Dec 31, 2010

Georgia on my Mind: Khachapuri

By Laura Goldstein
Namesake of the Restaurant: The cheese filled khachapuri
Just before coming to Israel in September I made the trip up from DC to New York to fly out of JFK. I arrived in the morning and had breakfast with my good friend Laura. Since she had spent the previous summer in Tel Aviv I asked her for recommendations of places to see, go out, and, especially, to eat. She proceeded to make a list of her favorite spots; prominent on that list was a Georgian restaurant on Nachalat Binyamin near the corner of Rothschild.

Every time I walked down Nachalat Binyamin I had it in the back of my mind to find this place but I always on my way to somewhere else so I didn't look too hard. Finally, after 4 months in Tel Aviv I set out to uncover the restaurant that Laura loved so much. I found it at number 63 on Nachalat Binyamin, walked in and saw the chefs working in the kitchen thorough  a big window in the front of the restaurant and went in to sit in the lovely courtyard in the back.

In the Kitchen at Khachapuri
I have never had food from Georgia, but assumed it would be incredible based on the cuisine it’s surrounding countries such as Turkey, Armenia, and Russia. Khachapuri proved me right!

 I scanned the menu and skipped over the breakfasts, salads, and pastas (though those looked great too) going  straight to the "Georgian Corner." The khinkali, handmade ravioli like dumplings, caught my eye. I ordered the combination which came with three different fillings, sweet potato, mixed cheeses, and spinach and nuts. Like many other dishes in the restaurant they came with sour cream on the side, who doesn't love that!

Mixed cheese khinkali and a tea infusion
When the waitress brought the khinkali they smelled of nutty, freshly made pasta. They were pretty little dumplings, each flavor having it's own shape. The khinkali were delicious, each tasting faintly of nuts in combination with the filling and they went perfectly with the sour cream.

I couldn't wait to try the other dishes and very soon returned to Khachapuri, draging a few friends along.
My roommate was very happy with her mixed cheese khinkali and a tea infusion. We also ordered the khachapuri, described on the menu as "baked dough with cheese", the version of the khachapuri with spinach, and a salad that came with wonderful spongy Georgian bread on the side.

The khachapuri reminded me of a calzone but the dough was soft, almost pastry-like, the cheese inside was rich and thick, and of course, on the side there was sour cream. So heavy but so good!

On the menu the food at Khachapuri is described as "Georgian Soul Food" and it does prove to be the kind of delectable stick to your bones kind of food that nourishes your soul. However, your soul will have to go without meat at Khachapuri as it is Kosher dairy.

Khachapuri is located at Nachalat Binyamin 63, open Sun-Thurs 8:00-23:00 and  Fri 8:00-17:00


  1. I have had lunch there on a few occasions,and really liked it.The courtyard is very nice!

  2. It's an amazing spot! Food is delicious!