Goa is my second home. I remember every school break, even if it was just for 2-3 days, we would pack our bags and head there.
You don’t need a reason to go is what I tell people. It’s one of those most perfect destinations in India to be at if you just want to unwind and have a good time!
Many a time, it is quite overrated and could be really crowded but that’s why I choose to go in Summer and not during Sunburn. Although it’s off season and most of my favourite places are shut down, if you’re the kind of person who likes that little peace and quiet on a holiday, then this is the post you should be reading.
Three words that always bring me back to Goa are sun, sea and sand along with good local food and booze. I’m not the kind of person who likes to go sight-seeing or visiting people. Maybe shop for silver jewellery and go for a night market at the most. But chilling at my favourite beach with a glass of Urak in my hand and stuffing my face with all the Goan cuisine I can get my hands on is my definition of a Goan vacation!
So I’m not going to tell you where to visit and what to see because I’m guessing you’ve already done that before but I’m going to tell you what to eat and where you can get some of the best local food the state has to offer.
To many, their knowledge of Goan cuisine is only restricted to fish curry and rice. And let me tell you that’s something I didn’t eat on this trip this time because there was so much more to savour. The Portuguese having ruled over this state for many years has left behind such a great influence on the traditional Goan cooking that has resulted in a treasure trove of culinary delicacies.
Talk to a local and they will tell you how seriously they take their food. They not only take pride in what they eat but also the style it has been cooked. And trust me the smaller the restaurants and shacks you go to, the tastier is the food.
From various kinds of seafood –lobsters, crabs,prawn, calamari, mussels done in rava- fried, butter-garlic, masala fried etc to their ever- so famous goan sausages, chicken cafreal and beef vindaloo, Goa has so much to offer in terms of rich, beautiful local flavours and that’s something the food enthusiast in you should never be deprived of!
WARNING: This post is strictly not meant for vegetarians =P
Here’s a quick guide on places you should not miss out on your next trip #WhenInGoa
TERRY RESTAURANT AND PUB
Located at the Betim Ferry Wharf, overlooking the gorgeous Mandovi River, I couldn’t ask for more!
This has been a favourite of mine not just because the food is great but it comes with this whole homely ambiance that you wouldn’t really find anywhere else.
They are best known for their golden fried calamari and mussels. Unfortunately that night, they were out of mussels but the calamari was crisp and soft once you chewed them. I hate it when some places serve them rubbery. So it was a real win-win for me!
Some of the other dishes you must try there would include their Prawn Stuffed Papad, Rava- Fried prawns, Sausage Chiili Fry, Fish & Chips and their Bebinca for dessert.
An average meal for two would be around Rs 1400.
A hole in the wall but serves some of the most authentic, local fare you can find in Arpora. The ambiance is nothing great at all but food is outstanding and great value for money.
Urak is supposed to be the first flush of Fenni and has to be had in the Summer. The Chicken Liver Fry and Shark Ambotik are must haves here.
An average meal would cost Rs 800 for two people
Unfortunately I missed the Saturday Night Market at Arpora by a week but was lucky enough to witness the Street Food Festival and savour food from this institution- Anandashram.
Located in Santa Inez, Panaji, it’s another place that will “woo” you with it’s great flavours.
I ate oysters for the first time. It tasted a lot like mussels but more slimy in texture and was marinated in a spicy masala and then rava fried. It’s the best way to eat them I was told!
Also, the Tisreos or more commonly known as clams fried in coconut masala were absolutely delicious.
An average meal for two here would be around Rs 800.
Another stall which I loved were these homecooks from Candolim called Athena’z. The grilled prawns were to die for!
The food has never been disappointing. Some dishes you cannot miss out here are their crispy onion rings, the best prawn curry rice that has the beautiful flavour of kokum and the ever so flavoursome sausage pulao. Pair up all this with a glass of local Fenni and your afternoon is sorted.
And after you’ve had enough of the sea, indulge in these gorgeous batter-fried banana fritters with vanilla ice-cream. It’s the best you can get in Goa!
An average meal for 2 would cost Rs 1200.
These are one of the places that will never die even with all the newbies around. Been at Calangute beach for donkey’s years now, their Tongue Roast and Sausage Chilli Fry is the best you can get in town!
An average meal for 2 would be around Rs 1500.
Located on Agar Wadoo, Calangute-Arpora Road, it is not a place you want to head to over the weekend unless you’re willing to wait for long. But if you have the patience, the wait is so worth it!
It’s got a very chilled out ambiance with the Goan bailas playing in the background and great vibes from the folks around.
Coming to the food, the Baked crabs here are simply delightful. The crab meat is extremely creamy and flavourful and easy to eat too without having to dirty your hands. The Chicken Cafreal and Beef Vindaloo are definite must-haves here!
I ate Serradura for the first time and I loved how light it was!
An average meal would be Rs 1200 for 2 people.
Looking for a place to chill in the evenings, this famous breakfast spot in Calangute happens to serve some of the best milkshakes in town.
A little hard to find but once you’ve found it, you’ll just love it! Located in Anjuna, far away from the beach but serves you food like no other place.
Apart from all the appetizers, they are known for the best fish thalis you can get your hands on!
It is so filling and tasty that all that’s left is a good afternoon siesta!
An average meal would cost Rs 800 for 2 people.
Located in Aguada Fort area, I could say this is one of the most happening places in town. And I love the fact how family oriented they are. As you know most of the lounge bars are so strict on entry these days, they have a special area for families with kids to dine.
They have a very interesting menu that consists of dishes with a fusion and flavours that play around on your palate. The beef salad, Tongue Roast and Gulab Jamun in Old Monk have got to be my favourites. The flavours from the beef and pineapple complemented each other so well making it a beautiful dish and that Gulab jamun could really hit you!
An average meal would cost around Rs 1500 for two.
CREMEUX CAFE AND BISTRO
You’ll find this cute, little bistro on MG Road in Panjim that serves Goan food with a twist. I was quite impressed with the goan sausage on flat bread that I came back home and tried my own version of it!
An average meal for two would cost Rs 800.
Also, you cannot miss out on these homemade pork pies, prawn rasoi and beef croquettes made by a Goan aunty who goes by the surname Estrocio and lives in Caranzalem. A great landmark is O Cozinheiro Restaurant. It may be quite a search but you will not regret it. I took a whole lot of them back home with me!
Last of all, you can’t leave Goa without experiencing some of the best sunsets it offers you. Here’s my favourites:
THALASSA, SMALL VAGATOR
Hope this was helpful and if you have some of your favourite places that I’ve left out, do comment below!
DISCLAIMER: This isn’t a sponsored post. I love to travel especially for my food 🙂
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