Over the last several years, I’ve been asked by several friends as well as clients for recommendations on restaurants in Goa, so I finally decided to put together my own little list of places that I can recommend, both in North as well as in South Goa. While South Goa has the better beaches, the North certainly seems to have the better restaurants most of Goa’s iconic bars and restaurants are located in North Goa, in the stretch from Baga / Calangute to Vagator beach. Many of them have now become so popular, that reservations need to be made well in advance.
1. Thalassa: Stylish Greek and Mediterranean Restaurant on Vagator beach in North Goa, about a 20-minute drive north of the Taj Holiday Village. Get there just before sunset for the best views of the sun setting into the Arabian Sea.
2. Brittos: Multi-cuisine shack on Baga beach in North Goa. Great food, great desserts, moderate prices, live music & more.
3. La Plage: The La Plage is undoubtedly the most stylish beach shack serving the finest French cuisine in Goa. Located on Ashwem beach in North Goa, about a 40-minute drive north of the busy Baga and Calangute beaches, the La Plage serves great food in an excellent ambiance overlooking the beach.
4. Tito’s: One of the most well-known landmarks of North Goa, Tito’s is located right in the tourist belt of Baga and Calangute, and offers not one, but several eating options and bars. Tito’s also houses Goa’s best-known nightclub, as well as a sports bar.
5. Fiesta: Very well known Italian restaurant, again in the tourist belt of Baga and Calangute, offering excellent wood-fired Pizzas and other Italian food, in an excellent beachside ambience.
6. J & A’s Little Italy: Set in the lush tropical gardens of a charming colonial cottage close to the Baga river, J & A’s offers excellent alfresco fine dining Italian cuisine in an excellent setting. Lovingly managed by the husband-wife duo of Jamshed and Ayesha, this is a place for a quiet romantic evening in Goa.
1. Fisherman’s Wharf: Set on the banks of the Sal river, very close to Cavelossim beach and across the road from the Leela hotel and the Holiday Inn in Goa, is the Fisherman’s Wharf. Excellent Goan cuisine, with live entertainment, and a bar that rakes up great cocktails.
2. Martins Corner: Located in the Majorda beach area, a short walk from the Alila Diwa hotel, and a less than 10 minute drive from the Park Hyatt as well as the Taj Exotica, Martins is a family-style Goan seafood Restaurant, that has been around for almost 30 years , and is a favourite with tourists and locals alike. Martin’s has a live band playing almost every evening.
3. Zeebop by the Sea: In a beautiful setting on Utorda beach, accessible with in a 10 – 15-minute drive from the Alila Diwa, Park Hyatt as well as the Taj Exotica, Zeebop by the Sea is one of South Goa’s most popular beach shacks. Excellent seafood, with crabs and lobsters being their specialty. Moderate prices, excellent food, and service.
4. Sun and Moon, Benaulim: A very nice beach shack on the sands of Benaulim beach, a 2-minute walk from the Taj Exotica, and within a 15 – 20-minute drive from the Leela and the Alila Diwa, Sun and Moon is a great place for sundowners, and also for casual seaside dining. Again, excellent seafood and very reasonable prices for both food, and drinks.
5. Da Tita’s: Truly Italian: A very basic, but, nice Italian Restaurant, located about a 5-minute drive inland from Majorda beach, Da Tita’s is run by Giovanni Battista, an Italian who made Goa his home a few years ago. Undoubtedly South Goa’s best wood-fired Pizza’s and excellent desserts too. Excellent value for money.
The author, Kapil Goswamy is the CEO of Trans India Holidays, New Delhi.