The Helmand Restaurant

4.7
1765 reviews
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$30 and under
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Afghan
Top tags:
  • Authentic
  • Good Vegetarian Options
  • Creative Cuisine
Providing fine Afghan cuisine for more than 25 years in Baltimore
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Afghan, Middle Eastern, Vegetarian / Vegan
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Hours of Operation
Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(410) 752-0311
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Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Smart Casual
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Neighbourhood
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Cross Street
Monument
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Parking Details
Plenty of on street parking or paid lot immediately next door
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Public Transit
Purple Line -Charm City
4 blocks from Penn Station
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1765 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
4.7
Value
Noise · Moderate
99% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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JA
Baltimore
8 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Helmand NEVER disappoints for ambiance, excellent service and outstanding food. We recommend it to EVERY one of our friends!!!!

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

Temperature of the food was a problem - my meal was luke warm at best.

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ND
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

While The Helmand has been open forever, they have maintained their quality throughout the years. The food is delicious and the service great. The restaurant was a little dark for my tastes and it was loud, but that's what happens when a restaurant is full!

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

As always the food, service, and ambiance were fantastic.

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DD
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had a great dinner prior to a concert at a nearby venue. Delicious food and timely service.

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BP
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

One of the best meals of my life. My friend never had Afghan before and she too had a wonderful experience. Great food, great wine, great ambiance. I would go again in a heartbeat.

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JK
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

So fun and different. We had a great night with friends. My only issue was that it was a little louder than I would have liked for good conversation.

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m
Baltimore
44 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

The food is always consistently good but we always feel like they are rushing us in and out.

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WS
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Other than the friendly, outstanding service, great food and exceptional value....

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HM
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wanted a place to catch up with a friend visiting from Seattle with great vegetarian options. The wait staff was incredibly friendly, made wonderful recommendations and even treated us to dessert!! The food was wonderful and I can’t wait to return and try something new!

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WS
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Had a great meal there with friends and colleagues

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F
Baltimore
31 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

Food is always consistently good. Very good restaurant.

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DL
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The service, food, and ambiance were absolutely fabulous. We went to celebrate a birthday and could not be more impressed.

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B
Baltimore
7 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

The food is always great the service is usually very exceptional on this occasion we were left alone quite a bit to where my water went empty which never happens and when we were ready to leave we had to get someone to get us our check. Hope this isn't an indication of things changing but the food was good.

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BB
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 2

We’ve always had good meals here. The food is flavorful and interesting. However, the service is rushed so one does not feel able to sit and relax and truly savor the meal. Oh, be sure to get a reservation!

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l
Baltimore
9 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The Helmand is an old favorite and I can't resist the baby pumpkin appetizer. To die for. Good prices, good food, and our waitress was prompt and engaging.

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B
Washington DC
70 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

25 years and counting and never a bad dinner or disappointment. WOW

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GP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food, well prepared, interesting flavors. Thanks to all for pointing out the pumpkin appetizer. Would likely not have otherwise chosen it, but so glad we did. It is excellent!

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S
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

An experience you normally would pay twice the price for the food is delicious and varied, the ambiance warm and intimate, and the service attentive without being intrusive

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Our favorite restaurant. Great food at a reasonable price. What else is left to say?

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K
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This has been my favorite restaurant for at least a decade. Always consistently excellent in both food and service.

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BB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The Helmand is a tiny little jewel box full of ambiance and good cheer. Every one is friendly and the food is off the charts spectacular!!! We had the Ashak and charbroiled lamb with apricot and ginger. The flavors are complex an delicious.
A must desert is the ice cream with rose water, chopped dates and nuts. Incredible!!!

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FL
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My husband and I have been to this restaurant numerous times and love it. It’s always had the same high quality food, friendly staff and great ‘buzz’.

We’ve brought other couples there, and they rave over it as well.

And we travel 45-60 minutes to get there, it is such a fabulous dining experience!

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P
Denver
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Great ethnic food, reasonable prices, lively, too lively for quiet conversation.

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S
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great restaurant. Nice place for dinner after a day of museuming or before a movie.

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TS
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Helmand never disappoints. I usually have lamb, but this time I had chicken with peaches and honey - and it was marvelous.

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B
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 3

It was a welcome surprise to return to Baltimore after 12 years away to see that the Helmand was still thriving. And the quality has not changed! Great, interesting but not challenging, dishes that reflect Afghanistan's cultural heritage. All of it prepared every bit as well as I remember. Lovely attentive service and a great value as well.

