Skip to content

Goa: 10 Food and Drink Recommendations for 2023

The charm of Goa extends beyond its sun-kissed beaches and lively nightlife. This tropical paradise cradles a rich culinary landscape waiting to be explored. The expedition was not about tracing the usual trails but unveiling culinary tales that resonate with Goa’s eclectic ethos. It was about delving into quaint cafes, bustling eateries, and serene beachfront dining, each narrating a unique tale of Goa’s diverse culinary heritage.

This post is written using ChatGPT, however, is based on my personal recommendations from my visit in October 2023, All the places listed below have been personally visited by me.

The eateries featured here weren’t picked out of a preplanned itinerary or a well-researched list; they were the outcome of spontaneous decisions, of chance meetings with locals and fellow travelers, of that sudden pang of hunger as we explored the lanes of Goa. Whether it was being led to a local eatery by new acquaintances or stumbling upon a quaint cafe because the aroma was too enticing to pass by, each spot was a beautiful chapter in the impromptu culinary tale.

Coffee Chronicles: The quest for a perfect brew led to the tranquil locale of Assagao, Bardez, where GShot Coffee Roastery & Cafe beckons coffee aficionados. Here, the iced black coffee is not just a drink but an experience. Each sip was a harmonious blend of robustness and smoothness, offering a taste that was at par with the best in business. GShot is more than just a cafe; it’s a realm where the love for coffee brews in every corner. The ambiance is soothing, a place where one would love to kickstart the day with family. The menu, albeit leaning towards the German and European culinary palette, holds a hint of local flavor. A notable mention is the Hindustani cold coffee, a concoction that promises a gentle caress of caffeine to the senses.

The Cafe is part of a larger property, which has accommodation, meditation space, a boutique, etc. Seemed like a nice place to stay with the family, in a slightly ‘off-beaten’ way than regular hotels and resorts. The croissant menu was interesting, however, I was not able to try any, do let me know in the comments if anyone has any experiences.

Thali Tales: The culinary voyage sailed from the aroma of coffee to the robust flavors of traditional Goan thali at Fat Fish on the bustling Calangute-Arpora Road. The thali here isn’t just a meal; it’s a voyage through the Goan culinary landscape. The seafood spectrum from shrimps to lobsters is a homage to the bountiful Arabian Sea. However, the thali is a noon affair here, and the place can get quite warm as it’s sans air conditioning. Yet, the authenticity of the flavors makes every moment worth it. If you are not a VERY big eater, I will recommend sharing this Thali with multiple people. If you are alone, then also you would be able to try so many dishes and flavors from the region in one meal itself.

The tale of Thali didn’t end at Fat Fish; it found another verse in Old Goa at Adlem Goi. Unlike Fat Fish, Adlem Goi offers a lighter yet equally authentic thali experience in a comforting, air-conditioned ambiance. The thali here was not only lighter on the palate but also on the pocket, making it a delightful choice for anyone looking to indulge in Goan flavors without feeling too heavy post-meal. This quaint eatery, juxtaposed against the serene backdrop of Velha Goa, held a calmness that resonated with the charm of Old Goa, providing a contrasting yet equally enriching thali experience.

Personally, out of these two experiences, it was hard to pick one experience in terms of taste, however given a choice, I would save Thali for Adlem Goi – because of air-conditioning, and smaller portion size for individual consumption.

Beachside Banquets: As the trail veered towards the coastline, the vivacious vibes of Aura Beach Cafe near Anjuna beckoned. The cafe, with its sea-facing ambiance, was a juxtaposition of serene views and energetic beats. The tables were adorned with a variety of seafood, but the stars of the show were undoubtedly the butter garlic prawns, and calamari. While the butter chicken didn’t quite hit the mark, the seafood was a spectacle of flavors, especially the prawns which stood out amongst the other beach shacks. However, the place wasn’t just about food; the music and the hookah added to the lively atmosphere, making it a popular choice among those looking to revel by the beach.

The good part is you can drive right up to the cafe – park the car behind the shack, and enter to see the beach upfront. Seemed like a nice spot for a family picnic.

