A Tour Of The Best Bars And Eateries In Panjim’s Fontainhas
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Fontainhas is an old LatinQuarter in Panjim, Goa. Founded in the 1800’s, Fontainhas features beautiful Portuguese colonial architecture, a good bit of which has stood the testament of time. Fontainhas is one of the few places in Goa where Portuguese is still the main spoken language. Most of the bars and restaurants featured on this list are housed in centuries-old colonial buildings. Let’s take a look at a few timeless, quaint and marvelous structures that still grace the charming neighbourhood of Fontainhas.

Joseph's Bar

No trip to Goa is complete without a visit to the legendary Joseph’s Bar. The bar was established sometime in the 70’s, and has long been hailed by both natives and tourists as a local institution. Ask any Goan about Joseph’s Bar, and he/she will tell you about their first drink there, or how generations of their family frequented the establishment. The bar is housed in an old rustic building. Inside, you will find a standing bar counter, and two separate seating areas. The seating area on the left used to be a watch shop before it was acquired by the bar’s management. One can see several clocks adorning the walls as a monument to the same; the seating area opens out onto the road and the railings are tastefully lined with plants. The old-world colonial charm is apparent but never overt. Several traditional Goan drinks are served here. The most popular drink at the bar is, undoubtedly, the Tambde Rosa, a traditional Goan drink made by squeezing half a lime into a tall glass, followed by a generous dash of fenny, ice, Limca, plain soda, salt, and kokum juice, complete with a garnish of rose petals.

Confeitaria 31 De Janeiro

Established in 1930, Confeitaria 31 De Janeiro is one of the oldest bakeries in the area. The cozy cafe has a beautiful ambience with nostalgic, tempting aromas, swirling around to tickle your nostrils.The patio is a tad modern in contrast to the cafe itself, but blends in beautifully nonetheless. The tables are tiled, with designs that represent Goan culture, not an uncommon sight in this area. The 92-year-old wood fired oven just behind the counter is hard to miss, and is used to make almost every item on the bakery’s menu. Most menu items are fairly economical, snacks start at as little as Rs. 15, and peak at just Rs. 30. Portuguese eggtarts, orpastéis de nata, deeply addictive egg custard tarts, are a staple here. The bakery also sells several other traditional Goan pastries; rissois, a Goan shrimp pattice; pan rolls, crêpe-style rolls, filled with a non-vegetarian stuffing, usually chicken or mutton mince, battered and then fried; coconut macaroons, a Goan take on the traditional French dessert, though a tad chewy as opposed to it’s French counterpart.Also on the menu are Goan wine biscuits - crispy biscuitswith a generous dash of red wine, prepared according to customer tastes. The bakery has its own specials, likedates& walnut cake, salted caramel tarts, chocolate tarts,that the locals swear by.

Verandah Restaurant, Panjim Inn

The Panjim Inn is managed by WelcomHeritage, a joint venture between ITC Ltd and Jodhana Heritage, and is one of Goa’s oldest heritage hotels, located in the midst of beautiful Portuguese colonial-era houses. The Verandah Restaurant, situated on the first floor of the hotel, features open air seating, and similar architecture to the quaint houses around. Specialising in Goan seafood, one simply can literally pick from freshly-caught fish like calamari, kingfish, red snapper, mackerel, et al, prepared to taste. The seating area inside features age-old paintings depicting Goan culture, old cabinets, and seating for couples. For those who wish to stay here, the hotel also has 24 quaint bedrooms for guests to relive the stories of colonial times. This is a great way to immerse yourself in the Portuguese side of Goa’s culture. 

Hospedaria Venite

Hotel Venite is a Goan institution that was established in 1954. The entrance is beautifully decorated with shells and bits of tiles, tastefully inserted and imprinted into the concrete. The hotel serves a variety of food and drink, with both continental as well as traditional Goan offerings on the menu. The salted beef tongue is a must-try here. The walls of the bar area are adorned with graffiti and writing of visitors reaching all the way up to the ceiling boards. The graffiti has a fascinating origin story behind it hast dates back to the 1970s. A Scotsman residing at the hotel started painting the walls on one of the bedrooms, and, when he left, the management stripped the boards and attached it to the bar's ceiling. Thanks to the Scotsman leaving his colors behind, locals and visitors alike picked them up and decorated the walls with all sorts of writings and doodles, carrying on the practice in his stead. Just another example of how Goa brings out the creative side of a person, and makes a lasting impression. 

Viva Panjim

Viva Panjimisa beautiful heritage restaurant featuring old colonial architecture that harks back to simpler times. Similar to Confeitaria 31 De Janeiro, the tables outside are adorned with tiles that depict the distinct charms of the Goan way of life. The restaurant is famous for its catch-of-the-day seafood preparations as well as local Goan pork dishes. After a sumptuous meal, leave a bit of stomach-space for the caramel pudding - a must-have for every visitor. The highlight of the restaurant is the seating upstairs for candlelight dinners, which features old Portuguese-style furniture and intimate seating that feel like they transport the customer to a different era.