Passage to India - Bethesda
Passage to India - Bethesda

Passage to India - Bethesda

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://passagetoindia.info/
  • Phone: (301) 656-3373
  • 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 WinnerIndian
Passage to India - Bethesda reviews from OpenTable diners
74 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (38)neighborhood gem (37)special occasion (21)good for groups (18)romantic (13)great for lunch (8)kid-friendly (3)great for brunch (2)hot spot (2)Show More
  • A neighiborhood retreat at lunchtime
    RWoodBVIP
    Dined on 11/24/2014
    Passage to India is a relaxing environment for lunch as it is never loud and the staff moves quietly--as befits the refined setting. The food is consistently very good. I particularly like the ammas pacha kari, a mixed vegetable dish in a flavorful sauce that is accompanied by rice, lentils, and a small salad. For those who like lively restaurants, go for dinner rather than lunch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A gentle slope down?
    GuidoVIP
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    I have eatten here many, many times and, while liking it, wish it were a notch better. Tandoori chick is very tender, but wanting in taste. Lamb, though well prepared, is unnecessarily tough. And it's hard to find a chicken dish that's not bland. Is the chef catering more and more to pablum palettes? If so, 'tis a pity.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • All well but the food.
    eat2wellVIP
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    The room was pleasant, the service professional, but the food amiss. Passage to India has a more interesting menu than most Indian restaurants. Sauces were very good. However, when the main body of a dish is mishandled, it fails. Lamb was both tough and mealy in texture. Jack fruit (a creative subject for a curry) was hard and stringy. At least the well-made sauces on rice filled us up.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tasty Indian cuisine of all regions
    Edsk
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    I was surprised with diverse selections on the menu representing the various regional favorites of India. If you haven't already tried them, the tandoori scallops are great! Make sure you accent your meal with a glass of mango lassi.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Reliably great food
    Carey
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Our go to place for special occasions and comfort food.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ambience better than the food
    SanibelSue
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Our waiter was very pleasant and attentive, the dining room was bright and attractive, but the food was inconsistent. Our party liked some of the dishes, especially the shrimp vindaloo. Unfortunately the goat was so tough I couldn't eat it and it was mostly bones and gristle.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Greenie
    GreenieVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Food has always been very good. That keeps us coming back. Service is just ok....like you wait a while for the bill and no one comes by unless you ask.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Delicious food , nice atmosphere but felt a little rushed
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Highly recommended
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    If you like Indian food you won't be disappointed here. The menu is diverse & offers a wide variety of options, including many vegetarian choices. The service is warm & helpful. This is good food offered at reasonable prices.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Really great experience
    GratzVIP
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    First time to Passage to India... one of the best Indian restaurants we've visited. The food was excellent (had the chicken and lamb chef's choice), the dining experience was great, ambience was nice, and the service was attentive while not hovering. We'll definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding in every respect
    SatisfiedDiner
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    From delicious food to professional and courteous wait staff, Passage to India is as good as it gets for a dining experience in the Washington area. A creative menu with multiple appealing choices, one even better than the next, and an ambiance and decor that make you feel right at home in India add to the experience. High end quality at extremely reasonable prices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome food
    awesomekid
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    There's no doubt that this restaurant will make your day. Awesome food, awesome service, awesome everything. Definitely going back soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Chef's night off?
    GuidoVIP
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    We know the restaurant very well and like it a lot. Hence the disappointment on Oct. 6, when the food was bland, just like so many run of the mill Indians restaurants in American where the spices are not fresh or distinctive, as they are in India. Hopefully it wasn't a sign of decline.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Annoying waiter
    Nirz
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Everything was really good except for our waiter. Even though the restaurant was relatively empty and it was not near closing time, I felt harassed by the waiter; within a 5 min period he asked for our orders 3 times, tried to clear plates before we were done. Because of the service I likely will never return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A culinary experience
    Krista
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    As usual, the food at Passage to India was extraordinary. I love the concept of a journey through the different regions of India. This time I tried a spicy fish dish from the southern region, and my husband had delicious scallops. We will return for another culinary journey!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pleasant dinner and atmosphere
    Luv2travel
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Menu has wide choice of dishes from various parts of India. Helpful service. Food very tasty. Nice decor. Reasonable prices. Public garage across the street or $5 valet parking. What's not to like?
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a treat
    Groucho1313
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    Love every experience at Passage to India. Terrific ambiance with delicious food prepared exquisitely. Staff and kitchen happy to to make things not on the menu. What a treat!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ivar
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Excellent food and service. I would, however, recommend not to rush the food service. Indeed, it's not pleasant to have the main dish served while you are still eating the appetizers!. No hurry please.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Went here on a week night after work. We were sat right away. The sever was very nice , and the food was great. We will go back for more.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 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
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 45 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 29, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 150 reviews are from the Passage to India - Bethesda reviews archive.
  • 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.