There are 646 restaurants in Yerevan, according to Tripadvisor, which is a lot more than there used to be half a decade ago. So far, I’ve tried about 40 of them, most of them multiple times.
I’m not a huge foodie or anything, but in Yerevan restaurants I’m generally impressed by the quality of the food, atmosphere, interior decoration, and hospitality (not necessarily the service). And I haven’t even tried some of the most beloved restaurants yet like Anteb, Lavash, or Dolmama.
There is not an abundance of international cuisine in Armenia, but you can tell that American, Japanese, and Thai foods are gaining popularity. Lots of Armenian restaurants now include borrowed dishes on their menus. The vegan/vegetarian trend, on the other hand, is only slowly reaching Yerevan.
Since my conversion to veganism seven months ago, going out for dinner became harder. My experience is that–in most places–it’s useless to even mention it because generally waiters don’t know what to answer; I’ve never been in a restaurant where they offered to adapt a certain dish or proposed something off-menu.
Undeterred, my husband and I continue to go out for dinner regularly. Vegan options are limited so it makes ordering easy–often we simply order everything on the menu that looks vegan. Unfortunately that means we have to scan the entire menu and it gets a little bit monotonous. There are restaurants I avoid now because they don’t have any vegan item on the menu besides side orders like potatoes, rice, humus, and grilled vegetables.
Tripadvisor promotes some restaurants as “Top Vegan Restaurants in Yerevan” even if they hardly serve anything without meat or dairy in it. For example, the list includes Black Angus (a burger joint!) and Zhingalov Hats, which makes bread stuffed with fresh herbs and copious amounts of butter. And some of the best places aren't even mentioned!
1. Eat & Fit
Eat&Fit serves lots of different fresh foods and juices, and offers plenty of vegetarian dishes including some legitimate vegan options. The restaurant is located in the midst of Yerevan’s restaurant scene and nightlife around Saryan Street. It feels like a lunch place, but they’re open until midnight.
Address: 80 Aram Street
2. Veg & Co
Veg & Co is Yerevan’s is the newest health restaurant in town, and it's right around the corner from Eat & Fit. The menu includes all the good stuff—sushi, burgers, hotdogs—but vegan or vegetarian. They pride themselves on adding a new item to the menu every week (or month?). They also have a salad bar, which is awesome.
Address: 70 Aram, Yerevan
3. Green Bean Coffee Shop
Green Bean looks and sounds more vegetarian than it really is, but it’s still a good place if you’re looking for a semi-healthy meal and you want some options. I haven’t always been happy with the execution of the dishes–particularly what passes for guacamole. The menu features bagels, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and a few snacks.
Addresses: 10 Amiryan Street & 38 Isahakyan
4. Noyan Tun
Noyan Tun is a chic restaurant I only went to once, to celebrate my birthday. To my surprise, they had a separate vegetarian menu! And it wasn’t even lent! I thought the price-quality ratio was great. We had some delicious food (some dishes seemed vegan), the service was excellent, and the bill was not shocking at all.
Address: 12 Amiryan Street
5. Wine Time
Elegant décor, trendy finishes, unique menu, delicious wine… need I say more? Wine Time doesn’t specialize in veg dishes, but they don’t avoid it either. The menu is a pleasant mix of everything. The portions are on the smaller side, but I think the moderate pricing allows for it and gives you the opportunity to try a lot of stuff during a single visit.
Address: 6 Martiros Saryan Street
6. Dragon Garden
I adore Asian food and Dragon Garden is great because it has both a Chinese and a Japanese menu. They have a decent amount of vegetarian options. I especially like the salads, some of which you won’t find anywhere else in Yerevan. It relocated this summer and I think the new location is great–right between my other favorites Eat & Fit and Dargett.
Address: 76 Aram Street
7. Indian food: Indian Mehak & Karma
I love Indian food (also Asian!) and both Indian restaurants I’ve tried in Yerevan were good. I don’t know if they measure up to the finest Indian restaurants elsewhere, but to me it tastes authentic enough and I’ve lived in Pakistan. There are lots of Indian students in Yerevan who undoubtedly eat at these places.
Addresses: 6 Davit Anhaght Street & 65c Teryan Street
PUB FOOD & TAPAS
I have to admit that I ate at Tapastan only once, but ever since I’ve been planning to go back (if only they served better beer). I had the vegetarian tapas combination, which was absolutely delicious. The menu marks vegetarian options and several of them seem vegan-proof.
Address: 6 Martiros Saryan Street
9. Dargett & Beer Academy
Both Dargett and Beer Academy are excellent local breweries I go to as often as possible. Dargett is spacious and modern–and is getting a bit too popular among expats and local elites for my husband’s taste. Beer Academy is just the opposite: small and modest in terms of the restaurant’s size and the beer menu. Dargett has surprisingly few vegetarian options and almost no vegan food. Beer Academy has a few decent options and overall the food seems healthier.
Addresses: 72 Aram Street & 8 Moskovyan Street
10. Black Angus
This burger chain makes the list after all because they gave me a great idea. When I ordered the “vegetarian burger” I got a bun with grilled vegetables, toppings, and sauce on it. I was somewhat dismayed because I expected a proper burger but it tasted great–much better than any vegan burger I’ve made at home! Since then, that’s how we do burgers at our place.
Address: 2/5 Abovyan Street & 39/9 Mashtots Av. & Yerevan Mall, 34 Arshakunyats Street