Goa is a coastal holiday destination that invites travelers to not just enjoy the beaches but seriously eat well. It’s true that the scrumptious food in Goa and extremely relaxed lifestyle will definitely leave you gaining a few calories, yet with zero regrets. The only regret you’ll probably have is if you don’t end up trying out food that has a Goan touch to it. To help you not miss out on any of the iconic food in Goa, we’ve listed out the ones you should try.
Must-Have Food In Goa
In Goa, the vibe is ‘susegaad’, 24×7. Derived from the Portuguese word sossegado meaning “quiet”, susegaad denotes the laid-back, relaxed attitude historically associated with Goa’s authentic, local side. And the best thing for a typical susegaad Goan afternoon is a filling and fulfilling meal that ticks all the boxes and leaves you feeling prepped for that afternoon siesta. Read on for some of the must-have food in Goa.
When you’re really craving a rich, heavy Goan meal and you see Chicken Cafreal on the menu, take it as a sign to order it. The chicken prepared for this dish is marinated in a green paste made of green chilies, fresh coriander leaves and a generous amount of spices. It goes perfectly well with steamed rice. Chicken Cafreal is a specialty dish of Goa so make sure you’ve tried it before you leave.
Dried prawns and 21 other ingredients is what it takes to make this dish complete. Let’s all agree that it’s not an easy dish to make because it requires the cook to make that many market runs for the ingredients. Getting all the stuff that goes into making Samarachi Kodi takes plenty of preparation. Luckily, you’ll have the luxury of just eating it because many lovely local restaurants are happy to serve Samarachi Kodi in Goa.
Ambot Tik Shark Curry
‘Ambot’ means tangy while ‘tik’ means spicy in Konkani, the language spoken by locals in Goa. The dish gives you a whacky good combination of tangy spice in a curry. The name gives it away – this dish does have a sharp tangy taste but still finds a way to win over your heart. The star ingredient of this dish is the shark fish, it balances the flavors out. We’re sure after your trip to Goa, this is one dish that you’ll try recreating in your kitchen.
Choris Pao is Goa’s version of a burger. It’s bread stuffed with flavorful Goan sausages and is a snack that you must try in Goa. The spicy Goan sausages are made out of pork meat, Kashmiri chilies, vinegar and other spices. You would be able to find this being served at a street food stall set up by local Goans. You might have to take offbeat paths in Goa to find stalls serving authentic Choris pao. But once you do, get your hands on these Goan burgers while the bread is fresh and hot out of the oven!
Prawn Rissois are essentially Portuguese-influenced fried snacks and they look like tiny puff patties. When you’re just craving a small bite-sized appetizer, Prawn Rissois is what you’d probably love to try. The filling is a mixture of prawns, garlic, onion, milk and grated cheese. You can find these at bakeries in Goa, selling like hotcakes! Just a heads up that one of these is rarely enough so make sure to buy a couple.
Recheado Fried Fish
You cannot come to Goa and not try the Recheado fried fish! Goa being at the coast is known for its seafood and this is one of the signature dishes to have along with a chilled drink. Mackerel is the type of fried fish usually served with the Recheado marination and the taste is simply divine. Recheado means ‘stuffed’, so the marination is stuffed within the fish after it’s split in half. This means that you’ll have the taste of the mixture of spices in every bite!
It can be a little tough to pronounce this dish but don’t shy away from ordering it. To help you to say it out loud, remember that the word ‘xacuti’ reads as Sha-cuti. This is another signature curry to try out in Goa and it’s completely different from the other ones on this list. Why? Well, the beef xacuti has a good portion of fresh coconut added to it and this one ingredient gives it a unique flavor. You can get the same xacuti flavored curry in mushroom, chicken, mutton and even crabs in Goa.
Ros Omelet is a dish that gives a twist to Goan curries. It is essentially Goan xacuti curry served with an omelet and Goan Poe (popular bread). In most Goan households, when the xacuti curry is left over from the previous night, they serve it with an omelet in the morning. That’s the story of how Ros Omelette soon became a popular dish. You might look at it as a humble food in the beginning but you’ll soon realize that the addition of just an omelet does liven the curry. Xacuti curry is also said to taste better the following day.
Pork Vindaloo is a hot and spicy slow-cooked pork dish that is cooked for feasts or huge parties in Goa. You making it to Goa also calls for some celebration, right? And what better way than to celebrate by having Pork Vindaloo with your meals? It takes some serious effort to make this dish and it’s best to have with steaming white rice or sannas (idlis).
When it’s time for some dessert or you just want to take back a sweet dish to impress relatives back home, your best bet is the Bebinca. It is a sweet layered cake that has the texture of pudding and can take up to 4 hours to prepare. The cake is prepared one layer at a time and you can easily find these being sold in bakeries.
In addition to all the food options mentioned, make sure you also try a drink called Cabo in Goa. It is a coconut liquor that is extremely famous to have in Goa in a Pina Colada. Another popular drink that is a specialty of Goa is Feni. The fermented juice of cashew applies is what makes Feni. When you travel all the way to Goa, these are the two of Goa’s signature brews that you should give a shot! Make sure you have it in moderation if it is a drink you’re trying out for the first time.
You’re Ready For Your Appetizing Goa Food Trail
The food in Goa is insanely delicious and has as much reason to travel to Goa as its nightlife or beaches. If you‘re traveling to Goa for its food you now know what to eat. You’re more prepared for your gastronomic adventure in Goa! In case you’re still in two minds on where to exactly stay, you can consider goSTOPS. Our property in Goa sits in the heart of Calangute beach in North Goa keeping you minutes away from the hotspots be it for food or sightseeing.
What Is The Street Food Of Goa?
Croquettes, potato chops, samosas, and ros omelet are some of the types of street food that you have to try in Goa.
Is Goa Vegan-Friendly?
Goa is an extremely vegan-friendly holiday destination. You won’t have a tough time finding vegan restaurants and some of the ones that you can try include – Bean Me Up, Zest Café, Shantaram Raw, Blue Planet Café, Soul Booster and Artjuna.
What Is The Famous Food Of Goa?
Goa is famous for its seafood owing to the fact that it is a coastal state. Fish curry and fried fish are a staple in most homes. Some of the most popular dishes to try include – Xacuti curry, Pork Vindaloo, prawns balchao, beef chili fry, calamari fry and choris pao. To cater to the many tourists that visit Goa, you’d also find many vegan-friendly and multi-cuisine restaurants in Goa.
Is Goa Cheap For Food?
Goa is a backpacker-friendly holiday destination. You can easily have a good quality filling meal and pay somewhere between INR 300 to INR 500. The coastal town has so many markets and local stores where the bill isn’t heavy on the pocket.