Best of Boston

2013 BEST Middle Eastern/Central Asian Restaurant

Helmand

This off-the-beaten path spot in East Cambridge has been around for decades, yet somehow manages to make us feel like we’re discovering something new every time we visit. Such are the wonders of the authentic Afghani cuisine—kaddo, or pan-fried baby pumpkin baked with ground beef, and aushak, or paper-thin ravioli skins with a bright leek filling. Don’t pass up dessert—the homemade cardamom ice cream with pistachios is a knockout.

143 First St. Cambridge 617-492-4646 helmandrestaurant.com