Issue 6, 2016. December-January



Aghmashenebeli Avenue is the star of two major reconstruction projects, under both the previous and current administrations. A historic boulevard in central Tbilisi on the left side of the Mtkvari River, the avenue has something for everyone: fabulous eye-candy for architecture buffs, tasty Turkish treats, and lots and lots of shopping.

Many expats living in Georgia have grown accustomed to traveling home with an empty suitcase, only to pack it full with everything they cannot purchase here when they make the trip back to Tbilisi.

But slowly the city is turning into a real shopping paradise, where finding real 100% cotton T-shirts, genuine American street styles, affordable designs or simply real Aquafresh toothpaste, is no longer a daunting task.

While the city's two largest malls -Tbilisi Mall and East Point - have become the go-to places to shop, there are great bargains for adventurous shoppers in nearly every neighborhood in the city.

Over the next few issues, will take you on an insider's tour of retail therapy around the city.

Our second destination is the historic neighborhood of Aghmashenebeli Avenue. Famous for its architecture, Turkish restaurants, and newly renovated pedestrian walking street, Aghmashenebeli has also emerged as a major shopping district.

Retail Therapy

Most international brands with shops in Tbilisi, especially shoes and apparel, have opened branches on the Avenue. There are also plenty of boutiques offering less expensive versions of the latest fashions.

The street is split by Marjanishvili Metro, with most international brands and Turkish-label boutiques to the west of the metro station.

On the corner of Kakhidze and Aghamashenebeli, about two blocks west of the metro station, is one of the city's most famous shops for fabric and sewing materials,128 Aghmashenebeli.

East of the metro is a potpourri of shopping, with several highlights.

One of the city's most renowned bookstores, Santa Esperanza, is located on 12 Saint Petersburg Street, about one block east of the metro and down toward Uznadze Street.

In addition, Aghmashenebeli boasts one of the biggest collections of wedding dress shops in the city. The shops start east of Marjanishvili Metro station, around 73 Aghmashenebeli, and are scattered over three city blocks. There are also tailor shops nearby for alterations.

A Bite to Eat

Aghmashenebeli Avenue is famous for its Turkish restaurants - and there are plenty of those to try. There is also a growing number of art cafes and other foreign restaurants to taste, with more opening in the new walking district at the beginning of the Avenue.

It would take a full magazine to review all the Turkish restaurants, but favorites include Ankara, at 117 Aghmashenebeli and, for sweets, Sapore at 95 Aghmashenebeli.

There is also an Indian restaurant, Sanjha Chulha, at 130 Aghmashenebeli.

For Georgian cuisine, a new favorite, especially among tourists, is Barbarestan at 132 Aghmashenebeli. Famous for its use of authentic, old-school Georgian cooking, diners also enjoy live folk music.

The city's famous Shavi Lomi (Black Lion), has moved from the Sololaki neighborhood to near(ish) Aghmashenebeli; it's new address is 28 Kvlividze Street, about three kilometers from Marjanishvili Metro station.