In my opinion, Georgian cuisine is as delicious as unknown and underrated. It takes influences from the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Turkey to create unique dishes with a harmonious blend of herbs, spices, and ingredients.
Personally, my introduction to Georgian food happened during one of my trips. But currently, we are fortunate to enjoy the availability of several excellent Georgian restaurants in Madrid without the need to travel to the eastern reaches of Europe.
Continue reading to find the best places to try Georgian food in Madrid and discover the rich cuisine of this country.
Typical Georgian Foods
As I mentioned earlier, Georgian cuisine is one of the most diverse in the world, renowned for its extensive use of spices and aromatic herbs, delightful meat and fish dishes, and an array of delicious cheeses.
Moreover, in case you were unaware, Georgia is hailed as the birthplace of wine, which holds a significant place in its gastronomy.
If you are wondering what to eat in one of the Georgian restaurants in Madrid, these are the most typical Georgian foods:
- Khinkali are Georgian dumplings typically filled with spiced meat, usually beef or pork, and with herbs and onions. They are boiled and served piping hot, often with a twist at the top, which serves as a handle but also holds the flavorful broth inside.
- Khachapuri is a traditional Georgian cheese-filled bread, known for its various regional variations. The most popular ones include Imeruli (a round bread with melted cheese), Adjaruli (a boat-shaped bread filled with cheese and topped with an egg and butter), and Megruli (a cheese-filled bread topped with even more cheese).
- Pkhali refers to a dish made from finely chopped vegetables (often spinach, beets, or cabbage) combined with ground walnuts, vinegar, and various spices. The mixture is shaped into small balls or patties and served cold.
- Badrijani is a starter consisting of fried slices of eggplant stuffed with a paste made from ground walnuts, garlic, and spices. Sometimes, it is garnished with pomegranate seeds for added flavor and color.
- Mtsvadi is a traditional Georgian barbecue dish typically made with skewered and grilled chunks of marinated meat, often pork or beef. The marinade usually includes wine, vinegar, herbs, and spices.
- Satsivi is a rich, flavorful sauce made from ground walnuts, garlic, and spices such as coriander and fenugreek. It is commonly served with poultry, especially chicken or turkey.
- Lobio is a popular Georgian dish made with stewed kidney beans flavored with herbs, spices, and often with onions, garlic, and tomatoes.
- Georgian bread, known as “puri”, comes in various shapes and sizes. The most common is the “Shotis puri”, a long, oval-shaped bread baked in a clay oven called a tone.
- Georgian cheeses come in numerous varieties, with sulguni being one of the most popular. Sulguni is a brined cheese made from cow’s milk, often used in khachapuri and other dishes.
Best Georgian Restaurants in Madrid
While the number of Georgian restaurants in Madrid might be limited for now, it is worth noting that the few that do exist come highly recommended. These are my favorites:
Nunuka – Bistrot Georgia
Address: C. Libertad 13, 28004, Madrid
Phone: +34 911 700 289
Nunuka stands out among the Georgian restaurants in Madrid for its esteemed reputation. The cozy yet modestly adorned space exudes Georgian touches, creating an inviting ambiance. At Nunuka, simplicity intertwines with rich flavors drawn from traditional recipes, offering a cuisine that is both flavorful and simple.
Though the menu is not extensive, it proudly showcases Georgian culinary essentials, featuring both well-known specialties and rarer dishes. Georgian cuisine tends to be hearty, making it advisable for first-timers to opt for a selection of dishes to share.
Among my favorites are the mtsvadi, khinkali, badrijani, and, undoubtedly, the iconic khachapuri. Baked in a brick oven and shaped like a boat, the khachapuri is adorned with a cracked raw egg on top. To relish this delicacy, break the ends of the bread and dip it into the delightful mix of cheese, butter, and egg. Yummy!
Address: C. San Bernardo 22, 28015, Madrid
Phone: +34 679 337 878
Kinza arrived in Madrid with a mission to introduce the traditional cuisine of Georgia to the Spanish capital. The venue boasts a striking décor, blending rustic charm with chic elements, creating a welcoming atmosphere complemented by ambient music.
The menu showcases all the highlights of Georgian gastronomy, each dish accompanied by a photograph and description to offer a glimpse of what awaits on the table.
True to its essence, Kinza ranks high among my favorite Georgian restaurants in Madrid, offering delectable khachapuri, khinkali, and pkhali. However, what truly stands out is their diverse selection of soups.
Additionally, Kinza allows you to indulge in one of Georgia’s iconic street sweets: churchkhela. Often mistaken for sausages in stores, these treats are made from concentrated grape juice leftover from the year’s wine harvest, solidified in layers, and hiding walnuts within.
The emergence of Georgian restaurants in Madrid like Nunuka and Kinza has transformed the city’s culinary landscape. Visiting one of these extraordinary restaurants is truly one of the finest experiences to relish in Madrid.
These establishments offer more than just delicious food; they serve as cultural gateways, inviting locals and visitors to immerse themselves in the rich flavors and traditions of Georgia. From the iconic khachapuri and khinkali to lesser-known gems like pkhali and churchkhela, each dish tells a story and invites exploration.
The cozy atmospheres and diverse menus create memorable dining experiences, making these Georgian restaurants in Madrid must-visit destinations for anyone seeking a flavorful journey through Georgia’s culinary heritage right in the heart of the capital.