13 Of Goa's Best Burgers For Every Budget - A Season Guide

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Representational Image.Williams Sonoma

It’s hard not to have a soft spot for Goa. Between endless expanses of soft sand and salty ocean, mounds of rice moistened with generous portions of prawn curry and endless options for both inventive and delicious food, it’s the kind of familiar paradise that allows you to feel at home on vacation but the deeper you dig, the more you discover that everything we just mentioned is just a surface skim.

Along every narrow, palm-tree lined road there are new treasures to be discovered and even the things you wouldn’t expect to find turn out to be abundantly available. Case in point—Goa’s burgers. Even though Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore provide us with more bunny delights than we can keep up with, it turns out this seaside town is far from second fiddle and best of all, beef could never be banned here. Before the vegans and vegetarians sign out, we promise we’ve got a few options (okay, two options) for you too and they’re well worth the scroll.

From an all-American burger that put most others to shame to a crab-meat legend (yes, seafood really is that prominent around here) to a vegan burger and more, you might want to hit bookmark and add these to your vacation trail next season.

[Note to readers: All restaurants are listed down alphabetically and not in any order of preference.]

I. The Heisen Burger @ Antojitos

For the simpler foodies at heart, here’s a no-fuss burger you can pick up while you’re around Panjim, Goa’s capital, at a homely food truck we always visit when we’re close. A juicy, 4oz beef patty lies at the heart of this burger, with cheese, tomatoes, pickles and a secret blend of spices, making for the perfect add-ons. You can ask for some bacon on top too — or rather, you should definitely ask for some bacon on top. The food truck is pretty busy in the evenings when it opens, but don’t worry, quick service is combined with great food, which is why this is a street favourite.

Cost: For that quantity and quality, INR 200 is what dreams are made of.

II. The Hercules @ Baba Au Rhum

Croissants remain one of Baba Au Rhum’s most popular items to order, but coming up in a close second are their burgers, or more specifically, the Hercules. Aptly named after the Greek hero who exemplified strength, this burger leaves you with the option of choosing between a chicken patty or a beef patty, while the burger is topped off with bacon, grilled onions, and a fried egg. A house dip is presented along with fries, which quite frankly, you may have to leave behind if you want to do real justice to this burger. Then again, if you’re reading this closely, you probably shouldn’t.

Cost: This burger is nothing less than perfect for INR 350.

III. Tofu Burger @ Bean Me Up

This is one burger on our list that you won’t feel guilty about eating at all. If you’re going to Goa and feel the need to detox after a drinking spree, Bean Me Up is an ideal spot. Served in whole wheat pita bread, or a burger bun, this one will leave most non-vegetarians scratching their heads, simply because that’s how good the flavours are. Fresh tofu, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sprouts, mustard, vegan mayo, (or tofu naise) and a dressing of your choice is what they offer up. We’ll take it and so should you.

Cost: At INR 180, it’s good for your wallet, and heart!

IV. Signature Hot Dog Burger @ Burger Factory

If you can’t pick between pork or beef, Burger Factory has got your back by offering you the best of both worlds. Their Signature Hot Dog Burger consists of pork sausages minced into a juicy beef patty, accompanied by cheese and caramelized onions. No veggies included, whatsoever (we were just as confused/thrilled too). The burgers here are always served with a side of finely sliced chips, and spiced aioli. They have a new outlet in Morjim, right on the beach, if you’re looking to spend a day by the sea too.

Cost: INR 450 may seem a tad bit expensive, but trust us, it’s worth every penny.

[P.S. Burger Factory has quite a few vegetarian options. Our personal favourite? Definitely the Chickpeas + Carrot + Cheddar + Beetroot + Tomato + Aioli.]

Signature Hot Dog Burger at Burger Factory.

V. Burger Bar & Bakery @burgerbarandbakery

Craving a good, juicy and a savoury burger? Well, look no further! Not only does this quaint little spot offer scrumptious burgers with an equally scrumptious selection of sauces to choose from... but also allows you to customise your order as per your needs for non vegetarian options you can either pick Chicken or Bacon.

Why the SGT. Pepper you ask? Well, for starters it’s topped with peppercorn paste, fried mushrooms and caramelised onions. This burger exudes flavour and is served alongside some tousled mixed leaf salad, with the goodness of some veggies to also help chase away the guilt. A good vegetarian alternative would be the Anjuna Badboy, a deep-fried mushroom burger slathered in hot sauce and melted cheese with jalapeño and chilli salsa which is also, served on a bed of mixed leaf salad, veggies and pickles.

Cost: Completely worth it by virtue of the fact that the size determines the price. Rs.250 for a regular sized burger and Rs.400 for a larger portion.

VI. Astrid’s Cafe & Bistro @astridscafeandbistro

Treat yourself to some quality food topped with top notch service. The Crispy chicken burger bursts with flavour as it’s thinly sliced chicken tenders, marinated with spices/herbs heavily coated with flaky cornflakes, like that of a KFC commercial! Not only does its appeal match the classic Zinger burger but it tastes even better. This crunchy patty is then cushioned in between buns, pasted with dijon mustard, iceberg lettuce and some yummy pickled relish and gherkins. What’s not to love?

