ARAMBOL, North Goa
Fellini's Pizza - Italian style pizzas, calzones and pastas. Given that it is easier to get a good pizza every few kilometres in Goa than Delhi or Bombay, I won't say its worth driving all the way to Arambol for just this. But if you are in the area and don't mind sacrificing the sea view, or any view at all for that matter, Fellini's is a good option for a decent bite. Of course you can take-away too. Opens at 7pm. Where: Main Arambol Beach Road, Near Chiilly Guest House. Opens at 7pm. Phone Number: 09881461224
Magic Park - The name says it all - a magical green oasis tucked away in Arambol. This is a gourmet vegan restaurans, sure to tantalise all you health buffs. Also a yoga and spiritual center. Where: Ana & Arun - House No 2, Moddlo Waddo. Phone Number: 0091/9637980012
PERNEM, North Goa
Matsya Freestyle Kitchen - This year's newbie on the scene is an exciting one to take time out for. On the roof of Samata's - a holistic retreat - in the idyllic village of Pernem, looking over verdant grounds, the setting alone is a delight. But wait till you hear about the food. Chef Gome's food is innovate as modern cuisine should be. It is known as a freestyle kitchen as the menu changes regularly based on what is seasonal and fresh. Most of the ingredients are sourced from their organic garden nearby. A 5 to 7 course meal awaits you - one simply picks their preference in protein (seafood, meat or vegetarian) and the rest is a scrumptious surprise! They take pride in their seafood creations.
Tamarind Cafe - In the same property as the above, set right below Matsuya's, in the garden, under a humbling 200-year old banyan tree is the Tamarind Cafe. Chef Kaoru Kawabe, from Japan creates some of the finest organic, vegan macrobiotic meals in town. The menu changes daily so you never get bored. 12pm to 3pm. Tamarind Tree has 2 sister properties nearby, and they are a fantastic option for those looking for a good yoga and/or wellness retreat to stay or take classes at, while being around like minded people. Where: It is located a little ahead of Bhumika and Ravalnath temple. Phone Number: +91 77985 19012
MANDREM, North Goa
Lazy Dog - If you are looking for some peace and quiet this is where you need to be. It is set on one end of Mandrem Beach. The restaurant is inside a Portuguese style villa, but in the courtyard around a nice pool - so you still get sun and can swim if you don't feel like walking a few feet down to the sea. And the food isn't bad either, definitely better than neighbouring shacks but it is largely for the ambiance and its beautiful facade perched on top of the beach that enforce my recommendation. The amiable Gopal Kaushik who set-up the first Lazy Dog in Manali, opened this with Goa partners last season. Try: Warm Grilled Salad, Prawn Curry w/ Prawn Pickle, Fried Fish. Phone Number: +91 9421193820 +91 9765853549
Dunes - If you are in Mandrem this is another decent option for food. A glorified shack really and the menu indicates the same. Seafood here is fresh and plentiful. Phone Number: +91 832 224 7219
ASHVEM, North Goa
La Plage - This is one place on top of everyone's list. Their menu is a great mix of French, Italian, and contemporary American dishes. More than the food however, La Plage has managed to create a wonderfully charming ambiance with coloured wooden tables and chairs, casually placed on the beach so your toes may never be separated from the soft sand and your ears from the sounds of the sea. The menu does keep changing, but few staples remain. Try: Liver Pate, Bee burger (one of the best in town), Gratinated/Stuffed Mussels, Sesame Crusted Seared Tuna (please try and order it as rare as possible). Phone Number: (+91) 9822121712
Gopal's - If you decide to spend your day lazing on Ashwem beach, Gopal's Shack has decently good prawn curry rice and other munchies. It is located next to La Plage on the beach.
Elevar - Chris Bee's newest venture seems to be the talk of town lately and you shouldn't miss it. It has the same signature style - fusion, contemporary, fresh and seasonal. Lots of his signatures slightly reinvented. A beautiful rustic space facing the sea and shaded by palm trees.
