The state of Goa is one the world’s most popular tourist sports. It’s got pristine beaches, one of the world’s biggest electronic music festivals along with stunning architectural masterpieces and delicious cuisines. Being situated on the west coast of India, Goa’s main cuisine is seafood. Wherever you go, you will find some form of seafood on the menu, from succulent crabs to tasty fishes, diners are spoilt for choice. Find the freshest and best with our guide.
The lifestyle of Goa has always been one of content and happiness. This culture of love and joy is represented in all forms at the Ritz Classic. Tucked away in an anonymous building situated on the bustling and tourist-infested 18th June Road, you can expect basic seating and a simple décor, this restaurant is all about the food and the people. They have a multi-cuisine menu, Indian, Chinese, Tandoor and Goan, but it’s the seafood which everybody goes after. You can try the Goan speciality, grilled kingfish and pomfret recheiado (marinated in a blend of spices, then grilled) or go for the famous Goan thali, a bountiful spread of the Xitt-Kodi (rice and prawn curry), Ritz Classic is indeed a classic, it’s like a big family dinner filled with fun.
Ever since it opened its doors in 2005, Fisherman’s Wharf has become a crowd favourite and perhaps the best seafood and multi-cuisine restaurant in South Goa. When you enter the restaurant, you will notice that it has the most enviable location. It’s located near the River Sal, you can sit on the wooden deck overlooking the River Sal and gaze at the old fishing boats lying idle or in use by the fishermen. The restaurant serves Indian and Chinese cuisines along with its flagship traditional Goan seafood. There’s the ever popular King Prawn Recheado, the spicy Prawn Balchao, and Pomfret in butter garlic sauce to engage your taste buds or you could try the all-time classic Goan Fish Curry with Rice. There is also the bar which serves excellent drinks to wash down all the food.
Set on the shores of Utorda beach, this Balinese architecture-styled restaurant is renowned for its excellent seafood, party nights and as a favourite location for beach weddings and parties. Some even say the name Zeebop was inspired by the eleventh studio album of Mexican American rock guitarist Santana. The fun reputation is countered with rustic decor: perforated mud lanterns bobbing overhead and a hammock between the trees lend a romantic touch. The tempting menu boasts a variety of seafood and Goan cuisine, try the Batter-Fried Calamari or the Crispy Crab Stuffed Pappadums for starters, before the Red Snapper with Butter all accompanied with some great wines from the bar menu or a chilled beer. It’s no wonder, Zeebop is so famous; from the incredible location to the delicious food, it’s a ‘must’ in Goa.
Suwadik has managed to rise to great heights within a short span of time. It’s always thronged by people during the afternoon lunch hours, for this is when Suwadik rolls out its best dishes. When you enter, you’re greeted by cartoons and illustrations depicting scenes of dining on the shores of the Mandovi River, inspired by the style of legendary cartoonist Mario Miranda. The menu at Suwadik is largely Goan with authentic homely flavours and spices. Go for the seafood stuffed balls (made of minced fish and spices rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried) or tisryanche dangar made of spiced clams and mashed potatoes rawa tava fried for starters. For the mains, try the Fish Thali, Suwadik’s most famous dish. The Thali included a zesty prawn curry, dry bhaji, Tonnak, tisryo, two types of fried fishes, solkadi, chapatti, salad, and assorted pickle. End the dish with some sweetness, the caramel custard is a great choice.
In existence since 1937, Souza Lobo is today run the third generation Lobo family member, Jude Lobo. Situated at Calangute Beach, the restaurant attracts around 350-500 customers every day. It’s not just the location but the extraordinary preparation which attracts people from the whole of Goa. Expect no frills and hassled servers, but you won’t be disappointed. Try the masala fried prawns. It’s a home-cooked variation of dry prawn powder sautéed with onions and masala. You should also try the Sausage Pulao and the baked crabs, both of which are scrumptious. Souza Lobo also has live music with solo singers and duos every evening, enjoy it with their brilliant bar menu which has an impressive wine list and premium drinks.
Fish Ka might be familiar to people who frequent South Goa, it’s run by a Russian-Indian combination of owners and has a variety of choices for those who prefer their seafood on the less spicy side. It’s a great place which is often thronged by the younger crowd and some families. Try the Calamari, you can have it plain, masala, garlic, golden fry, and crispy fry, it tastes heavenly every way. Fish Ka outdoes others in desserts, with possibly the best brownies in town.
The story of Martin’s Corner is one of sheer perseverance, beauty and hard work. After her husband’s retirement, Carafina Periera decided to set up two small tables outside the house, which also served as a grocery store. She served Sorpotel, Prawn Curry Rice and other dishes to the staff of the nearby hotels to make end meets. Her hard work paid off and her reputation grew, the grocery corner became the restaurant and was named after her late husband Martin. Today, it’s a popular spot with its red-checked tablecloths, photographs of famous patrons and, most importantly, its terrific food. Try the Rawa Fried Mussels, or, if you are feeling ravenous, order the Crab Masala Fry or the Kingfish balchao and eat them accompanied with Goan rice. It’s a sweet place which exudes love and happiness.