The Goan fish thali is a sensory journey that takes you on a trip through Goa's culinary heritage and while there are hundreds of places to choose from, there are a few gems that stand out. Local foodies spill the beans on where to find the very best fish thalis across Goa.
Goa and seafood are a pair that go hand in hand and one of the best ways to experience the classic is with a typical, Goan Fish Thali. With a rich coastline that spans the entire Western edge of the state, there’s no dearth of places that offer up fish thalis on their menu, in fact, you could throw a rock and probably hit a dozen spots with a decent option. But even though fish thalis are on every street corner, finding the true gems is a secret known only to the locals.
This is simply because the true Goa isn’t the one that you see on the travel brochures and social media posts. All sun-streaked sand and cocktails by the pool. The heart of Goa is in its quiet lanes that remain untouched by the throngs of tourists and still exude the age-old traditions and flavours.
Goan fish thalis are a culinary masterpiece that encapsulates the essence of Goan seafood cuisine. These thalis, or platters, are a delicious assembly of various elements, showcasing a harmonious blend of flavours and textures that typically include fish curry, fried fish, refreshing sol kadhi, crispy dried shrimp kismoor and a selection of local vegetables along with rice.
If you’re looking to eat off the beaten track and sample some local spots for your next fish thali adventure, Goa’s Foodies have your back. Here are 10 recommendations for local Goan Fish Thali spots you should try.
1. Dharmu Hotel, Loutolim, Recommended by Vaishnavi (@crispycurryy)
As with many of the next places, you’d probably never spot this restaurant unless you know where to look. Located in a family home, it churns out all sorts of seafood delicacies. “This is a very small place with a very limited sitting,” says Vaishnavi, “It’s run by 4 members of the family. Known for their Fish Thalis and absolutely delicious fish curries and fish fry.” Some of their most ordered thalis are the Modso and the Prawn thali, plus their nostalgia-inducing malai kulfis are a perfect treat to end your meal.
Timings: 10:30 am - 3 pm, 7 pm - 11 pm
Address: NH 17, Bangdi, Loutolim, Goa 403718
Cost for two: ₹400
2. Kokum Curry, Candolim, Recommended by Shara (@foodie_on.a_roll)
With two outlets, one in Panjim and one in Candolim, Kokum Curry is Shara’s pick. “They serve authentic Goan Saraswat cuisine, that’s why I find their taste very homely.” she says. “The taste is very similar to what my mom prepares at home and I love it!” It’s also a chance to explore some lesser-known dishes you may not have tried before. “You’ll find dishes like Mangane (a Goan sweet prepared during Chaturthi), Khatkhate (a gravy made with seasonal veggies available during Chaturthi) on their menu.”
Timings: 10 am - 3:30 pm, 6 - 11:30 pm
Address: Kokum Curry, 1st Floor, above Delfino's Hymart, Candolim, Goa 403515
Cost for two: ₹1000
3. Mahalaxmi Restaurant, Panjim, Recommended by Anand Raikar @foodeatzers
If you’re out and about in Panjim looking for a spot that’s quick, reliable and a bang for your buck, Mahalaxmi is the place for you. “In Panaji, this is a popular lunch spot among working professionals,” says Anand. “It is also my go-to lunch spot. This place offers Fish Thalis starting from Rs 120/-.” It’s the kind of down-to-earth, straightforward good food that embodies the spirit of Goa, where a great meal doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Timings: 12 pm - 3:30 pm, 6:30 pm - 11:30 pm
Address: Bishop Building, Dr Braganza Pereira Road, Panjim, Goa
Cost for two: ₹240 onwards
4. Mirabai’s China Highway, Saligao Recommended by Vaishnavi (@crispycurryy)
This spot is also sometimes listed as Meerabai’s Family Run Restaurant, and just from the name, you can guess what you’re in for. “ This family-run spot in Goa serves fresh home-cooked Goan meals”, says Vaishnavi. As it is a family joint, you’re sure to find one of the owners or their relatives on the premises at all times, ready to make your meal the best you’ve ever had. “The owner of the restaurant is very friendly and makes everyone feel at home.” adds Vaishnavi.
