I used to complain about the shortage of Georgian bakeries in St Petersburg before, and about having to go to distant places for some shoti, Georgian flatbread. Not anymore, not quite to the same extent anyway. Georgian bakeries were opening everywhere in the city lately, apparently prompted by re-establishment of tourism links such as direct flights to Tbilisi.
I was fresh off a tourist trip to Tbilisi, so I could pronounce the Georgian word for hello reasonably well, and the lady at the counter beamed and actually spoke to me in Georgian, calling my bluff. Sometimes you may get the hottest piece of flatbread if you say something in Georgian.
The freshly baked bread is placed on wooden planks to cool, just as in Tbilisi’s street bakeries. If you’re lucky, you can see how the dough is placed into the oven (I caught sight of that once).
The bakery’s sign is subtitled to offer khachapuri, cheese-filled bread. This they do indeed – I counted eight various types on a recent visit. There’s several more types of pastry (I suggest lobiani, with beans), Georgian sulguni cheese, tkemali sauce, lemonade and mineral water.
I’ve yet to encounter a bad Georgian bakery, so this one’s recommended if only for its central location. I suspect Mayakovsky, who lived nearby, would’ve been a regular if it were open in his time.