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2023-10-04 05:30:09


DINING -> Restaurants
By RigaNOW!. 05.02.2016

Dzirnavu st. 62 , Riga Working hours: Mon-Sun 11:00 - 23:00

Armenian cuisine You can find unbelievable facts on the Internet! For example, British scientists have made a miraculous discovery. Namely – eaters of Armenian cuisine should not worry about obesity! The reasons are: the clean air of Armenia, warm presentation of food and, of course, the particularity of numerous natural ingredients of this cuisine’s dishes. However, there also is information that it is only a joke which was created to emphasize the amazing taste of Armenian cuisine. A quite original advertisement. But there is no smoke without fire. Armenian cuisine really is special. For instance, due to the fact that it is one of the most ancient cuisines in Asia, and the most ancient in Transcaucasia. The cuisine’s most typical features developed at least thousand years before our era.

Many people, observing contemporary Armenians getting busy at a stove or grill, consider that all Armenians are born chefs, regardless their profession. Of course, you cannot born with cooking skill, and some are better at preparing Tolma (similar to small cabbage rolls, but using grape leaves), others – Kihta (very mild and light meat ball made of steamed minced meat) or Khashlama (veal, mutton or beef soup with vegetables). Some are good at mutton dishes in a pot – Piti and Chanakhi, Kharcho soup or Armenian pie Pakhlava. However, it can be affirmed that each Armenian can prepare a shashlik at least in 20 ways, one of them being their favourite and the most frequently used. A meat chop usually is used for a shashlik. It is served with grilled peeled tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and a huge amount of greens, as well as spring water…

Shortly – Armenian cuisine definitely is worth trying! And you can do it in Riga. Yes, exactly in Riga. You do not have to go to Caucasus! The restaurant “Armenia”, a place with profound length of service, good reputation, and relatively regular clientele, is located almost in the very centre of Riga, on Dzirnavu Street 62 (approximately hundred meters from the “Radisson Blu Hotel Latvia”). Artjoms Asatrajans, the owner of the restaurant, is an Armenian who has lived in Riga for a long time (by the way, there are quite significant Armenian community in Riga). He says that the restaurant was created by … request of his mother. Artjoms was working in the real estate business; he also constructed the restaurant’s building. His mother was constantly asking him to open an Armenian restaurant, where she could use her skills (she has been cooking all her life). During a family gathering, they decided to do what they enjoy and what they are good at. Therefore, the restaurant “Armenia” was created! It can be called a typical family business, and the mother of Artjoms still works as a chef in the restaurant. With assistants, of course.

 Armenian spices are necessary for Armenian cuisine; however, the most important cooking condition is fresh and qualitative produce: meat, tomatoes, eggplants, sweet peppers, parsley, dill, cilantro, basil. Meat and seasonal vegetables are purchased from Latvian farmers; however, greens and specific spices, as well as Armenian wines and Armagnacs are imported from Yerevan. By the way, in Armenian cuisine the emphasis is made on meat dishes. It was created historically. Artjoms says that mutton is on the first place, pork on the second, chicken on the third, and beef on the fourth. Therefore, it can be asserted that the restaurant “Armenia” would be perfect for gastronomic adventures of meat eaters.

Restaurateurs – Armenian experts – managed to recreate the authentic spirit of Armenia – the finishing of natural stone, wrought-iron staircase pattern, which repeats the curves of vine, and walls decorated with paintings of famous Armenian artists. The soft interior emphasizes many centuries old architecture and culture of Great Armenia. The author of this article has visited Armenia numerous times and can assure that the particular style of Armenian restaurant is authentic in this place.

The adventure of tastes in the restaurant “Armenia” can be started with hot snacks “Kidney beans”, which is a pate made of walnuts, onions and coriander /5.50 euro/ – a typical Caucasian dish. Among salads you can choose Armenian “Bzyk-bzyk”, which consists of chicken, mushrooms and nuts /7.00 euro/. But maybe you would enjoy a classical khachapuri with cheese and egg /4.00 euro/? No problem – just try! The assortment of soups is so wide that you may wish to have more than one stomach.. “Bozbash” – beef with vegetables /5.60 euro/, “Vospnapur” – mutton with lentils /5.90 euro/ and, of course, a classical “Kharcho” with mutton /5.90 euro/. Excellent. If you would have some free space left in your stomach, you can order one of the main courses, for instance, “Khashlama” – mutton stewed with vegetables /9.00 euro/ or “Chanakhi” – mutton baked with vegetables in a pot /8.50 euro/. We tried “Tolma” – beef stuffed in grape leaves with macun sauce /8.50 euro/. It was hard to get enough of this dish – the taste is fantastic, grape leaves and sweet-and-sour cream sauce create an amazing flavour. Meat rolls are small; you can eat them one by one, not even noticing that you have eaten the whole pot! It is a joke, of course. However, there is a grain of truth!

But perhaps you would like to choose a classical dish? The chefs will prepare “Caesar” salad or steak not worse than chefs of European restaurants will. Vegetarians are not forgotten as well. And desserts.. We suggest to try “Note of Armenia” – delicate dessert of ice cream /6.00 euro/. The restaurant’s employers will suggest excellent Armenian wines and brandies, which were created in the famous factory “Ararat”, located in Yerevan. Here, a true Armenian atmosphere prevails. In the very heart of Riga!!


Bastourma, Sudjukh “Royal Recipe” 6.50 euro

“Armenia” salad – fresh vegetables, crispy lavash, cheese 7.00 euro

“Adjap Sandal” vegetable soup 5.90 euro


“Khazani korovac” – roast mutton served on a cast iron skillt 12.00 euro