With so many restaurants to choose from it can be difficult to find the best food in South Goa and a lot of it can be really rubbish. But not to fear there are plenty of great places to choose from to suit all budgets and we have eaten our way around Agonda and Palolem, so we can share our favourite foodie experiences with you!
There is so much on offer in Goa and food is tailored to tourists, you can easily find surprisingly good Italian restaurants and Chinese is another popular option. In most restaurants you will come to realise that the menus are very samey and offer a selection of Indian dishes, Chinese dishes and European options. But we firmly believe you should sample as much local food as possible when you’re travelling, it’s a great way to experience the local culture and in India it’s fascinating to see the variety of dishes on offer and how they vary in each state. So, this post will focus on Indian cuisine, we will tell you where to sample the best Goan specialities as well as know favourites including Tandoori and delicious curries!
It also worth noting that Agonda and Palolem are an easy drive apart so you can explore the best of both worlds with a scooter or in an Auto.
Palolem has some really great restaurants. There is lots to choose from along the beach and along the main road through the town. If you’re looking for mid-range options head to the beach for budget options stick to the main road – but don’t worry the food is just as good!
- Our number one choice here has to be Dropadi it’s right on the beach front and they have the best fresh fish and Tandoori (traditional clay oven)! Take a look at their daily specials and ask a waiter to show you the catch of the day. We went for Red Snapper marinated in yogurt, garlic, ginger and spices then cooked in the tandoor, with a side of lemon rice and salad. It really was to die for! Although Dropadi is not a budget option its easily mid-range and defiantly worth the extra expense for a nice meal out with a sea view. They also have a great selection of Goan dishes as well as fish, vegetarian and chicken curries.
- Sumaya is just as good a Dropadi but comes in second because it does not have sea views. The restaurant is situated on the main road as you head out of Palolem, they serve the best traditional Goan food and the restaurants itself is nicely decorated and very clean! Even the toilets here didn’t make me cringe and that’s very rare in India! They offer a great selection of vegetarian and fish dishes and have lots of authentic curries I can guarantee you won’t have heard of before. Our Favourites were the Prawn and Okra (ladies fingers) curry as well as the Goan Chicken curry. This place is also budget friendly and if you want to sample a few dishes without breaking the bank get their fish thali, I can guarantee you will be extremely satisfied and full after. Another Indian favourite you have to try here is the Masala Chai – very milky tea flavoured with masala spices and plenty of sugar.
- Last but not least is Café Rumba, also on the main road and budget friendly they offer a varied menu at competitive prices. Another thing we loved about Café Rumba was the open kitchen! I love watching my food being prepared, it’s almost like a free show (don’t judge) and it also means you can assess the hygiene standards if you’re a nervous eater. We ate here a lot and sampled many dishes, but the vegetarian curries were what kept us coming back. You just have to try the Egg Curry and the Aloo Gobi (Aloo = Potato, Gobi = Cauliflower). They also serve tasty biriyani, if you’re feeling greedy like us get it as a side instead of plain rice! And their garlic butter roasted potatoes are simply heavenly!
Agonda is smaller than Palolem and a lot of the restaurants are on the road instead of the beach, but there are still plenty of great choices. We found a couple of really great restaurants here that defiantly are the best in the area and even more delicious than the ones we have talked about in Palolem. If you feel like splashing out our top choice is defiantly worth a quick scooter or Auto ride…
- Our top place to eat in Agonda has to be Manveer’s Kitchen. We found this place because they do a delicious ‘make your own breakfast’ and most importantly they serve proper coffee and very nice espresso. They also have a fantastic lunch and dinner menu, with a special catch of the day menu. Manveer’s is right on the beach but also has an entrance on the main road, its defiantly mid-range but you can taste the difference and you get a lovely sea view. Our favourite dishes here were the paneer tikka; paneer marinated in yogurt, garlic, ginger and spices the baked in a tandoor with a great selection of sides. Yes, in the picture you can see chips and coleslaw – sometimes you just need a home comfort! But they also do amazing Indian food and the fresh king prawn masala is one of the best curries I’ve had in India! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
If you are after some home comforts and a taste of continental food whilst you travel this is the place to eat, the local ex pats say it’s the best restaurant in the area! They serve English breakfast, wraps and sandwiches as well as continental main courses.
- If you after the best food on a budget, then go to the Little Plantain Leaf. This little restaurant is on the main road close to the church and is always packed! Everything is made fresh so be prepared to wait but trust me it’s worth it! They serve delicious dosa’s, if you haven’t tried one yet make sure you do! For more information about our favourite Indian street food click here. They also do delicious curry we had an amazing mushroom vindaloo, which in Goa is more sour than spicy as well as a delicious Saag Aloo (Saag = spinach, Aloo = Potato) this is one of our all-time favourite curries! They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and are defiantly the best budget option in the area.
- The stalls around Agonda church are also delicious and extremely budget friendly here you can get delicious samosas for as little as 10rp as well as nice dosa’s. It’s a great place to stop for a snack or a super cheap lunch if your passing through!
Leave a comment and let us know if you have been to Agonda and Palolem and what your favourite restaurants are!
For more information on what to eat in India check out our: