Best of Boston

1998 Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

The Helmand

This Afghan restaurant packs a tapestry of spice into every dish, from the marinated meat on the seekh kabab to the delicate baby pumpkin. The broad dining room’s flaming bread oven, extensive wine list, and exotic decor transport you from everyday Cambridge to distant Kabul. Soothe your surging palate afterward with full-bodied Turkish coffee.

143 First St., East Cambridge, 617-492-4646,