Eating out in Goa

Just like any other popular (beach) destination, choices of restaurants in Goa can get overwhelming. On one hand, there are the extremely popular and often substandard beach shacks that sell alcohol at a premium only because you have a view of the sea. And on the other, there are the really expensive high-end restaurants serving every conceivable cuisine under the world. Agreed, it is hard to achieve the middle ground but for the budget traveler, choices are plenty.

Poi platter
Poi platter

You can grab a morning breakfast of Vada Pav and Chai for as less as 50 INR. But restaurants that serve meals at affordable rates can be few and far between. I did find an odd shack serving the yummiest meals without causing me to dig deep into my pocket but those shacks are very few and hard to come by. It’s also easy to understand that food is only expensive in the very touristy places and the off the beaten track locales serve food without giving you a heart attack over their prices. Sometimes, while visiting a one-off destination, like the Cabo De Rama near Agonda, I found restaurants serving decently priced meals.

All in a day's work for a fisherman
All in a day’s work for a fisherman

When I visited Goa this time, I stuck to Poi – the Goan bread – mostly for breakfast. I even visited a Poi making factory in Olaulim, near Aldona where I stayed. But I did indulge in some fancy meals. I ate at the inconspicuously located Oltre Marine in little Vagator, run by an Italian couple that came strongly recommended by Savio and Pirko at the Olaulim Backyards. The angry-looking Italian Chef Olga was cooking a storm in the kitchen while terrorizing the poor Indian waiters working under her. I had the most amazing grilled fish at Oltre Marine and had my first taste of limoncello. I will reserve my opinion about the taste of limoncello until I taste the real thing when I am in Italy.

Grilled fish at Oltre Marine
Grilled fish at Oltre Marine
Mouthful of Gnocchi at the Oltre Marine
Mouthful of Gnocchi at the Oltre Marine

Perhaps, the surprising meal of the trip came from the Palacio at Quepem. A renovated ancient mansion by the banks of the Kushavati river Palacio is a treat to the architecture buffs. Ruben and Celia Vasco da Gama who have restored and run the place also serve a pocket friendly, veritable Goan-Portuguese multi-course meal, complete with a delicious cocktail made with homegrown ingredients. Call in advance to book a meal. Enjoy the pictures.

Meal at Palaccio
Meal at Palaccio
This cocktail at Palacio was clearly the winner
This cocktail at Palacio was clearly the winner

Poi making

Poi - ready to be baked
Poi – ready to be baked
Making of Poi
Making of Poi
Poi - ready to be baked
Poi – ready to be baked
Poi in a platter
Poi in a platter

What are your eating out experiences in Goa? Leave a comment.

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