Sunset Ashram - This sprawling new bar is another attempt at Ibiza imitation, complete with wooden decks, a swimming pool that takes center stage and cabanas bordering around. Music is the focus through all hours of operation, though mainly electronic. Phone Number: +91 9953887818
Baxter's - It has a little bit of everything - food, drinks and shopping. Set amidst green lawns and coconut trees, facing Ashwem Beach. They will also be hosting a weekly Friday Night Market with food, fashion and live music. A good spot to be at during this season if you are looking for good vibes and music.
Atelier - Nicolas, owner of the French restaurant Frichty, has now moved to a newly opened and wonderful well-being - Anahata Resort . If you had ever eaten at Frichty you know you should go try this, for some global fusion food. The menu keeps changing based on what is seasonal and fresh. Anahata also conducts great wellness classes if you want to give one of those a shot before your meal - call and book for both! Where: House No. 367, Next to Ajoba Temple, Ashvem Beach. Bawa: Phone Number: +91 7720034172
Shanti - You could best describe this as 'shack chic' being a part of the designer-hippie revolution. It is located in front of a rather expansive part of the coveted beach on Ashvem, with ambient sections and layers to the venue; and a dance floor facing the sea; all making it an enticing option for sundowner drinks and parties. Phone Number: +917774060772
Cafe Delicieux - Good cakes and desserts, in fact they may just be the bestdesserts in town. This is also your best option to order whole cakes from in Goa. Where: Morjim-Ashwem Rd. Opp. Morjim Beach Resort. Phone Number: 7350 413490.
MORJIM, North Goa
Paros - Brand new on the scene with a luxury tent accommodation, this had been opened by the Amarya group. If you are in Morjim grab a small bite and take in the scenery. Also, the dynamic duo Shilarna Vaze and Christophe Perrin from Gaia Home Chef are doing a fabulous Chandon Beach Brunch on the 2nd of January. If any of you are in town and have a gastronomer's love for food we say do not miss this one! The spread includes - Star Anise Brioche French Toast, BBQ Pork Sliders, Red Snapper Ceviche, Mussels in Thai Dressing and so much more deliciousness. Book soon as tables are limited - For reservation call: +91-9764399131 9819373023.
Sublime - Maybe a fairly new location but Sublime has been around and had people gushing for years. Chef Chris Bee's menu is innovative, and inspiring. We usually prefer to focus on starters and salads, which seem to have way more oomph than the mains. Try: the Asian Style Tuna, Sesame Beef Salad, Clams w/ Chorizo. In the mains they do a mean Blue Cheese Steak and Filo Pastry Bon-Bons w/ Chocolate Ganache for dessert. Phone Number: +919822484051
Marbela - This swanky alfresco beach bar is all very white, slightly Ibiza, and quite a bit yuppy. If bubbly on the beach is your thing Marbela should tickle your fancy. Phone Number: +91 832 6450599 +91 9158881185 , +91 832 6450599
SIOLIM, North Goa
Teso - A stylish boutique with luxury tents and an outdoor lounge and restaurant, that is only one season old. If you are looking for a breathtaking sun-downer or a fun party to shake-it at, this is the perfect place to do it. Good DJ acts happen here regularly. Open wooden cabanas, wicker furniture and breezy white drapes may be ubiquitous in Goa but ones that are surrounded by the tranquil Chapora river on all sides, can't be beat. Where: 301/1,Vaddi. Siolim. Phone Number: 0832-2270096/2270097 +91 7507003585
Shawarma - If you get a bit peckish on the roads of Siolim grab a shawarma! Slightly desi in its roots - pretty spicy with a healthy dose of mayo but tasty nonetheless. It is located pposite Siolim Church.
