My Ultimate Food Guide for Your Solo Trip to Goa, India
Goa is a popular travel destination for people of all ages. Be it the famous beaches, the party life, tourist attractions, wonderful wildlife, flea markets or the food! There is something for everyone here. Something that everyone loves.
I have travelled solo to Goa multiple times now, and I must say, there is nothing like Goa. It has quite literally become my second home now.
When it comes to food, Goa offers some of the most delicious dishes you will ever eat. Goan, Portuguese, North Indian, Chinese, Mangalorean, Awadhi, Naga, and Manipuri are some of the many cuisines here. And they taste delicious too! It feels like you get to experience various cuisines from all over the country in Goa. Along with all of this, the seafood, street food, and regional desserts are not to be missed.
This blog is the one-stop solution for all your food queries. I will tell you about the different cuisines, dishes and where to eat from. Read on!
Start with some classic Goan cuisine!
Even though Goa is known for its Portuguese dishes and the variety of Indian cuisines that it has to offer, the cultural Goan dishes hold their own. The staple food of the Goans is rice and fish curry, which they totally enjoy eating. And not only fish curry, but you will find a variety of fish dishes that the locals enjoy.
I would highly recommend that you try the staple food of the locals, and trust me, you won’t regret it. Another must-try is the Xacuti. Available in chicken, lamb, or beef, it contains poppy seeds, red chillies, and coconut. A variety of spices give the dish a strong red colour. One of my most favourite Goan dishes is Cafreal Chicken. It is made by marinating chicken with coriander leaves, green chillies, and other spices. It is then fried and eaten with rice, salad, or by itself.
Where to eat?
Viva Panjim is the place to be if you want to try Goan cuisine. They offer not only the dishes that I have mentioned above but almost every other local Goa delicacy like fried fish, ambot tik, sorpotel, sanna, vindaloo. Other restaurants that I would recommend are Souza Lobo in Calangute and Mum’s Kitchen in Miramar.
The popular Walking Food Tour of Goa
This is one of the many interesting things you cannot miss during your solo trip to Goa. It is a fun activity that allows you to taste some of the tastiest local delicacies from every nook and corner of Goa. The best part about this experience is that the local guide tells you a story about every place you cross during your tour. This gives you some knowledge about the place and dishes, which makes the whole journey interesting. Put all of this together, and it enhances your experience multiple folds without making you feel bored.
Some of the delicacies that you will taste during your food tour are
- Prawn and Cheese Rissois
- Perrard (a local delicacy made of guava)
- Kalva tonak (shellfish curry)
- Pav bhaji
- Bolinnas (local macaroons)
- Chicken Xacuti
- Alsande gravy
You get to eat from places that are otherwise quite hard to find as a solo traveller, which is the best part of their service. You also get some free goodies, which can be memories from your solo trip to Goa. Keep in mind that this is a group activity that requires a minimum of 2 people. Even though you are on your solo trip, finding a couple of other tourists shouldn’t be a problem.
The Goans love their fishes. And when the staple food of someplace is fish curry and rice, you can expect numerous seafood restaurants. The variety of fish-related dishes will never bore you! Some of these include pomfret, shark, tuna, sardine, crabs, prawns, lobsters, squids, and mussels. And with so much to choose from, you will always have something new to try.
I would suggest that you try out a few dishes here. And if you do not like fishes or prawns because it does not taste good to you, just try it once because these are like nothing else that you have previously tasted!
Where to eat?
Quite a lot of restaurants offer seafood in Goa. Fat Fish in Calangute is the most popular seafood restaurant and one that you shouldn’t miss. They have a wide variety of mouth-watering dishes, right from fishes to prawns to crabs! You can also check out Spice Goa in Mapusa, which is not as popular but offers fresh food as they use fishes that they catch every morning. And then, you can visit The Fisherman’s Wharf. This is a fancy restaurant that also serves fancy food. And needless to say, delicious food too!
Boa comida, bom humor!
The Portuguese had a great influence on the food culture of the Goans. They introduced potatoes, tomatoes, and chilli peppers to India via Goa. They also introduced beef and pork to India, and that is the reason for the popularity of these meats in Goa. Even though the Portuguese introduced these meats, a majority of the Indian population does not eat them.
But there is a lot more. For example, arroz doce is the Portuguese version of kheer. Even though I love my kheer, I must say that arroz doce has got a taste of its own. Chamuças are equivalent to the Indian samosa. The famous vindaloo is a Portuguese dish that consists of pork. While it primarily contains only pork, I have tasted it from some places which switch the pork with chicken. And finally, feijoada. It is a stew that contains beans with pork or beef. If you are into eating beef and pork, do try vindaloo and feijoada during your solo travel to Goa.
Where to eat?
