The Helmand Restaurant

4.6
1913 reviews
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$30 and under
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Afghan
Providing fine Afghan cuisine for 30 years in Baltimore
What 1913 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JR
Baltimore
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We went on a Friday evening and had one in our party of five who is gluten-free. Our waiter immediately made recommendations to accommodate the special diet and the food was delicious. Parking can be tricky for this location, but that’s typical. Overall very nice, good service, not rushed and great food.

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JP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

The restaurant is close to a parking lot which makes parking easy. With reservations we were seated promptly. We enjoyed sharing a leek ravioli appetizer and a hazelnut pasterie for dessert.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food with great service at a good price

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OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful food and excellent experience!

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BB
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Entertained out of town guests who always want to dine with you. Everything was great. We went to
early dinner so the noise level was tolerable.

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B
Washington DC
74 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Consistently great flavorful food with crisp service. One of the very best spots to eat lamb in Baltimore

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P
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food, really friendly and helpful staff, fun lively atmosphere. One of the best restaurants in the city.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

I have been to the Helmand a number of times. Each has been a pleasure and our most recent visit was no exception. Family who had never been was introduced and loved everything. Here's to another 30+ years of delicious authentic cusine!

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PM
Baltimore
28 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

The food was delicious, as usual. The noise level was to the point of major distraction. Communication across the table was nearly impossible.

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DO
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Helmand is always a great dining option, but particularly if you need to get in, have an excellent meal and make it to a show, this is an amazing option in Mt. Vernon. The food is always excellent whether you go for fish, lamb, chicken or completely vegetarian. There's something for everyone. My dining companion was totally unfamiliar with the restaurant or its food and left thrilled and stuffed!

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L
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had the Mantwo and Bowlawni for appetizers and they both were very good. I really like the Zardalu Challow. That was lamb stew with sun-dried apricots, fresh tomatoes, garlic, turmeric and chili peppers. My husband had the vegetarian Dolma Murch and it was just ok. The cocktails were ok too, not great. We enjoyed the Afghan ice cream and the hazelnut cake. Service was good. The noise level was very high. The place was packed on Saturday evening so we had to speak very loud in order to hear each other.

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WJ
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to have a nice meal before going to the theater! Awesome food and service .

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CC
1 review
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

The service was abysmal (no one greeted us; we stood for 5-10 minutes near the bar area, the server shook while pouring wine), but the food was fresh and appealing. The chickpea salad was especially nice with lots of cilantro.

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d
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pre theater

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OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Helmand wasn’t as good as I remember it. They were trying to turn over tables— the couple next to us ordered their food and within 5 minutes it was served. Same thing happened to us. Came out lukewarm. Would probably only go back for lunch.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

There was a very large loud party seated right next to us, which made it very hard to enjoy our food or conversation.

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

After more than 25 years operating in the same location in Mount Vernon, The Helmand's offerings are as well prepared and as tasty as they were when they opened. I remain impressed by the consistency of the dishes and the courteous and helpful service. The pumpkin Kaddo Borawni is delightful either for an appetizer or dessert. For a while now, The Helmand has had a vegetarian menu in addition to their entrees of lamb, chicken et al. Given the quality of the food and preparation, I would say that the restaurant is reasonably priced for a nice dinner. As a small caveat, The Helmand is also a popular place for large groups (such as birthday dinners) and so the room can get loud but even then, not so unduly that it hinders your enjoyment.

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B
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What an amazing restaurant. Elegant atmosphere and service, delicious food, and reasonable prices.

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B
Baltimore
26 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always consistent- delicious flavor food, ample portions and very attentive service.

