Passage to India - Bethesda
Passage to India - Bethesda

Passage to India - Bethesda

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://passagetoindia.info/
  • Phone: 3016563373
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Daily: 11:30am - 2:30pm;
    Dinner: 5:30pm - 9.30pm (Sunday through Thursday)
    5:30pm - 10.30pm (Friday & Saturday)
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Indian, Vegan
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Old Georgetown Road (Route 187)
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Passage to India - Bethesda
Passage to India serves a great selection of Indian food in an elegant decor, reminiscent of the dining rooms of the Maharajahs. Chef Sudhir Seth introduced the concept of Regional Cuisines of the Indian subcontinent and showcases food from all over India with local ingredients and home blended spices. The restaurant is located Bethesda's restaurant row, just 3 blocks from the Bethesda metro (Red Line).
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
Passage to India - Bethesda reviews from OpenTable diners
52 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.2
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelQuiet
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (29)fit for foodies (26)special occasion (19)good for groups (12)romantic (11)great for lunch (10)kid-friendly (3)great for brunch (2)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Entree eggplant dish was disappointing-too soupy, not substantial enough to be an entree, and more spicy than I anticipated. Chicken dish recommended by waiter was delicious though, lamb okay but not fabulous. Would have liked to see more vegetable side dishes. Whole wheat bread with mint bland-have had better elsewhere in the area.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Refined Indian cuisine and ambiance
    RWoodBVIP
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    I have tried almost every dish on the extensive menu and have been pleased with all of them except the fish dishes that include tilapia, a fish that does not work well with the herbs and spices. The list of wines by the glass is brief, but well chosen and reasonably priced. The ambiance sets the restaurant apart from the other Indian restaurants in Montgomery County. The service is attentive, but not intrusive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food
    CristinaVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    It is a place you do not want to miss if you like to enjoy good food.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Yum!
    Jeanne
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We went to Passage to India on a whim, and it was well worth it. The food was very good, and the service good as well. They have a variety of things on the menu from all over India, and our server was very helpful in helping us determine what to order. I would recommend this restaurant to others.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pretty darn good
    ChawnieVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Very fine Pan Indian food at a reasonable price. Great decor. A keeper.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A wee bit disappointing
    Pickydoc
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Despite having a reservation for two, we were squeezed into a tiny corner table so close to the next that conversation couldn't be private. Service was good. My house cabernet was not the best; poor quality for a restaurant of this calibre. My wife's Shiraz was a little better. My wife and I, who are both Indian Food enthusiasts, tend to judge Indian restaurants by the quality of the Samoosa's, and these were nothing to write home about. Oversized but packed with potatoes and peas, with no meat alternatives, and soaked with the mint and tamarind sauces, which in most other reataurants are "on the side. Disappointing. The entrees were OK. Enjoyed my lamb Biryani but wished it could have been a little spicier. Overall a little disappointing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Still an excellent restaurant
    FansofFabio
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We have dined at Passage to India many times in years past, but haven't been there in quite a while. We had a lovely dinner there Saturday night. The appetizers were delicious, the main courses from three different areas of India were excellent as well. The service and ambiance is first rate. And the prices are reasonable This is an above-average Indian restaurant and is well worth a visit.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Refined Indian
    RWoodBVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The menu offers a wide variety of dishes from the four geographic regions of India. Most of them rise well above those found in the scores of Indian restaurants in the metro area. Particularly outstanding are the eggplant, okra, and lamb dishes. The wine list is well chosen and very reasonably priced. The servers are professional and the ambiance is calming.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Special Bethesda restaurant
    kmhp
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    The service is personal and unobtrusive - the waiter rescued me from eating the entire green pods in my shrimp curry -only the inside is edible! The decor is wonderful - 19th century India - beautiful tiled doors and pictures from different states. There are a lot of tables in a small space but at 6:30 pm there were only a handful taken so no feeling of being crushed. Loved the food - difficult to choose from a very wide menu. It's more expensive than my normal range - dinner with everything except alcohol was $80 with tip. Well worth it - it was a memorable experience. Now I'm thinking I should downplay how good this restaurant is or I won't be able to get a reservation next time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful as always
    foodie1VIP
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Passage to India is always a perfect place for delicious food in a lovely setting. The servers always provide perfect service and are knowledgeable and friendly. ...and it's a treat to be able to have a conversation without shouting. We're always pleased to return here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always an enjoyable meal
    ShenandoeyVIP
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    Dined at Passage to India again this week and found it wonderful, as always. Consistently excellent Indian food, professional service, and a lovely dining environment. On my short-list of go-to Bethesda restaurants. Never disappoints.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • really good food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    thoroughly enjoyed our meal here - excellent tastes and we will come back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Cuisine from Across India
    Foodie4FunVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    My wife and I dined at Passage to India, and were delighted with the experience. The ambiance and service was very well managed, and the food was outstanding. This restaurant is a level above most of the other Indian restaurants in the area. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant gem
