While not yet a famous gastronomic spot for tourists, Armenia has all it takes for one.
Rather diverse, Armenian cuisine will surprise you with rich tastes and affordable prices. If you wonder what to eat in Armenia and where exactly to try those dishes, follow the list:
Yerevan’s dining scene:
Firstly, make sure to visit some local restaurants and cafes in country’s capital. Restaurants in Yerevan will offer you not only traditional Armenian food, but also interesting mixes of local, European, Eastern and other cuisines.
One of the most famous and prestiguous restaurants in Yerevan is Dolmama which hosted many celebrities and political figures. While this cozy spot is famous for its delicious dolma, it also offers a variety of other traditional dishes, yet with interesting and innovative solutions raising those dishes to whole another level. Once there, make sure to try Khashlama, Eastern Pilaff, aveluk soup and other familiar, yet differently made dishes. An important thing, however, to keep in mind, is that you will need to reserve a table in advance, since the place is always busy with both old and new customers.
Another restaurant, located very close to the Republic Square, on the Amiryan street, is “Sherep”. It was the first restaurant with open kitchen allowing the customers to view the whole process of how their dishes are being made. Not only it offers Armenian food specifically, but also its variations combined with Middle Eastern and European cuisines. Yet, as in the case of Dolmama, you need to make reservations in advance.
“Lavash” restaurant is more affordable compared to the first two, yet the taste of the dishes is equally good. The name of the restaurant comes from Armenian flat bread called lavash which is rather common in Armenian cuisine. The restaurant serves a variety of dishes made with lavash, as well as interesting combinations and improvisations of the best Armenian dishes.
Some Armenian dishes you can try outside Yerevan:
However, one cannot have the full image of Armenian cuisine if trying traditional dishes in the capital, only. Once travelling to Armenia, there are other dishes you need to try in other regions.
If you travel to Geghard monastery, which you most probably will, try Gata- Armenian sweet bread made and sold by local venders. Gata has very simple components- flour, butter and sugar, yet many bakers might add various nuts and other ingredients. However, as surprising as it might be, gata is very delicious. You can get the best gata near the monastery by also helping local venders- mostly elderly women to sell their homemade products.
Another tasty and sweet dish is Ghapama- stuffed pumpkin, which usually tastes the best if homemade. The stuffing includes rice, nuts, raisins, dried fruits, sweeteners and some spices, such as cinnamon. Ghapama hasn’t lost its traditional meaning as a festive dish made for special holidays and events. Till now, it is not absent from big holiday tables gathering around the whole family.
Another stuffed Armenian food is Zhenglyalov hats– flat bread with a variety of greens. While it can be found in Yerevan, too, usually the best place to try zhenglyalov hats is the southern part of the country, Syunik Province, in particular. It is also one of the most famous dishes in Artsakh, which is the best place to try this specific type of bread.
Although gastronomic tourism in Armenia is still in its initial stage, the country will still surprise you with the variety of dining options- from small cafes to fancy restaurants, from the simplest to the most complicated and improvised dishes. Whatever you try, Traveling to Armenia will still amaze you with its fresh products and tasty cuisine.