to cool down in the bar, we decided to walk to another bar called Crafted, which was a bit further away.
I think this street was called David Agmashenebeli Avenue and it looked super nice and had a lot of different bars and restaurants.
Side road leading to Crafted Bar.
Crafted indeed had a couple of craft beers, but by this point my boyfriend commented that they were all quite basic and he hadn’t had anything that was surprising in terms of taste.
We spent some time at Crafted and they actually improvised a cocktail for me, which was really good. I’m not a beer drinker, but I love cocktails. 🙂
After that we headed towards a restaurant called Barbarestan, which at the time was #1 restaurant in Tbilisi according to Tripadvisor. We didn’t have a reservation, but we arrived just after it opened and we were seated to what seemed to be one and only unreserved table at the entire restaurant.
The service was outstanding and so was most of the food. The khachapuri with tarragon had just way too much tarragon, so the taste of tarragon overpowering everything else. With a lot less of it, it would’ve been a great dish. I had duck for main course, which was good, but the pure was cold. My boyfriend had meat dish and it was very good and melt in your mouth. They also served amazing lemonade.
When we left, every single table at the restaurant was taken, so I recommend to book a table just to be sure.