Helmand Palace
Helmand Palace
Reviews Coming Soon

Helmand Palace

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.helmandpalacesf.com/
  • Phone: 4153450072
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30PM - 10:00PM
    Friday & Saturday: 5:30PM - 11:00PM.
  • Payment Options: MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Afghan
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Union
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: We are located on Van Ness between Union and Green. There is ample street parking in the area.
A word from Helmand Palace
The name Helmand comes from one of the most beautiful states in Afghanistan. It is best known by it"s river "Helmand River" which flows through the desert region, providing water diverted for irrigation.
Helmand Palace is owned and operated independently where you can taste Afghan's most famous and delicious dishes, soups, and vegetables. Our popular entrees include char-broiled leg of Lamb marinated in puree of onion, sun-dried baby grapes and garlic, served with sauteed eggplant and pallow rice or homemade pastry shells filled with onions and beef, served on yogurt and topped with carrots, yellow split-peas and beef sauce.
Continued
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Helmand Palace reviews from OpenTable diners
  • fair
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Lamb portions were small and food fair. I had enjoyed it years ago and didn't find the quality as in the past.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food
    desireeVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Good food and huge portions at reasonable prices. Only parking is a problem.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good ethnic food no one knows about
    mabesfVIP
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Really like the Helmund Place and my group of 6 was secretly happy that it wasn't crowded. The food is delicious for both vegetarians (eggplant, okra, pumpkin lovers would enjoy this place) and meat aficionados. It's a large space, so great for groups, and I plan to return soon.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The best Afghan ...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    of the several afghans i've tried in the US. I've tried Afghan in the afghan-prevalent Fremont city of Bay Area, the sister restaurant in DC (no longer connected), various afghans in Southern California--Helmand is a 10, the others are 7.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent as always
    JMinSFVIP
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    As always, the food, service and ambience at Helmand Palace are first-rate. Five stars.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent neighborhood gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    Excellent neighborhood gem with a quiet ambience due to I am guessing acoustical tiles in the ceiling and an extremely friendly staff. So, if you are tired of the typical loud trendy Polk or Union Street restaurants, try this for a nice quite change. The spices are also quite exquisite!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Faded glory
    PADiner
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    Haven't eaten there in a while and Helmand hasn't aged well. The bar at the front is used for storage, not a great sight. There was also an off odor as we came in the door. The decor overall has seen better days. The food was ok, but nothing special.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love the Pumpkin!
    LuvtheLamb
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    This is the second time I ate here. This time we had a group of 6. The wait staff were attentive. The food was really good - especially the pumpkin with meat sauce. We ate here because one of our group loves lamb and with all the different ways that it is prepared here - no one was disappointed. The other thing that stood out was the cucumber yogurt salad - yum!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A great find
    Vicconnection
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    As visitors to San Francisco, we enjoyed a LONG and uphill walk from the Union Square area to Helmand. We experienced great neighborhood ambience ... and better yet, every step was worth it. We ordered vegetarian and this food was a treat! I'll be recommending this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    The service was excellent, the food was great and the manager was very attentive making sure our experience was great.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 2/9/2014
    The food was very good at this restaurant. It was my 2nd time there. Good vegetarian options as well.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent, as always
    JMinSFVIP
    Dined on 1/28/2014
    It's such a treat to bring my friends, one by one, to Helmand Palace. Everyone loves the place, as I do, and Tuesday's dinner was no exception. The food is flavorful but neither over-salted nor greasy; the portions are generous; the price is fair; and the service is superb, attentive but not "hovering".
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    Indystyle
    Dined on 1/19/2014
    I was excited to try Afghan food and I was not disappointed - I think I can safely say that the food was out of this world and I wish I lived in San Fran so I could go back again and again :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food was lacking. Service
    ReviewerVIP
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    Food was lacking. Service not terrible but not that good. My friends don't want to go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • awesome!
    wickedcandy
    Dined on 1/10/2014
    Second time we have visited this restaurant. Exceptional every time. The kaddo!! best dish ever!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Exotic comfort food
    Heathcliff
    Dined on 12/13/2013
    This was my first time having Afghan cuisine and this place surpassed my expectations. Not only was the food unique and delicious (I can't wait to have more of the pumpkin), but it was affordable, the service was great, and ambience was very relaxing. I can't wait to come back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • on of my favorite all time spots!
    john
    Dined on 12/9/2013
    a delicious variety of truly unusual food you won't get anywhere else!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wish we'd discovered it sooner
    sweetboo
    Dined on 11/25/2013
    Very friendly staff, excellent service. The restaurant is not "stuffy", we felt comfortable and welcome there. The food was incredible! We weren't sure what to expect but loved everything we tried. The pumpkin appetizer (we had it with the beef, which was great. It comes without beef too) lived up to it's much talked about reputation. I split an order but next time I'll get one myself. So many wonderful choices on the menu - the meatballs were flavorful, the pumpkin was so delicious, the lamb was perfectly cooked. And the portion sizes were very generous. We shared 3 of the 4 desserts on the menu. Everything was delicious. Our server was friendly and very helpful, providing recommendations when we asked. We will definitely come back here!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Experience
    Daniel
    Dined on 11/23/2013
    We found this place because it was highly rated and it didn't fail to disappoint. We ordered 3 entrees plus an appetizer (I can't remember the names but one was lamb, one chicken, one eggplant) and all three were absolutely fantastic. We will be going back again and I would recommend to anyone.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really great!!