Vagator Vibes: The Vagator, with its edgy, never-sleeping spirit, brought a different flavor to the journey. The first pitstop was Mango Tree, where the butter chicken and pizza narrated a tale of fusion. The boneless chicken tikka in the butter chicken, charred and blackened, was a texture not commonly found. It was an ode to the original creator of butter chicken, somehow enhanced in the laid-back setting of Goa. Yes, it tasted better than a lot of places in Delhi itself.

The pizza, though not the finest you will have, however, gets the job done. The Chicken and Mushroom Pizza was loaded to the brim and was done to perfection, making even the humble Amul Cheese stand out. Something you will not mind when you are hungry after a few or few.

The explorations in Vagator led to the discovery of Jaws. A small place with a big heart when it comes to delivering flavors. The quick bites like Goan Sausage Puffs, Beef Puffs, Beef Croquettes, and Prawn Puffs were not only pocket-friendly but a delight for the taste buds. Especially the prawn puffs and Goan sausage puffs which were hot, fresh, and left little room for complaint.

A special mention to Chapora Lane, the lifeline of Vagator’s nightlife. This lane, bustling with bars offering cheap booze, good music, and an instant connection with people, is a haven for solo travelers. The ease of socializing over a drink or two, amidst the rhythmic beats echoing through the lane, encapsulated the vibrant essence of Vagator. In case you have no plans in Goa, then this is the place you land at – every evening is a party in itself.

Beer & Beats: The journey then led to the heart of North Goa’s brewing culture at Elephant & Co. in Anjuna. Known for its fresh brews and eclectic music, this place was more than just a brewery. The freshly brewed beer was a testament to the craftsmanship that goes into creating beverages that are as refreshing in taste as in spirit. The flavors were crisp, the atmosphere was buzzing, and every sip seemed to resonate with the lively spirit of Goa. The evening here wasn’t just about the brews, but the camaraderie shared over a pint amidst the groovy beats that set the rhythm for the night.

The Cocktails seemed to be interesting and popular, something I am also looking forward to trying on my next trip.

Babka – The Bagel & Brew Haven:
The trail then meandered to the calm environs of Babka in Assagao, a cozy spot that promised a delightful break from the spice-laden journey so far. The Bagels with cream cheese here were a simple yet soul-satisfying delight, although a gentle recommendation would be to toast rather than microwave them to elevate the experience. The coffee here, while not the star, held its own, offering that gentle caress of caffeine to the senses. Babka’s menu, filled with a variety of bagel sandwiches and other comforting bites, was a quaint blend of simplicity and taste, reminiscent of a comforting home kitchen. And for those with a sweet tooth, the chocolate cheesecakes and tiramisu promised a sweet reprieve.

Palolem Peacefulness:
The voyage took a serene turn towards the southern end of Goa, to Palolem. The drive was nothing short of picturesque, with each turn unveiling a new vista. Palolem, with its cleaner and quieter beaches, seemed like a world apart from the bustling Vagator. The peace was not just in the ambiance but reflected in the culinary scene too.

The heart of this serene sojourn was Art Resort Cafe, a place that seemed to have captured the essence of Palolem. The breakfast by the beach was a surreal experience, with the waves gently caressing the shores as the first light painted the sky. The bacon, scrambled eggs, and sausage breakfast was a hearty start to the day, while the Masala Chai at sunset was poetic. The Mango Lassi, coming without sugar, was a thoughtful touch reflecting the wholesome and health-conscious ethos of the cafe. As simple as all those dishes sound, we all know how easy it is to make a mess of a chai and Bhurji from scrambled eggs, but this place seemed to get it, just right.

The walls were adorned with art, the courteous staff, and the perfect outdoor seating arrangement, everything here echoed a harmonious blend of nature, art, and culinary excellence.

Check my Facebook post for Pictures and Images. Looking forward to hearing from you.