Timings: 12 pm - 3 pm, 6 pm - 11 pm
Address: GQRP+5WC, Unnamed Road, Saligao, Goa 403511
Cost for two: ₹400
5. Rashdeep Restaurant, Panjim, Recommended by Vaishnavi @crispycurryy
Blink and you’ll miss this inconspicuous hole in the wall in Panjim. “It’s been there for about 70+ years, set inside a small old house serving delicious home-cooked meals at very reasonable rates,” says Vaishnavi. With simple canteen-style benches and a permanent chalkboard menu up on the wall, this is the definition of less is more. “There are limited items but all fresh, super delicious and priced within ₹250 only.”
Timings: 12:30 pm - 3 pm, 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Address: FRXF+MP3, Swami Vivekanand Rd, Near Geeta Bakery, Ozari, Panaji, Goa 403001
Cost for two: ₹250 onwards
6. Regency Family Restaurant & Bar, Reis Magos, Recommended by Anand Raikar (@foodeatzers)
Located at the main junction of Verem village, just 2km from the Betim ferry terminal and 5km from Candolim and offers a great opportunity to try some Goan flavours. “The restaurant serves a wide variety of Goan as well as Indian preparations,” says Anand, “It’s a good place to try fish thali and other seafood dishes The restaurant is owned by Mr. Anand. He is kind enough to help you with the menu, especially choosing the catch of the day and selecting the restaurant's special dishes. The food is reasonably priced for the area.”
Timings: 10:30 am – 3:30 pm, 6:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Address: Verem Market Verem, Reis Magos, Goa 403114
Cost for two: ₹1,000
7. Ritz Classic, Panjim, Recommended by Shrishti Prabhudesai (@shrishti_peabhudesai)
A familiar face for locals, this spot has a couple of offshoots but for the true blue experience, the Panjim spot is hard to beat. “Ritz Classic is an age-old restaurant, they make sure each item in thali is made with the Authentic recipe and ingredients.” says Shrishti, “They of course have more two new outlets but my personal favourite is the Old one, it gives the Goan vibe and real essence of flavours.”
Timings: 11 am - 11 pm
Address: Building, 1st Floor, Wagle Vision, 18th June Rd, Ozari, Panaji, Goa 403001
Cost for two: ₹1,500
8. Royal Ruchik, Panjim, Recommended by Anand Raikar (@foodeatzers) and Shara (@foodie_on.a_roll)
This small hideaway in Panjim is a favourite and earned the vote of two local foodies, so you know it’s a must-try. A family-run affair, it offers pocket-friendly prices and caters to the office crowd on most days but can also put on a feast when needed. “The interesting part, they serve something called Ravan Thali which consists of 15+ non veg and seafood items that cost only 700rs and can be shared by 4 people,” says Anand. “It is the perfect place to satisfy your appetite after Ganesh Chaturthi. Don't forget to try their Ravan Thali, which offers a delightful mix of Goan flavours,” adds Shara.
Timings: 12 pm - 4 pm
Address: Road to Caculo Mall, Alpha Building, Ground Floor, Opp. Basilios Gym, St. Inez, Panaji, Goa - 403001
Cost for two: ₹400
9. Sai Mauli, Nachinola, Recommended by Jade (@thatgoangirl)
You wouldn’t be amiss thinking that Sai Mauli is nothing more than a small snack shop from the outside. But take a seat and you’ll find that they have so much more to offer. “It's a small hole in the wall that can seat maybe 10-11 people. It's a no-frills place that's one of my favourites,” says Jade. They pride themselves on a warm, welcoming atmosphere that highlights authentic, fresh Goan flavours and leaves people with happy memories after every visit.
Timings: 7 am - 8 pm
Address: Nachinola Church Rd, Nachinola, Goa 403508
Cost for two: ₹100
10. Sanil Restaurant and Bar, Porvorim, Recommended by Jade (@thatgoangirl)
Located in a quiet by-lane off Chogm Road, next time the Amrekar Temple, this is a must-visit for locals and tourists alike. “I love the thali at Sanil Restaurant and Bar Porvorim. I think they do the best hooman (curry) and that's what makes it stand out. It's packed with flavour and has just the right consistency and spice,” says Jade. For almost two decades this family-run business has served up local delicacies and the fresh catch in a no-frills, flavour-packed experience.
Timings: 12:30–3 pm, 7–11 pm, Mondays closed
Address: Porvorim, Sangolda, Pilerne, Goa 403501
Cost for two: ₹400
Please Note: All recommendations have been listed in alphabetical order.