A visit to Armenia would not be complete without having tasted the delicious, traditional lahmadjun, often translated as ‘Armenian pizza’. At the simple, cozy and down-to-earth Mer Taghe restaurant, the dough is fresh and made on the spot. On this very thin and round piece of dough, fresh ground meat is added together with parsley, tomatoes, and onions. The lahmadjun then comes served with lemon to sprinkle on top. Combine it with Tan, a yoghurt drink, and it will make a cheap, filling, and delicious meal.
21/1 Tumanyan Street, Yerevan, Armenia, +374 10 580106
Old Erivan (Hin Yerevan)
Situated in a very tall building (by Armenian standards) the Old Erivan restaurant is a must try for those wishing to experience Armenian hospitality, food, and music. The restaurant offers a variety of authentic Armenian dishes, including the famous dolma kebab and ishkhan (Armenian trout). Guests will dine in beautiful rooms that reflect ancient Armenian culture while listening to live Armenian bands playing traditional musical instruments, including the duduk. Each floor has its own style and music. Old Erivan has an ideal location, offering views over the ballet and opera houses.
2 Northern Avenue, Yerevan, Armenia, +374 10 529494
A traditional music band playing at Old Erivan:
The Pandok Yerevan restaurant and tavern is a comfortable and relaxing place that can accommodate up to 30 guests in the main hall, and smaller groups of four to eight guests in little 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 place, where guests can enjoy the best of Armenian cuisine. A must try is the homemade apricot and peach vodka.
29/2 Movses Khorenatsi Street, Yerevan, Armenia, +374 10 582512
Located in the heart of Yerevan since 1998, the restaurant Dolmama has worked hard to revive traditional Armenian cuisine and give it a special touch. The specialty of this restaurant is, as the name suggests, the famous dolma (or sarma in western Armenian dialect): ground meat mixed with rice, herbs and a variety of spices, wrapped in grape leaves. But Dolmama has decided to spice it up by changing the recipe. They’ve replaced the ground meat with a slice of sirloin, and added some chili and rosemary. The dolma is best enjoyed with sprinkled lemon and yogurt.
10 Pushkin Street, Yerevan, Armenia, +374 10 561354
The Kovkas Tavern, or Caucasus Tavern, is where up to 200 guests can come to enjoy Caucasian hospitality and cuisine, together with the best cognacs and wines of the region. Even forgotten dishes of the region are revisited as the restaurant’s Armenian and Georgian chefs have made an extra effort to dig into the ethnographic literature and other archival materials to seek inspiration. The team at Kovkas also applied the same hunger for tradition to their decor, trying to make the interior of the tavern look like the Yerevan or Tblisi of the 19th century. Moreover, every evening, musicians bring their traditional instruments to play Sayat Nova, Sherami and Jivani songs in the Maran East room. There is also a second Kovkas complex located a little outside the city on the Ashtarak highway, for those willing to adventure further out. The cuisine remains the same but the venue is larger.
82 Hanrapetutyan street, Yerevan, Armenia, +374 10 561177
8-rd Hrashaliq (8th Miracle)
In the gorge of Yerevan, where nature and gastronomy meet, lies the beautiful 8-rd Hrashaliq restaurant. Guests can sit indoors or outdoors, where they can appreciate the soothing sound of the nearby river and the calmness of nature. this restaurant caters well to big groups, serving an abundance of food in the middle of the table for everyone to share in traditional Armenian fashion. The restaurant is also child-friendly, and really comes alive at night, especially on the dance floor.
Hrazdani Kirch, Yerevan, Armenia, +374 10 534151
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 has been named after the owner and best jazz pianist in the country, Levon Malkhasyan, who regularly performs here a little after midnight.
52/1 Pushkin Street, Yerevan, Armenia, +374 10 535350
Mer Kyugh (Our Village)
In the very cozy Mer Kyugh restaurant, which makes you immediately feel at home, delicious traditional Armenian homemade food is served, including a variety of cheeses and tasty keftah. They also bring wines from different villages to accompany the food, and there is often live music to make the dining experience even more enjoyable and memorable. The decoration is typically Armenian and you will find many Armenian carpets inside. This place has a good reputation with many regular customers.
5 Sayat Nova Avenue, Yerevan, Armenia, +374 10 548700
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 over breakfast, lunch and supper. Regular art exhibitions which feature paintings, sculptures and photographs are held at the cafe, which makes the eating experience a creative and inspiring one. Also, the ArtBridge Bookstore Cafe organizes ‘Meet the Artist’ events, where talented artists are introduced to the guests. The food is always tasty, the atmosphere relaxed, and the service is excellent.
20 Abovyan street, Yerevan, + 374 10 521239
The Club offers tasty Armenian and international dishes with a French touch in an elegant setting. The must-try dish at this restaurant is the 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 which welcomes talented chefs from Armenia and abroad. Besides being a restaurant and having a tearoom, the Club also has a cafe, a marketplace with a range of stalls featuring magazines, books, films and much more, and even a concert hall.
40 Tumanyan Street, Yerevan, Armenia, +374 10 531361