Gyumri’s traditional cuisine is famous for its soups, pilafs, meat dishes and desserts.
Special dishes include tatar boraki, dolma, kufta, and khazan barbeque.
Armenian traditional khash is a favorite dish prepared by Gyumretsis. It has preserved its traditional cooking formula for centuries. It’s a substantial soup of cows’ feet and stomach with plenty of garlic, all sorts of pickled vegetables and vodka on top of everything.
Traditionally khash is served in the morning between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. Centuries ago, when the wealthy slaughtered animals, they used only meat and threw away the feet (as well as tails and entrails) and it is believed that the poor picked through these remains, cooked and ate them early in the morning so that nobody could see what they were eating.
Unlike other kinds of Armenian meals, khash is served only with limited ingredients, such as garlic, salt, mineral water, greens, radishes, yellow chili peppers, lavash, and vodka, which makes it possible to digest the “foot soup”.
Collection of Gyumri’s traditional desserts is very delicious. Traditional gata, pakhlava, shakar lokum (Butter Cookies), shakar choraki are everyone’s favorite.
When you visit Gyumri, don’t go without tasting Gyumri’s traditional yaghli: a dough sheet fried in oil and powdered with sugar.
Gyumri is the right place for beer lovers. Beer was one of the most popular beverages in Alexandrapol. There were many pubs, beerhouses and inns, where the city’s craftsmen would gather for drinks.
The history of Armenian beer goes back to ancient times. Greek historian Xenophon described an “unusual” drink that he tasted in Armenia 4th century B.C.
The first brewery in this area was built in 1898 by Tsahikyants. The Gyumri Beer Company, founded in 1970, is one of the largest beer producers in Armenia.