It’s a pleasure to present my top eateries and water holes in Goa. Start from the top of my list – and if you are in Goa long enough to complete all of them, start from the top again.
We all love Indian food, but Goa also has so much more to offer. Why is Goa so special? People come from all over the world to settle in Goa, bringing their restaurants with them it seems. Goa was a Portuguese colony until 1961, which has also left a culinary heritage found nowhere else in India.
The restaurants mentioned is ranging from very simple and cheap, to top end places. The beauty is to enjoy the full range. However, I never eat from street stalls, and hardly from the thousands of beach shacks. I question the hygienic conditions, but it must be lots of exceptions, since most people eating there seems alive and happy. I prefer the established places. The places in the list is limited to central- and north Goa.
Top list – updated December 2017
Listed north to south
Jardin D’ulysse, Morjim
Sunset Uddo Beach, Siolim
Lila Cafe, Anjuna
Whispering Cafe and Store, Uccasuim
Chalston Beach Resort, Calangute
Republic of Noodles, Candolim
Lazy Goose, Nerul
Bottle Jack Bistro, Porvorim
Verandah Panjim Inn, Fonthainas, Panjim
Desbue, Fonthainas, Panjim
Delhi Darbar, Panjim
Bay 15, Odxel Beach, Dona Paula
Grand Hyatt, Bambolim beach
GRAND HYATT, Bambolim beach
If you are visiting in the middle of the day, don’t miss the signature ham and cheese sandwich at the pool/beach restaurant. Let me suggest a fresh lime soda or ice tea to accompany it.
If you visit around sunset, then you need a sundowner. That’s what the frozen Margaritas are for. I promise they are grand. As the earlier GM Stefan kept telling; size matters.
Evening: come early and have a wine and canapés in the Bayview lounge, catching the breeze from the Arabic ocean. For dinner you should choose the “Dining room” with different theme dinners every evening of the week. Avoid: Capiz Bar and the Indian restaurant Chula.
DELHI DARBAR, Panjim
Top Indian food guaranteed. Impressing doorman. The ambience is discussable, but this is our family favorite for more than 13 years now. Great food and service. Warning: get a table on the ground floor to avoid the one-man-band on the first floor. Starter: mixed kebab platter to share around the table. Main course for me; Rogan Josh. Make sure to order the butter garlic nan bread. Have a Pan on your way out, so you can spit on the pavement around the corner – the Indian way.
PANJIM INN, Panjim (Fontainhas)
Heritage hotel in the Latino quarter. Very steep stairs up to the veranda restaurant overlooking the nearby gallery and old Portuguese houses. Intimate Colonial mansion feel. (if such a thing exists) I love the broken tiles, that they have used even on the pavement outside the hotel. Do you dare to try the red Goa sausages stew with potato? Dangerous, but a favorite of mine. Let me know if you tasted it. They normally have a good selection of fresh seafood. Ask about the catch of the day.
It also works very well just to have a glass of Sula Sauvignon Blanc. Highly recommended.
REPUBLIC OF NOODLES, Candolim
Let’s just go straight to the starter: Barbequed Honey glazed pork spare ribs. Then continue with any of the many mouth watering dishes available on the menu.
If you are in Calangute, looking for the best sunset spot, then head to Chalston. Have a beer in the “almost on the beachk” restaurant and see the sun getting all red before it is eaten by the Arabic ocean. The beach resort is run by Swedish Maria and her Goan husband Chalston. I don’t think they miss a single sunset, so you will see them occupying one of the tables.
LE POISSON ROUGE, Baga river
Great Al fresco dining, just opposite the bride crossing Baga river. French, but for sure not limited to fish as the name indicates. Assure the French owner is there, or else I suggest you to leave. We came once that he was not pressent and things didn’t seem to work well in his absence.
Greek restaurant on a hilltop overlooking Little Vagator beach. Really good food, servcie and ambiance. The view is top. Well run place. Among the very best. A very safe choice – but also very popular, so make a table reservation in advance.