The Helmand Restaurant

4.7
icon/ic_reviewCreated with Sketch.
2046 Reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Afghan

Top Tags:

Good Vegetarian Options
Providing fine Afghan cuisine for 30 years in Baltimore
What 2046 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
Sort by
Filters
A
Baltimore
11 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Mediocre service. Food was also quite poor quality, bland and insipid. Took 15 minutes to get waiter after being seated. Person checking in did not tag open table and I got an email about being no show! Never going back

OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful time! It was crowded due to events in the neighborhood, but once we ordered, food came out quick and was delicious as always.

KG
Baltimore
16 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always phenomenal.

Report
r
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

The Helmand is a wonderful place. Interesting and delectable appetizers, great wine list, and the main courses are well spiced and filling.

M
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely delicious food. This place is very popular for good reason. In addition, the staff are lovely and accommodating. Great for date night or a small group of friends!

s
Baltimore
21 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Wonderful restaurant for vegetarians. Many great plant-based options. Speedy service. Good prices

s
Baltimore
28 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Seated next to bar. Bar standing room packed. So loud we could not hear across small table. Constant bumping into two of our chairs by patrons and every waiter.
Food great. But just wanted out of there ASAP!!!
Probably better on less busy night.
Probably they should eliminate the table we had next to bar; absolutely unpleasant! Bet they are exceeding their approved seating capacity.

OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

It was my first time at the Helmand, and the food was truly phenomenal. The lamb and apricot dish was quite impressive, and a pumpkin dish blew me away with its fragrance and subtle sweetness. Desserts were equally delicious, with a rice pudding having a uniquely smooth texture. Service was extremely kind, but sometimes rushed and clunky. Overall, a great meal and I hope to return!

JO
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The occasion was to celebrate two birthdays. Most of us had not been there for a long time and were impressed that after 30 years in the same location the service and food are of the same high quality that we remembered. Some of us came looking forward to old favorites on the menu -- and they were still there and as satisfying as we remembered. Those who chose from the specials were equally happy with their choices. It was both cheering to have so many fellow diners all around us -- a sign that the Helmand is thriving. But the number of fellow diners did create a pretty high noise level -- but not to a point of discomfort. The wait staff were efficient and everyone was cordial. An all-around enjoyable dining experience.

r
Baltimore
32 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious and interesting food in a great intimate environment. Always a winner!

MM
Baltimore
24 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic, as always!

KT
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall2food5service1ambience2

The first time I ate at The Helmand was a great experience! The food, service, and ambiance were all excellent. We returned this past weekend with a couple of friends visiting from out of town and had a much poorer experience. It was a busier time than the first time I went and it was noisy. My friend was bumped every time a diner or water/waitress passed by because the man at the table behind him had his chair pushed out a few feet from the table. No one addressed the man's chair sitting in the middle of the walking lane, they just continued to bump into my friend. The food was excellent as always, but the service was terrible. Our waitress was rude to us from the beginning; she barely spoke to us, and when she did it was in a rushed, pushy way. I would not eat there again with that waitress.

a
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great. Ben our server was amazing.

NG
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I've been coming to The Helmand for years, and it always pleases. A real gem. I was able to take a good friend for his first time, and he seemed to really enjoy it as well.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was wonderful as always. We love The Helmand!!!

OT
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food. Great price

S
Baltimore
11 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were warmly received and shown to our table immediately even though the place was packed on a Friday night. The Helmand 30th anniversary celebration was on and two of us ordered the specials (meat and vegetarian specials) and the third ordered a mainly vegetable meal. Everything was delicious and helped by a fine Zinfandel. We started with the famous appetizers Kaddo Borwani (pumpkin) with yogurt garlic sauce and the Banjan Borwani (eggplant) were wonderful. After the tasty main courses, we finished with the special cardamon ice cream with dried fruit and nuts. Fantastic! The mood in the restaurant was festive with many groups 5-10 individuals celebrating diverse events. The sound level was certainly acceptable and we were able to easily visit. For us, the food and ambiance were perfect, the pace matched to us and the price moderate.

n
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, terrific food, attentive and efficient service - a true Baltimore treasure.

S
Baltimore
84 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Tried something different this time - monkfish in a tasty red sauce with rice and melt-in-your- mouth potatoes. My dining companion had the chicken kabobs which was a good choice for the weight watchers diet.

