Don’t just come to Goa for the beaches, come for the food! Goa’s eclectic mix of cultures and cuisines has created a really vibrant and cosmopolitan food scene with fusion menus representing all corners of the globe.
From street food stalls and cheap-and-cheerful beach shacks, to stylish restaurants that wouldn’t be out of place in the Michelin guide–foodies are truly spoilt for choice in Goa!
Here are 9 of our favourite restaurants in Goa, speaking from experience (and a full stomach).
Also, click here to see our full Guide to Goa.
The Best Beach Shacks in Goa
The whole Goan experience wouldn’t be complete without a blissful, lazy day spent in one of Goa’s many beach shacks. Most serve a multi-cuisine, traveller-orientated menu with something to please everyone–the million dollar beach views and refreshing sea breezes come for free. However, not all beach shacks are created equal; here are the ones you should put at the top of your list:
La Plage, Ashvem
Upmarket La Plage is without doubt a cut above the rest, sitting somewhere between beach-shack and fine dining. The menu is a fusion of French, Italian and contemporary American dishes; the seafood is great and the desserts are sublime. The setting, on the wide and uncrowded sands of Ashvem Beach, is picture-perfect, and the coloured tables and chairs create a charming, stylish seaside ambience making this one of the hippest hangouts in trendy Ashvem.
Ashvem Beach +91 9822121712
Sublime has earned a reputation as one of Goa’s most innovative dining experiences thanks to the boss, expert chef Christopher Salim. The décor is kept simple which lets the food and location, right on the sands of quiet Morjim Beach, speak for itself. The menu is an imaginative fusion of Indian and contemporary European cuisine, the starters, appetizers and steaks are especially good. Open for lunch from 12-3 and dinner from 6pm.
Central Morjim Beach Road +91 9822484051
Pousada by the Beach, Calangute
Pousada is one of the best choices for upscale beachfront dining in Calangute, and even though its located right on Goa’s most popular beach, Pousada is still a peaceful spot that serves great traditional Goan and Konkani cuisine as well as great pastas and salads.
Nr Goan Heritage Hotel, Calangute Beach +91 9765804964
No visit to Goa would be complete without visiting the famous Curlies Beach Shack on Anjuna Beach to get a taste of Goa’s hippie past. Curlies was one of the first ever beach shacks and has grown to be something of an institution, offering a wide-ranging multi-cuisine menu, watersports, a deck with great sunset views and a lively atmosphere once the sun goes down.
South Anjuna Beach +91 9822168628
The Best Restaurants for Goan Food
Whilst Goa has restaurants that serve cuisine from every corner of the globe, you simply can’t visit without trying authentic Goan food. For real authentic Goan cuisine leave the tourist hotspots behind and try:
Mum’s Kitchen, Panjim
Mum’s Kitchen was created to preserve traditional Goan family recipes. The dishes have been handed down through Goan families and are served up in a charming, rustic, homely ambience. Try the bimbli udamehti, a vegetable dish made with roasted coconut and spices and a Mum’s Kitchen speciality.
854, Martins Building, Dayanand Bandodkar Street, Panjim-Miramar Rd. +91 98221 75559
Hotel Venite, Panjim
Hotel Venite is a popular, legendary restaurant serving traditional Goan cuisine since 1955 . The décor is charming and quirky, and the small lit-up balconies that overlook the street are a great place to watch the world go by. The vegetable vindaloo, spicy Portuguese-inspired chouricos (spiced sausages) and masala prawns are popular.
31st January Road, Panjim +91 98 5046 7008
The Best Fine-Dining Restaurants in Goa
Goa is also home to world-class restaurants, amongst them some of the most stylish and innovative in India. If you’re looking to splash out and treat yourself, we highly recommend the following:
Go with the Flow, Baga
Located in the gardens of a big, old Portuguese villa, on the banks of the Baga creek, is one of Goa’s most imaginative fine-dining options. The décor is quirky, stylish and funky and the menu is extensive, imaginative and served with flair. The kitchen is run by a Brazilian chef so it’s not surprising that the meat is really good here.
Baga River Road (nr Baga Bridge) +91 7507771556 / +91 7507771557
A Reverie, Calangute
Dining at A Reverie is a gourmet exploration of the world, with a fun, diverse and imaginative menu centering on European cuisine often with an interesting Asian or south Indian twist. The bar is one of the best stocked in Goa. Only open for dinner.
Holiday Street, Gauravaddo, Calangute +91 9823 174 927
Matsya Freestyle Kitchen, Arambol
Like Bhatti Village there is no menu at Matsya Freestyle Kitchen so each time you dine here is a surprise. Matsya is situated in a serene spot in the Samata Holistic Centre, not far from Arambol, and serves a creative menu of Mediterranean and Asian inspired cuisine with flair. You make a reservation and tell Gome, the chef, your preferences and any allergies, after which the cooking is all freestyle with plenty of organic greens from the garden and gourmet delights. The typically four-course meal is laden with flavour and freshness and makes for a unique dining experience.
At Samata Holistic Retreat Center, Arambol +91 9823699270
We must stress that this is not a definitive list; there are many more amazing restaurants in Goa so be prepared to feel the need to return!