VAGATOR, North Goa
Thalassa - Probably featured in every guide book on Goa and rightfully so. Run by the formidable Mariketty Grana, from the beautiful Greek islands of Corfu, who has taught her chefs some of the most lip smacking Greek dishes in Goa! Thalassa is a beautiful space on top of Ozran Beach that you want to be at, one way or another. Perfect place for meals and those romantic Goa sunsets. Try: Tzatziki, Flaming Saganaki, Spicy Prawn Saganaki, Horiatiki, Watermelon Feta Salad, Spinach Mini Pies, Stuffed Sardines, Stuffed Grilled Whole Squid, Gyros, Baby Lamb Chops, Profiteroles and of course keep washing it down with some Ouzo! Where: Ozran, Small Vagator (Above the beach). Phone Number: +919850033537
Fusion - A wonderful chill zone at the back in beautiful garden, is where I like to go park myself. Run by an Israeli who has been here for a long time. They do great pizzas, but you'd want to include their special rotisserie grilled chicken, and a side of some fresh baked pita and hummus. Where: Ozran, Small Vagator. Next to Thalassa. Phone Number: +919850621347
Salt N Pepper - According to me, it is home to one of the best beef burgers in Goa! And just for that we suggest you try it next time you are in the area. They also don't bother with average burger buns and use Goan Poi instead. Cheese, Caramelised Onions, Lettuce, Tomato - keep it simple and it does reward Where: Ozran Beach Rd, Small Vagator. Phone Number: +91 98221 63522. 08322273596
Mango Tree - A fun road side bar with some style . Good place to meet travellers and grab a drink if you are in the area. Vagator Beach Road. Just before Chapora turn. Phone Number: +918322275703
Chronicle - This levelled bar is set on the cliff of Vagator, opened just last year. Come here for sunsets, drinks and get your dance on! Phone Number: +919167239345, +918411020762
Sakana - Comfort Japanese food served in a cool contemporary space. This dark yet whimsical place is owned and run by a couple - Japanese Chef Mali and her partner Eliko. The food is unfussy, familiar and predictably delivers satisfaction, what more can you ask for? Try: the salads, the Yakiniku Beef and Hot Kingfish Sashimi. Phone Number: 098901 35502
Piccola Roma - A no frills pizzeria with good wood-fired pizzas. They recently launched a new menu which includes a killer lasagna. Where: Chapora Road, Vagator, Goa, Landmark: Near Petrol Pump. Phone Number: +91 75078 06821
MAPUSA, North Goa
Spice - This is a well-kept local secret, away from the tourist circuit - for great Goan style seafood. The thali is a good way to go. Also, try the fresh Tandoori Crab. Where: Satadhar Complex, 3, Ground Floor, Bombay Goa Road, Off National Highway 17, Karaswada , Near Asmas Arcade. Phone Number: (+91) 832 2257148, (+91) 9420686340
Le Roi Arthur Cafe & Boutique - French couple, Melissa (the designer) and Romaine (the chef), run a boutique hotel, restaurant, store and bakery in their beautiful Portuguese villa. If you are looking for something truly special this is it. You call at least a day or two in advance - tell the couple what your budget is, if you have a preference for meat or fish and they plan a menu based on your preferences especially for you. The food is French - elegant, light - and only if you appreciate the beautiful subtleties of French food should you indulge here. Otherwise, anyway a good idea to stop here to pack-up breads and desserts. Where: On the Mapusa Para Rd. Between Tara Verde and Don Bosco School. Phone Number: 097670 38901
ASSAGAO, North Goa
Gunpowder - No, it didn't all end in Hauz Khas Village. These guys smartly moved to Goa after shutting shop in Delhi - to open a bigger and better Gunpowder in the green, tranquil village of Assagao. With access to better seafood, pork and buff - the food is only that much better. Great food combined with rather romantic surroundings - You certainly must go try. Where: Anjuna-Mapusa Road, next to Hotel Astoria. +91 832 226 8083. Closed on Mondays. Tues - Sun 12:00-15:30, 19:00-23:00
Villa Blanche - This is so much more than just another cafe. Run by a German lady Yogini and Marco. Villa Blanche is a small cafe set in the courtyard of a quaint Portuguese villa. The place itself is so chirpy with over hanging trees, yellow walls and colourful mosaic tables. I would suggest booking for one of Yogini's great sunday brunches, where she lays out a full buffet spread. For me Villa Blanche is more about the ambiance than the food. Another reason I fell in love with Villa Blanche is because of the idea behind Marco's Big Blue Bus. Marco drives his bus all the way from Germany to India and along the way he picks up all sorts wonderful delights that later make their way in to Villa Blanche's menu. Great for breakfasts and Sunday brunch. Where: 283 Badem Church Rd. Socol Vaddo. +919822155099. Monday to Saturday 9am to 5.30pm. Sunday Brunch 10am to 3pm (Reserve).
