All for gourmets: A guide to #mustvisit cafes and restaurants in Dilijan

Dilijan has all chances to become one of the main gastronomic centers of Armenia. For several years, interesting and conceptual places are opening here, they can catch visitors’ attention with national and international cuisines, not without the peculiarities of Dilijan.

The surprising thing is that such a small city can boast a wide variety of cafes and restaurants that get many positive reviews and are ranked among the top places on TripAdvisor.

Just imagine that some residents of Yerevan and other cities purposely come to Dilijan to have a cup of coffee in their favorite place in Dilijan.

Are you intrigued? Then let's start our review of #mustvisit cafes and restaurants in Dilijan.

Papanino House. A wine restaurant in Dilijan's old quarter


Papanino House is a restaurant of Armenian and European cuisine that will surprise you with a wide range of wines and steaks. On the ground floor, there is a bakery serving fresh desserts, and cakes, you can also buy fresh bread here.

“We offer traditional Armenian cuisine with a more modern interpretation. The basis of our culinary concept is steaks and grilled meat, as well as wines. We have about 400 types of wines from 10-12 countries of the world. 70% of the assortment are Armenian wines, the rest are wines from Italy, France, Chile, New Zealand, and Spain,” says Joe Petrosyan, the Executive Director of Papanino House.

Papanino House is located in the old quarter of the same name in Dilijan, which has an impact on the aesthetics of the restaurant itself. Openwork wooden balconies, cozy atmosphere, and creative approach immediately catch the eye and "tout" visitors to take a peek inside.

Café #2. A city cafe in the heart of the city


Café #2 is not just an ambient place where you can have a delicious meal and enjoy a stunning view of the artificial lake. This is an authentic city cafe that will tell you about Dilijan and its inhabitants.

In a short period, Café #2 has become one of the most trendy places in the city. It is distinguished by drive, youthful atmosphere, and creativity. The place is also ideal for freelancers.

It is also the first social cafe in Dilijan, which is aimed at employing local teenagers and youth.

“All the cafe employees are Dilijan teenagers of 14 to 18 years old. We organize themed events, discussions, meetings, and film screenings here together with other educational organizations, such as UWC Dilijan, TUMO, and secondary schools,” says Ruzanna Vardanyan, the Café #2 SMM specialist.

Im toon Dilijan. For true connoisseurs of beauty and peace


Im toon Dilijan is a unique place for connoisseurs of beauty, peace, and harmony. It’s an exquisite restaurant of Armenian and international cuisine and it’s also a hotel.

The founder of Im toon Dilijan is the creator of the famous restaurant chain Dolmama Zhirayr Avanyan. He planned on building his own house here. But at the last moment, something went wrong, and “the bedrooms became part of the hotel, the garage became a kitchen, the kitchen itself turned into a bar, and the rest of the area into a restaurant.”

“It’s not a restaurant or a hotel, but a real house where I meet guests every morning. It's quiet and comfortable here. I wanted to create such an atmosphere where you can relax,” Zhirayr Avanyan notes.

Im toon Dilijan resembles an elegant mansion where you will definitely appreciate the first-class menu, exquisite design, and music (records with hits of the world jazz are personally chosen by Zhirayr).

Toon Armeni Guest house. Home comfort and functionality


Toon Armeni Guest house is a family-run guest house and restaurant that grabs you with a warm and sincere atmosphere from the very first seconds.

At present, the Toon Armeni ecosystem consists of a guest house, a restaurant, a conference room, and a co-working space. According to Svetlana Ananyan, Toon Armeni project manager, the range of services will continue to expand. The IDea Foundation, which owns the guest house since 2015, aims at transforming it into a conceptual, atmospheric, and functional micro-city.

“At the same time, we will maintain our concept, which we call ‘grandma’s house’. Toon Armeni is a place where you feel like you are at your grandmother's in the countryside. Our guest house is very warm and homey. Our chefs know what you prefer for breakfast. We have found the golden mean between quality service and human, warm relationships. But at the same time, we emphasize functionality, by creating all the conditions for coworking, conferences, and good rest,” she notes.

The Toon Armeni restaurant menu offers breakfasts, lunches, main courses, and pastries. Everything is cooked in a home-style and with a special, “grandma's” care.

Darchin pastry and cafe. Exclusive desserts in a friendly atmosphere


Darchin pastry and cafe serves exclusive desserts without any artificial additives, prepared according to the principle: all the freshest, high quality, and filled with creativity.

The assortment includes both vegan desserts and traditional brownies, cheesecakes, fruit and chocolate cakes, and cocktails. Everything is made from local fruits, berries, and other products. Special attention should be paid to the design:

“The design is also important for me, I try to serve desserts as beautifully and aesthetically as possible. When decorating, I use fresh flowers and berries. Everything merges with Dilijan. I have both a traditional menu and a creative one. Every day I come up with something new. My desserts are not repetitive, they are unique, as are my visitors who inspire me to create,” the founder of Darchin, Inna Asryan says. She works following a one-person concept.

Dilijan residents also fell in love with Darchin thanks to Inna, who managed to create a warm, friendly atmosphere in this small cafe. You just have to visit Darchin once to make sure that visitors come here not only to enjoy their favorite dessert but also to chat with Inna.

Carahunge Café and More. Following the footsteps of the Armenian Stonehenge


History, art, and cuisine have merged into a single whole in the Dilijan restaurant Carahunge Café and More. Modern service and a creative, purely Dilijan atmosphere are intertwined with the aesthetics and history of one of the most ancient and mysterious sights of Armenia, Carahunge (or the Armenian Stonehenge).

The menu includes dishes of Armenian and international cuisine, from spas and harissa to salads, pizzas, fish dishes, and chips made from local ishkhan fish. On the second floor, there is a library with more than a hundred books in different languages, as well as a shop of exclusive handmade souvenirs.

Pay attention not only to the interior but also to the details. Here everything, even the dishes are made exclusively for the restaurant, which is taking to the beauty of Carahunge.

Sovats Vozni cafe & garden. In the company of a hedgehog


A small family cafe Sovats Vozni (translated as “a hungry hedgehog”) is another warm and cozy place in Dilijan. It is an open-air veranda and fully merges with the forests of the city. 

The menu offers a wide variety of dishes of Armenian, European, Chinese, and Thai cuisine. 

According to Arpine, one of the founders of the cafe, the hedgehog is open to everything new and interesting, so the emphasis is laid on delicious dishes without any national reference. However, the characteristics of Dilijan are surely taken into account. The cafe also has a bar with a wide range of drinks.

“This is our family project, and we’ve put our soul into it. It has a cozy atmosphere, which is expressed both in design and every detail. On weekends we play songs on the guitar by the fire, we often organize concerts,”  Arpine notes.

DiliJazz Hotel & Restaurant. Surrounded by the mountains and jazz

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DiliJazz Hotel & Restaurant is considered to be one of the luxury hotels/restaurants in the area. It is suitable both for leisure and business trips.

The restaurant's menu offers a wide variety of international dishes, together with the best wines. But the key aspect of the restaurant is His Majesty Jazz! Dinners here are accompanied by live jazz music. DiliJazz hosts concerts of famous jazz bands from Armenia and abroad.

The restaurant is located in a picturesque, forested corner of Dilijan (in the village of Teghut) on the way to the Haghartsin Monastery.

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