Cost: An absolute holy grail at Rs. 120.

VII. Noronha’s Corner

This cartooned themed food truck offers you a bunch of traditional Goan burgers. Choris is the local Goan sausage sautéed with onions that bursts with a fusion of flavour as soon as it hits your tastebuds. The bun is lightly charred and given a crispy crust. As for the roasted beef burger, the beef is marinated in a blend of aromatic spices, this moist and flavour packed patty is then crumb fried and is then placed in the poi (the authentic grainy Goan bread) which adds up for a lovely texture. It is best suited to go in the evening as it opens at 5 pm and shuts at 11pm.

Cost: An ultimate steal estimated to be at Rs.70 per piece. It doesn’t get much better than this.

VIII. The Crabmeister @ Cherry Tomato

When in Goa, eat like the Goans. Seafood seems to be their food of choice, and for some reason, it’s in a burger too. Yes, fish burgers exist, but how often do you come across a crab meat burger? Especially one that’s topped with bacon? An odd combination perhaps, but who are we to question it, when it all ties in together, and tastes that good?

Cost: Look at the size of that patty, and you won’t even mind coughing up INR 300.

[P.S. Cherry Tomato also has a monstrous burger for the ones who really want to make the most of their meat eating spree, in Goa. Dubbed ‘The Zombie’ this burger tower consists of a Double Beef Patty, Cheese, Bacon, Ham, Grilled Hot Dogs, Eggs, Jalapeno, and Chilli. Basically, layers and layers of pure sinful goodness.]

IX. Pulled Pork Burger @ Ignia

Let’s be honest, pulled pork is a real effort to cook. Yes, it’s absolutely worth it in the end, but nobody has the time. That’s exactly what makes Ignia’s Pulled Pork Burger the ideal guilty pleasure - all of the scrumptious flavours, for none of the effort. It’s a smokey, barbequed pulled pork concoction, complemented by their in-house secret sauce, cheese, salad and a fried egg. If you’re ever bored of the typical burger patty, this is probably your best alternative.

Cost: INR 480 may be a tough price to swallow, but the burger sure goes down easy.

X. Hamburger de poulet @ La Plage

Okay, we know La Plage is one of Goa’s best French restaurants, on every food compilation there is, and a burger isn’t really on anyone’s list of things to eat here, but that is where you’re wrong. La Plage loves to add twists and new flavours to most of their dishes, including the hamburger. This one’s a simple chicken burger, served with a side of homemade fries, tartar sauce and coleslaw. The subtle herbs do most of the talking for this burger. We suggest you wash this down with their ice-cold green grape juice if it’s in season, as you take in their amazing view from their ideal spot on the beach.

Cost: Pricey at INR 430, but the experience and ambience is pure value for money.

XI. Beef Rosemary Goat Cheese Burger @ Prana Cafe

Almost a religious visit for us on any Goa trip, Vaayu’s stunning property and laid-back goodness was only enhanced by the addition of their Prana Cafe’s food. If ever there was a ‘premium burger’ in Goa, this would be it. And since the cafe primarily caters to health conscious eaters (they’re a community of surfers, athletes and environmentalists so it’s to be expected) you can be sure you won’t be feeling over-stuffed an hour later. Beautifully seasoned and put together with the finest ingredients, this one is all about adventurous flavours for the burger eater who’s on the lookout for something new.

Cost: INR 380 for a premium burger? Sign us up.

[Pro tip: They’ve got more options on their ‘Secret Non-Printed Menu’ called a Cheat Day Burger. Think Double Beef Patty, Cheddar, Parmesan, Caramelised Mushroom, Rocket, Pickles, and a Fried Egg. Your move.]

Beef Rosemary Goat Cheese Burger at Prana Cafe.

XII. Hickory BBQ Bacon Cheese Burger @ Route 66

Route 66 went for an All-American theme, and absolutely nailed it — right from the decor, to most importantly, their food. The menu has a variety of burgers, but when you get down to it, there’s nothing more American than a classic, barbequed, beef burger. Freshly baked buns, your quintessential sauces (their BBQ sauce is an in-house special), smoked bacon, caramelized onions, and melted cheese come together to make this a winner of a burger.

Cost: INR 400 for an American classic seems like a win in our books.

Route 66 Hickory BBQ Bacon Cheese Burger at Route 66.

XIII. Classic Beef Burger @ Salt N Pepper

When you’re in Goa, it’s understandable for you to not want to miss out on a single Goan meal, even while you simultaneously crave a home-cooked meal. Here’s a burger that promises to tick-mark both those off your list, in one felt swoop. Salt N Pepper is a little establishment, that is run out of the owner’s house itself. Go for their Classic Beef Burger, and opt for the ‘poi’ - local Goan bread - with your burger. Just call ahead to make sure they’re open.

Cost: This homemade burger is a pure steal at INR 150.

That’s all we have for our Homegrown guide to Goa’s Burgers, but if you know of a great burger that we missed out on, and need to know about, do drop us a line. We’ll be sure to get to it on our next vacation, and maybe even add it to our list.

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