A reasonably priced Afghan restaurant near the entrance to Granville Island. This Vancouver landmark has been around since the 70s and is popular for its vegan platter, kebabs and casual Afghani dining atmosphere.
Perhaps I went on an off night. My party ordered a platter which offered a sampling of several dishes. Meat was dry and the deep fried taters encircling the plate were greasy. I recall looking out the window and thinking dang, if only I'd gone to Kalamata across the street, all would be right in the universe. I have to admit though, the other diners seemed to be enthusiastically enjoying sitting on the floor. Cushions on the floor are fine in my books but they didn't make up for bad food.
Well, I had high hopes here, heard a lot about the place
Hard rice not cooked enough, potato fritters or whatever they were called are very greasy and paper thin piece of potato in the middle of lots of batter... avoid these like the plague
Salad was a bunch of under-ripe, hard veggies
Chicken not a whole lot of flavour
Kids running around making a lot of noise
I went to the Afghan Horsemen for my birthday celebration cause it's been on my "to go" list for quite some time.
I'm glad I made that call. I went with a friend, and we shared a vegetarian platter. It was amazing! Great variety, and everything tasted really nice even though no meat was in sight.
My favourite was the vegetarian raviolis (I think they're called Aushak?? I can't remember), as the sauce complemented the filling to a tee. So delicious.
I also loved the eggplant. It was soft, but flavorful. Buttery, with a tangy note to it.
The rice was really good. I don't know what they put in it (aside from raisins and carrots), but somehow, the simplicity of it worked!
When we were about to leave, we could smell the lovely meat aroma of the grill. I plan on trying some meaty meals on my next visit.
We sat on the patio so service was a bit slow, but it was alright.
Can't wait to come back.
i am glad that this unique restaurant has been so well received, they certainly deserve it and similar middle eastern restaurants should take notes from this fine establishment. i am glad that they moved to their new location on granville island, the place is now bigger and more beautiful and the food is of course always so good, the meats are so tender, their platters easily fill 3 people although its meant for 2, the value ain't bad either, it is really quality food afterall. the cozy ambience makes this place a perfect eatery for couples or a bunch of friends who are in town for a good time.
This was an excellent experience into a cuisine type I have never enjoyed before. It seems very similar to greek food, to me anyways-but slightly different. We had the kebab platter for two. Great fun picking and nibbling. A good romantic feeling too.
We sat on the floor on cushions, which was different as well.
The server on the other hand, was hard to get, and often MIA. Our water glasses were dirty, and we pointed that out, but never got replacements.
It's a great enjoyment otherwise. So hopefully, this is a server to soon be replaced. I would love to try again, but not to be served by her.
Literally just got home from the restaurant. The atmosphere was amazing. I made reservations yesterday and even that was too late. They ran out of space in the cushion section. They made a mistake with my reservation. I said 3 people and they put down 8 and insisted that I said 8 and not 3. There are some nice servers. There is one guy, maybe the owner or manager, who doesn't smile much. Everyone came at the same time we did, so the food service was slow. At least they gave us our appetizers first. We finished the whole platter and waited a long time for our food to come. We had the Horsemen platter for 3 (~$70) and 3 of their special drinks. The Afghan Buzzer was pretty good. Tasted like spiked juice (may be kind of sweet for some). Overall pretty good. Service was so-so. Food was not extraordinary, but very satisfying. Maybe 3.5/5.
I went with a group to this restaurant. We all appreciated the environment and the music.
Everyone liked the food. The portions were a good size. Some girls shared a platter for one and were satisfied.
I shared a combination appy plate and tried the Ashuk.
Both were delicious. A few people said they were going to go back.
We were seated quickly and served quickly. The plates weren't taken away as fast as I liked and we could have been asked about refills a bit more but other than than I have no complaints.
While this place is highly rated as one of the best for Afghan food in Vancouver, I would have to disagree. I have been to other Afghan restaurants and they did not taste like a mediterranean/Greek spin off! This cannot be the best that there is in Vancouver.
Don't get me wrong; some of their plates, like the lamb shoulder, were good but, it just didn't taste Afghan. And for the prices being charged, I think I deserved better. I mean, some of the food seemed to be prepared haphazardly: the rice was a little hard and seemed to be undercooked.
