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  5. Kendall Square
The Helmand Restaurant, Cambridge, MA
This restaurant now offers Takeout

This restaurant now offers Takeout

Bring the restaurant to you. Order and pay for food directly on OpenTable.

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The Helmand Restaurant

4.5
4.5
405 Reviews
$31 to $50
Middle Eastern
Helmand Restaurant offers Afghani dishes with a wood-burning oven where the famous flatbread is cooked on one side of the room and an intimate fireplace is on the other side.

Helmand Restaurant entrées include tasty choices like qabelee, which is pallow rice baked with chunks of lamb tenderloin, raisins and glazed carrots or mantwo, a homemade pasta shell filled with beef and onions. If you like spicy dishes, try the koufta challow, consisting of beef meatballs with Afghan seasoning sautéed with sun-dried tomato, hot peppers and green peas in a fresh tomato sauce. Several vegetarian entrées are also available such as the kaddo and banjan challow, which is pan fried and baked pumpkin and eggplant served with challow rice and yogurt garlic sauce.

*Due to limited patio seating, we do not take reservations for our patio . Please note the patio or any other special requests in your reservation, or ask upon arrival, and we will do our best to accommodate.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 10 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Takeout from OpenTableNew

Ready in 36 minutes

Start takeout order

Delivery

  • Logo image for Postmates
  • Logo image for Uber Eats

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Fine Dining

  • Cuisines

    Middle Eastern, Afghan, Halal

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Mon–Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (617) 492-4646

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Neighborhood

    Kendall Square

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Additional

    Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Indoor Fireplace, Kosher, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 405 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.5
4.5 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.3Service
  • 4.4Ambience
  • 4.4Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Boston

    Healthy

Sort by

Filters

  1. M

    ofMon

    New England

    13 reviews

    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a fabulous meal to celebrate an anniversary and a birthday. The bread, as usual, was amazing. We shared two lamb dishes (one with spinach, one grilled with beautiful tomatoes on the side) and the Aushak. Everything was excellent!
  2. TS

    TonyS

    Amarillo

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 18, 2022

    overall2food2service4ambience3
    Order a lamb dish and had to search in the pile of rice for the lamb. I have eaten here in the past and really enjoyed the food, however this time it was really disappointing.
  3. RR

    RonaldR

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 14, 2022

    overall1food2service1ambience1
    Horrible service, waiters ignored us completely. Food was ok.
  4. LC

    LeahC

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a meal of all 5 appetizers as the appetizers are also entrees, just smaller portions. Everything was exquisite.
  5. C

    Chem008

    New England

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Good ambience. Good food. Value of money. Hospitality fine.
  6. RR

    RobertR

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very special place. Delicious, interesting food. Exceptional service. Call out to our server Tamana and to the wine captain.
  7. LL

    LLLLLLLL8

    New England

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on June 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Hellmand is wonderful! The food was spectacular, the bread is great and our service was great also. We definitely will be back.
  8. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    We are regulars. Tamy was extremely helpful! The salad with grilled chicken was delicious and Mantu was amazing as usual.
  9. AL

    AndyL

    New England

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Just wonderful. Food was excellent. Katie, our server, was great!!
  10. C

    Canarylynne

    Philadelphia

    20 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on May 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food and service. Very enjoyable.we will return.
  11. MB

    MissB

    San Diego

    37 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    37 reviews

    Dined on May 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This is a lovely restaurant. Food is interesting and excellent. Lots of couples and families of all sorts, including south Asians. (I always hope an ethnic restaurant will have people of the region.) Lively atmosphere, but quiet enough to talk.
  12. N

    Nick

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I love eating at Helmand. There is a nice mix of vegetarian and meat/fish dishes so everyone found something they enjoyed. The spicing is great. I love the ambiance, the dining room looks beautiful and it's elegant but comfortable. Staff were very helpful. It was also fun to watch them baking in the oven that you can see from the dining area.
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 25, 2022

    overall1food2service1ambience1
    There didn’t seem to be a specific waiter. Wait times for drinks and food was extremely long. I definitely will not be back.
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 21, 2022

    overall5food5service3ambience5
    Amazing food
  15. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The food was great, place was beautiful and the service was amazing !!
  16. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 21, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience4
    Three things that made our experience sub-par. 1) Got the Chapendaz (tenderloin of beef) and it was like eating the ocean. So salty. 2) While we got a wine menu, never got the drink menu that the neighboring tables got. 3) We used to come here in years past and found the food significantly more flavorful. They likely have significantly cut back on the spices.
  17. n

    none

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service, food high quality and authentic.
  18. L

    Labgirl

    New England

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 15, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    The food was very good and the portions were large (I took home 1/2 of my meal). My husband started with a soup and I had the salad. We both had an entrée and we shared one side. We only drank water with dinner and my husband had Turkish coffee. I would go back again because we loved the dishes but it was a lot more expensive than we normally spend on dinner. We are retired so we cannot spend that much on dinner very often.
  19. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Yummy food, attentive staff.
  20. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fantastic food and great service— special shout-out to Tamana!
  21. AV

    AmyV

    New England

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fantastic service and delicious food. Would definitely go back
  22. AN

    AnwarN

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    This was my 2nd time visiting this restaurant in a large group setting. And this time it was a great experience especially with the service and food quality. This place has a different twist on the Afghan dishes compared with the NorCal Bayarea restaurants. Our server (female) was very courteous and helpful. All the food including appetizers were served in a timely manner and they all tasted great, except for the Fish dish. It was a bit dry. Overall a great experience to celebrate our important occasion at Helmand. I will come back again and see if this positive experience continues.
  23. MG