Niko's - Head here for wonderful home-made natural ice-creams, and sorbets. You can cool off with a scoop or two in the garden cafe under an old banyan tree or they also do take-away tubs. Where: 345/1, Mundang Vaddo. Aguada-Siolim Road. +91 8698461152 +91 9049235349
ANJUNA, North Goa
Baba Au Rhum - Perfect for breakfast or easy lunches. Try: Ham cheese croissants, bacon quiche, burgers, pizzas, eggs, desserts are quite special here and run out really fast so pick out your dessert before you even sit down. - I love their chocolate fig tart. Where: Follow lane across Mackee's Market. Back road Anjuna. Phone Number: 098228 66366
Shamba - This new entrant is definitely worth a stop-over. The menu borrows from world flavours, but what is refreshing to see is some African inspiration on the menu. Try: Gratinated Mussels, Grilled Snapper and the African Spiced Roast Chicken. Where: House no 1108/1, Kutchem Bhatt. We suggest you reserve a table - 07774030661.
Burger Factory - A small little spot that sits conveniently along the road, with no more than 2-3 tables to boot. All they do and need to do are burgers here with interesting mix of toppings like beetroot, mango, parmesan - to load your burgers up with. You get beef, chicken and veggie burgers. They certainly are a juicy mouthful. Where: Anjuna Main Road, Opposite Paradise Guest House. 8600990220
Basilico - May just be the oldest Italian restaurant in Goa. Started by an Italian and Indian, wife-husband duo. A simple rustic alfresco, quietly tucked away in one of Starco Junctions by-lanes. Try: Pizza bolognese, Pizza Goan Choriz, Creme Brulee (order as you start it tends to run out). D'mello Vaddo. Near Anjuna Junction. (+91) 832 2273721, (+91) 9822104817
German Bakery - Don't come here to eat but if you are in the area it is a pretty open space to chill and have a quiet tea or juice. Where: Market Road, Montero Wadd. +91 90960 58775
Natty Naturals - Another healthy option. Good spot for breakfast. Phone Number: 08550999422
Bean Me Up - A paradise for vegans and vegetarians. They use as much organic produce as possible, freshest ingredients, with healthy and tasty results. They also do great fresh juice concoctions and make their own tofu and a lot of dishes using that, and seitan dishes. Where: 1639/2, Deul Vaddo. Anjuna-Vagator (Near petrol pump). Phone: +9176909535657 +918322273479
Startlight - Small local eatery for delicious Goan food and seafood. Coming from Anjuna it is a minute drive past Club Cabana on the left. Phone Number: 08322269965
Heidi's Beer Garden - Goa's first proper beer garden, as shocking as that may sound - it is genius. The setting is basic - wooden benches, gravel floors, festive hanging bulbs, greenery bordering the periphery; it does come close to replicating a traditional beer garden. But it isn't all fluff and no substance as they boast of 40 varieties of beer! The owner is friendly and welcoming - there really isn't any reason you aren't clanking your beer mugs right now. Prost! Phone Number: +91 9766641886
Artjuna - Here you have an alfresco cafe, lifestyle store that houses many local and international designers that sell bags, clothes, jewellery, etc. Slightly irregular yoga classes take place, on the other end of a fairly large property. They also have weekly movie nights on Mondays and Fridays. The menu is vegetarian, and specialises in healthy food, all-day breakfasts, juices, smoothies and lassis. Where: House no. 972 Monteiro Vaddo. On the way to Anjuna Flea Market.+918322274794. Hours - 8am to 10pm.
Tamarind - The cafe at Tamarind is set in a playful garden and veranda, adorned with bird motifs and pretty wrought iron cages. If you are craving a bite of North India this is where you want to get to - home to the best butter chicken in town. They also do a solid English breakfast and good desserts. Where: 1286, Kumar Vaddo Opposite St. Michael's Church. +918130328484, +919810804063
Cream Choc - Goa's first gelateria just opened this season by Davide and Federico.
