It’s no secret that Goa is the first destination on every person’s list, regardless of whether they are looking for a small vacation, a staycation, or a place to escape to. Why wouldn’t it be? The state has something for everyone to do! Beautiful beaches, insane parties, water sports, a huge, loud and proud culture, friendly people, and cheap booze.
The cherry on top of that coconut cake is the laid-back lifestyle and the mind-blowing food. In fact, we think that the food might be part of the reason why everyone in Goa is so laid-back. After all, who would want to move after a serving of fresh Chicken Xacuti and Poi, or a pork Vindaloo, or some Sorpotel, or the very famous Calamari in a fish thali! The thing is, you might find these dishes on every menu. But, they might or might not capture the authentic taste of the food that is a result of Hindu, Muslim, and Portuguese influences.
We did a deep-dive on the many food destinations of Goa to give you a list of the places that you should visit, in order to let your tastebuds party with the rest of you. Check out these authentic food hideouts in Goa!
1. Mum's Kitchen
2. Viva Panjim
3. Souza Lobo
4. Fat Fish
5. Hotel Venite
6. Martin's Corner
7. Bhatti Village Family Bar & Restaurant
Established in 1997, Mum’s Kitchen has started an ‘ethnic cuisine movement’ to save the authentic Goan cuisine from turning into a memory. Multiple mothers and grandmothers from Goa have collaborated and contributed to the extensive menu that this restaurant holds in its upmarket setting. You can go here and reminisce about the scents of your grandma’s kitchen, regardless of whether you order vegetarian or some sort of meat.
Vegetarians can try the Tambde Bhaji, which is a leafy vegetable dish made with amaranth leaves and garlic. There is also the Bimbli Uddamethi or Bilimbi Curry, which is a curry made out of Bimbla fruit in coconut gravy with a tadka of urad dal and methi. For the non-vegetarian, there are options like the Kingfish Curry or the Pork Balchao to try out.
Location: Miramar, Panaji
Timings: 11 am to 11 pm
Cost For Two: INR 1,800
Set up in a 150-year old Indo-Portuguese house in a quiet lane in the Latin Quarter of Panjim, Viva Panjim is reminiscent of an era that is long gone. Adding to this feel are its traditional furniture and a number of classic hangings on the wall. However, it’s only the building that is old. Viva has done an excellent job at keeping up with the evolution of food for the past fifteen decades.
You can choose to sit inside this ground-floor restaurant or take a seat on the verandah to enjoy open-air dining. The restaurant serves an amazing menu of Portuguese Goan cuisine. Among the many dishes, you have to try the Prawn Curry, Pork Solantulem, and Goan Fish Curry. To finish it off, you can munch on some homemade Bebinca, which is another specialty at Viva.
Location: Fontaihas, Panaji
Timings: Daily 11:30 am – 3:30 pm, 7 pm – 11 pm. Only 7 pm – 11 pm on Sundays
Cost For Two: INR 800
Also read: Things To Do In Goa During Monsoon.
Souza Lobo is one of the oldest and well-known eateries on Calangute beach. It has been around for multiple decades and is a favorite amongst the locals and tourists alike. And for a very good reason! The folks at Souza Lobo take their food very seriously. They take pride in the traditional recipes that have been passed down through generations and even show it in their motto ‘traditional recipes live here’.
Once there, you should definitely try the Prawns Curry Rice, the Crab Xacuti, Masala Fried Fish, Beef Steak, and the Lobster Thermidor. These dishes are very well complimented with the delectable choice of wines in the liquor section. That being said, the live music that is played in the evenings takes the charm of this place to a whole new level.
Location: Calangute Beach, Calangute
Timings: 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm and 7 pm – 11 pm
Cost For Two: INR 1,300
Also read: Best Beaches To Visit In Goa.
Fat Fish is another spot that has gained and managed to retain its fame for its mind-blowing seafood menu. Even though Fat Fish is one of the younger restaurants on this list, it has nailed Goan cuisine to perfection. Since its doors opened in 2012, Fat Fish has impressed people with its upmarket ambiance, excellent service, and of course, fantastic food.
Speaking of the food, Fat Fish is known to grind all of its spices in-house. With those, they have created an amazing selection of seafood and tandoori dishes. Some Goan-Portuguese standouts in the menu here are the Shark Xacuti, Pork Sorpotel, Fish Portuguese, and Chicken Vindaloo. The thalis in this restaurant are known as the best in the state, so check that out too.
