People from around the world flock to Goa for its beaches, lively parties, thrilling adventure, laidback vibe and of course, the delicious Goan cuisine. The cuisine is influenced by foreign and native cultures that it came into contact with over the centuries. Here’s our pick of the top 10 Goan cuisine restaurants in Goa.
Venite Bar and Restaurant
Bar, Restaurant, Seafood, Vegetarian, Vegan, Indian, $$$
From charming decor, complete with graffiti on the walls, warm colours and dimly lit lamps, to the outstanding selection of food, stellar service and the Portuguese vibe, the Venite Bar and Restaurant doesn’t disappoint. Housed in a 200-year-old heritage building, the restaurant specialises in traditional Goan cuisine and seafood. Some of the must-try include vindaloo, prawn balchao, Goan sausages and more. Plus, there is an overflowing selection of cocktails to accompany your delicious meal.
Converted from a 150-year-old Indo-Portuguese house, Viva Panjim is a quaint restaurant and reminiscent of a bygone era, thanks to its antique Portuguese furniture and several vintage items adorning the walls. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the heritage house, plus a small patio allows for outside seating, which is perfect for people-watching. The restaurant serves authentic Goan fare, Indian, Portuguese, Asian, Seafood, as well as vegan options. Things not to miss on the menu include Goan prawn curry rice, pork vindaloo, Goan fish curry and chicken xacuti.
For food like grandma made, make your way over to the Mum’s Kitchen. Since opening in 1997, Mum’s Kitchen has been a regular favourite for traditional Goan cuisine in Panjim. Mothers from various Goan households have contributed traditional recipes to its menu. The restaurant has a cozy and welcoming vibe enhanced by earthy look and contemporary furnishings. Dive into the plate of Goan kingfish curry, prawn curry, pork balchao and other Goan delights that will have you returning for more.
Elegant and nostalgic, Casa Sarita is one of the best fine-dining restaurants in South Goa. The decor is inspired by a colonial home, complete with black-and-white mosaic floors and enhanced by grand chandeliers and elaborate windows. When it comes to food, the specialty is the traditional Goan cuisine with a modern interpretation – an innovative concept for which the restaurant is revered in the culinary world of Goa. You will find all your favourites, like Goan fish curry, prawn curry and Chouris Pao, but there are also other contemporary seasonal dishes that merit a try, including lamb shank xacutti that comes with Goan rice, chicken xacutti with vegetable pulao, and more.
Enjoy seafood and traditional Goan cuisine with a view of the sun, sea and sand at the Souza Lobo that is located on the bustling and busy Calangute beach. Established in 1932, the restaurant is a favourite of locals and visitors alike. Epicurean indulgences at this beachfront eatery include the prawn curry rice, crab xacuti, masala fried fish, pork sorpotel, beef steaks, baked crab and lobster thermidor. The delectable fare is enhanced by a coveted liquor and wine selection, live music and stellar service.
Nestled on the first floor of the historic Panjim Inn hotel, the Verandah welcomes its patrons in its warm and vintage setting, complete with antiques and old-world charm, and presents its delightful menu brimming with delicious Goan, seafood and Continental delights. Some of the tantalizing items on the menu include Caldo Verde (Portuguese soup), pork vindaloo and prawn curry. Don’t leave without indulging in the mouth-watering Goan Portuguese dessert – Serra Durra, which adds the perfect finish.
Fat Fish is a modern and happening restaurant that is worth visiting for its delicious gastronomic offerings, lively atmosphere and attentive service. The menu features classic Goan Portuguese, seafood and tandoori dishes, and the standouts include special Goan fish thali, fish Portuguese, pork sorpotel, shark xacuti and chicken vindaloo.
Charming decor replete with colourful painted walls, old-world ambience, authentic Goan fare and an impressive cocktail menu makes this establishment a wonderful place to dine. The menu offers traditional Goan food, along with seafood delicacies. Goan fish curry, stuffed squid and prawn balchao are among the many dishes available. The drink list is also well-thought out with local flavours, including cashew feni mixes and kokum.
Offering up authentic Goan cuisine in a classy yet unpretentious setting, Martins Corner is one of the best bets for food lovers. Although the specialty is traditional Goan fare and seafood, there is also a wide selection of other cuisines to choose from, like Continental, Chinese, Indian and Tandoori. Come early for dinner, and then settle in for the evening with a drink and live music. It is known to get packed out in the evening, so try getting there early for the best selection.
Hidden in the narrow alleys of Nerul, Bhatti Village is a simple, rustic place run by a local couple. Regulars make a beeline for its authentic Goan fare and seafood, which are off the charts, and the homemade feni that wows everyone. A particularly unique thing about this eatery is that there is no menu, instead it depends on the fresh catches of the day, as well as the guest’s preference. An added bonus: you can explore the area and experience the Goan hospitality at its best.