Tbilisi in the summer is hot. While many locals like to escape the city in July and August into the surrounding mountains or flock to the Black Sea beaches, for those who stay in Tbilisi, temperatures can soar into the high 30s or low 40s. On those hot, sticky summer days, what can be better than ice cream? Read on for the best ice cream spots in the capital!
THE CONE CULTURE
Hands down the most creative and interesting ice cream shop in Tbilisi, The Cone Culture opened last summer and has since continued to entice and excite ice cream lovers! Half-hidden in a small booth on a side street in the old part of the city, Cone Culture guests have Tbilisi itself as their backdrop for enjoying the summer treat.
The offer all natural, handmade ice cream in a variety of inventive flavors like apricot – tarragon, black tea brownie, strawberry basil, honey lavender, chocolate adjika, and stout. The Cone Culture is committed to using only fresh, local ingredients so it has a distinctly Georgian flair. They make other natural products too – Nutella, peanut butter, hazelnut butter, wine popsicles, and more! You can also find Cone Culture ice cream in other shops across the city.
5 Taras Shevchenko St., Tbilisi
(+995) 568 80 57 03 Facebook
11 AM – 9 PM
Luca Polare is a Georgian chain that serves high quality ice cream and coffee. Some locations also offer frozen yogurt. The décor is fun but sophisticated. They offer a wide range of flavors, from classics like chocolate and vanilla, to more creative options like white blueberry, amarena cherry, and ‘crazy tonka.’ One thing that sets Luca Polare apart is that all its ice cream is 100% natural, with no artificial colors or flavors. They also have sorbets which are no-fat and vegan! Luca Polare has several locations throughout the city, and even in Batumi, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to check it out!
34 Kote Apkhazi St., Tbilisi
(+995) 032 238 08 02 Facebook
8 AM – 1 AM
Ke-Gusto is an Italian ice cream and desserts chain that has now made an appearance in Georgia. The bright, modern shop in Tbilisi’s hip Vake district serves ice cream and self-serve frozen yogurt (the trend has finally come to Georgia!). You can choose your own fro-yo toppings from long glass tubes filled with sprinkles, nuts, and candies.
The ice cream and gelato selection is wide and colorful. The ice cream tastes fresh and creamy – and packed with sugar – Ke-Gusto offers a high-quality product. They also have waffles and crepes if you’re not in the mood for cold dairy.
39 Paliashvili St., Tbilisi
(+995) 598 61 00 67 Facebook
8 AM – 11 PM
If you like Turkish-style ice cream, the Turkish chain restaurant Mado is the place to go. Turkish ice cream (dondurma) is set apart from standard ice cream by its texture – chewier, and stickier – but in a good way! Thanks to the inclusion of salep (orchid root flour) and mastic (a resin), it does not melt easily, and usually lasts a bit longer than regular ice cream.
Mado also offers a lovely, colorful array of other desserts, both Turkish and international, along with a full menu (including breakfast!) of Turkish dishes.
5,7 Alexander Pushkin St., Tbilisi
(+995) 032 200 07 11 Facebook
8 AM – 11 AM
By Samantha Guthrie
Photo: The Cone Culture