In the past few years, Goa has evolved from a cliché tourist destination frequented by Indian kids after their 12th grade board exams to a cultural and artistic hotspot. From brand new concept stores bringing together the best of independent designers to interesting themed cafe and restaurants to flea markets for the season’s best deals, Goa is full of new experiences for anyone who goes looking for them– especially those looking forward to sample new and interesting food.
But, it’s often difficult to track down these new restaurants, and even more confusing to figure out whether or not these new places are worth visiting. So, to help you chalk a refreshing itinerary for your upcoming Goa trip, we’ve listed some of Goa’s newest culinary offerings that provide personalised, interesting, and unique experiences.
Where: Opposite Nelson’s Bar, Anjuna.
A cute little Japanese food joint in Goa, Matcha is almost like a hole-in-the-wall and you’re most likely to miss it, so try not to. A small place with an equally small menu that is often sold out by the time Matcha shuts every day, this place serves six types of sushi, rice bowls and udon - all of which will be scribbled on the board right outside it. The food here is priced affordably and the season specials are what you should be looking out for!
II. Tierra y Mar
Where: House 248, Chogm Road, Sangolda, Bardez.
With white furniture under a thatched roof, Tierra y Mar sits in the midst of fresh Goan air and sunshine with a menu full of “Spanish and Latin American inspired food.” From Baja fish tacos and Beef Chimichuri to Porcini Parfait Brulee and Garbanzo Beans with Spinach, this joint has something for both, meat eaters and vegetarians. Tierra y Mar even hosts Ramen Nights, serves drinks like The Frozen Watermelon Margarita in a beaker, and has an adorable, black and white cat named Jack as its mascot!
Cost: Approximately 750 INR for two people.
III. La Cucina
Where: 749, Morjim, Ashwem.
Known for its wood fired pizza and cute interiors that transport you to a quaint European cafe probably in Italy or France, La Cucina is only a few months old but has successfully managed to garner loyalists from across Goa. With a focus on food and minimalistic decor, La Cucina’s pizzas are fresh and the owners are extremely welcoming to any kind of feedback from their customers. Try the Mexican pizza for its smoky flavours. Moving on to dessert (if you still have the appetite for it), pick between the panna cotta and the homemade brownies. While the former goes with the overall experience of the place, the latter has a unique homely feel to it and absolutely nothing beats the goeiness of melting chocolate brownies in your mouth.
Cost: Approximately 600 INR for two people.
Where: Near Vagator Petrol Station, Opposite to Hacienda Resort, Panchayat Road, Anjuna, Vagator.
One of the most recent additions to Goa’s diverse and flourishing gastronomy scene, Darvish in Vagator is a little outdoor joint serving delicious Persian and Spanish cuisine. Run by Hussain who brings the flavours all the way from his hometown in Iran, the chef might be a north Indian woman but she gets the taste just right. We’d recommend beginning your meal with mirza ghassemi - an authentic Persian appetiser that will adjust your palette for the rest of the Persian meal to follow. Also try their Koobideh and Chenjen Kebobs. They also have a variety of Spanish tapas on the menu. Darvish also does special weekend lunches that pair perfectly with Hussain’s sangria - look out for the same on their Facebook page.
Cost: Approximately 700 INR for two.
V. Beetle Pub
Where: 777/1-6, Casa Bela, Off NH 66, Aradi Socorro, Porvorim.
With its Beetle-inspired retro interiors and live music nights, this cute little pub is a new addition to the already charming streets of Porvorim. This place opens at 3 pm in the afternoon and is functional till midnight, serving a wide variety of finger food, pizzas, pastas, salads etc. The wooden floors, posters of Beetle & The Beatles only add to the venue’s grunge vibe which is complemented by a mouth-watering menu - which is full of unlikely food experiments like chocolate pani puri. Try their Chicken Roulade or the Classic Lamb Burger - both are more than filling and affordable as well!
Cost: Approximately 1000 INR for two people.
Feature image credit: Vogue Magazine via Shutterstock
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