13/40 Sioni St, Tbilisi.
All year daily 8-20.
|Incandescent Electric Light System
|Karavanserai Tone, 13/40 Sioni St, Tbilisi.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The ყარავანსერაის თონე (Karavanserai Tone, Karavanserai Bakery) is said to be one of the best bakeries in Tiflis. And it is underground, located in a cellar with vaulted ceilings. There is a café on the surface, which also has some tables and stools outside, and offers all the baked goods, coffee and tea. If you just want to buy you bread or other baked goods, you go down the staircase on the left side of the café to reach the underground bakery. It is shop and bakery in one big cellar, so you can watch them baking while you purchase the products.
As Georgia is situated between the Orient and the Occident, traditions and recipes from different cultures have been adopted and a very wide range of baked goods is offered. This includes puff pastry, flatbread and more. They have Turkish pita and Indian naan here. The oven is also remarkable, in the middle of the bakery there is a whitewashed dome-shaped oven with a large, closable hole at the highest point, through which the oven is filled and emptied again. Such ovens are called tone, which is also the Georgian word for bakery. The typical bread is tonis puri which is baked by sticking it against the side wall of the tone from he inside. After it cooks to perfection, it is peeled off the wall and immediately sold. It is heated from below, above the opening is a chimney for the hot air or probably the smoke from the fire.
The bakery is named after the karavanserai on the opposite side of the street. Such a karavanserai is some kind of inn, a roadside inn along a trade route which worked like a sort of motel. There was a huge central square, gates to various stables for the animals of the travellers, other gates to the restaurant and hotel rooms. Most of those inns where specialized on caravans with camels. The building was restored and is now home to the თბილისის ისტორიის მუზეუმი (Tbilisi History Museum).