Yerevan is blooming. The capital of Armenia—a tiny country whose natural beauty, culture, and burgeoning tourism industry landed it on our recent list of 10 places that deserve more travelers—has charm in spades and enough places to eat to keep your belly happily filled.
Best Neighborhood for a Food Frenzy
For a day of good eating, choose Charles Aznavour Square as your center point and fan out from there. Start off with a breakfast of waffles or French toast at the ArtBridge Bookstore Café. You can pick up a Yerevan guidebook or some postcards on your way in—the café is inside a popular bookshop. After a morning of sightseeing, hit Khinkali for a lunch of traditional Georgian khinkali, large dumplings usually stuffed with ground beef and cilantro. In the afternoon, recharge with an iced coffee or relax with a glass of wine at Martini Royale, an airy, modern Italian café right on the square. Snag a table by the floor-to-ceiling windows and people watch. Close the day out at Dolmama. Inside, this warm-toned Pushkin Street restaurant looks like an old master painting, and the traditional eastern Armenian food is just as appealing. The focus is dolmas, meat and rice wrapped in grape leaves.
Best Neighborhood for Armenian Barbecue
Armenia is known for khorovats, meat grilled on a skewer, and the place to get the best khorovats in Yerevan is Proshyan Street (which becomes Paronyan Street). Barbecue Street, as it’s known, is lined with khorovats restaurants (try Urartu) and roadside grills.
Best Neighborhood to Café-Hop
Spend an afternoon—or more—in the neighborhood around the Cascade, a massive stairway that links the Yerevan city center to the Monument neighborhood. At Charles, serving both European and Armenian dishes, an outdoor area makes it perfect for nice nights. Try the lamb confit. A few blocks south, Malocco Café is a cozy spot ideal for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Save room for dessert and head over to Cascade Chocolateria, a café and chocolate shop. Tuck in for chocolate fondue or nibble on an assortment of truffles and other sweets.