    Jack
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    The ambiance, service and food were all excellent. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a unique, memorable dining experience.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Indian food
    studaddyVIP
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    We went on a weeknight with another couple. Food was great, service excellent, and the room was elegant. Not a trendy place, but perfect for a quiet dinner with friends
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anniversary Dinner
    evankrichevsky
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    We selected Passage to India based on having been very satisfied with our dining experiences at Spice Xing. There was a large selection of vegetarian/vegan menu options for one member of the party. Though we initially thought we didn't order enough food, we were full of good food and celebratory joy. The only disturbances to the dinner were the result of the cheering for two US World Cup goals that came from the outdoor bar across the street. Cannot fault Passage to India for that.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • RogerVIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    reliably offers authentic Indian cuisine in a welcoming environment, served by a knowledgeable and well trained staff. prices are reasonable,
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Attentive Service
    smallplates
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Restaurant is attractive and the staff attentive. The food is presented nicely and there are many, many choices. We found our some of our dishes to be over-sauced (lump crab appetizer) or not sauced at all (eggplant and apple appetizer). The entrees we chose were sauced deliciously but we found both lamb dishes lamb overcooked and tough. The staff was so pleasant, we hesitated to send our food back, but we were disappointed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch before Roundhouse mantinee
    FoodofileFrankVIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    We lunched in this almost empty, charming Indian restaurant a bit off the beaten path on Cordell Street in Bethesda. The menu is divided by geographic regions, highlighting local Indian cooking styles. The walls are adorned with photographs of historic Indian figures. The main dining room is done in bright colors. Our server was always there when needed. The food was excellent. I started with the mulligatawny soup, served with a lemon slice...perfectly balanced! For my entree, I selected the Kosha Mangsho (Lamb with coriander, ginger and garlic). Absolutely delightful. The entree was served with rice and a crisp little salad. The latter with a light vinaigrette, a perfect counterpoint to the lamb. Highly recommended!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best okra dishes anywhere
    RWoodBVIP
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    I love okra, but most restaurants purchase okra that has grown too large and fibrous. I grow it and harvest it when it is no more than two inches in length. Passage has a source that has the same approach. Why do I have it at Passage when I can fix it at home? Passage simply does it better than I and any other restaurant I know. I particularly like the Bhindi do piaza. All of the other dishes from four major regions of India are also very good. The list of wines by the glass is short, but well chosen. My only disappointment is the weak coffee.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food is amazing!
    Sigu4dine
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Great place, amazing food, low noise level, friendly waitres, great for a date or to celebrate with your family!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • food was great
    lovetoeatVIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    We asked the waiter for his recommendations and he did not disappoint. The food was very good and the atmosphere was very enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 30 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The following 138 reviews are from the Passage to India - Bethesda reviews archive.
  • Great Variety
    GreatVarietyVIP
    Dined on 5/19/2014
    Passage to India provides entree options from various parts of India. We sampled a few dishes that you don't typically see on indian restaurant menus and found them to be very tasty! There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options to choose from. We also took advantage of the NPR Restaurant card (get 1 entree free) which led us to try Passage to India. Glad we did as we will keep this in our rotation of Indian restaurants!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful experience
    bim08
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    This was my first time at Passage to India. I was drawn to it for its wide vegan selection and very good rating. We went for Mother's Day lunch and ordered a selection of vegan and nonvegan entrees and 2 nonvegan appetizers. All of us found them delicious and served hot. The bread, made of chickpea and whole wheat flour was also vegan and wonderful. The service was solicitous without being cloying, the ambience was relaxed and warm and the restaurant was beautifully decorated with large windows. We had a great time there. I came out saying this was my new favorite restaurant and wanted to return right away.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    We took my wife here for Mother's Day - Indian food is one of her favorites. We felt rushed by the staff, especially the manager/owner, from start to finish. Shrimp dish was not good. Other dishes just weren't as tasty as we're used to in other Indian restaurants. We came with a "birthday" 25% off coupon that we forgot to include when they brought the bill but presented before we completed the credit card slip. The manager/owner claimed there was no way to add the coupon at that point (or void and rering the order with the coupon). Too many other good Indian food options in the area to see a reason to come back to this restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good; potententially excellent
    RWoodBVIP
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    One of the nice things about Passage to India is the division of the menu into four geographic regions. There are significant differences in both the ingredients and the preparation among the regions. On this occasion, I tried a dish from the south that combined baby eggplant and spicy peppers. I have now tried more than a score of dishes, and have never been disappointed. Unfortunately, the list of wines by the glass is very limited and not as appealing as the bottle list. On this occasion, I was disappointed that the host seated a party of seven with small, active children at a table next to mine rather than at one of the large round tables farther away from the three small tables that were occupied.
