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Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurants in Goa

by Su and Titu
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Best restaurants in Goa

Goa the paradisiacal city known for its fine beaches, ancient churches, tropical jungles and wild parties also happens to be foodie haven. With innumerable beach shacks, cute cafes, food pop-ups and fine dining restaurants – there’s something for everyone. Furthermore, a buzzing tourism industry especially international tourism has led to a diverse and vibrant food scene. Our recent trip to Goa was all about exploring its culinary treasures. We travelled to both North and South Goa and tried different cuisines everyday. We were amazed by the sheer number and variety of high quality restaurants in India’s smallest state. Hence to make best use of your limited time, we’ve created an ultimate guide to the best restaurants in Goa. So read on and save these recommendations when you travel to Goa next.

Being a a coastal city, Goa has undoubtedly the best seafood. You’ll find some form of seafood in every menu. Secondly, the Portuguese conquest has had a significant influence in the local cuisine. Be it the pao (Goan flatbread) or the curries like Balchao and Sorpotel, the flavours are vastly different from a traditional Indian curry. And finally with tourism, Goa now offers the best of all cuisines with delicacies from different corners of the globe.

So let’s take you on a culinary adventure to the best restaurants in Goa.

Warning: you might feel hungry reading this.

Top restaurants in Goa
Sip on a margarita by the beach and enjoy the sunset colours

Best Restaurants in Goa (North Goa)

1) Artjuna

Artjuna is one of our favourite cafes in Goa. I visited it a couple of years ago and fell in love their food and smoothies. In fact this was the first place we went this time too and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a beautiful garden cafe set in the quieter by-lanes of Anjuna known for their all day breakfast menu and salads. Personally, we love the arty bohemian ambience and the Mediterranean options. They have a small library and a cute lifestyle shop selling trinkets and clothes.

To try: Salmon and egg bagel sandwich, Shakshuka, fresh smoothies, vegan pastries

Cost for 2: INR 1500 approx

Location: Artjuna (opens in Google Maps)

2) Baba Au Rhum

Another gem set in a quiet backroad connecting Anjuna and Baga. The diner has a relaxed mood and offers great views of green paddy fields. The portion sizes were good and everything we ordered was delicious and fresh. It’s also worth trying their artisanal beer. Baba Au Rhum is unquestionably one of the best restaurants in Goa.

To try: Burgers, Avocado Prawn salad, bakery stuff

Cost for 2:INR 1500 approx

Location: Baba Au Rhum (Opens in Google Maps)

Baba Au Rhum is one if the top restaurants in Goa
Avocado prawn salad at Baba Au Rhum

3) Luna’s Ristorante

Hands down the best Italian food in Goa. Quiet restaurant with a lovely ambience, courteous staff and delectable food. The mood of the place reminded us of the quaint resto-bars of Bali. This was surely one of our best meals in Goa.

To try: Pizza of course! The salads were fab too.

Cost for 2:INR 1500 approx

Location: Luna’s Ristorante (Opens in Google Maps)

4) Vinayak Family Restaurant / Local Joints

A trip to Goa is incomplete without tasting the local Thali. Fish Thali is the perfect platter consisting of one fried fish, white rice, veg curries, salad, pickle and some kokum curry. There are many local joints serving this staple Goan fare but Vinayak and Anand seafood are your best bets. The food was delightful, authentic and pocket friendly. It’s particularly crowded during weekends so bear that in mind.

To try: Fish Thali

Cost for 2: INR 700 approx

Location: Vinayak (Opens in google Maps)

Best Goan food in North Goa - Vinayak
Local Goan fish Thali is a must try

5) Jamun

If you’re specifically looking for a good selection of Indian and Goan-Indian fusion cuisine, Jamun should be your top choice.

To try: Tandoori Pomfret

Cost for 2: INR 2000 approx

Location: Jamun(Opens in google Maps)

Best Restaurants in Panaji

Best local food in Goa
Pork Sorpotel and Prawn Balchao are a must try

6) The Fisherman’s Wharf, Panaji

It’s set in a beautiful Portuguese heritage home in the heart of Panjim. The beautiful architecture and laid back ambience personifies the slow ‘sossegado’ Goan life. The unique Goan flavours in their food really stood out and the portion sizes were adequate too. After all it’s a crowd favourite and you can’t go wrong with this. Besides a trip to Goa is incomplete without trying the Goan curry.

To try: Pork Sorpotel and Prawn Balchao and any Goan curry rice

Cost for 2: INR 1000 approx

Location: Fisherman’s Wharf (Opens in google Maps)

7) Tamari at Taj Vivanta Goa, Panaji

Japanese is my favourite cuisine and no trip is complete without sushi. With Japanese food in India, it’s only a handful restaurants that get it right and Tamari was certainly one of them. The salmon uramaki was one of best we’ve had – pleasing to the senses and the eyes. Therefore if you want to have Japanese food, visit Tamari. It’s in Taj so slightly on the pricier side but sushi tends to be expensive in any case, basically you pay for the quality. Totally worth the splurge given that our bellies were full and the heart was happy.