The gastronomic trails through Goa were a revelation of how every nook and cranny of this beautiful land has a unique tale to tell. From the robust coffee at GShot to the serene sunsets at Palolem, each experience was a chapter in the rich culinary story of Goa. The desire to return, especially to the tranquil corners of Palolem and the comforting ambiance of Art Resort, was a sentiment that lingered long after. The diverse culinary landscape, the juxtaposition of serene beaches with bustling night spots, and the blend of traditional with modern, showcased Goa as a land where every palate finds its melody. The narrative was not just about food, but about the essence of Goa that unfolds through its culinary scene, a journey that left a lingering taste urging for a return.

Spotlight on Spots: Your Go-To Guide

Here’s a comprehensive list of the culinary gems explored, each with its unique offerings ready to enthrall your senses: The list is non-chronological, which means numbers do not matter here and all experiences stand out on their own merit.

  1. GShot Coffee Roastery & Cafe
    • Location: Assagao, Bardez, North Goa.
    • Highlights: Iced Black Coffee, Hindustani Cold Coffee, Avocado Toast.
    • Ambiance: Serene, family-friendly.
    • Specialty: Single Origin Coffee Roastery.
  2. Fat Fish
    • Location: Calangute-Arpora Road, North Goa.
    • Highlights: Seafood Thali (Lunch only).
    • Ambiance: Open, rustic, no air conditioning.
  3. Adlem Goi
    • Location: Velha, Old Goa.
    • Highlights: Lighter, budget-friendly Thali.
    • Ambiance: Calm, air-conditioned.
  4. Aura Beach Cafe
    • Location: Near Anjuna, North Goa.
    • Highlights: Butter Garlic Prawns, Calamari.
    • Ambiance: Sea-facing, lively with music and hookah.
  5. Mango Tree
    • Location: Vagator, North Goa.
    • Highlights: Butter Chicken, Chicken and Mushroom Pizza.
    • Ambiance: Casual, laid-back.
  6. Jaws
    • Location: Vagator, North Goa.
    • Highlights: Goan Sausage Puffs, Beef Puffs, Beef Croquettes, Prawn Puffs.
    • Ambiance: Simple, budget-friendly.
  7. Chapora Lane
    • Location: Vagator, North Goa.
    • Highlights: Bustling nightlife, multiple bars with cheap booze, good music.
  8. Elephant & Co.
    • Location: Anjuna, North Goa.
    • Highlights: Freshly brewed beer.
    • Ambiance: Vibrant with eclectic music.
  9. Babka
    • Location: Assagao, North Goa.
    • Highlights: Bagels with Cream Cheese, Coffee.
    • Ambiance: Cozy, casual.
  10. Art Resort Cafe
    • Location: Palolem, South Goa.
    • Highlights: Breakfast by the beach, Masala Chai at sunset, Mango Lassi.
    • Ambiance: Artistic, serene, beachfront.

Each of these spots carries a fragment of Goa’s vibrant culinary and cultural essence, ready to offer a unique experience to every traveler looking to delve deeper into the flavors of Goa.

Embark, Explore, and Express:

Goa is not just a destination, but a narrative that unfolds through its sandy shores, verdant hinterlands, and vibrant culinary scene. Each establishment visited, each flavor savored, added a unique stroke to the canvas of this gastronomic expedition. Yet, the canvas remains expansive, with countless more eateries and flavors awaiting discovery.

Now, it’s your turn to embark on this flavorful voyage. Explore the hidden culinary gems, the bustling food lanes, the serene beachfront cafes, and everything in between. And as you delve into the myriad tastes of Goa, don’t forget to share your own discoveries. Every quaint cafe, every rustic eatery you stumble upon, could be the next highlight on a fellow traveler’s food trail.

The comments section below is not just a space for feedback; it’s a platform to share, enlighten, and enrich the communal culinary narrative of Goa. Share your own favorites, and your unique discoveries, and let the collective palette of experiences grow richer.

So, the next time you find yourself amidst the alluring vistas of Goa, take a moment to venture beyond the beaten path. For within the bylanes, alongside the serene shores, and amidst the bustling markets, await culinary adventures ready to enthrall your senses.

Happy exploring, and bon appétit!

Share your email ID to get Travel related content from me!

Will try to keep it interesting, very interesting.

Stay in Touch!

What do you want to hear about?

Will try to keep it interesting, very interesting.

Leave a Reply