Om Made Cafe - Don't go out of your way but if you are looking for a light and healthy lunch on Anjuna beach this should do the trick. Small vegetarian menu with interesting wraps, sandwiches, etc. A pleasant modern yet, rustic beach-shack overlooking the sea. Phone Number: +91 9823850276 080-25533369
ARPORA, North Goa
Fat Fish - An airy and pleasant spot to grab a good Goan lunch. One of the best seafood thalis around, the variety you get with this one is unbeatable.Where: Agar Waddo, Arpora Road, Calangute - Arpora Road. +91 832 651 2288
Saturday Night Market - Our favourite of all the flea markets. It has a whole lot of shopping, music and tantalising food stalls to choose from. We suggest you get a plate of the special rotisserie grilled chicken before it runs out - it is worth queuing for! Also don't miss the Burrito Boys for a good dose of some fiery Tex-Mex, Burgers from Coffee Heaven, Belgian Chocolate Waffle Stand.
Lila Cafe - They have just moved to a new location. Though I am not head-over-heels over the food - it is a hit-or-miss depending on what you order, but it has a nice vibe, with a big enough menu that you could find something to be happy with. And still a good option for breakfast in the area. Try: Ham & Cheese Croissants, Omelettes.
BAGA, North Goa
Baker's Studio - Opened by the owners of Cafe Delicieux, Lucie Masson and Varun Sood. This one is a lot bigger with a more extensive menu. They do breakfast and Sunday brunches too. The closest you are going to get to a proper patisserie in Goa. Certainly worth a tickle for any sweet tooth in the area and also the best spot to get whole cakes for any occasion. Where: Tito's Lane, Baga 073504 13490.
Go With The Flow - One of my new favourite restaurants in town. Opened just last season, mainly outdoor tables in a garden with quirky furniture. The kitchen is run by a Brazilian Chef who is putting together some mouth-watering dishes. Start with: the Mediterranean Platter. Roast Beef Salad, Porcini Risotto, Move on to: Beef Na Pedra, Roasted Pork Belly. Phone Number: +91 7507771556 / +91 7507771557
Rock Fish - Snazzy new lounge and restaurant located on the beach itself, with that party-med vibe. Good for brunches, sundowners and cocktails. Phone Number: 09823080180
CALANGUTE, North Goa
A Reverie - Here, comfort meets gourmet and travels around the world - and there you have what describes the food at A Reverie.Open only for dinner. Worth a nibble if you are in the area. Phone Number: +919823174927 +919823505550
I-95 - This fine-dining restaurant with a gourmet menu, can be a bit of a hit or miss. And on a good day it certainly can impress. Try: Risottos, Steaks, Pavlova, Chocolate Soufflé. Where: Castello Vermelho, behind the Art chamber, 1/115 A Gauravaddo, near Kamat's Holiday Homes. +919881301184 +919823128567
CANDOLIM, North Goa
Bombras - Burmese Chef and owner, Patron Bawmra Jap has brought his native cuisine, adapted it with a few local ingredients (mainly types of fish available fresher here) and given the country what I believe to be the most authentic and wonderful Burmese restaurant. Their salads are a great way to start, along with some of their delicious cocktails. They do some fantastic salads like Pickled Tea-Leaf Salad and Bomra's Tomato Salad, but I am especially crazy about their Crispy Pork & Pomelo Salad! Next on to the mains; Steamed Chilli Red Snapper, Suckling Pig, Spicy Mussel Curry, Vermicelli w/Prawns. Save room for the Chocolate Fondant Cake its one of the actually good ones out there. On Wednesdays, they serve the traditional Khow-suey with all sorts of accompaniments to go with. Where: 247, Souza Vaddo, Fort Aguada Rd. Driving towards Taj this will come on your left. Opp. Kamal Retreat Fort. +91 9767591056 +91 9011947436
Lloyd's Steak Grill - Everyone has their favourites here, I personally like the Pork Chops - smokey, juicy and a good bbq marinade. Many are fans of their steaks and cocktails too. Where: Pilerne - Near Candolim Church. Pilerne Industrial Estates. +91 98230 32273+919822487654. Closed on Tuesdays. Open only for Dinner till 1am.
