Little Georgia

Restaurants, Georgian Bethnal Green
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(14user reviews)
11 Love It
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Little Georgia
© Nick Ballon

This small but characterful café in a quiet corner of Hackney is often buzzing, due in no small part to its homely yet ambitious Georgian food. There are tables on the pavement for when the sun shines, and the simple, tasteful decor inside is perked up with quirky touches – vintage gramophones, fairy lights and stern, old black-and-white portraits. Service on our visit could have been more animated and it sometimes lacked urgency, but the tempting aromas wafting from the tiny kitchen were enough to distract us. Georgian borscht is served hot, and is the test of any east European menu; here it is comforting yet summery, with a deep, rich stock and layers of flavour. Another starter, soothing soft cheese blini, combined well with a garlicky carrot salad and herby yoghurt. Of our mains, from the weekly changing specials board, the most successful was the kharcho, beef stew with ground walnuts; tabaka, chicken with red plum sauce, was a bit dry and tasted as if it had been reheated. Nevertheless, Little Georgia’s generous no-corkage BYO policy, laid-back atmosphere and generally solid cooking are serious draws.


Venue name: Little Georgia
Address: 87 Goldsmith's Row
E2 8QR
Opening hours: Meals served 9am-5pm Mon; 9am-11pm Tue-Sat; 10am-11pm Sun.
Transport: Tube: Liverpool Street tube/rail then 26, 48 bus/Old Street tube/rail then 55 bus
Price: Main courses £8-£11. Unlicensed. Corkage no charge.
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Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:2
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Avatar for Kateryna V

The venue is tiny with a few tables upstairs and a small function room downstairs. The design is quirky, mixing modern art and Soviet-Georgian curiosa. It's BYOB, which was certainly welcome, given that the occasion was a hen party of a friend of mine (we reserved a table for 14 downstairs).The owners are hospitable in a characteristically Georgian way and are eager to please, yet most of the times the service was patchy for the reason of them simply not being around enough. It took a while to get the corkscrew for those bottles that were not twist top. Then there were moments when none of the hosts were anywhere to be seen but much needed, like when they brought out sharing platters of food to us hungry and tipsy girls and retreated upstairs and I dropped my fork. Being locked in at the far end of the table, squashed against the wall, the situation was rather desperate. Now, on to food. I really really wanted to love it, because I know and love Georgian cuisine. I have been to Georgia and also in  my native Ukraine where I go back to frequently Georgian cuisine truly is the second national cuisine. Well, here is a surprise for you. What they serve at Little Georgia should properly be branded Soviet Georgian. For example, borscht is Ukrainian, blinis are Russian and Russian salad and mushrooms sautéed in sour cream were universally served in all Soviet republics, Georgia not excluded. Sure, they've got basic staples like khachapuri (cheese flatbread) and lobio (red bean stew), however to me it was more about what was missing rather than what was available on the menu. For Georgian cuisine in all its glory (plenty of meet but also herbs and vegetables, sprinkles of pomegranate seeds and coriander, amazing khinkali (giant meet or cheese filled dumplings), proper Tbilisi style salads with vibrant fresh vegetables and walnut dressing) try Tamada! I also found our fixed menu (mezze and 3 main courses served with rice to share) a much worse deal than going a la carte would have been (based on what other people were eating). Georgian cuisine is made to share much in the same way as Levantine cuisine is, so we would have fared much better and cheaper by ordering a starter and a main each and sharing.

I will give Little Georgia another chance if an opportunity presents itself (to give their a la carte menu a chance), but for now it's three stars from me (with a possibility to upgrade).

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Avatar for NakedPRGirl Claire

On one sunny Sunday after visiting Columbia Road Flower Market with my mum we happened upon this little gem down a quiet street and it's absolutely perfect. It's a buzzy little cafe with tables outside to celebrate good weather and inside if you prefer a cosy feel. The menu is fantastic and we had a couple of fresh salads (portions are generous) with lovely tea and coffee to go with. It's well worth making a little detour for.

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Avatar for Neil K

I love Little Georgia, and while I frequent it mainly for a late breakfast (The Georgian) which I would wholeheartedly recommend I have also been with a group for dinner. The food is really authentic and very tasty, but does vary in size, and while not too expensive it is certainly not cheap. You will find a number of daily specials which are not listed on the menus on a blackboard.

