The Best Places for Armenian Dessert in Yerevan

Gata Festival
Gata Festival | © Armineaghayan / WikiCommons

Armenian cuisine doesn’t have a great variety of desserts, but the few it does have are very tasty and unique to the nation. If you are invited to the home of an Armenian family, you’ll get a chance to try these after dinner with tea or coffee. However, even if you don’t get such an invitation, you can still try the most popular desserts in a number of eateries throughout Yerevan.

Anoush Restaurant

Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, European

Anoush Restaurant boasts authentic Armenian cuisine in a fancy setting adorned with different patterns, textures, and vintage accessories. Prepared exclusively from high-quality, fresh ingredients, their menu is quite diverse in terms of local cuisine. Their dessert menu includes dsegh gata, made from homemade dough and jam, cinnamon and yogurt. Gata is similar to a coffee cake, and there are many variations of the pastry depending on the region of the country. Therefore, it comes in different sizes, shapes, and decorations. Here, you can also try halva, a sunflower seed dessert popular not only in Armenia but also in the Middle East, Balkans, the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe to name just a few. If none of those desserts seems like something you would enjoy, the restaurant also offers baklava, the sweet pastry made of layers of filo dough and filled with nuts and syrup or honey. It’s an Armenian cousin of Turkish baklava.

Pandok Yerevan

Restaurant, European

The venue is both a restaurant and a tavern, with a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere for you to enjoy local cuisine in a typical Armenian setting. All the decorations here mirror the culture and history of the country, be it the cushions or the tablecloths. Pandok Yerevan is another great place to try a slightly different variety of gata with a filling of khoriz, a mixture of flour, sugar, and butter or walnuts.

Tospia Restaurant

Restaurant, European

© Chaojoker / WikiCommons

Tospia Restaurant offers the best of local traditional and modern meals. Come here to try ghapama, a colorful pumpkin dish stuffed with a mixture of rice, dried fruits, nuts, and raisins. This is not considered a typical dessert in Armenia, and you might not see it on the dessert menu either. It’s more of a dish, but the sweetness from all those raisins and dried fruits make it more appropriate to consider as a dessert. Moreover, Armenians don’t eat ghapama every day; it’s prepared on special occasions once or twice a year. However, if ghapama is not your cup of tea, you can try their gata or baklava as well, or their specialty: a plum lavash wrap filled with dried fruits, nuts, and honey.

Tsirani Home - Restaurant

Restaurant, European

Tsirani Home-Restaurant, located in the very center of the city, echoes the lifestyle of Armenians through various decorative items and homemade-type meals. Similar to the restaurant mentioned above, Tsirani Home-Restaurant’s dessert menu includes gata, baklava, and a local yogurt called matzoon served with almonds and jam.

Food Markets

Market, Authentic

Wandering through food markets is a great way to try some of the Armenian desserts you won’t find in the restaurants, such as a variety of dried fruits and jams. Even though dried fruits didn’t originate in Armenia, some types are only made here – for instance, alani, a pitted dried peach filled with ground walnuts and sugar. You can buy a few grams of dried plums, apricots, and cherries, among other fruits, to snack on while walking through the streets of Yerevan. And if you’d like to try something quite unique, try sujuk, an Armenian cousin of Georgian churchkhela – a sweet snack made with grape juice and walnuts that looks like a candle.

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