The same as Goa differs from the rest of India, food in Goa differs from food in other parts of India. One of the main differences is a wide choice of seafood. And in contrary to many other places around India here you can see pork and beef, not only chicken, on a menu in restaurants quite often, too.
Though, for us it’s the seafood that we love the most about Goan cuisine. For a lot of people it’s Goan pork. In every restaurant in Goa they serve at least few pork dishes. One of the most popular ones is pork vindaloo (pork curry dish).
Here is what we eat when we are in Goa, India. It includes both food available mostly or only in Goa and dishes available in other places in India as well.
At the end of this article you will find few restaurant recommendations as well.
We eat fish in Goa when we want to treat ourselves. It is not our usual, everyday meal.
Although fish come from the ocean 100 meters from the restaurant you might be sitting in right now, it’s a quite costly dish compared to all the other things on the menu. Especially if it’s a whole fish not just small pieces of it in a curry (fish masala).
Often the price of the whole fish is not written on the menu. Instead mostly you will see – as per size. Which means, when you will ask for a whole fish to be grilled for you, the guy will bring you a tray with different fresh fish. And that’s when you will hear the price.
Most of the fish in Goa costs around 500 – 1500 INR or 7 to 21 euro. And mostly one average sized fish, together with one plate of rice, noodles or chips split between two of us, is enough.
Different seafood dishes are widely available in Goa. Shrimps, prawns, mussels, calamari are seen on the menus of every restaurant in Goa. Few most popular seafood dishes are crab xec xec (crab curry), prawn vindaloo, prawn masala and prawn xacuti (prawn curry).
Various other dishes and snacks you see all over India here, in Goa, are available also with seafood filling. For example, samosas with prawns, prawn pakora, seafood fried rice, prawns fried rice, prawn curry, prawn spring rolls, prawn masala, seafood soup and so on.
These seafood “versions” of the dishes on average are about 25 – 50% more expensive than the ones with vegetable or chicken.
Goan Pork Dishes
As pork is not our favorite meat we didn’t try many pork dishes. Only Goan sausage pulao. And once in the market in Margao we bought Goan pork sausage. Goan pork sausage is quite spicy and in my opinion it has kinda specific flavor.
Pork vindaloo is another Goan pork dish you might see on the menu.
Indian Dishes Available in Most Parts of India
In Goa we eat also those “standard” Indian dishes which one can get everywhere else in India. For example, daal with roti, chapati or naan, biryani, aloo gobi, dosa, chicken / veg fried rice, veg pulao, thali.
In bigger restaurants in Goa you can get authentic dishes from other states of India. Like from Punjab, Kashmir, Rajasthan. When you aren’t too familiar with Indian cuisine it’s a good idea before making an order to ask, how, for example, this biryani differs from that biryani. Taste of of the same dish in different states may differ really a lot.
Sometimes we crave a good chicken burger or chicken fillet. Then we go to KFC in Margao. Time after time we eat momos as well. In fact momos is one of our favorite dishes in India and we eat them almost always whenever we can get them. They aren’t too popular in Goa, so it doesn’t happen too often.
We have also tried some beef puffs, hot dogs, croquettes and samosas from different local bakeries.
All the fruits that you can by in other parts of India are available also in Goa. Well, at least I don’t remember any fruits available in other parts of India, but not available in Goa. Our favorite fruits in Goa are bananas (short ones), papaya, watermelon, pineapple and oranges.
While you aren’t familiar with prices in Goa, you may overpay. A little bit or a lot. Because in fruit stalls they mostly don’t have fixed prices. So you need to ask for price. If you find a government fruit and vegetable store – there was one in 100 meters from our hotel in Carmona – you are lucky! Because there they have all the prices written on the paper and everything is cheaper there.
While in Latvia we eat a lot of apples, because it’s one of the cheapest fruits. It’s completely opposite in India. There apple is one of the most expensive fruits, usually 200 – 300 INR/kg.
Where to eat in Goa?
Here is the list of some good restaurants in Goa, that we can recommend.
Pescador, 200 meters from the water at Benaulim beach. Really nice place with high level of service, and for the same price as on the beach. You can get everything from pesto pasta salad and different pasta to grilled fish and Indian dishes. Meals here on average cost about 200 – 300 INR. The food is tasty, portions are good and service is great!
Sunset Restaurant, 100 meters from Carmona beach. Tasty and cheap fish and sea food is what we like here. One medium sized fish, enough for 2 persons, at Sunset Restaurant costs about 500 – 600 INR, which is about 50% cheaper than in most of other restaurants in Goa.
If you take a fish for 1000 INR, together with some side dish like rice, noodles or chips, it’s enough for 3-5 persons, The choice here isn’t too wide. Sea food, few types of rice and noodles, some drinks and that’s pretty much it.
Kinara Resaurant, Cavelossim. Simple, but very popular restaurant among both locals and foreigners. We didn’t dine in there, but ordered food to our hotel in Carmona, where we stayed in January – March 2016.
We really liked their food and prices, between 100 – 200 INR, so we ordered from them like every second day. And at the end phone number of Kinara restaurant was Kaspars’s most called number.
49-ers Restaurant, Colva. They offer really wide choice of food, including some authentic dishes from other parts of India, such as dum aloo (Kashmiri potato curry), for reasonable prices (on average 200 INR).
Rebellos temptation, Carmona Zalora beach road, about 1 kilometer from Carmona beach. Well, we haven’t eaten there yet, but all the British tourists we met during our 6 week stay in Carmona said that it is worth visiting and praised it for its great steak. They said it is a best place where to have a steak in this part of South Goa.
Fatima Bar and Restaurant, Agonda. They have quite a choice of food – they offer Indian, Goan, Continental and Chinese food. They have seafood, fish, salads, pastas, healthy smoothies and juices, and even tofu! We go there for seafood. And it’s great! Staff is friendly, service is good and place is clean.
None of these places fits you because of the location? Go where the locals go! When we are searching for a new place where to eat, we pay attention to how many people are eating there. If a place looks decent enough and it is packed with locals, that means that it is a very popular place, and food there is always fresh, as all of it is consumed almost instantly.
For more ideas check out best restaurants in Goa on Tripadvisor!
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Read more about things you need to know, when traveling to India!
Author: Una Baufala
Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.