Republic of Noodles - So most of the eateries on this list are much more deserving of a stop-over. And though it may not be on top of my list it does excite and comfort many in search of good Asian food. Where: Lemon Tree Amarante Beach Resort, Vadi. On main Candolim Rd. (+91) 832 3988188, (+91) 8600174794
Café Chocolatti - Opened by a Londoner who has spent a long time now in Goa, this is the perfect place to indulge your sweet tooth, and escape the chaos as you sit in a peaceful walled garden. Everything is made fresh and in-house here. Also, a good spot for breakfast and sandwiches. Where: 409A, Fort Aguada Road. +919326112006
NERUL, North Goa
Bhatti Village - One of my favourite spots for Goan food. A small, no-frill place, but absolutely worth it because not only is the food good you get to try a variety of local dishes you wouldn't get at the usual places. We did end up eating more meat here than seafood, but not because the latter option wasn't well represented too. Also try and book before hand because it is very small and it would be a shame to have to leave with an empty belly. Start your meal with a plate full of crispy fried whitebait, beef cutlets and some cold beer. Pace yourself because everything there is good. Try: Roast Pork, Pork Amsol, Pork Ambot , Beef Tomato (this was quite simple, not spicy and might have been one of my favourites) - their special bread loaves to mop it all up, Fish Roe ( this one I haven't gotten to try as yet but heard so much about it that it deserves a mention) and Caramel Custard. Phone Number: 9822184103
SINQUERIM, North Goa
Wok & Roll - Don't let the cheesy name put you off for they do some fairly good Pan-Asian food, in my opinion the best in town. Try the Fish in Banana Leaf and Spare Ribs. Where: Aguada - Siolim Rd, Sinquerim, Aguada Fort Area. +9190490 22348
PANJIM, North Goa
O Fogo - Head to Fogo for a real gastronomic treat! Try: Squid w/ Choriz, Fish Carpaccio Miso Mustard, Grilled Goat Cheese Salad, Mains - Seabass, Asian Inspired Beef. Where: La Maison Fontainhas, 5/158, Mala , Near St. Sebastian Chapel. +91832 2235554 +91832 2235555 +919923608674. Open at 8am for breakfast too, till lunch. Then opens at dinner.
Ritz Classic - One of my old favourites. Simple local place with great Goan food. Best for their seafood, I usually get the Fish Thali. Where: Wagle Vission Building, 1st Floor, 18th June Road. Near National Theatre. +91832 6644796, +91832 2426417
Mum's Kitchen - Mum's kitchen started as an endeavour, to keep alive Goan family recipes, that we are inevitably losing in the tourism stampede. Their menu comprises of recipes given and taught to them by Goan mothers from all over. All of which, would just be an endearing story but, the food gives it soul. You also get to try Goan Hindu and Goan Catholic dishes - which means a good mix of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes. My favourite part is the quaint, private attic dining space - replete with its own kitchen, dining table, chilling area and fancy crockery. Try: Choriz Pulao. Where: 854, martins building, Dayanand Bandodkar street, Panjim-Miramar Rd. +9198221 75559
Anand Bar - A simple Goan eatery with great seafood. Definitely try Rawa Fried Chonak - though pretty much everything is great here, including value for money. Get ready to wait this place is popular with locals and tourists. Where: St. Inez, Panjim. Opp. Taj Vivanta. , +919822486939
Black Sheep Bistro - Another newbie on the scene but certainly no amateurs - the owner couple are both graduates of Les Roches, Switzerland. They later worked for hospitality brands like the Ritz, and have now brought a big piece of all that in to the Black Sheep Bistro. This restaurant uses organic and sustainable produce - farm-to-table is their philosophy. The food is modern, with a vast flavour profile and absolutely mouth-watering. They have a full bar to boast, with ace cocktails. Certainly, give this one a shot. Where: Swami Vivekanand Road, Next to ICICI Bank. +91 832 222 2901
*Credit also goes to the Goa-Credible - Chef Shilarna Vaze, Gaia Home Chefs and TV Food Celebrity*
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