For me The Georgian Breakfast (known as Chizi Bizhi) is a beautiful alternative to a full English, being very flavoursome, filling and substantially healthier too. It consists of amazing scrambled eggs with herbs, tomatoes, special snazzy beans, made to order mince sausages, bacon and White and brown toast. The coffee is also lovely too which comes with the breakfast for a £1 top up, otherwise tea is included. I would go as far to say I would think it could (and should) make the top list of alternative cooked breakfasts in London.

The restaurant itself is small and quaint with interesting vintage Georgian decor, it can get busy on sunny days, when you may be lucky to a walk in seat. The service and food are lovelying provided in a family run format though in its nature can be a little sporadic so you are unlikely to feel heavily weighted on.

Avatar for Ashleigh A
moderatorStaff Writer

Definitely don't go to Little Georgia if you're in a hurry, but for a cheap, delicious meal with free-flowing wine thanks to a non-judgemental BYO policy, this sure is a gem. Skip the mezze selection and go straight for the cheese bread with a salad or two, and pick something Georgian-sounding from the mains. The lamb kebab was pretty average in comparison to the Turkish ones we're used to, but serves us right. The pork and bean (wahey!) stew was excellent. And they didn't bat an eyelid when we ran out to buy extra wine. Twice.

Avatar for Julia F

If you haven't had Georgian food yet, you are missing out on an undiscovered gem. The Georgian brunch here is particularly good - make sure to have the snazzy beans and some khachapuri cheese bread of you stay for lunch.

Avatar for alexandra l

This was my third visit here, spread over a couple of years. The mixed meze was ok, but not a patch on the previous times I've been here, and the lamb kebabs were also ok, but nothing more. But what really stood out was the crappy service. The table wasn't very clean; when the waiter realised that there were 2 of us, and not 4 as he'd thought, he tried to get us to move to another table; although it was before 11, the bill was brought to us without us asking for it, and, as the piece de resistance, the music was then turned off while we still had full glasses of wine.

I had similarly bad service at the sister restaurant a few months ago, which put me off ever going back there.

It makes me sad that these two restaurants have become complacent about their cooking, and are evidently contemptuous of their customers. I'm passionate about Georgian food, and I love the decor in this restaurant and its no corkage policy - it wouldn't take much for them to lift their game. But in future, I'll give them a miss and go to Tbilisi on Holloway Road instead, which always has .great food and friendly, professional service. 

Avatar for Calvin Chiang

well.... i guess should have paid attention to the reviews talking about the bad service.... lets get one thing straight before i start. i dont like "service". the staff in my favourite vietnamese restaurant in australia used to wipe the crumbs from the previous diners off the table into my lap. i thought it was really funny. i also very rarely write bad reviews.... so. worst service ever? not sure but it was very very poor. served mainly buy a guy with a pretty sweet tache. he was kind of sketchy, enigmatic,.. or on something - dealing with him was just ...odd. and messy. between courses he grabbed all our dirty cutlery with one-hand from his position at the end of the table. after the main, he stacked all the dishes at the end of the table, dropping food across the table, and cutlery on my girlfiend's mum. not a pretty sight. the food. i was hoping for some kind of home styley georgian food umm rustic, honest, fun,.. dunno. but it was just quite poor really. e.g. "kebab". for £13 you get 2 thin dry lamb mince sausages (think kofte) rolled in that cheap "never goes off" tastes-of-plastic wrap bread. for £25 you get the "meze for 4" - 6 child-sized-handfulls of meze. and some "special" cheese bread. 3 of the meze were quite nice, and the cheese bread was ok. but come on for £25?? £25 still gets you much further than that at this end of the market the summary. They cant really justify the prices for the quality of the cooking or the lack of basic table service. maybe we were unlucky... but judging from a couple of reviews here, maybe we werent....

Avatar for Jo

This is a great little spot (little unfortunately being the operative word!); very good value and offering an eclectic mix of dishes from Eastern Europe and further afield. Really enjoyed the pancake with smoked salmon.

Avatar for melvin

We had breakfast here one Saturday in December 2012. Food was very tasty and extremely well priced. Coffee was good and service delightful. We live locally and are really looking forward to going back. A great spot to read the paper and watch the passers by.

Avatar for Sara

We just went to the sister restaurant, Little Georgia North in Barnsbury, the food was delicious and service really great! We had a Georgian brunch with snazzy beans (comes with beetroot) and delicious sausages and egg. Would recommend as one of the more interesting breakfasts in London (and probably same for dinner and lunch!)

Avatar for Ari

Brilliant local food. Great vibe. Cute and quiet seats outside when the weather is good

Avatar for Niamh

I love this place...the Georgian breakfast is the best hangover cure I know! Food is delicious and the quirky surroundings add to the usually bustling atmosphere!