Helmand Palace


Up close and personal with the mantwo.

Review is for delivery only.

Sometimes you just need to change it up from the usual Thai-pizza-Indian delivery, right? Enter ~HELMAND PALACE~. This Afghan outpost has been making legions of diners happy with its well-prepared and flavorful dishes (and lunchtime buffet, RIP!) since 1989, first on Broadway, and then a landslide forced their move to a random stretch of Van Ness Avenue. But it’s worth seeking out, offering one of the better deals in town, with hearty portions and white tablecloths (nice touch). I also recommend it as a place that’s good for mixed parties of vegetarians and meat eaters—there’s plenty to keep everyone happy.

Regulars go crazy for the kaddo ($5.95), an appetizer of pan-fried and baked pumpkin, topped with a ground beef sauce and yogurt-garlic sauce. Since the pumpkin is additionally seasoned with sugar, I have always found it too sweet, but some folks sell their firstborn for it. Dessert for dinner! I prefer the mantwo ($6.95), tender beef and onion-stuffed dumplings in a soupy combination of yellow split peas, carrots, beef sauce, and yogurt. (You’ll scoop it all up with the bread that comes with an order of an entrée.)

As for entrées, they range from a variety of kebabs and kofta ($12.95-$13.95) to pricier lamb and beef dishes, maxing out at $22.95. The entrées come with a delicious housemade flatbread and a trio of side sauces (sweet chile, cilantro, and yogurt), plus rice and various side dishes. Yup, a good deal all the way around.

Delivery starts at 6pm, and they like you to order a minimum of $20. It’s food that travels well, and is homey and fulfilling on a chilly San Francisco night when you wish you had someone cooking for you.

2424 Van Ness Ave.
(at Green St.)


  • Afghan


  • Delivery
  • Good for Groups