I have to admit , the last time I visited Goa, it was an official retreat, we were resort bound, and most importantly, i was not as big a foodie that i have turned into today. The minute we decided to do a road trip to goa, i was all excited to soak in as much as possible about the real goa, the beaches, the churches and the f.o.o.d!
I went back to the rescue of my friends in CaL and posed a simple question “Help Time… going to Goa this weekend… is there someone from Goa.. or knows abt goa… tell me all d food stuffs we shud dare not miss…” and the overwhelming result was what you see here . Thats exactly why i love this group, ever ready to lend a helping hand, rejoice in all your kitchen experiments or achievements small to great all alike!
I dont want to lose all the valuable information i collected from there, i had a beautiful document ready collating all the necessary information required to spend a few days in goa, specially in areas around Panjim / porvorim / dona paula . I had an awesome trip , to say the least, i came back, and added all my experience to that and decided i would try to put it forth the best way possible.
From what i had collected from people , various reads, and the suggestions from the above survey, if you really wanted to soak in the real Goa, you have to stay away from the touristy traps of Calanghute / Baga / Anjuna and you must reach the heart of the city, the panjim market for North Goa. Try out the street side aloo puri, pav omlette, omlettes in gravy, or a simple maska pav, yeah i was told you can simple savor thebutter pav and you will experience heaven, it did sound a little overrated, but only when i did taste it for reality, i understood the feeling behind it.
We took up a quaint little Villa in Dona paula, and wow what a decision it was, peaceful residential area, away from the hustle bustle of the tourists around the famous cAlunghute / baga beaches , yet so close to serene beaches like miramar / dona paula / and our bestest discovery of the trip was the Vainguinim beach, a mesmerizing small stretch of neat silver sand beach, which had a beautiful combination of a seashore and rocks to sit and gaze on! The beaches we covered over this trip were Miramar / Dona Paula / Calunghute / Anjuna / Arambol / and the beautiful Vainguinim beach. Pleasee skip Calunghute and try making trip to ashvem and morjim where you can also site penguins dolphins :)), yeah i was fantasizing i guess 🙂 if you get lucky :).
Thats about it, my trip was either beaches or the food. Yeah , here comes the food. Lets shoot it out!!
Where : Panjim / Panaji / Dona Paula / Miramar Road
What to eat :
Breakfast : You would get mostly veg breakfast joints around this place, but it was worth it. For great Bombay style brekkie.. legacy of Bombay in 18th june road.. don’t miss the sabudana khichdi and sabudana vada.. also the upma, the poha is famous but I found it overrated, pune pohas are better…
Another must visit place for brekkie is Cafe Tato : Locals swear by the poori with sookhi bhaji or mixed bhaji or with fresh baked pav. Not to forget the chai to accompany it, and i have also heard about thatcreamy cold coffee they serve with ice cream 🙂
The must visits are Ritz Classic for the truly authentic konkani veg and non veg food, the upper house , cafe vente for portugese food in 31st January Road, and Mums Kitchen : Goan food, fine dine, good music, awesome food.. love their mayo, not to miss are the prawns peri peri and chicken starters
Some more, Ernesto in Mala-Fontainhas, The Pan Asian Bowl (SE Asian), Mangii (Italian) and Spicy Bella (Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, etc).
Good north indian food : delhi darbar in mg roadm, try the feni with lime juice, rest of the food is also good, especially the mutton biryani.
When in porvorim don’t miss out on going to Florentine in Saligao , important , note that they are closed on Mondays, to experince the best Chicken Cafreal, its behind the ayurvedic kerala place there.
Also try O’Coqueiro for authentic Portugese food in Porvorim, fun fact, Charles Shobhraj was caught by the Police at O’Coqueiro :D, but some say its as great anymore!
One of the oldest bakeries, Diagonally opposite cafe tato in panjim , on the corner, is Mr. Bakers : best batica and bebinca, and d bestest portugese pastry, the pastal de nada, and also the cashew nut cake, and coconut macaroons, and some freshly baked pork rolls, yeah a bakery as raw and real as it can get.
Also heard of café central, perpendicular gali as woodlands on 18th june road, for authentic goan desserts and baked goodies.
These were the old style bakeries, pastry cottage on the miramar road is awesome! a very modern take on most of the above and beautifully done batica and macaroons and cookies. A must visit. Aunty Maria is another bakery on the 18th June road, all regular stuff, but some chops and tarts are must tries! THe peach tart was a wonder!
Dessert: Do not miss the rabdi gulabjamun at sher-e-punjab on 18th june road, its the best i have had so far.
Pub : For an evening by the bar, try out the Branco Bar (opp Dulke Residency, taliegao), awesome menu must try. Off course, you would not like to miss Titos in Baga for all d Goa charm people keep humming.
paraphernalia : Near the delhi darbar u can pick good cashew, port wine, and karmas masalas.
Where : Candolim
What / where to eat :
Bomras for Burmeese, its open only for dinner, and if lunch is required you would need prior appointment.
Calamari is good, it is on a bluff, with good views of the sea and the wreck, its the first one after Taj on the beach opposite.
Where : Baga / Calanghute
What / where to eat :
Breakfast : Lila Cafe (North Bank of Baga River,Baga Bardez) Rosti for veg, liver pate, pumpernickel bread , apple pie, scrambled egg in butter.
Lunch / Evening / Dinner : Britto’s for the Sea Platter and the ambiance, and the curries(crab, fish and prawns best) and the best tandoori roti.
Some shacks are set, same since many years, Sunny Side Up is open all year round. It is nice, especially during off season.
Do try infantaria on the road to baga beach especially their mushroom quiche and xacuti.
Iam a fan of the desi style egg noodles stirred right in front of you, hence the chinese fast food counter right outside the calanghute beach scored all the brownie points from me on a rainy evening.
We had an awesome time at a shack called sea breeze there, with an entertaining host, Shahrukh, yeah thats his name, loved the quick pakodas, and prawns.
Balgos Bar & Restaurant near Alankar Cinema. Awesome Chonak, Ghobro and Surmai.
Mapusa market for the local spices, the goan chilli, karmas for spices.
General info about local food :
Eat sannas, vindaloo, pork sausage rice, local breads, loads of fresh seafood.
Do try Choricao if you get a chance and if you are OK with Pork…
Pick up bebinca, guava cheese, fig rolls etc. at local bakeries
(remember these were suggestions by Saee from My Jhola)
Also under the Nerul bridge is a place called Amigos . Sabeeta runs it . She has few things available but whatever she has is just soooper !U can also set up a crab catching tour with her and then she cooks whatever u caught kids loooove it !
if u want the old goa shack , Drive from morjim towards ashvem about a couple of kilometers and u sea something called sea something , fabulous to park yrself for the day nothing around we even saw dolphinswhile lolling there 🙂 (not us, these are friends quoted as-is)
Viva goa when u wanna take something home.
Some of the above has been my personal experience, else rest everything is quoted almost as is from the suggestions the frens from CaL gave. Long live CaL! The best help possible was by Aparna of My diverse Kitchen, a local and so friendly to talk to, she did bear with few of my late night calls to answer some silly doubts, really look forward to meet you Aparna. Had it not been for you, i would have missed Mr Bakers!
Also all the good pics like the ones below and the 2 above and the beautiful beach pics were taken by d one and only Sahaab :), you can find his awesome work here at Sahaab Photography .