A city, state, or country’s local food provides us a glimpse into its culture, people, and traditions. When you explore a place through its architecture, places of worship, beaches, and areas of interest, a touch of local food can add a more meaningful and satisfying experience.
The irony, though, is that today, the more exotic a destination is, the more colorful and foreign people’s food choices become. If you have not yet found a reason to enjoy your travel through local food, consider a few listed below:
- Local food helps you learn new aspects of a culture.
- It introduces you to new flavors, tastes, and textures.
- Local food helps you connect with the local people.
- It challenges you to step out of your comfort zone.
Best Places to Try Local Food While in Goa
A Goan holiday is incomplete until you have experienced the thrills and excitement of its Wining and Dining culture. Besides beer, some popular local drinks to enjoy include Port wine and Feni. Goa is indeed a heaven for meat-lovers with all-time favorites like Mutton Xacuti, Pork Vindaloo, Chicken Cafreal, etc. However, what is less known to people is that Goa offers an equally sumptuous spread to suit all palates. Local vegetarian preparations such as prawns and lady finger curry, local poi, vegetable Caldinha or Caldine leave you mesmerized and asking for more. And then, of course, there is the seafood that everybody so loves.
Now, we are sure the narrative above has undoubtedly got your mouth-watering. The food enthusiast within you would have already started working overtime to figure where you can eat authentic local Goan food on your next trip to Goa. We have created a list of the 5 best places to get local food in Goa. Please read on.
- Joe’s River Cove
Joe’s River Cove is a delightful family restaurant located along the banks of the River Sal. It is an ideal place to enjoy local Goan food away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Its natural surroundings are a treat for the eye. Joe’s River Cove boasts a comprehensive multi-cuisine menu. However, we recommend you stick to local Goan recipes like stuffed mushrooms, butter garlic squid, masala fried Kingfish or Modso, chicken chili fry, vegetable Caldinha with local bread, etc. The restaurant is open from 11 am-3 pm and from 7 pm-11 pm every day. Check out the address and cost below.
Cost for Two: Rs 1500
Address: Near the Ferry, Pasos Ward, Cavelossim, Salcette
Britto’s history dates back to 1961, when it started with just four tables. Since then, it has taken long and rapid strides and is a favorite destination for locals, tourists, and celebrities. It has a reputation for using fresh ingredients of the highest quality, making it famous far and wide. Britto’s frequently organizes karaoke nights, BBQ evenings and offers other live entertainment options to make your evenings in Goa worth remembering. The restaurant’s specialty includes the crab and the Vindaloo curry, its seafood platter, which comprises mussels, shrimps, and freshly cooked crab. Also, ensure that you leave your stomach a little empty to gorge on their mouth-watering and delicious desserts. If that was not enough already, you could even take a stroll down to the nearby bars and clubs located along the Calangute and Baga beaches. The restaurant is open from 8:30 am-11:30 pm every day. Check out the address and cost below.
Cost for Two: Rs 1500
Address: Baga Beach, Santo Vaddo, Calangute
- Viva Panjim
Viva Panjim is beautifully tucked inside a small Indo-Portuguese house that has been transformed into an eating joint. Ensure that you reach a little early or book in advance as the place is entirely booked during lunch and dinner hours. Viva Panjim has been ornately decorated in European style with antique Portuguese furniture, vintage mirrors, and a small collection of tables laid out on the porch. Coming to the food, if you are a fan of different types of curries, Viva Panjim is the place you need to be. Its prawn curry served with rice is a dish to die for. The restaurant’s mouth-watering preparations will continue to explode delicious flavors inside your mouth even hours after finishing your meals. The restaurant is open from 11:30 am-3:30 pm and from 7 pm – 11 pm every day. Check out the address and cost below.
Cost for Two: Rs 800
Address: House no. 178, 31st January Road, Fontainhas, Panjim
As soon as you enter Nostalgia, its novel and ornamental design and the cozy atmosphere give you a feeling that is more synonymous with a home rather than a restaurant. Perhaps, that is the reason it has been named so. Nostalgia, through its warm welcome, a comprehensive list of wines, and authentic Goan food, never ceases to remind you of the charm associated with Goan hospitality. The restaurant offers some of the best and hard-to-find local Goan recipes such as Rissois and Apa-de-Camarao, vegetarian delights like Ambadeanchem or Hog plums, home-made Alle-Belle, and vegetable pulao. It also organizes musical evenings from Thursday through Sunday. It is the ideal place where you would love to go for a group gathering and a great night out. The restaurant is open from 11 am-3 pm and from 7 pm – 11 pm every day. Check out the address and cost below.
Cost for Two: Rs 1200
Address: 608 Margarida’s Haunt, No Bairo Ozro, Raia
- Mum’s Kitchen
Mum’s Kitchen is arguably one of the most established places in Goa to enjoy fresh Goan food. For years, it has been the favorite of many who constantly remember and miss the food cooked by their mother and grandmother. Its elegant, sophisticated, and soothing interiors draw your attention away from their sumptuous spread, but only for a brief moment. After that, it is time to spoil yourself with their extensive spread of authentic Goan recipes from both Hindu and Christian kitchens, with a dash of Portuguese touch. For vegetarians, there is the Tambdi Bhaji or the Red Spinach and Bimbli Uddamethi that is made using roasted coconut and Indian spices. The restaurant offers equally comprehensive, perhaps more, choices for meat and seafood lovers. One seafood dish that is a must-try is their rich and unique Lobster Recheado. It is a dish made by stuffing a lobster with sharp and fiery red local spices mixed with tamarind and vinegar. The restaurant is open from 11 am-11 pm on all days. Check out the address and cost below.
Cost for Two: Rs 1800
Address: Near the Times of Indian office, 854 Martin’s building, DB Marg, Miramar
Several other places in Goa serve authentic Goan food. The list is endless. While our recommendations, based on extensive research and the popularity of restaurants, will help you choose the best place to enjoy authentic Goan cuisine, make sure you interact with the local population to get an idea of the best of such eating joints.