Before we delve into the description of cafes with the most delicious khachapuri in Batumi, let’s first talk about Adjaran khachapuri, or as they are also called, khachapuri boats.
The main difference from the classic Imeretian khachapuri is the presence of an open top, into which, in addition to the filling, butter is invariably placed. Optionally, an egg can also be added.
There are many legends about the origin of khachapuri boats. One version claims that they were made in the shape of ships in ancient times, during the era of the ancient Greeks and the Argonauts. According to another version, a chef had little dough left but enough cheese, so he decided to make khachapuri without a top. The taste of the open pastry appealed to him, and the chef continued making them that way deliberately.
However, the most plausible story is as follows. The first mentions of Adjaran khachapuri date back to the 15th-16th centuries. At that time, Adjara was occupied by Turkey. Turks have a similar dish called pide. It has a more elongated and flat boat shape. Mostly, it is made with cheese, but other fillings are often added.
Most likely, Adjaran khachapuri boats are a kind of symbiosis of Georgian and Turkish dishes adapted to local tastes. Even before the mid-20th century, they were called “Penovli” in a Greek manner. According to some information, they were originally baked in a round shape. Everyone can choose the origin story of Adjaran khachapuri that suits them best. The main thing is that they were invented in Adjara, and they turned out devilishly delicious!
Adjaran khachapuri has always been considered a breakfast dish. Even 15-20 years ago, finding them anywhere in Batumi after noon was impossible. Nowadays, to cater to tourists, they are prepared at any time of the day. In recent years, Adjaran khachapuri have been served not only in the morning but also during the day and in the evening.
In Soviet times, everyone knew the best khachapuri boat makers and went specifically to them. When people gathered for khachapuri, they would say, “Let’s go to Samvel’s,” not to a specific cafe. The whole city knew when a famous master switched from one establishment to another.
Over the years, Adjaran khachapuri boats have not undergone significant changes. A relatively new variation appeared just a few years ago – the cleaned khachapuri. It differs from the classic version in that most of the flesh on the sides (inside) is removed, leaving only the crispy crust. It’s a milder option for those who fear gaining weight from too much dough.
How to Properly Eat Adjaran Khachapuri
Another point I’d like to focus on is how to eat khachapuri boats properly.
The first thing you should do when they are served to you is to mix the cheese filling with egg and butter using a fork. Many know that it’s correct to eat khinkali with hands, but few have heard that khachapuri should be eaten without utensils.
Forget about the knife. The fork is only needed to mix. Break off pieces of dough from the edges and dip them inside, picking up the thick cheese filling. Don’t hesitate to eat them with your hands.
Believe me, you’ll get strange looks if you attempt to cut khachapuri with a knife, but no one will pay attention if you eat them the way locals do.
Important note: I intentionally removed all prices from the article as they increase every year. When the article was published, khachapuri were served for 7-8 lari. In 2024, the price has already risen to at least 15 lari. However, even more importantly, all five establishments from the article are still popular among Batumi residents. Trust me, I regularly visit them. How else could I, being a native Batumian?! And when I have guests, I always take them to the top 3!
Best Khachapuri in Batumi. Establishment Ratings
We made every effort to create the most objective selection of khachapuri places. To achieve this, we initially surveyed a large number of acquaintances about their preferences and then studied the opinions of local residents and tourists online.
Thus, we selected 5 places that are most frequently recommended. We visited each establishment with the same group: a local resident, a tourist, and a child. In each cafe, we ordered both cleaned and uncleaned khachapuri with an egg, all of small size.
So, let’s get to the main question: where in Batumi to eat the best Adjaran khachapuri.
Let’s start with the last place, occupied by the Porto Franco restaurant. What can be said about their khachapuri… Nothing but cons:
- Overly salty filling.
- The highest prices among the top five.
- Modest sizes of khachapuri.
It’s the only place where the chef made a mistake and, instead of two different kinds, prepared two identical – cleaned khachapuri. None of us three liked it. It’s a pity that it’s like that now. Just last year, Porto Franco had excellent Adjaran khachapuri, and we enjoyed going there. However, bad khachapuri doesn’t mean that all the dishes there are prepared poorly. Not at all! The restaurant is always full of visitors for a reason.
Address Porto Franco: Konstantine Gamsakhurdia Street 40
Phone: 0422 27 62 22
GPS coordinates: 41.647792, 41.640206
Working hours: 9 AM to 11 PM
In fourth place is Tserodena. This establishment is located near the main entrance to the May 6 Park. Large halls, two floors, tables on the street and on the veranda. Pros:
- Adjaran khachapuri tastes good.
- The lowest prices for boats.
But there are also cons:
- Small size (the smallest among the top five).
- They baked them for an indecently long time.
- It’s very noisy both in the halls and on the veranda!
Address Tserodena cafe: Melikishvili Street 4
Phone: 577 21 01 08
GPS coordinates: 41.647496, 41.629998
Working hours: 8 AM to 12 AM
It should be noted that distributing establishments between the first and third places was quite difficult. All three places are good. But somehow, places had to be distributed. The decisive role was played by details.
In principle, you can not pay special attention to them and confidently go to any establishment from the top three. You can eloquently and beautifully describe the khachapuri themselves in these establishments.
But believe me, no fancy and intricate expressions will convey the taste of real Adjaran khachapuri. You need to try it, savoring the indescribable taste. Therefore, about the top three khachapuri places in the city, concisely and briefly.
I am Victor, the founder of this site and its main, but not the only author.
Traveler and photographer. Visited more than 40 countries.
Born and raised in Batumi. I love to travel in Georgia.
More about me here.