Viva Panjim is one of the few good restaurants that serve authentic Portuguese dishes. Located in Fontainhas, visit this place for some lip-smacking delicacies. Casa Portuguesa Restaurante is a classic Portuguese restaurant in Calangute that has been running for over 30 years now! That longevity speaks for itself. It is a major tourist attraction when it comes to Portuguese food, something you shouldn’t miss. And finally, O Coqueiro is the perfect place for most people, located in Penha de França. They serve Portuguese dishes with a jot of the local Goan additions to it. This is perfect for someone who doesn’t want to be experimental but also wants to try something new.
Something from every part of the country
Even though Goa is famous for the regional and Portuguese dishes, countless restaurants offer a variety of other cuisines too. Now you might be thinking – why should I eat something other than the famous regional dishes while I am in Goa? Well, even though the regional dishes are great, the dishes from other parts of the country contribute to the wholesome food experience in Goa.
North Indian thalis here in Goa are delicious, and you can find them in many restaurants. But there’s a difference. They have a Goan twist to them, which makes them unique. For example, finding a fish fry or a fish curry in most thalis is normal here. Also, the Goans love their spices which makes the food deliciously spicy!
Mangalorean food is quite famous in Goa too. However, there aren’t any good restaurants for Mangalorean food that I could find during my solo trip. And multicuisine restaurants offer some great choices.
Other than North Indian and Mangalorean dishes, other cuisines like Punjabi, Naga, Manipuri, Gujarati, South Indian, and many others are available here. And finding restaurants for these cuisines is not a big task either.
I know that all these cuisines are very interesting, and you are already on your feet, ready to fly to Goa. But before you do so, make sure that you learn a little more about the place.
Where to eat?
When it comes to North Indian food, The Rasoda in Panaji serves the best food! Everything from the taste, service to hygiene stands out here. If you like Punjabi North Indian food, Sher-E-Punjab in Panaji is food heaven for you. If you wish to eat North Indian food somewhere other than Panaji, Delhi Darbar in Calangute has got you covered! Not only is the taste amazing, but the ambience of this place is like none other.
Talking about Mangalorean and South Indian restaurants, Casa Moderna in Panaji is one of the best restaurants in Goa which offers Mangalorean dishes. If you are a South Indian who is homesick in Goa, or you simply enjoy South Indian food, then South by Banana Leaf in Candolim is the place for you. Also, check out the popular Gunpowder restaurant in Assagao, which is primarily known for its South Indian dishes.
If you are craving some Gujarati food, Bhojan and Navrang Restaurant, both in Panaji, should be your go-to places. Everything from dhokla to fafda to thepla is available here. If you aren’t sure how to visit so many places during your solo travel, do plan an itinerary and make the most of your time in Goa.
Find happiness on the streets!
It is often said that one need not be hungry to eat some street food. And this cannot be further from the truth in Goa. You will find street vendors with their carts or stall, selling every snack you can think of, right from early morning till late in the evening.
While some people say that these are just snacks that are meant to be eaten between meals, I would argue that sometimes, these can be eaten as complete meals in themselves! Even though these foods do not contain a lot of nutritional values and are usually considered unhealthy, having them once in a while never hurts anybody. I have mentioned some famous street foods in Goa below.
- Samosas – Most of us know samosas as aloo samosa. But the Goans take it to the next level by making it non-vegetarian. Chicken, mutton, or beef samosas are very popular here.
- Chorizo Pav (Goan sausages) – This is pork meat eaten with a slice of bread and some toppings like onions and potatoes. The Goans enjoy it as breakfast or as a snack.
- Gadbad Ice Cream – A tall glass filled with ice cream and jelly flavors – you can eat this anywhere in Goa. You can even make your childhood memories come alive if you are an Indian.
- Poi – This is the local Goan bread that is sweet and fluffy. You can eat it with your favourite curry or simply with butter.
- Chinese Fast Food – Trust me, nothing beats Chinese fast food on the streets, not even high-class restaurants. The noodles, fried rice, and manchurians made on the street have a taste of their own which will leave you wanting more of it.
- Shawarma – This is a middle Eastern dish that found its way not only to Goa but to the rest of the country as well. It is made up of chicken or mutton and wrapped in pita bread.
- Bondas – Informally known as the brothers and sisters of the samosa, they come in all shapes and sizes. Served with green chutney, they are the perfect companion to your cup of tea in the evening.
Where to eat?
Literally anywhere in Goa!
Well, that’s enough talk about food for now. I hope that you learnt something new about the food in Goa. If you would like to learn more about food in Goa, click here.
If you are one of the few people who has never been to Goa, I would highly recommend that you plan your solo trip and experience not only the Goan food but also the Goan culture. Not only are there famous beaches and restaurants to explore, but also a lot of hidden gems that not a lot of people know about. And if you have already travelled to Goa, do let me know about your experiences in the comments section, as I would love to read them.
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.