I don't mean to be entirely negative, as there were some good things about this restaurant as well (service, environment) but for me, the food was a deal breaker.
8 of us were in the cushion room tonight, and all in all it was a wonderful evening...
The service, the ambiance, the food and even the belly dancer who gave our birthday girl some personal attention was above and beyond...
We all had various meals, including sharing plates for two (kebab) and various other meals... One of the samosa things was a bit cold in the center, and we quietly let the server know and he removed the entire order off the bill at the end of the night! A bit slow getting our reservation ready and first drinks out, otherwise flawless... I really felt they deserved 5/5 in all categories tonight but I figured if we had to be critical of something it would be the slight wait... But the server really was exceptional otherwise...
The experience, and the value were all perfect. None of us had ever been, and all of us plan to return... One thing we noticed was there was no "forced" gratuity for having a party of 8... We tipped much better than 15% and it was nice to not have it pre-added to the bill as so many other restaurants do that end up under-performing on the service side...
Go to this restaurant, bring a dat or a group, you will not be disappointed!
The service was a joke. The girl behind the counter was on the cell from time we got as a group until we lift the place. The rice was very hard and the Kababs were under cooked. The owner as frolicking with a bunch of drunk girls on a table instead of checking on us. But that is not all !! They charge you the tip already over what you have ordered. If you do not keep track of your order you would end up double tipping. Not impressed at all and will NOT go back!!!
I go to this restaurant only occasionally, not becuase I don't love it but becuase it's not really close to where I live. The food is great and I love the turkish style coffee they serve. They also bring a very generous plate of afghan rice with their platters (sometimes you have to ask for it, but it is included with the platter). I never leave unsatisfied and the food always tastes great.
I read another review about the table and floor being dirty. I have seen a few times when things could have been a bit cleaner, but I think it may be hard when they are very busy and the lighting is low. In my 20 to 30 times eating at this restaurant, I have not experienced the level of uncleanliness mentioned by that reviewer. Maybe a fork needed rewashing or a booth seat or table had a spot missed. Nothing worse than that.
I had had a short but nice conversation once with one of the servers one night just before closing time (after a wonderful meal). After that, I hadn't been back for at least a year and when I did, I got the same server. She not only remembered me, but mentioned our conversation too, and remembered the details! It was really nice and I felt like she really cared! How rare for a busy restaurant like that.
Also, the belly dancing on Saturday night is a lot of fun. The dancers do a good job of working their way around the room and the show doesn't last so long that it becomes a major disruption for those people who are not really into it.
I love the decor as well, especially the historical photos and items in the display cabinet. The cushion seating may be great for some people, but I have circulatory problems and only like to sit at the booths or chairs.
I go to Afghan Horsemen semi-frequently. I just love the room with the pillows. Eating while lounging on pillows is perfect for a casual get together. My food is always great there. I love the Vegetarian Delight and also the kebabs. We always take friends and visitors there and they always leave happy and impressed.
I went with my friend and we shared the Horsemen' Platter. After reading the reviews here saying that the platter was even big enough for 3, I figured with 2 people we can share the platter for sure. We are not that big of an eater but after finishing the food we both felt that there wasn't enough to fill us.
I expected more than one kebab for each type of food. There was only one chicken kebab, one lamb kebab, one cabbage roll, one baked eggplant piece, a bigger piece of lamb shoulder and a small bit of rice. I thought since it said 2 people there might be two of each. There were, however, a lot of pakawras nicely placed around the dish. From the many reviews here, everyone seem to enjoy the pakawra but I didn't find it that special. It was just really hard and chewy fried potato. The chicken breast kebab wasn't dry, in fact, it was nice and juicy.
The appetizer was pretty decent. I enjoyed the dip with the pita bread. We also ordered the dough (yogurt salty drink) and the afghan tea. Maybe we are not used to the dough drink, it was just way too salty to be a drink for us.
I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the afghan room. It was different and it gave the feeling that you are in some in afghanistan place, a really good way to enjoy the afghan culture.
The service was good. The waiter was really nice and attended to us whenever we needed something.
Overall, the food was okay but I don't think it's worth the price with what you get. I don't think I would go again. You can maybe get the same kind of food in some greek place without having to pay such a hefty price. It's good for the first try and do get the afghan room.
