Thinking of the best vegan cafes and restaurants in Yerevan, I realized there were not so many strictly vegan places here. However, being vegan in Armenia is not difficult because our traditional cuisine uses a lot of plants anyway. So, in this post I’ll present you a shortlist of cafes and restaurants in Yerevan that offer a decent variety of vegan food. Also, I’ll teach you how to say that you are vegan in Armenian. That will help you order the right food at any restaurant or cafe. And, if you are here for tips on yummy Armenian vegan dishes, you’ll find them in the end of this post.
As you are reading through this list of vegan cafes and restaurants in Yerevan, start planning your food tour around the city. The food here won’t disappoint you, I’m 100% sure of that. And when you visit any of these venues, share your thoughts with me. Tweet and instagram me the pictures of your gastronomic discoveries in Armenia with #ArmeniaTravelTips.
Best vegan cafes and restaurants in Yerevan
Life Food – #1 strictly vegan cafe in Yerevan
Life Food (24, Martiros Saryan street) is a cozy family-run vegan cafe in the center of Yerevan. Here, at Life Food, they believe that raw vegan food is the key to the most productive and happy life. They carefully select the ingredients, successfully avoiding all the artificial stuff, saturated fats and refined sugar. At Life Food they also say they only use cold pressed olive oil, which is certainly much healthier than most other alternatives. And, they offer both – indoor and outdoor seating, which makes them a go-to place regardless of the season.
But, of course, this is all “sales talk” which you can read on Life Food’s website as well. In my opinion, what really matters is that the food here is really delicious. And there is a wide variety of it as well.
They offer vegan rolls, pizzas, soups, pasta, and even vegan sushi throughout the day. Those of you who love a good healthy breakfast would certainly appreciate their fruit and berry porridge and vegan yogurts. Did I mention their vegan donuts and other plant-based desserts? If you have a sweet-tooth like I do, you know you can’t miss a place that has decent raw vegan desserts.
Options of vegan food delivery or take-away
Life Food is also a vegan shop, and they offer food delivery service. So, if you want to through a vegan picnic somewhere in a park or at the steps of Cascade enjoying one of the best views in Yerevan, use their take-away option or order on their website. Unfortunately, they don’t deliver through any of the food delivery apps in Armenia I wrote about earlier.
Long story short, Life Food does a great job of combining the healthy and the tasty. That’s why I recommend this place to all vegan travelers in Yerevan. And that’s why it’s #1 on my list of the best vegan cafes and restaurants in Yerevan.
Dr. Veggie – not your typical vegan cafe
To be honest Dr. Veggie (31, Moskovyan street) is not the most eye-pleasing place to be in when you are in Armenia, because it feels a bit clinical. Well, on the other hand, it’s a health center, so that is sort of expected. But it made its way into my list of good vegan cafes and restaurants in Yerevan anyway. That’s because they have a genuinely good offer of vegan meals there.
It’s simple and affordable, yet delicious and filling. Vegan pizzas, burgers, soups and salads are just some of the great stuff they treat you with. I strongly recommend you try their pumpkin soup and eggplant salad. Those are mad good! 😊 Not to mention delicious desserts and smoothies made of fresh berries and fruits. Oh, did I mention vegan ice-cream? Well, you get the picture… Don’t be discouraged by the interior of the place, give it a chance. Your taste buds will appreciate that.
The Green Bean – trendy Yerevan cafe with a decent vegan offer
While not strictly vegan, it’s a very friendly place with several delicious vegan options, which are clearly marked on their menu. Some of the vegan options here include…
- traditional Taboule salad made with quinoa,
- hummus and veggie wraps,
- delicious baked potatoes with avocado sauce
- desserts like eggless banana bread etc.
It’s rather a café than a restaurant, so typically you’ll find a very young and hip crowd here. Think people working on their laptops, having a coffee break while catching up with their friends etc. It generally has a very cosmopolitan and trendy vibe.
They operate in two different locations in Yerevan, one just next to the Cascade and one in 10, Amiryan street. I recommend the first one more, because apart from the indoor seating they also have several large tables outside. And when you are in Armenia you quickly realize that you want to stay outside as much as possible, because the weather is so nice all the time!
Twelve Tables – worth a visit, even for vegans
This is another not strictly vegan place, but with vegan options clearly marked in the menu. The food at Twelve Tables (40, Tumanyan street) is so delicious because they use local produce, it’s organic and free from all the nasty artificial stuff. They have several traditional Armenian vegan soups, vegan pasta, burgers and desserts. My personal tip – try the red bean soup here, it’s absolutely delicious!
