Goa came into being for me when I was in college; I was in Pune back in those days and Goa was hardly 10 hours away. Some of us friends made a pact to go to Goa as often as we could, and it is no surprise that I have had more than 10 trips to this tropical paradise (when I count).
First it was about the touristy bit of Baga, Calangute & Candolim. Then we stumbled upon the trance and rave parties of Anjuna & Vagator in North Goa. Further explorations revealed Palolem & Agonda in the South and the Russian beauties of Morjim, Ashwem in the far North. In between, there were one or two solo trips to Goa too, some 7-8 years ago.
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I met some hippies near the sweet lagoon lake at Arambol and heard stories of how Goa used to be. It was on these solo trips that my eternal love for food explore the culinary delights of Goa.
Entirely my personal opinion : I think international food in Goa is some of the best in entire India.
A list of my top ten eats in Goa : (Excuse me for no pictures, food was too enticing for me before even thinking about clicking in those days.)
Sur La Mer
Set in a Portuguese villa, Sur La Mer is the brainchild of a well known chef. The setting is incredibly lovely with an adjacent pool and four poster beds, while the chocolate fondant is the best I have ever had. Located on the Morjim – Ashwem Road.
Although it may be a tad bit too costly; but no place comes close to Thalassa on Vagator for romantic dinners in Goa. The grilled food is sumptuous, while the all white decor is impeccable. Swaying trees and a setting orange sun in the Arabian sea complete a fairytale. Book a table in advance, it can be difficult to get a seat here.
Tip : Pop the question on your knees and she can’t say no here!
Chocolate Thali at La Plage
La Plage has grown from being a small chić French eatery on Ashwem beach to a full scale restaurant these days. The homesick French may quite like the cuisine here with wine (a cheap man’s St. Tropez!); I had no quite luck with it. The only thing I like at La Plage is the mind blowing Chocolate Thali. It is value for money and is very fancy.
Plus with the sand in your feet and soft guitar music accompanied by a gentle breeze, does food really matter?
Paros by Amarya
If I remember correctly, this place is named after a Greek Island and is located at the far end of Morjim beach, near the road – close to Jardin D’ulysse. It is owned by the Amarya Group that owns the Amarya Shamiyana near Ashwem and also some hotels in Delhi. For the best breakfasts ever made, head to the small restaurant on an elevated wooden platform overlooking Morjim beach. The French owner, Mathieu Chanard likes making food himself; so sit back and enjoy the fine thin crepes and neatly cut fruits in brilliant glasses!
Om Made Café
For the yoga going and fitness conscious hippies of Anjuna & North Goa, Om Made Café was a revelation. It charted a different style of healthy food in Goa and still continues to attract long term favourites. Om Made Café is set among trees with relaxing cane chairs, there are cheap rooms and a yoga class too in the morning.
Only only in the high season, Sublime is located right on the Morjim beach and is owned by a celebrity Chef. It is touted as the best seafood fusion joint in Goa and has a variety of options for vegetarians too. The decor is classy yet funky, and watching the sun go down from here is a classic experience while in Goa.
Baba Au Rhum
Tucked in a small lane in Arpora, this French bakery is close to the feel of a home like atmosphere and is owned by the Frenchman Leo Michaud. I think Baba Au Rhum makes the best tarts in Goa and has pizzas to die for. Wooden benches are laid out while the glorious aroma of fresh bakes keeps wafting from the kitchen. There are some organic jams and other products available too, in recent times.
Tip : Do try the pain au chocolate and mille-feuille pastry.
Le Poisson Rouge
For me this fancy sounding Indo-French restaurant is one of the finest places for al fresco dining anywhere in Goa. It is located near the Baga creek and is set amidst gardens. I quite like the unabashed romantic setting and the fact that there are set menus for both vegetarians and non vegetarians, you don’t want the clutter of selecting dishes when its love on the mind!
J & A’s Little Italy
Have only eaten once here and I remember this place makes some fine wood fired pizzas. J & A’s Little Italy has live music in the evenings and is a popular place because of its easy accessibility near Baga road. Located close to a water body, recommended and safe place for a reliable dinner.
The latest in fusion food offering in Goa. Mustard is located in the posh locality of Sangolda near Panjim in Goa and offers a curious mix of Bengali and French cuisine to a tasty effect. There is a cool home store nearby and the interiors at Mustard are quite nice with fresh colours and plants used for decoration. If you are unsure about what to eat, ask the chef for recommendations!
I also like Á Reverie in Calangute and Saraya in Sangolda.
More food posts :
While this list is by no means comprehensive and I am certain to have missed some very good choices by dint of not having eaten there personally; there are many renowned places that were recommended to me and didn’t fare too well. The ones that come on top of my mind are Chocolatti & Republic of Noodles.
NOTE : This is not a sponsored post.