The Helmand Restaurant

4.7
icon/ic_reviewCreated with Sketch.
2026 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 2026 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
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Filters
m
Baltimore
96 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
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 4 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience4

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

HN
Melbourne / VIC
6 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
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
84 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.

K
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

LOVED our waiter! It was my boyfriend's birthday and we had AMAZING food!

OT
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

The menu options were plentiful and the food was delicious. The flavors, textures and appearance exceeded my expectation and I found everything I ate incredibly tasty! I would have given the overall experience 5 stars except that our waiter disappeared with our beverage glasses to be refilled 2/3 through enjoying our entrees, not to appear again until we were done. It was a busy Saturday evening, but our request was very basic. The noise level is pretty high as there are few acoustic buffers, but the food quality far outweighs that issue. I’m already looking forward to a return trip!

CB
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The flavors, presentation, and value are amazing. We have been eating The Helmand for decades but had lost touch. It's nice to know that a top rated restaurant still makes the A grade.

RV
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of my favorite places when I visit Baltimore. Always great!

WL
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great variety of food in a lovely setting. They’re even better now than they were 30 years ago when they opened.

OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect setting

WP
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful meal. I highly recommend the pumpkin appetizer. Service was good. I needed to ask for my points to be given on Open Table.

OT
Baltimore
18 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was fantastic, and the service was amiable and helpful. I was happy to introduce my guest to the sublime Kaddo Borwani appetizer, and our lamb entrees were spicy and tender. We enjoyed the evening!

LW
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such friendly people! Food is fabulous and the staff is ready to describe ingredients and allergens. Highly recommended for any occasion!

P
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Anniversary

B
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great and flavorful food, lowlight and soft atmosphere

OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Consistently delicious food and great service.

e
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was good as always. I left my sunglasses behind and a waiter ran down the block to return them to me. That's good service

s
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I’m a vegetarian and they have wonderful options. It was absolutely delicious and such a great value. You’re not breaking the bank when you go out to eat at the Helmand

OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server was awesome.

R
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The place was crowded with eager customers waiting to be seated. The food was worth waiting for - - - so delicious and served unusually quickly after ordering. This is a wonderful restaurant in which to have a most enjoyable eating experience.

KL
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I would absolutely recommend the Helmand to a friend. I can hardly wait to return there myself. The food was excellent, as was our server.

SH
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So glad we made a reservations via Trip Advisor and Open Table as the restaurant was mobbed even on a Thursday night. The waiter was calm amidst the "energetic" ambiance and made good suggestions as it was our first experience with Afghan food. The meal was wonderful, quickly served, fragrant and abundant. Folks around us were enjoying heaped platters of wonderfully presented and just as wonderfully smelling meals. Will plan to go again for sure if ever in Baltimore!

l
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We love The Helmand for their always excellent food & service. I could live on the kaddo bowrani! Congratulations on 30 wonderful years of delighting diners.

MM
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

I made reservation several days in advance for table of 5, but our table wasn't ready when we showed up. Also, they put us in a noisy location, right at the entrance. Disappointing.