Armenian food derives most of its magic from the great abundance, quality, and freshness of its locally sourced ingredients. Experiencing Armenia means trying all of the delicious meals it has to offer. Whether it's in a modern restaurant, a fast food spot, or a traditional home cooked meal – Armenia has many tasty foods to satisfy your tastebuds.
Armenian Cuisine, a Real Paradise for any Gourmet
The glory of Armenian cuisine extends far beyond the country's borders. Armenian food derives most of its magic from the great abundance, quality, and freshness of its locally sourced ingredients. Armenian cuisine is based on a concept of food quality that is defined by three interconnected principles: good, clean and fair.
The cuisine reflects the traditional crops and animals grown and raised on Armenian land. Armenia is home to a rich and varied selection of fish and meat; the alpine plains and river valleys are filled with orchards, groves and fields of vegetables, legumes, cereals and nuts; the mountains and hillsides are covered in vines and forests; and large flocks and herds are pastured throughout the country.
Another feature of Armenian cuisine is a great number of greengrocery and spices in preparation of dishes. Armenian cookery uses about 300 kinds of wild-growing grasses and colors, which are used as seasonings for even the most basic dish.
Destination for Food Connoisseurs
Guests visiting Armenia are very fortunate: Armenian cuisine has stood the test of time for two millennia and offers bountiful tables of mouthwatering dishes that are accompanied with intimate drinks and toasts. Here, you will enjoy an inexpensive full dinner at a respectable restaurant, aromatic coffee at a cafe and local fruits and berries at the markets fresh from the orchard.
Armenia is a place where recipes are passed on from generation to generation and the signature of specialties become a treasured family secret. It is a place where chefs conjure in the kitchen by keeping to traditional recipes, interpreting or even boldly experimenting with old ones. You will learn how to bake lavash, make khorovats (barbecue), wrap tolma in grape leaves and learn to distinguish authentic Armenian cognac. You will be offered to taste crawfish with raw beer. A seemingly casual meal, yet in V century BC Xenophon, an ancient Greek historian, mentioned in “Anabasis” that the beer he tried in Armenia had excellent taste.
National Geographic included Yerevan in the list of “Six Unexpected Cities for the Food Lovers” mentioning the capital city as one of the best places in Asia with rich cuisine: the magazine advises food lovers to try gastro tours to Armenia.
The Armenian national bread, lavash, holds a significant place in the Armenian diet. Lavash is made with flour, water, and salt and is a soft, thin unleavened flatbread usually about one meter long. Traditionally the dough is rolled out flat and slapped against the hot walls of a clay oven.
In 2014, "lavash, the preparation, meaning and appearance of traditional bread as an expression of culture in Armenia" was inscribed in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Armenian Wine and the Legendary Brandy
Armenia is one of the oldest wine making regions in the world and wine is an ancient part of its culture. Armenian wines provide something for every occasion and in every form, from delicate whites to robust reds to wonderful dry or sweet sparkling wines, and from simple table wines to some of the most expensive and sought.
Armenian brandy is renowned worldwide (winner of several awards), and was considered by the late British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, as his favorite. The generous sun of the Ararat Valley, the fertile land, and the quality of water gives the Armenian brandy its gold color and extraordinary taste.
The most popular Armenian beers are Kotayk and Kilikia. Recently, there are more microbreweries opening around Yerevan that serve draft beer.