To try: Sushi, Dim sums, Salmon

Cost for 2: INR 4000 approx

Location: Tamari (Opens in google Maps)

Best Japanese restaurant in Goa
For all the Sushi lovers – Tamari serves excellent Japanese food in Goa

8) Mercure Goa Devaaya Retreat, Divar Island

It’s a perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon while day tripping Divar island. It’s a gorgeous property right next to Mandovi river. Limited options, we ordered pasta, salads and juices as it was a hot day and we were happy with quality of the food and friendly service. We mainly visited this place for the setting not the food. In any case Divar island doesn’t have too many options so this was our top pick.

Cost for 2: INR 1500 approx

Location: Devaaya Retreat(opens in Google Maps)

Best Restaurants in Goa (South Goa)

We spent most of our time in South Goa near Palolem and thereafter in the quaint village of Curtorim. The latter is a small agricultural village far from the tourist radar. In fact, it didn’t have any cafes or restaurants – just some food trucks and local bakeries. However we were pleasantly surprised by the variety of restaurants and cafes near Palolem, especially the healthy international food kind. Gone are the days where it used to be difficult for vegetarians to find good food in Goa. You’ll be particularly impressed by the wide variety of vegan and vegetarian options. Despite not being much of a beach person I’d love to spend a few months in South Goa for the food alone. So let’s dive straight in to the list of best restaurants in South Goa.

9) Nireas Healthy Haven 

If you like international healthy food in particular then look no further. They have a decent vegan menu as well. With the thatched roof and earthy decor, the ambience is calm and inviting. Moreover it is very close to Palolem beach. Ideal place for a power packed breakfast or a laidback brunch. To sum up extremely satisfied with everything we ordered.

To try: Guacamole with sweet potato chips, Healthy Bowls, Salads

Cost for 2: INR 1000 approx

Location: Nireas(opens in Google Maps)

10) Sushi Cafe

We wanted to try Japanese food in South Goa too so we looked up on maps and Sushi Cafe showed up. The Japanese menu though is limited to sushi. We tried the Salmon Maki and it was decent. The best part of our meal was the wood-fired pizza freshly baked in front of our eyes. All in all it ticked all the boxes for a quiet Goan evening – relaxed ambience, friendly hosts and yummy food.

To try: Sushi, Wood-fired pizzas

Cost for 2: INR 1000 approx

Location: Sushi Cafe(opens in Google Maps)

11) Bibhitaki (best vegan restaurant in south Goa)

We were particularly impressed with the number of vegan options in Goa and Bibhitaki was one of the highly rated ones. It’a a lovely minimalist vegan joint in Palolem serving the best breakfast bowls in South Goa. Their menu is extensive and we relished everything we ordered. Moreover the portion sizes are huge and it’s great value for money. Again a must visit if you are a fan of smoothie bowls, avocado on toast and delicious wholesome food in general.

To try: Smoothies bowls / smoothies, Avocado on toast, Mexican fare

Cost for 2: INR 1000 approx

Location: Bibhitaki (opens in Google Maps)

12) Dropadi

If you want to have a meal right on the beach then head to Dropadi or the Beach House in Palolem. They offer a good variety of North Indian cuisine as well as fresh seafood. It’s a quintessential beach shack and a pleasant place to unwind, sit by the ocean and have a candle lit meal. Overall the restaurant and food were basic but the sea views made it worth it.

To try: Fresh seafood, Indian food

Cost for 2: INR 800 approx

Location: Dropadi(opens in Google Maps)

13) The Mill

It is a cozy cafe set in a refurbished rice mill serving healthy food – it’s open till 6 pm so ideal for breakfast or a quick bite. Tasty salads and burgers with a casual, peaceful vibe.

To try: Pancakes, burgers

Cost for 2: INR 800 approx

Location: The Mill (opens in Google Maps)

14) German Bakery

Care for some croissants and coffee? Just head over to the German bakery in Palolem. Overall a wonderful place for bakery stuff and for fulfilling your sweet cravings.

To try: Breads and cakes

Cost for 2: INR 600 approx

Location: German Bakery (opens in Google Maps)

Pro-tip: We also went to some instagram famous eateries like Purple Martini but found it overrated and overpriced so best to avoid such tourist traps.

Feels like we ate our weight in food in Goa. Hope you find the guide useful to eat your way through Goa. Don’t forget to add these places to your eat-list.

*Also food is very subjective so use this list with a pinch of salt.

Looking for stunning places where you can avoid crowds? Don’t forget to check out Top 10 offbeat destinations to beat the crowds.

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