About 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).

4931 Cordell Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Indian, Vegan

Hours of Operation:
Lunch
Daily 11:30 am–2:15 pm
Dinner
Mon–Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–9:15 pm
Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–9:30 pm

Cross Street:
Old Georgetown Road (Route 187)

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(301) 656-3373

Website:
http://passagetoindia.info/

Additional:
Beer, Full Bar, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Passage to India - Bethesda Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.4

ambience

4.4

value

4.2

Noise

Quiet

92% would recommend it to a friend

Good Vegetarian Options (26)
Authentic (23)
Quiet Conversation (23)
See All
Neighborhood Gem (21)
Special Occasion (18)
Great for Lunch (13)
Good for Anniversaries (13)
Good for a Date (12)
Good for Groups (12)
Creative Cuisine (12)
Worth the Drive (11)
Casual (11)
Fit for Foodies (10)
Vegan (10)
Healthy (9)
Good for Birthdays (8)
Comfort Food (8)
Spicy (8)
Cozy (7)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
Great for Brunch (3)
Business Meals (3)
Kid-friendly (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Romantic (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Fun (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
Organic (1)
Scenic View (1)
Seasonal (1)
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460 reviews
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 (Baltimore)·Dined 3 days ago

The best Indian restaurant in Washington! Will visit again!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good Vegetarian Options, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 3 days ago

While I have dined here previously, the flavors of my meal on this occasion seemed to be deeper and more complex without being overpoweringly spicy. I must confess to having eaten the sauce for my chicken tiki masala with a spoon. We also had a gluten free guest with us who was highly satisfied with both her options and her meal.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Groups, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Gluten Free Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined 4 days ago

The ubiquitous chicken tikka was exceptionally good as was the dal.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 14, 2018

Passage to India is still enjoyable, but it is getting a little tired and lacks the sparkle it used to have. We were there at the end of a long holiday weekend, and the food seemed less freshly prepared than usual, as though it had been prepared earlier and then sat on a warming tray.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Late-night Find, Comfort Food, Vegan, Quiet Conversation
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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 14, 2018

Excellent food and service. Will definitely be going back.

Tags: Special Occasion, Healthy, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Gluten Free Options, Tasting Menu, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 14, 2018

Nice choice for a special occasion, but we felt the services was not up to the prices. The menu offers a nice variety of Indian foods and there were many interesting selections. Everything we ordered was enjoyed. But, as an example, of the persons had no fork at his place setting and after being served had to catch the attention of someone, to ask for a fork. One of the servers spilled water and an ice cube when refilling the water glass, and we had to wait for our waitress to get her to put extra napkins under the area that was wet.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service3
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 6, 2018

Great variety and tasty food. Planning to come back soon.

Tags: Healthy, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 4, 2018

Passage to India is our favorite Indian restaurant in Bethesda, MD. We love the flavorful food and the wonderful service they provide for us.

Tags: Comfort Food, Healthy, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 3, 2018

Nice atmosphere, great “chef’s choice” 3-course meal with veggie options.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Good Vegetarian Options, Authentic
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food3
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 3, 2018

Had an excellent birthday dinner. freezing out so barely anyone there. Food is very good, service attentive and friendly. Usually groupon or living social available.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Three of us ate here on New Years night. The staff was very accommodating, making suggestions for us, who are family with Indian food, as well as for other guests who were less so. The crowd was a mix of regulars and first timers. The food was excellent, complemented by the great service. Conveniently located near parking and not far from Metro.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Good for Groups, Healthy, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Spicy, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Good Vegetarian Options
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 1, 2018

We went for a friend's group New Year's Eve dinner. Were gracious in accepting and adjusting the reservation, which changed number a couple of times. Food is delicious and satisfied a broad spectrum of palates. Refined ambiance with low noise level allowed for conversation of group without necessity of shouting. Will return to this favorite.