    MarkG

    New England

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food, extremely nice servers, nice, quiet atmosphere!
  24. T

    Trishkbob

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The food was marvelous - combo of flavors you don't typically encounter. They combo of spices and flavors are like a warm hug for your mouth. I got the beef kabob dinner and it was divine!! The meat was so soft and juicy. We also got an old fashioned - a little watered down for my taste. I probably won't go here for the cocktails, but I'll definitely be back for the food!
  25. FH

    FredericH

    New England

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food. Great service. Nicely decorated. Excellent desserts.
  26. AK

    AnneK

    New England

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on May 4, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Love the food and the atmosphere at The Hellmand!
  27. HP

    cHiP

    New England

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on May 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Helmand is an excellent restaurant, with a type of food (Afghani; sort of like a unique cross between Indian/Pakistani and Persian/Iranian cuisine) that is unlike that found elsewhere in the Boston metro area. The food was great and the service was as well. It is a very welcoming and delightful atmosphere in the restaurant.
  28. MA

    MazinA

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great experience and authentic food. Would recommend.
  29. M

    Mark

    New England

    13 reviews

    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on May 2, 2022

    overall5food4service4ambience5
    A well-established neighborhood restaurant. For many years has consistently provided authentic Afghan dishes.
  30. NM

    NatMM

    New England

    11 reviews

    4.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on April 26, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience4
    Food was top notch, we tried 4 different apps, all were delicious. Entree were great as well. Our party of 5 had several different lamb dishes - all cooked well, paired with perfectly cooked sides. Trout was delicious. Turkish coffee cooked table size was really really good! The only thing I found underwhelming was the "house cake" ... nothing memorable or exciting about it. Service was VERY slow, especially in the beginning. After we were seated, it took about 10 min just to get menus. Then, I think at least half an hour passed until anyone approached us to at least get our drink order. It was pretty busy, but there were plenty of servers going around, avoiding eye contact with our table. Once we finally ordered, the food made up for the wait.
  31. JM

    JennieM

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 22, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    We loved the appetizers. Service was a little ambiguous.
  32. GH

    GandH

    New England

    61 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    61 reviews

    Dined on April 21, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    Great ambiance, food choices mostly around lamb, with beef as a much lower premium. Great vegetarian dishes. Great spices. Some unique niceties have disappeared from its previous years, namely a great bread backing oven in the center, and a working fireplace.
  33. LD

    Luv2Dine

    New England

    35 reviews

    4.0

    35 reviews

    Dined on April 20, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience4
    Food is excellent here. Portions are very good; small appetizer and entree big enough that I brought some home. I didn't give 5 stars for service only because once we had our food, no one came by to see how we were doing (except for someone refilling water, which BTW, is excellent. Too often restaurants have horrible tasting water). We were there very early (5:30) and by 6:30, the place was pretty full. But still, it should have been obvious that we stopped eating and we sat there for a long time till someone stopped by. I asked for a take-out container; got that quickly but then sat for a long time to get the bill. I would definitely go back as their food was great and interesting in that I am not familiar with Afghan food. An added bonus, they are a few doors down from Toscanini's Ice Cream!
  34. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    14 reviews

    4.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on April 19, 2022

    overall4food5service2ambience4
    Great place for business dinner or to take friends. Service was very poor tonight food as always was excellent.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on April 17, 2022

    overall4food4service2ambience4
    Overall experience was fine. It was the first time ever that we had just finished our main course and the waiter comes and puts the check on the table. Did not ask if we wanted anything else, did not ask if we wanted dessert or coffee. When we asked what about desert, he said oh most people don’t order desert!! Has never happened before, wait staff definitely needs better training. Also charged a 20% gratuity (which I would have added anyways) for a party of 4 which is not the norm at most restaurants.
  36. CO

    CarolO

    New England

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on April 16, 2022

    overall4food5service2ambience4
    Our server never came back to our table after our meals were served. Never asked if we needed anything. We were so disappointed we did not stay for coffee, although no one asked if we wanted any!
  37. AG

    AnaG

    San Francisco

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on April 16, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    The staff was extremely kind and courteous
  38. F

    Faye

    Seattle

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on April 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had an early show so had an even earlier dinner. Service was good and food was great! Lamb was very tender, and the ravioli was perfect.
  39. BD

    BetsyD

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 9, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Very good restaurant for non meat-eaters. Many true vegetarian menu options. Everything is prepared well - excellent flavors. Considering that the restaurant was fully booked on a Saturday night, the servers and helpers did a fine job. Glad to see this neighborhood place doing so well.
  40. MB

    MinaB

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 8, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Service very friendly and attentive. Food portions on the small size but quality was very good. Atmosphere was very comfortable.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers

FAQs

The Helmand Restaurant does offer delivery in partnership with Postmates and Uber Eats. The Helmand Restaurant also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (617) 492-4646.

The Helmand Restaurant is rated 4.5 stars by 405 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 10 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Takeout from OpenTableNew

Ready in 36 minutes

Start takeout order

Delivery

  • Logo image for Postmates
  • Logo image for Uber Eats
Google Map for The Helmand Restaurant

143 1St St Cambridge, MA 02142

Additional information

  • Neighborhood

    Kendall Square

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Mon–Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Middle Eastern, Afghan, Halal

  • Dining style

    Fine Dining

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Additional

    Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Indoor Fireplace, Kosher, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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