100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Passage to India

The dining room at Passage to India in Bethesda, Maryland. Photograph by Chris Campbell.

Some of Bethesda’s best cooking goes on in the kitchen behind this quietly elegant white-tablecloth dining room, showcasing dishes from northern, southern, eastern, and western India. It’s a restaurant that rewards conservative choices such as chicken tikka masala—among the best we’ve tried—as much as it does more adventurous ones. Tamarind-laced fish vendiam curry stands out among the southern-influenced dishes. Malai chingri, juicy shrimp in coconut sauce, is a tasty ambassador for the East. And a Parsi-style lamb stew dotted with apricots is a standout western offering. Weekdays at lunch, enjoy a satisfying meal—including soup, entrée, naan, lentils, and dessert—for less than $15.

Open: Daily for lunch and dinner.

Don’t Miss: Mulligatawny soup; yam-and-apple salad; goat curry; tandoori scallops; cheese dumplings with figs; garlic naan; masala chai tea; rice pudding.

Don’t miss a new restaurant again: Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.