C
Baltimore
7 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We eat at The Helmand at least once per month. The food is wonderful - I think our group has eaten through the entire menu, and we are always pleased and full! It is usually packed with people, so I would recommend a reservation. Most people are enjoying conversation with friends, so the noise level can be a little high, but it’s “happy”. I have recommended The Helmand to friends, and we will continue to go there.

m
Baltimore
96 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Six of us ate here on a Sunday evening. Service was a bit slow to start but once our waiter came, everything worked quite smoothly. This is always a lovely restaurant, with good food and good prices. The appetizer eggplant and pumpkin dishes were delicious, and I can speak for the Sabzy Challow (beef and spinach with rice), and the others said they enjoyed their food as well. Just a note, we had to mention not to start clearing the table while some people were still eating.

HC
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

OUTSTANDING FOOD and SERVICE!!! Cramped seating but well worth it in the end.

HN
Melbourne / VIC
6 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a Baltimore classic. A long established Afghan eatery. The food was great. The service super. Our reservation was 6.30 and by 7.00 they were packed but all was handled with aplomb. The only thing I missed was no goat on the menu.

RH
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We enjoyed our meal a lot. Will definitely be back.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

fantastic food and value, setting is a little compact but a lovely homely vibe

HW
Baltimore
7 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

4 of us had dinner here Saturday night pre-theatre. Even though the restaurant was packed ( many other theatre- goers),the restaurant managed to process everyone through with no feeling of being rushed. The food was great, ( we all had different entrees) & all were happy with their choices. We also had hors d’oeuvre, & a couple of desserts. We even enjoyed our coffees & Martinis! Only complaint was the pastry dessert. It was good but literally only 2 bites.

S
Baltimore
85 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Always reliable and delicious! All three of us got vegetarian platters, Afghan tea and a pumpkin appetizer to share. Generous portions.

GN
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Wonderful as always!! Service was a little off - definitely not the norm.

JR
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience4

The server was not focused on it.

BT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall2food4service2ambience2

I would recommend The Helmand with reservations. I had asked for a table in a quiet section. We were seated in the main dining room with is quite loud to begin with and gets louder the later the evening, and our reservation was for 5 p.m.
The server was hard to understand do to the noise. After we ordered, two of us got up to wash our hands. When I got back to the table, our food was being served, maximum of 5 minutes after ordering. The plates were cleared as soon as one of us had put down the fork. We felt very much rushed!
I do like The Helmand's food but the experience was not a welcoming one.

MS
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Very busy night! Food was fantastic. Bartender excellent. We didn’t want the first table offered because it was too close to the front door and line of people waiting for tables, so the host graciously offered an ideal table that we only had to wait a few minutes longer for. Helmand is consistently delicious!

s
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience4

I have been dining at Helmand since 1992! I have been a huge fan of the lovely ambience, fantastic service and amazingly well prepared and flavorful afghani dishes. However, things have changed in the kitchen. The last 2-3 years I have found the quality of the food preparation to go down- the lamb stew had not been simmered long enough so it was not as flavorful and hearty as before, the challow used to have abundant cardamom and spices as did the cardamom tea but now the tea is plain black tea, no hint of cardamom, and the challow also is plain but more cumin. Overall based on dining experiences more recently I would give the restaurant 3 stars. Very disappointing since I know how amazing oast experiences have been.

MH
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This is an extremely special restaurant. Unique ambiance. Excellent food. Long drink list. Thoughtful/informed servers. This is a do not miss, and a great education in Afghan food.

j
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Always great service. Food is consistently good.

SB
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The Helmand continues to be our favorite Baltimore restaurant. Delicious food, expert service. It’s a great way to top off a visit to our great city.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food4service3ambience4

Mother and son dinner

S
Chicago
25 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

A really delightful evening with delicious food. The Helmand is an upscale place with new spices and flavor combinations. The lamb stew with apricot. The coriander yogurt chutney. The fresh Afghan naan, more bread-like and thicker than Indian naan. The desserts were great. The Helmand’s logo shows the ancient Qala Bist arch—it made us want to learn more about Afghanistan’s rich history. Thanks.

B
Washington DC
78 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great experience. I have been eating there for 25 + years and never had a disappointing meal. Wonderful consistency.

OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall2food4service4ambience1

The people at another table were so noisy that they made the overall experience very unpleasant - they ruined the night for us. The restaurant staff did nothing to try to quite them

They ruined our evening!

S
Houston
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience5

I made a reservation a month ahead of time and when my croup arrived we had to wait 15-20 minutes for our table. Food was really good but the server could have been friendlier. Overall my group enjoyed the restaurant. The dessert menu could definitely use some updating, the options were subpar.