Tags: Good for Groups, Authentic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 1, 2018

We were so disappointed on Xmas Eve. We have been here before, but the quality and service have declined. We did not know who our waiter was, and both were brusque with us although it was not crowded. The appearance of the food was not appealing, and the rice was extremely dry. Even the spoonful of fennel seeds at the exit was stale and dry. We are so sorry. We know Passage has a long history in Bethesda but don't know if we will return

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food1
ambience4
service1
value1

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Very well prepared and wide-ranging Indian food. We liked that there were dishes for everyone--both spicy and not. The restaurant is very pretty with soft colors. Perhaps best of all--it is quiet enough to have a conversation without screaming at your dining partners.

Tags: Casual, Good for Anniversaries, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 30, 2017

Delicious Indian food from all regions of the country. Plenty of vegan options plus wonderful tandoori entrees as well. Garlic naan is very good, also enjoyed the Gulab Jamun for dessert.

Tags: Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 30, 2017

I've been to Passage to India before and enjoyed my meal, so maybe they were having a bad night. Service was really off. When we arrived, we let the host know the name for our reservation. Rather than seating us, he answered the phone and proceeded to spend the next 10 minutes describing (to whoever was on the phone) the ingredients in several dishes. When we were seated, the wait staff took another 10 minutes to bring us menus, although the restaurant was at least half empty. The food was average - not bad, but not good enough to merit returning to this restaurant.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value3

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on December 27, 2017

Great get together for lunch and service and food is consistently good

Tags: Cozy, Vegan
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Service great; food very good, though the vegetarian dish I had needed a little more spice.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Scenic View, Vegan, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Healthy, Casual, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on December 25, 2017

The food was not particularly good. And on a cold evening, they did not even have a coat rack for my woolen overcoat. It wound up on the floor.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 21, 2017

Superb Indian food with a choice of regions. Excellent service. Lovely ambience. Best Indian restaurant in area.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 16, 2017

Excellent restaurant. Not the stereotypical Indian Vegetarian restaurant, but great food from every area of India (chicken, lamb, etc.). I could eat there 3 times a week and never be bored.

Tags: Special Occasion, Healthy, Quiet Conversation, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 15, 2017

We frequently dine at Passage to India because the food is excellentand authentic (with several Indian regions represented). Service is always attentive. Best of all, even when the restaurant is full, you can have a conversation with your tablemates without screaming.

Tags: Good for Groups
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 12, 2017

As lovers of Indian food, we had been to Passage to India once almost two years ago and were underwhelmed, so we were surprised when another couple of friend of ours pushed for a double date there. We have never been so happy to be proved wrong!

We basically followed all of the suggestions of our waiter, ordered one entree from every region on the menu, and split everything. It was phenomenal. Flavorful, interesting, and oh-so-perfect for a cold winter evening. Even the garlic naan — something you'd expect to taste roughly the same at most Indian restaurants — was particularly excellent. We will definitely be back!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Authentic, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Food is brought too fast. You feel like you are being hurried through the meal even though no one was waiting for a table. We had not finished our appetizers and the main entrees were there. The servers whisked our appetizer plates away and instructed us to use the "big plates to finish the appetizer".
The food is hit or miss. Overall its decent food but not the best.

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food2
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 8, 2017

Great Indian food. Everything very good! I would go again for sure

Tags: Authentic
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on December 5, 2017

Always wonderful service and great food
I love the fact that’s it’s good for conversation and get together for any occasion .. but mostly for quietly spending time w friends or business lunch ..
always esthetics of white glove service w white table cloth...& great food wins me and keeps me coming back !