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G
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

This place has really gone down since I last ate here a few years ago. Although we had made a reservation for three, the restaurant seated our party of three at a table for two but seated some other groups of two at tables for four. The seating arrangement was a bit embarrassing, as we brought an out-of-town guest here and had praised the restaurant's service and food. Our entrees arrived almost instantly after we ordered, with giant hunks of chewy white meat chicken in a vegetable sauce. The sauce was good, but it was quite a chore to eat the chicken. I was told that the lamb was similarly overcooked. What a disappointing experience :(

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CJ
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Rather than take us to the table we were waved to a couple tables. Then we. Chose the wrong one
Tables so close hardly any privacy
Wish they had fancy coffee after dinner drinks
Food delicious
Noisy
Dark

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OT
Baltimore
43 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is the first in a long line of middle eastern food places. It’s survival speaks to the quality. It still provides good value ( though prices continue to rise) and excellent flavors. Nice use of rice and the lamb, no matter the style of prep, is always terrific. Parking can be a challenge or costly. Wonderful experience.

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JG
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Great food. Very hurried service and very noisy. Easy but expensive parking

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BK
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A relative visiting

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SA
Austin
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food. Amazing service and attention to details. Amazing little place to visit. Get the pumpkin.

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b
Baltimore
16 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food continues to be delicious. Service very good.

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TM
Baltimore
10 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I love The Helmand. The service is always great! I don't know why the person who seated us was so grumpy but other than that one person - everyone was great and welcoming and the food was wonderful.

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C
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, great service. Easily accommodated our 9 person group.

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h
Baltimore
21 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food, attentive service, festive ambiance. However, I feel that the noise level has increased over the years to an uncomfortable level, and some type of sound baffling materials need to be tried to make dining there more enjoyable.

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l
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Keep up the good work! We count on your being there and have now for quite a number of years. Thank you for good service and good food!

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m
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Delicious food. Good service. A little noisy because of the crowded dining room. A great dining experience. I've found a new favorite cuisine.

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IL
Leipzig
2 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service are amazing. Not cheap but worth it

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C
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, we had a great meal and a great experience at the Helmand. We were initially seated at a table right in the flow of traffic, and asked to be moved. They graciously moved us within minutes, to a comfortable table. Despite being absolutely packed, the service was cheerful and prompt. It’s their 30th anniversary this week, and I hope they keep going for another 30!

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A
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

A little dark, but the food and service was really great!

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S
Baltimore
9 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delightful evening at The Helmand Restaurant. The Kaddo Borwani (pumpkin) and Banjan Borwani (eggplant) appetizers were wonderful. In past visits we had three other appetizers that everyone shared and liked - the Aushak, the Mantwo and the Vegitarian Aush soup. Main courses were perfect - the lamb kebab with spinach to replace the pallow and the Chopendez with pallow. The Afghan bread and cilantro vinegrette are also very nice additions and came with the appetizers. Finally, we ended the meal with the "special" ice cream with dried fruit, nuts and cardamom. The service was fast and friendly and the setting was comfortable with only moderate background noise. We had a wonderful time.

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KC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic meal! Was in town for a conference and a friend and I chose this place because it came highly recommended by a local. The pumpkin appetizer was delicious, and I really enjoyed my vegetarian plate! Lots of veggies and lots of spices!

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LA
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our party of four really enjoyed the Helmand after the matinee at the nearby Spotlighters Theater. My lamb dish was very interesting, with a spicy, sweet sauce. Everyone in our party enjoyed their dinner. Service was pleasant and efficient, and the ambience spirited but pleasant.

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B
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 5ambience 1

The Helmand is a great restaurant, been eating there for 20 years. That being said, recently the visits havent been as pleasant. When you come as a couple, too often you're seated in the front room at these little tables that are placed along a walkway, or back at the bar. As busy as it is there, that can make for some less-than-intimate dining. Friday night we were seated in the back, next to the bar...where about 20 people were standing, waiting for tables. It was very unpleasant - there was literally someone standing right next to me throughout the meal, and I was jostled several times by waitpersons going past. 3 or my last 4 visits, I've been seated either there, or along the walkway - which is better, but only by degree. I'm starting to think I should come there when I'm only into the food, not my company.

I know it's not their 'fault' that they have no real waiting area (when we left, we could see that the diners just inside the front door were equally challenged by people up against the tables), but it will be a factor in my decisions to eat there again.

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S
Baltimore
67 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Helmand never disappoints. We love their lamb, pumpkin and eggplant dishes especially. And the ice cream with dates and other fruit is divine!

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U
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great, have been coming for 24 years. Always happy to come back

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