Went here last weekend on a double date. The setting was perfect, dimly lit and comfortable. Huge pillows to lay back on and very cool to have to sit on the floor to eat!
The service was pretty solid, friendly waitress.
The food, it was our first time there so we asked the waitress to recommend some things. She recommended we get the combo platter so we can try a bit of everything. It came with an assortment of meats which are reminiscent of Greek food. There were these butter-fried wedges of potatoes that were pretty good. The lamb was tender and moist but the rest of the platter wasn't that great, the kebobs were a tad too dry.
The value, I find is quite overpriced. The platter did not have as much meat as I expected, a couple of chicken skewers and some lamb shanks then surrounded by many potatoes and some cabbage wrapped rice for $50?? Seems like they try to stuff you full with carbs and call it a night.
It was quite a welcome experience to dine in that style but I don't think I would return as the food reminds me of eating at a Greek restaurant but paying triple the prices for sitting on the pillows.
I really enjoy the food at Afghan Horsemen, but I think it is completely overpriced. I order the same thing whenever I get take out or eat there, but I find that the amount of food varies to an unacceptable degree. Sometimes I get a good amount of spinach and cauliflower with my chicken kebab, and sometimes I get what seems like two teaspoons. Though I enjoy the food, for the price they ask, I would expect serving amounts to remain the same every time you order. In terms of ambiance, I found it much too noisy and I got tired of the loud belly dancing music after the first five minutes, but that's a matter of taste.
Tonight my boyfriend and I celebrated our one year anniversary at Afghan Horsemen. It was our first time at the restaurant, and we basically chose it because of the good reviews on here and because of the fact that my boyfriend is Middle Eastern and was really craving some good kebab.
Anyway, we arrived early for our reservation but were accomodated nicely. We were seated in the cushion room (as per our reservation) which was really beautiful and comfortable to boot. Our server was pleasant and everything came out really quickly - it hadn't been very busy when we arrived. The food was all delicious, but we were expecting a bit more for our money so for value we didn't think it was the greatest. The kebabs were really moist and nicely cooked which we were pleased with (I had the chicken and he had the lamb).
Unfortunately a large party (20+) arrived in the middle of our meal and there was a lot of confusion about their reservation...this was probably the most unpleasant part of our meal, and was in no way the fault of the establishment. We will definitely be back to try the other items on their menu.
We went to Afghan Horsemen on a Saturday night. It is located on Granville Island. It is hidden but not too difficult to find. We suggest you make reservations. The two of us did not make reservations and we thought we were not going to be seated. However, the owner (well he looked like the owner) gave us a table anyways. That got things off to a good start.
Positives: Great service. Servers are attentive and friendly
Very nice ambiance...it really does feel like you've been transported to another place. Very good food.
Negatives: The food is a little pricey.
My BF introduced me to this place when we first started dating and fellas, I have to tell you, if you're looking to woo a lady, make sure to bring her to this place! Book a reservation for two in the cushion room. Sooo sexy and romantic and the food is amazing. We've returned to this place time and time again for the great atmosphere, service and especially the food! So delicious. Also, order a "Mighty Horsemen" cocktail - delicious pineapply type drink with tons of booze in it, served in a big basin with two long straws to share with your honey. We've had the same server both times, a Mid-Eastern fellow who's extremely sincere, natural and professional at what he does. Definitely one of my favourite restaurants in the city.
We love the food, but non-ethnic waiters are not quite friendly/professional. We recommend the management to hire more of the ethnic waiters/waitresses. Last time we were there, we didn't even feel like tipping the waitress, since she was not that attentive and very unpleasant.
The manager is quite friendly and helpful though. Too bad that he only shows up at the end of the dinner. The other ethnic servers are quite friendly and welcoming. We love this place and have been there a few times. Watch out though,they have moved from W Broadway to Granville Island. We almost missed it!
I've been to the Afghan Horsemen on a few occasions, and each time was as good as the last.
The service is excellent - the servers act like you're a regular even on your first visit.
Food is great -a huge selection on the menu; it's rare to go to a restaurant that can cater to meat-lovers and vegetarians simultaneously. The prices are a tad high, but it's well worth it.
I have not sat in the "Afghan room" with the cushions, but it looks very nice and romantic.
Definitely a great place to go on a date for some ethnic food.
It's too bad that they're moved to a fairly secluded location near Granville Island
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