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MK
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Delicious food. Wonderful spices. Fine service.

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OT
Philadelphia
27 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 4Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

Excellent flavor in their dishes. Great menu. The lamb overcooked. Service was very good

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KI
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food was outstanding and unique. Everything we tried was phenomenal and we cannot wait to go back. The service was excellent

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C
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 3Food 5Service 2Ambience 3

I hadn’t been here in about 6 years and was happy that the quality has not gone down; the food is still delicious. Their aushak are the best. The service, however, has gotten even worse than before. Everything comes out in seconds since they prepare most dishes ahead of time (eg stews), that’s great, but the main courses came out when we were in the middle of our appetizers. The waiter asked if we’re ready for our mains, we clearly were not, but he started stacking dishes on top of each other anyway.

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EL
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My favorite ethnic restaurant in Baltimore!! It scores big in every category: ambiance, service and consistant food quality and flavor (over several visits). I will be back at my first opportunity. My friends have already gotten my recommendations!!

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EG
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Always a great place to dine. Fantastic food, service and atmosphere. Consistently excellent.

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JS
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Consistently great afghan food....great service...beautiful dining room

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MR
Baltimore
22 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

The food at Helmand was, mostly, as good as ever. The pumpkin appetizer is not to be missed, though I’d skip the eggplant appetizer the next time. The service was spotty, and this was odd since we were there at 5:30, and the restaurant was not at all full. After serving the appetizers, our waiter seemed to disappear before returning eventually to take our dinner orders, which then took 20-25 minutes to arrive. We had to ask for water, since nobody seemed to be filling water glasses on a regular basis. We did try the chocolate cake, which was remarkably good.

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L
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We love the Helmand for the uniqueness of its cuisine which is consistently excellent. It’s hard to believe that they are celebrating their 25th anniversary in Baltimore! The food is always beautifully prepared, the service excellent and the atmosphere well-designed.

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S
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 2Food 5Service 1Ambience 4

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Baltimore b/c the food is really very good and they have a decent wine list. The ambiance is usually enjoyable and fun as well. However, Fri and Sat nights are busy for them, so definitely make reservations or be prepared for a LONG wait. I was disappointed this last time b/c we made a reservation, was seated 30min late w/o apology, and got barked at by host for going up to inform him of our reservation. It turns out so were almost all customers entering since they have no sign about their hosting/seating policy- which it turns out is to stand by the front door until the host comes and acknowledges you. The confusion arises from the fact that it is a strange spot to be standing around and since customers see the host near the computer at entrance to main dining hall, they assume they should talk to him/her. Nonetheless, the host should be more courteous to customers who understandably get confused by the arrangement, esp there is no sign indicating what it is. Icing on the cake was that the restaurant canceled our reservation on OpenTable- the 2nd time they made error re: OpenTable reservation, so if you do make reservation on OpenTable here, follow up to make sure it was processed correctly and you get your points.

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OT
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

The food was good, but the service was slow. It gets really crowded on Saturdays and there was an accent light that kept coming unplugged. It was a distraction.
The tables are a little too close together in the corner. Removing one might make the experience nicer for everyone.
I would go again.

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J
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I have been going to The Helmand since it opened. I no longer live in Baltimore but whenever I am in Baltimore this is the restaurant that I always go back to and if I have friends with me this is my number one place to bring them. The food is not “spicy” but it contains wonderful spices that are unusual and that I don’t experience at other restaurants that serve Middle Eastern or Asian food. The pumpkin appetizer is unique and delicious. It is a must order—-sweet but covered with tart yogurt sauce. We really enjoy every single appetizer. I always order the chicken lawand, which contains large tender chunks of chicken breast and a tomato-based sauce with whole mushrooms. This time my friends ordered the steak with “Afghan spices” and it was incredibly tender and delicious. I think the steak dish was called “Chebedek.” Someone ordered the salmon which I’ve never had and that was great too. I’ve never had a bad dish at this restaurant. The bread they serve with butter is unique and I like to soak up the sauces from whatever dish I ordered. We made reservations early, at 6 o’clock, and the place was packed on a Saturday night.

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OT
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Delicious food. Very flavorful. Our waiter Siddiq was outstanding. Great ambiance with wonderful service.

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