Armenia’s capital Yerevan boasts a great dining scene, in which you can find plenty of restaurants offering local cuisine in both traditional and modern incarnations. And for those who prefer to have international culinary options, the capital won’t disappoint either. Here are the best eateries for an enjoyable dining experience in Yerevan.
In order to try the local dish lahmajun, you have to come here. Lahmajun is like a pizza, with a thin crust and fresh ground meat topped with onions, tomatoes, and parsley. This fast food spot is a popular place for many locals, offering delicious food at affordable prices. In addition to lahmajun, you can order manti, but be prepared that this will not be a typical manti dish in lots of broth. Instead, you will get dumplings in less broth, but with lots of yogurt dressing spiced with sumac.
Dolmama is the number one place to go to try the traditional Armenian staple – dolma, or tolma. Established in 1998, the venue offers its guests authentic dishes from eastern Armenia. The main focus of the restaurant is dolma, a dish made from ground meat mixed with rice and herbs and wrapped in grape leaves. What makes Dolmama’s dish so special is that they have replaced the ground meat with a piece of sirloin and added chili and rosemary. Another of their special dishes to try here is khashlama, a meat stew cooked in sweet wine and crème fraîche instead of water. Make sure to also try their Easter Pilaf, a rice dish with raisins, dried fruit, and nuts.
Malkhas Jazz Club
By far the best place in Yerevan to enjoy jazz music while having dinner or drinks, the Malkhas Jazz Club is a popular and laid-back place that often requires advanced booking. The service, food, and atmosphere are excellent and so is the music. Their food menu includes steaks, pasta, and pork chops, and they also have an excellent cocktail and cigar menu. The restaurant was named after the owner and best jazz pianist in the country, Levon Malkhasyan, who regularly performs here a little after midnight.
As the name suggests, Tapastan is a place where Armenian cuisine meets Spanish tapas and creates somewhat unusual appetizers with the blend of both cultures and traditions. Here, you can try various tapas from the menu full of meat and vegetarian options. However, if you’d like to have a more traditional meal, the Anti Tapas page of their menu features an Armenian noodle dish called arishta, along with tolma, salads, and other dishes prepared with chicken, beef, and pork.
Khinkali, a kind of meat dumpling, is a national dish of Georgia that found its way to the very center of Yerevan. Tumanyan Khinkali offers its patrons a sneak peak of not only Georgian cuisine, but of local and regional cuisine as well. In addition to khinkali, you can the try famous Russian pelmeni, another much smaller dumpling, along with various soups, salads, vegetable dishes, and desserts.
Anoush restaurant is another place to try authentic Armenian cuisine made from fresh ingredients. With its cozy atmosphere and vintage accessories, the restaurant is a favorite spot for many locals. The dishes are prepared according to old recipes. Come here to try manti, a dumpling dish served with tomato and strained yogurt or nuts and chickpeas, their special dolma, ghapa, or palatial, just to name a few.
ArtBridge Bookstore Cafe
The ArtBridge Bookstore Cafe is a cozy place that caters to art and literature lovers. Guests can come here to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner and enjoy reading from the extensive selection of local papers and magazines. Regular art exhibitions that feature paintings, sculptures and photographs are held at the café, which makes the dining experience a creative and inspiring one. Also, the ArtBridge Bookstore Cafe organizes ‘Meet the Artist’ events, where talented artists are introduced to patrons. The food is always tasty, the atmosphere relaxed, and the service is excellent.
The Club offers tasty Armenian and international dishes with a French touch in an elegant setting. The must-try dish at this restaurant is steak on a hot stone. For dessert, it is best to head to the tearoom and experience their divine crème brûlée. The Club is known as an affordable yet high-class restaurant that welcomes talented chefs from Armenia and abroad. Besides being a restaurant and having a tearoom, the Club also has a café, a marketplace with a range of stalls featuring magazines, books, films and much more, and even a concert hall.
The Pandok Yerevan restaurant and tavern is a comfortable and relaxing place that can accommodate up to 30 guests in the main dining room, and smaller groups of four to eight in smaller rooms, all decorated in Armenian style. The cushions and tablecloths are covered in Armenian ornaments, and pictures of Armenia’s most notable sights can be seen all around. ‘Calm’ best describes the atmosphere of this spot, where guests can enjoy the best of Armenian cuisine. A must-try is the homemade apricot and peach vodka.
The article was originally written by Sarine Arslanian.
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