    RegularVIP
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    Really well prepared and presented food, lovely ambience, superb authentic service - a restaurant that will become a favorite after the first visit.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Food & Service
    Joan
    Dined on 11/11/2013
    We had dinner at Helmand on a quiet Monday evening at the end of a Holiday Weekend. Everything was wonderful starting with the ambience and warm welcome we received on arrival and the very attentive service throughout. Ambience was lovely and dinner was delicious. Being vegetarians it was terrific to find such an array of vegetarian items on the menu. We ordered soup, appetizers, entrees and dessert and everything was well prepared and very visually pleasing. Can't wait to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Afghan food, nice and quiet!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 11/9/2013
    Great Afghan food, nice and quiet. We've eaten at other Afghan restaurants (Kabul's in San Carlos and Sunnyvale), and even though some of the dishes had the same ingredients, Helmand's had much better flavors and textures.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • unique and delicious
    Activiqi
    Dined on 10/20/2013
    Absolutely wonderful place. Dishes you will find nowhere else. The pumpkin kadoo is not too be missed, vegetarian and w/ meat are both fabulous. Our BD party of 8 could all converse together, and omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans were all happy. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Appetizers were truly delicious;
    eastbayeatz
    Dined on 10/12/2013
    Appetizers were truly delicious; the pumpkin a standout among them. Had we stuck with those, I would've given this restaurant four stars rather than three. Prices were quite reasonable, including the wine list. Recommended if you're in the neighborhood and want a filling dinner at a fairly modest price.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Kaddo!
    emeryvillefoodfan
    Dined on 9/7/2013
    The Kaddo and Aushak...wow! My friends and I all loved our dishes. We sometimes had to burn some calories to get the server's attention, but it wasn't horrible. I look forward to my next visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience and food...
    Table42VIP
    Dined on 9/7/2013
    A wonderful introduction to Afghan cuisine. Similar to Pakistani and Indian food but with different preparations and seasoning. Lots of lamb dishes. Pallow rice was great. Restaurant reasonably comfortable and clean. One of our group noted a smell of disinfectant cleanser. No cocktails; beer and wind wine only. Baklawa was killer!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always enjoy this place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 8/7/2013
    Another excellent meal at Helmand. This is a pretty restaurant with white tablecloths, delicious and interestingly spiced food. The portions are large and the prices small. Order appetizers and take half your entree home. I don't understand why it isn't busier, except that it's not new and trendy. I often bring out of town visitors there, because the food is unlike what they can find at home, and it's quiet enough that we can talk.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A mostly empty space, looking
    SusieZVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2013
    A mostly empty space, looking a bit tired - with quite good food. The prices are surprisingly low.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful food
    SanFranciscoSue
    Dined on 7/5/2013
    The food and service are superb. You have have a conversation with friends because the noise level is quiet. Although it is on Van Ness, don't think this is a tourist trap. It has the feel of a wonderful, neighborhood restaurant with caring staff. Love the place and bring friends frequently.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quiet and romantic
    Evie
    Dined on 6/29/2013
    Helmand has delicious food, a romantic atmosphere, and is quiet enough so that you can hear your date without having to raise your voice!
    Special Features:
    romantic, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Mediocre at best
    Sauyogylito14VIP
    Dined on 6/23/2013
    Helmand Palace used to be excellent when it was on Broadway is SF. Unfortunately the food was too spicy and the flavors used in the meat and rice was dreadful.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/8/2013
    I am a fan of Afghani food. The food at Helamnd Palace was good, but not fabulous, if you have had Afghani food before. I recommend the Aushak. The vegetarian special plate was also very good. The Aush soup was disappointing, if you are having a craving. For folks new to Afghani food, this restaurant gives a good introduction and you won't be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food
    DineTownVIP
    Dined on 6/2/2013
    Helmand Palace is just a great place to eat a great meal that is reasonably priced. The "chowpan" is just the best lamb rack I ate in a long time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Don't miss it!
    Gerry
    Dined on 5/31/2013
    My wife and I loved the the old location on Broadway, but the new location of Hellmand's. offers the same consistently wonderful and unusual dishes along with understated, friendly, and efficient service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Experience
    meritage
    Dined on 5/24/2013
    I dine here several times a year & ALWAYS have great service & great food. And the best part is that they deliver:)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Going to Afghanistan
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 5/19/2013
    This is a family place where the worker's kids hang out while dad is on duty. There was a baby stroller in there and a fussy child, but that only brings your experience to a homey level. The menu is long but the descriptions are well written. So for a cuisine that you may not be familiar with, you still feel confident ordering. The rice was simply amazing. I never thought that my most vivid impression of a restaurant would be the rice, but it was. Soaked overnight, rinsed and baked. Simply spiced or very flavorful. The Kaddo (baked pumpkin with garlic yogurt sauce and ground beef sauce) is not to be missed. A combination that sounds strange but works. The wait staff was very kind and service was not rushed, but attentive.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    I can't say enough positive comments about the food at this restaurant. Everything we ordered was amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    DineTownVIP
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    The food was great. It was some of the best lamb I had in the US.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food is quite good. Nice soft
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/20/2013
    Food is quite good. Nice soft background music which makes it easy to have a conversation. Attentive and polite service.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good choice for low-key
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 3/9/2013
    Very good choice for low-key dining and out of town guests who'd like to try something different. The food's tasty, prices very reasonable and the atmosphere is pretty. Also, it's quiet!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet