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The Helmand

143 1st St, Cambridge, MA 02142-1205
617-492-4646
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Ranked #23 of 535 restaurants in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Afghan, Middle Eastern
Good for: Romance, Large groups, Doing business, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Large groups, Doing business, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
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219 reviews from our community

86% Recommend
    111
    78
    24
    2
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

This seems to be a very popular venue - locals tell me it is nearly always full. Only open for dinner. I thought the cuisine was closer to Middle Eastern than to Indian, and done very well. Tasty dishes and easy to choose from the very good menu.

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Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

Of course I was skeptical about trying Afghani cuisine for the first time, by I fell in love instantly from the moment the bread arrived to our table. So many options for a vegetarian! The rice in itself is amazing. All familiar flavors but just done in a totally different and perfect way.

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Falmouth, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

I love to travel, on the ground or by cuisine, so Helmand was my first trip to Afghanistan and a delightful one. Staff was patient explaining the unfamiliar dishes and preparation and we selected terrific meal. The key is the distinct and delicate seasoning, both delicious and delightfully aromatic. The lamb was good, perfectly cooked, not the most tender but... More

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Boston
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

Great food with good vegetarian options. A very nice atmosphere and a decent wine selection. Definitely get reservations.

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BOSTON
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

We like the restaurant and we come back to it. In particular we like the eggplant dish for a starter. It has a nice environment and is close to a major mall.

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US
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

The restaurant ambience is cozy and warm, the table by the fire is especially nice in the winters. The food is excellent, the service is usually prompt and knowledgeable. The spice profiles are similar to indian and persian food. The meat dishes are apparently quite good (I'm a vegetarian so I can only speak to the vegetarian and fish dishes)... More

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Woburn, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

First time having this type of food and I have to say I am a fan. At first they tried to seta us in the back room which had no heat (don't do it in the winter) but we asked to be move to the from t room which is much nicer. The service was SLOW at first then we... More

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Great Neck, New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

My wife recommended The Helmand after she had a good experience there with a girlfriend on a previous visit to Cambridge. On this visit we found the food to be OK but nothing special and the service to be slight disjointed. Not planning to visit next time we're in town...

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orange county, ca
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

Warm and delicious says it all. We ate here on a blustery cold night (about 12F!) and the piping hot bread was just the ticket. The bread is served with three sauces -- the green one they said was medium spice but it really was mild. I had the "mourgh challow" chicken with rice-- very tender, mild, and also piping... More

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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013 via mobile

Walking in to this joint on a Sunday night you realize something very quickly... it's busy. In a part of Cambridge that I would not classify as a busy place for foot traffic, it tells me that the diners at Helmand are not here by chance. Quickly settle in and notice the decor is a little dated but in a... More

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