When big cities get boring, Indians rush to Goa for a dose of sun, sundowners, sand and the sea. Cocktails at beach shacks and dancing the night away at cool clubs are part of everyone’s itinerary. But besides being a party destination, Goa is also the place to go to for anyone looking for a culinary adventure. From traditional Goan and Portuguese food to more modern world cuisine, there’s something for every palate. We highly recommend you try these five restaurants on your next visit. 

Located in the sleepy village of Raia in Salcette, South Goa, Fernando’s Nostalgia is run by Margarida Tavora e Costa, wife of late chef Fernando Aluiso Ribeiro Da Costa. A sunny restaurant with bright walls and lots of room, the place served Goan and Portuguese food. Their vindaloo uses 42 chillies and pairs well with sannas, which are Goan rice cakes. The menu also has Portuguese classics like chorizo and serves bolo sans rival, a traditional cashew nut cake that’s not easy to find elsewhere.

Mum’s Kitchen

Another restaurant that specialises in Goan food, Mum’s Kitchen can be found along the spotless streets of Miramar in Panjim. The restaurant believes that Goan culinary traditions need to be preserved before they fade away. Fresh fish like chonak is fried and served up to offer customers some local flavour, and classics like xacuti and cafreal are prepared with love. Mum’s Kitchen’s poi (Goan bread) is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Don’t miss their bebinca, which is served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Bomras

Probably one of Goa’s most popular restaurants, Bomras serves a modern take on Burmese fare. Earlier in Calangute and now in Anjuna, it’s the ideal spot for a satisfying meal and some cocktails. The al fresco restaurant has the vibe of a beach shack, with wooden furniture and moody lighting. Cocktails at Bomras use local ingredients like tamarind, kokum and mango, and the food menu includes khao suey, prawn ceviche and smoked pork fried rice. It’s evident that the kitchen is experimental.

Gunpowder

Delhi may have lost Gunpowder, but its Goan sister has been thriving. Known for being a hipster hangout, the restaurant sees a lot of writer- and artist-types. The focus is on the coastal cuisine of South India. Try the pandi curry or Andhra prawn curry with their parottas or appams, and wash the food down with a creative cocktail like the tamarind pineapple margarita. Housed in a Portuguese-style villa, Gunpowder will ensure that you feel like you’re in Goa even when you aren’t eating Goan food. 

La Plage

La Plage is a French restaurant that can be found along Ashvem Beach. An excellent spot to watch the sunset or even people passing by, the restaurant serves innovative salads and fresh carpaccio. Their margaritas are expertly prepared and other cocktails are worthy, too. If you’re a steak person, it’s definitely worth ordering the treat here. La Plage is as popular for lunch as it is for dinner; the place is always packed so arrive early to bag a nice table.