Goa isn’t just a sought-after beach destination. The food is also fabulous! While there are so many great restaurants to choose from in Goa, the best ones selected in this article have an emphasis on authentic non-vegetarian Goan and Portuguese cuisine. Many of them serve decently brewed feni, the local drink, to wash the meal down with as well.
The Beach House
Internationally acclaimed Master Chef Rego prepares outstanding Goan-Portuguese fusion food at The Beach House fine dining restaurant, overlooking the ocean at the Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Goa. This partly open-air restaurant, with thatched roof and contrasting chandeliers, is credited with reintroducing Goan food to Goa. Chef Rego has worked with the Taj hotel chain for more than 40 years. When it opened in Goa, he decided to showcase the state’s cuisine by sourcing traditional recipes from Portuguese and Hindu Goan families.
One of the few Goan fine dining restaurants in south Goa, Casa Sarita is located at the luxurious Park Hyatt Resort & Spa, which is one of Goa’s best resorts. The restaurant’s interior has been inspired by a colonial house, with mosaic flooring, opulent chandeliers, and ornate windows. While the decor may be reminiscent of a bygone era, a new menu was introduced in 2013 featuring contemporary Goan cuisine. The award-winning dishes combine old flavors with innovative presentation. Want to learn the nuances of Goan cooking? Attend their Master Chef class!
Established in 1989, Martins Corner has remarkably grown out of a corner shop with just a few tables, into a substantial restaurant that’s capable of serving 300 people. It’s famous enough that numerous Indian celebrities have visited it. Seafood is the specialty, and the chefs serve up an eclectic and sumptuous spread using family-made masalas (spices.) The interior is rustic albeit upmarket. And, situated less than a kilometer from the beach, it feels like a cross between a shack and an old house. There’s live music Sundays and most nights, and it can get quite noisy and boisterous.
The Verandah has a lovely leafy setting on the first floor of the historic WelcomHeritage Panjim Inn (a Portuguese mansion built in the 1880s), in the heart of the Fontainhas Latin Quarter. Rich in old-world charm, the restaurant is decorated with antiques and distinctive marble-topped tables. It’s a cozy place to relax.
Also situated in the Latin Quarter, Viva Panjim is inexpensive and atmospheric. It’s also a consistent winner of the Times Food Award for the Best Goan Portuguese Casual Dining. This renowned restaurant is on the ground floor of the owner’s family heritage home, and it also has a small outdoor area with tables.
An old favorite on the outskirts of the Latin Quarter, Hotel Venite’s restaurant has a ton of character and history. It’s been open since 1955 and occupies the upstairs floor of a heritage building that’s estimated to be more than 200 years old. The vibe is old Portuguese, and the decor is quirky and fascinating. The restaurant is popular with travelers and bohemian types, as well as locals who entertain guests there.