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 4/14/2014
    Only Indian restaurant that has all India regional dishes. Would love to see a selection/silver platter from all regions on the menu. The silver platter special provides diverse sample of flavors, meat or vegetarian, and four course meal (starter, appetizer, entree, dessert). Comfortable and not rushed to have a quiet dinner.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Good
    Brinate
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    We meet friends there about every six months as it is a mutually convenient distance for both of us. They love the place and so do we. The staff recognizes us and gives us excellent service every time. We love it. Indian food is a favorite and they have a fantastic variety. Their tandoori chicken and salmon are the best. Kudos to the chef.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • wonderful food
    lisa
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    We took my dad there for his birthday and we all loved it. The food was so delicious and full of flavor. I found this place using an online restaurant guide and I have never been disappointed. The food is great and service is impeccable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    The scallop appetizer was amazing. Our main entrees were delicious as well (mine was chicken masala and a lamb dish). I asked for mine spicy, and they did as some spice, but it wasn't spicy enough for me. I just know next time to tell them I am a 10 out of 10. Wine was reasonably priced. Staff was friendly and the service was great. Can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • beautiful Indian cuisine experience
    Dianne
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    This was my first visit to Passage to India but it surely won't be my last. Beautiful decor. Impeccable service. Extensive menu. Extraordinary food. Here's a clue-- early on a snowy Sunday evening every single table was taken! Definitely need reservations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • i already responded in great
    PuffinGirlVIP
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    i already responded in great detail about this reservation and dining expereince. Check your emails!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food is always excellant!
    gourmet0622
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    We've eaten here many times and have never been disappointed. The food is great and the service is friendly and prompt.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 4 different regions of India.
    HarryfVIP
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    The menu is unique for an Indian restaurant where they provide multiple entrees from each different region within India. The spices are very unique and bring out very flavorful tastes within a curry cream sauce of some type. In my opinion this is the best Indian restaurant in the Bethesda/Chevy Chase/Silver Spring region. The prices may be a bit higher than most of the other Indian restaurants but the food is typically outstanding. The decoration is beautiful and has many pictures of historical events. Some nights during the week are fairly quiet. Friday's and Saturdays tend to be very busy and you will need reservations like most restaurants in Bethesda. Good for a date place though not for romance but for an impressive meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Went on a Friday night around
    plumjellyontoast
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    Went on a Friday night around 7 -- it wasn't super busy but wasn't quiet either, and was the perfect combination of laid back and more classy than we might normally go for to unwind after a week. I had the vegetable sampler platter and my husband had a paneer dish with naan. All the food we had was delicious. Service was great too -- we weren't rushed but if anything our servers were more prompt than necessary, as we were in no hurry whatsoever and could probably have lingered longer. I like how the menu is organized by region, and there seemed to be some unique dishes that I haven't seen elsewhere (being moderately familiar with indian cuisine). Fair prices for Bethesda and the fact that it's so delicious. We look forward to coming back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Everything Worked Well
    Harryloves2eat
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    Lamb chops were a little dry but everything else was perfect. A very good variety of foods from all regions of the sub-continent. The service was the highlight of our meal. Very knowledgeable and attentive but NOT overly attentive, let alone intrusive.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overall great!
    Dana
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    Will definitely come back. The waiters were great about accommodating my food allergies, and everything we had was so tasty! Would love to recreate the apple and sweet potato salad appetizer at home!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • If you like Indian and appreciate
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/10/2014
    If you like Indian and appreciate the differences in regional cuisine, Passage to Indian is worth a look. Moderately priced with a varied menu, your curry needs will be met.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very tasty
    RosieVIP
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    I have always liked the food here. We had the samosa appetizer, chicken tikka masala, and lamb saag with lentils and garlic naan. It was all very good and the service was also very good. This is my fav Indian place in the area.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Passage
    GreenieVIP
    Dined on 2/20/2014
    Best meal we ever ate there. The selection if food is wonderful, the noise level was reasonable and the service terrific.. Much better than the last time we were there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic