Here’s a few highlights of Armenian cuisine to consider trying while in the region.
If you are a meat lover and can pronounce that then you will never go hungry (as Armenians are meat lovers)! It’s the Armenian style BBQ meat . The main type of BBQ meat is pork which is very tender and delicious. You can also find beef and chicken too. And in summer you will find BBQ vegetables which is a must! Kebab is BBQ minced meat, also a popular dish.
Wine leaves stuffed with meat, rice and herbs, intricately wrapped are delicious little parcels. Dolma is one of the most traditional food locally. They even have annual competitions for best dolma! You can also try vegetable dolma (cabbage, eggplant, tomatoes etc). Highly recommended!
Also dubbed as the ‘Armenian pizza’, its a thin layer of pizza style bread topped with ground beef, onion, parsley and tomato paste. It tastes good with a squeeze of lemon.
If you are vegetarian, there is a wide range of delicious salads (Stolichnitzia a potato based salad is very filling, igra a delicious medley of bbq’s eggplant, tomatoes and onion etc) and spas (a yoghurt based soup) and more. Some places will also have vegetarian stuffed vine leaves (dolma) – definitely worth trying.
Where to Eat?
There are many options of where to eat in Yerevan. Especially where we are located is in walking distance to many excellent cafe’s, restaurants and eateries. The following is just a few worth mentioning, listed in alphabetical order.
Artashi Mot | If you want to try some tasty Armenian food which is really loved by Armenians, then you should visit the “shaurma place” Artashi Mot. At lunch time you will see a big crowd of Armenians talking, laughing and waiting for their meal. Armenians love meat, especially when it’s prepared well and quickly. You can try their delicious shaurma, the BBQ or kebab. Just drop in and order what you want (if you can decide 😉 ). If you are not in a hurry and want to enjoy your meal visit the restaurant downstairs. You will be surprised by the taste of the soups and the wide range of meat dishes. Its in short walking distance to Envoy situated on Alexander Spendiaryan Street (towards Stepan Zoryan street).
Malocco| A small but very cozy place with amazing interior design and peaceful atmosphere. You won’t get bored even if you’re alone, as there are so many details you can discover in every corner. The fun begins when the waitress brings the menu: a small bunch of yellow, old looking papers fixed by a small clothes pin and with hand written comments on it. Pasta, salads, sandwiches (also for vegetarians), yummy desert, wine and more. Don’t forget to try their hot chocolate (with cinnamon) when you drop by on a chilly evening as you have to compare it with the hot chocolate of another nice place – Achajour café (Envoy staff can’t decide which one is better). Malocco is positioned closeby to Envoy on 40 Tumanyan Street.
Achajour | And here is the next great place to have tasty snacks and spent good time while drinking a hot chocolate or a milk shake, when it’s hot outside. You can find Achajour café on Ghazar Parpetsi street, only a minute walk from Envoy hostel and in the Lover’s park (Baghramyan ave.), which is very famous during the summertime, because of it’s location and being open air. And when it gets cooler in the evening, just take a blanket and enjoy the twilight. The Achajour café at the Lovers’ Park is the first in the top 10 Foursquare venues in Yerevan by ranking.
Gemini | Do you like to drink a coffee or tea while watching the people passing by? If yes, then this is for you. The Gemini cafeteria is located in the corner of Ghazar Parpetsi and Tumanyan streets (one of the most beautiful streets in Yerevan). Only few small tables where you can enjoy the best crepe in the city. Gemini offers a wide range of crepes and good coffee/tea. A nice place to have breakfast or dinner. Plus its just around the corner from Envoy!
æon – Anti café | When a Cafe is not a cafe, it’s an Anti cafe! This is by definition what æon is. If you are tired of all the meat dishes and you just want to spend some nice time with friends, then this is the right place for you. æon (3a Teryan str) is a famous time café, where you have time and space for books, games, movies, discussions and more. Just pay for the entrance and get tea/coffee and biscuits, play board games and create music. You will be allowed to order food from other restaurants or cafés. Meet new and interesting people and create your own unforgettable time!
Grand Candy | Calling all those with a sweet tooth! This is more of an institution rather than a new hip cafe. Locals go here for its ‘ponchicks’ which are a custard filled doughnut type pastries (without the hole!). These are baked fresh on site and are very popular with locals. It is situated close to the Madenadaran Museum at the end of Mashtots. While there, also try their chocolates – we recommend trying their unique local dried fruit & walnut chocolates (can select from fig/ peach and their very tasty apricots!) – you’ll find yourself buying some as a souvenir to take home!
Jazzve | One of the most famous cafés in Yerevan and a local institution in its own right. Over 10 years the Jazzve café is well known amongst the locals and has always something new to offer. Just thumb through their old news paper menu, chose one of their delicious cakes and have a laugh at the jokes mentioned in their menu 🙂 . See how old, traditional accessories from Soviet times have rounded off the interior and enjoy the nice music. Beside the cakes you will find waffles, snacks, soups, salads, a wide assortment of alcohol and non alcoholic drinks and even glintwines.
Retro Cafe | What can make a beautiful day even more enjoyable? – of course a nice evening at a welcome place. If you are a fan of Retro style, then you have to visit this café located on Mashtots ave. and Tamanyan str. (Cascade). Just walk through the Cascade enjoy the beautiful art works and when you get tired, enjoy a meal back in the wonderful epoch of Retro.
Green Bean Shop | Be green! One of the most popular slogans in our modern world. And here is a Coffee shop, where people realize this idea. Being eco-friendly – that’s the way Green Bean has chosen. You can get the best coffee in town in a smoke free environment. Using fresh and organic products the staff will take time to create something special and unique for you, which will give positive emotions and power to continue your day. So make sure you pop in to this great place while you’re walking down the Amiryan Street to the Republic Square.
Yerevan Tavern | The best place to enjoy Armenian traditional food is near the Republic Square. Pork, Beef and chicken combined with vegetables make a colorful and delicious composition which is spiced up by Armenian traditional music. Once you are there you just have to try the dolma or the stuffed aubergine and pepper. Another recommendation is the bean soup with walnuts. Yum! Yerevan tavern offers not only Armenian but also regional food. And all that served with the famous Armenian hospitality!
Mer Gyough | Translated to “Our Village” is a quaint little restaurant on Sayat Nova (behind the Opera). This friendly little place offers great quality traditional Armenian food including stuffed wine leaves, lentil dishes with yoghurt dressings and more. Complete with a hand written menu, chipped plates, and waiters/ waitresses dressed in traditional clothes it offers great food and atmosphere.
Old Tbilisi | Hope you are planning to visit our neighbours while in the Caucasus’ and in particular Georgia as they are famous for their fabulous food! Try some delicious Ajarian khachapouri (a bread boat with cheese and egg), khinkali (giant pasta parcels with minced meat) and more. Still in the city circle (5-10 minutes drive) but perhaps a bit far to walk from Envoy – ask reception to book you a taxi.
Poplavok | An icon and landmark in its own right. A very popular place among locals. It is set on a man made lake with paddle boats and typically has live jazz music. It offers an extensive menu but is best known for its name. Poplavok means fishing float in Russian as it appears to be bopping on the water.