From the outside it doesn’t look like anything special, but once you get it, you get overwhelmed by the visual experience. You will certainly love the interiors here – it has a very eclectic and colorful, yet cozy and warm atmosphere.
How to order vegan food in Armenia?
First, be open minded and ready to explain people that you are vegan and what it means. The idea of vegan lifestyle has just recently started reaching Armenia and the local vegan community is very small. So, you might still come across people who don’t even know what the word vegan means. However, to be fair, it’s not likely to happen at restaurants in Yerevan city center.
But in case you need to explain yourself here is what you need to say:
“Yes vegan em. Chem utum mis, dzu, katnamterq yev meghr.”
In English, it means “I’m vegan. I don’t eat meat, eggs, dairy products and honey”. I recommend that you don’t go any deeper into details, this should suffice. Most likely the response would be a smile and the staff’s attempt to find a suitable meal for you in the menu. If you are afraid you won’t be able to pronounce this long phrase in Armenian, save this page in your bookmarks and show them this picture.
Traditional Armenian vegan dishes
Here are some of my tips for delicious vegan meals in Armenia:
- Pasus tolma
- Avelukov apur
- Jengyalov hac
Scroll down to learn more about each of these Armenian vegan meals.
Pasus tolma – yummy Armenian vegan wraps
Pasus tolma (or dolma) – a delicious mix of chickpeas, different grains, kidney beans and lentils with a bunch of different spices. This yummy mishmash of goodness comes wrapped in pickled cabbage leaves and it’s often served cold and with dried fruit. Different tolma recipes are used by chefs competing in the Dolma Festival in Hnaberd village in May. If it sounds interesting, check out my post about the best time to visit Armenia, where you can learn more about this festival and see a video from it.
Mshosh – the most versatile Armenian dish
Mshosh – a very old traditional Armenian dish that is so versatile that it can be served as a salad, spread or even a soup. For the last option they simply add a veggie broth to it. It contains lentils, beans, walnuts and fried onions. Often dried fruit such as apricots or grapes are added too.
Avelukov apur – traditional vegan soup
Avelukov apur – aveluk is sorrel in English, it’s a plant that’s native to the Armenian lands and it’s been a part of the Armenian diet for centuries. It’s a bit sour, which gives the soup it’s unique taste. Many restaurants in Yerevan and around Armenia offer this traditional soup, and it’s perfectly suitable for vegans. The recipe can vary, but the typical ingredients are sorrel, bulgur, potatoes, dried plums, flour or lavash pieces and a variety of different spices. It’s a must try!
Ghapama – the most joyful Armenian vegan dish
Ghapama – if you travel to Armenia during fall season, you should definitely try this dish. It’s an absolutely unique one! Imagine a mix of rice, different nuts, spices and dried fruit – all baked inside a pumpkin. It’s so traditional that we even have an old song dedicated to it, and many singers adapt it to their own genre from time to time. I’m going to link one of my most favorite versions of Ghapama song below.
I think you should absolutely try Ghapama if you visit Armenia during pumpkin season. Just look at it on this Instagram profile – it’s so delicious! But I recommend you check with the restaurant staff to make sure they don’t add butter or honey to it, because some do.
Jengyalov hac – a vegan flatbread with a surprise
Jengyalov hac – a traditional Armenian flatbread, but… Hehe. 🙂 It’s made of simple dough (flour, water and salt) and it’s stuffed with a variety of different herbs and veggies. Depending on the recipe and the season, the stuffing can contain anywhere between 20 and 40 different greens. It’s absolutely delicious, and I wrote about it in my Best vegetarian cafes and restaurants in Yerevan post. The catch is, just like with the previous dish, you need to ask them to not put butter in it. The traditional recipe doesn’t have butter, but nowadays they add it for the taste in some venues.
Final thoughts on vegan cafes and restaurants in Yerevan
So, I hope you found my list of best vegan cafes and restaurants in Yerevan and my extra tips helpful. Full disclosure, I myself am not vegan, but I am very open-minded when it comes to food and there is a lot of vegan and vegetarian dishes I love. I shared this list with several of my vegan friends and they approved my recommendations. 😊 So, I really hope you’ll get to enjoy Armenian vegan gastronomy while visiting our country. And don’t forget to tweet or instagram your delicious pictures to me with #ArmeniaTravelTips, and let me know what you think of my tips.
Featured image credit: Photo by lifefood.am on Instagram (CC), edited
Please help me make Armenia more popular!