Tags: Great for Lunch, Vegan, Great for Brunch, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on December 2, 2017

My favorite Indian restaurant in Montgomery County - superb on all levels

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on December 1, 2017

Food was better last time. Not so much this time. There were four of us- we ordered four dishes, and two appetizers- plenty of food but most of it was just mediocre. We had been there before and had an excellent meal but not this time. There are so many good Indian restaurants and this was such a disappointment this time.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 1, 2017

Really enjoyed it. Went twice in one week and tried four different meals.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 24, 2017

I had family travel here for Thanksgiving and needed a good place to eat. For some of my family, they were eating Indian food for the second time. For others, they were long-time Indian food lovers.

Our headcount kept changing, which is painful for us and for any restaurant we were dealing with. Passage to India's waiters did a great job of organizing, re-organizing and eventually moving us to accommodate surprise new guests. We started out with a table for 8 and eventually wound up with a table for 12. The waiters accommodated us with grace.

The food was pleasing, and managed to span a range of mild to spicy. Many Indian restaurants have great difficulty creating dishes mild enough for my wife's palate. And yet, for the first time in living memory, she praised a navratan korma as being truly mild and great-tasting.

In the future, we will both return to Passage to India to dine in as well as order take-out.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Great for Lunch, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 22, 2017

Enjoyed a quiet lunch the day before Thanksgiving. Food very good, waiter attentive. Would go back if I'm in the area again.

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 19, 2017

The maitre d' / waiter was surprised that we had a reservation - he said that he couldn’t find it. He seated us and then again came back to check if I really had the reservation. I showed him the open table confirmation and then he went back to check on it. We were made to wait at our table until he could satisfy himself that we indeed had a reservation. He confirmed that we did have a reservation when he came to serve us water.

Food was way too Americanized and not authentically Indian.

Ambience is reasonable but gets cancelled out due to the extremely close seating and loud conversations from the larger parties.

Our waitress was friendly and efficient, but the waiters were grumpy and had an air of indifference about them.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
ambience4
service2
value2

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 17, 2017

Always such a pleasure to eat at this delicious restaurant.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 12, 2017

The menu is standard Indian fare, but everything we tasted was really delicious. The service was smooth and unobtrusive; the décor interesting but unpretentious.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good Vegetarian Options, Casual, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 9, 2017

In my opinion, there is no Bethesda restaurant that has better ambiance than Passage to India. One notices the calming music as soon as one enters. The tables are covered with white table cloths, the chairs are upholstered, the carpeting is plush, the walls are covered with framed prints of Indian figures, and the windows are partial covered with decorative Indian screens. There is no buffet table so there is not a constant movement of people. The servers move quietly and efficiently and don't strike up a conversation unless one initiates one. This atmosphere is conducive to lowered voices. The food is varied and consistently very good. I particularly like the vegetarian dishes and the Sali Boti, a lamb dish that is accompanied by a crisp green salad and a small bowl of lentils. The flavors are more complex than those in most other Indian restaurants. The list of wines by the glass is small, but well chosen and reasonably priced at $8.95. I avoid the coffee here, but the herbal tea is a wonderful end to a meal.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 5, 2017

Food seemed a little on the pretentious side ... taste wise was fine . Definitely not authentic Indian - ( despite the geographic referrences to the items on the menu ) But yes , it sits well on your pallete .
Definitely needs to improve on service - impatient and brusque waiters .

Tags: Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good Vegetarian Options
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food4
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on October 24, 2017

I like Indian food and feel this restaurant really captures the authenticity of Indain food. I ordered the Scallops, but unfortunately, they were VERY SALTY. The service is always pleasant and quick. I'll try another entree next time. Will be back. I'm sure it was just an off day.

Tags: Authentic
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 8, 2017

This is one of our favorite Indian restaurants, both for the extensive and varied vegan choices and the high quality of every dish we have ever had there.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Kid-friendly, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service3
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 8, 2017

It was a wonderful eating experience! The food was excellent! The service was excellent!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Casual, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Good Vegetarian Options, Fit for Foodies, Comfort Food, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 3, 2017

Great food and service! I'll for sure visit again. My date was vegan, so they had tons of options for her.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Vegan
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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