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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Armenia

Armenia Food and Drink

Yerevan has a booming restaurant scene, with cuisine available from every corner of the globe. Along Paronyan Poghots (Barbeque Street) you'll find a number of places that serve the famed Armenian dish, khoravats (grilled meats). Crawling between cafes is a popular local activity; many are located in parks and along sidewalks.

Much Armenian cooking is based on lamb, either grilled and served as shashlik with flat bread, or prepared as soup (the most popular being bozbash, a dish which exists in infinite variations) or stew, often in combination with fruit or nuts. A meal usually starts with a large spread of hors d'oeuvres, which may include peppers and vine leaves stuffed with rice and meat, pickled and fresh vegetables and various kinds of cured meat (basturma).

Specialities


• Shampours (skewers packed with all kinds of marinated meat and vegetables).
• Ghapama (pumpkin stew with rice, raisins, apples and cinnamon).
• Khash is a national institution rather than just a dish, with poems and songs throughout the centuries being composed in homage to it. It's a broth made from hamhocks and herbs, served with lots of garlic and bread.

Tipping

Expected by waiters and doormen in restaurants - sometimes in advance to ensure service.

Drinking age

There is no minimum.

Regional drinks


Brandies are exceptional, especially Dvin.
Armenian beers such as Kotayk and Kihikia.
Areni red wine is particularly lauded. Many Armenian wines are world-renowned semi-sweet or dessert wines.