Location: Arpora Road, Calangute
Timings: 12 pm – 12 am
Cost For Two: INR 1,200
Hotel Venite is an almost 60-year-old restaurant that happens to sit in a heritage building that is about 200 years old. The restaurant has an amazing retro-Portuguese vibe. This vibe is amplified because of the charming interior, character-defining décor, and the warm lighting that will envelop you as you step in.
The menu of this restaurant holds an excellent selection of Goan, continental, and seafood items. Some of the dishes that do stand out, though, are the Prawn Balchao and the Goan Sausages. This place is also known for its bar menu, which has a wide variety of drinks, including some amazing cocktails.
Location: Altino, Panaji
Timings: 9 am – 10:30 pm. Closed on Sundays.
Cost For Two: INR 1,000
If you’re planning to visit Goa during the new year, you would also want to have a look at Experiencing Goa During the New Year.
In its journey of over two decades, Martin’s Corner has had some very evident growth. From its initial corner shop with a few tables and chairs to a larger-than-life restaurant that can feed 300 people at once! One thing that adds to the fame of this place is the number of celebrities that have visited it. In fact, Sachin Tendulkar recommends Martin’s Corner for its seafood!
While the restaurant specializes in traditional Goan and seafood, there is a variety of options to choose from a variety of cuisines. These include continental, Chinese, Indian, and tandoori dishes. You can order the usual Goan specialties like Xacuti and Vindaloo. However, do try the King Crab preparations when you step into this rustic mansion on the beach.
Timings: 11 am – 3:30 pm and 6:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Cost For Two: INR 1,600
The last one on our list, Bhatti Village is a true-blue slice of the humble Goan culture. The husband and wife team that runs this place, Merciana and Patrick D’souza are just as famous as the food they prepare. You’ll find Merciana in the kitchen while Patrick tends to the visiting patrons.
The most unique part of this restaurant is that there is no fixed menu. Instead, depending on the day’s catches, Merciana will cook up the day's menu and Patrick will announce it to the waiting customers. The homemade Feni prepared by this family is known to swipe people off their feet, too.
Location: Bhatti Waddo, Nerul
Timings: 12 pm – 2:30 pm and 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Cost For Two: INR 500
To know more about Goa and how to plan the best itinerary, also check out the Goa Travel Guide.
Food is one of the most important parts of any culture. If you’re talking about a state like Goa, that is so culturally unique, and at such a high risk of becoming completely commercialized due to the tourist traffic it sees, retaining any amount of cultural significance becomes a challenge. In such a scenario, food also becomes one of the best ways to retain said culture and pass it to visitors and locals alike.
However, finding authentic food hideouts in Goa is not as much as a challenge. The friendly and humble people have kept the traditional tastes alive and strong, and they are not shy when it comes to sharing the same. While the eateries we have mentioned are guaranteed to give you all the foodgasms you could ask for, you might find the next best thing in a ‘thela’ or a roadside stall, two lanes over. So, explore as much as you can and give the place an opportunity to surprise you. Believe us, it will.
What Is Famous Food In Goa?
Some of the most famous food dishes in Goa are Xacuti, Vindaloo, and Sorpotel. However, to eat what the Goans eat daily, you’ll find yourself having rice and fish curry, more often than not. Goan food is also famous for its inclusion of coconut, kokum, and meat.
What Is The Street Food Of Goa?
Croquettes, potato chops, and samosas are some of the most famous street-food items in Goa. In places like Vasco, Mapusa, Panjim, and Margao, you’ll find vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions of these dishes.
What Is The Most Famous Sweet Dish Of Goa?
The most well-known sweet dish, or dessert, in Goan cuisine is Bebinca, closely followed by Serradura and Dodol.
Is Food Costly In Goa?
No. Even the newest person in Goa can find a decent meal in a decent restaurant for about INR 250 - 300. However, the bill can quickly add up if you visit a place without checking its price range first.
Is Goan Food Spicy?
No. The authentic Hindu-Goan cuisine makes heavy use of things like tamarind, kokum, and jaggery. These spices make most of the food items in Goa mild, at best.
What Is Famous In Goa To Buy?
Goa is not only known for its lovely beaches but much more. And, to bring home the essence of Goa, here are some of the things to get from Goa - cashew nuts of different types and flavors, Feni (liquor made of coconut and cashew nuts), spices, Port wine, sea salt, Kunbi sarees, coconut crafts, and more.
What Is Goa Jaggery Made Of?
One of the most important ingredients used in many Goan cuisines is jaggery. What makes Goan jaggery different is that it is made out of the finest coconut toddy collected from the coconut palm, and is locally known as madachem godd.
What Spices To Buy In Goa?
Goa is famous for the variety of spices its market offers. Some of the popular spices to get from Goa are black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, and curry leaves.