Delicious vegetarian food in Goa is not a myth, we promise
There’s a limit to how many french fries one human being can eat
Goa’s Portuguese heritage is to thank for the out-of-body experience that is tasting a chunk of pav doused in chorizo chilli fry. But finding exciting vegetarian food in Goa can be like an episode of Roadies. The Sunshine State is one of those places where ethical eating leads to involuntary intermittent fasting.
A Goan vacation sans gluttony is like a family reunion without “Shaadi ka kya plan hai?” jabs – incomplete. Popular belief suggests that dal, chawal, french fries, and mixed vegetable curry make up the extent of a vegetarian’s menu in Goa, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. From local favourites to wholesome healthy meals, this is the answer to question: Is there even any vegetarian food in Goa?
Delicious vegetarian food in Goa and where to find it
Saraya Art Cafe, Bardez
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This just in: Today's *special* pizza, whipped up on the fly giving you fresh oyster mushrooms that are marinated in balsamic paired with our homemade fresh mozzarella cheese and more your tatse buds are going to love! . . . . . . . @heyemilyhanna cheffing it up daily in our kitchen #cafe #Goa #sarayagoa #India #homemade #pizza #instagood #organicfood #pizzalovers🍕 #woodfiredpizza
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An eco-stay practising permaculture, Saraya’s sustainable approach filters down to your plate too. The cafe only uses organic produce, most of which is grown in-house. Disproving myths about ethical eating, Saraya’s menu isn’t just healthy but a riot of flavours too that will keep you coming back for more. They whip up a delicious Margherita pizza as easily as they put together a mouth-watering vegetarian thali.
Cafe Bhonsle, Panaji
A brief encounter with the restaurant’s signature bhaji pav (deep-fried bread and curried vegetables) is enough to spark a love affair of a lifetime. This also is one of the few places in the city that serve an all-vegetarian authentic Goan breakfast. Steaming hot Kappa (potato rawa fry), and patal bhaji (a leafy green Goan delicacy), eaten with your fingers, could turn you into a morning person.
Cafe Tato’s, Panaji
A visit to Cafe Tato’s is the locals’ go-to for authentic Goan fare, especially when your nights end in the AM, just in time for shutters to open. Apart from their delicious offerings, Tato’s consistent flavour and warm hospitality are what keeps customers coming back for more. We recommend their patal bhaji, mirchi plate and channa masala bhajis.
Cafe Central, Panaji
Cafe Central has to be one of the best-kept secrets of Goa. Established in 1932, the cafe is one of the oldest standing eateries in Panjim. Their mushroom cheese samosas and veg rissois (goan snack) are the most popular and usually sold out when still piping hot. Cafe Central is sure to make you pick between your love for food and five more minutes of snooze time.
Kokni Kanteen, Panaji
Kokni Kanteen is a peephole into the sensory overload that is a Goan kitchen. Dishing out the best thalis in town since 1972, apart from their famed fish thali and mouthwatering snacks, they are also known to serve up a delicious vegetarian thalis that are easy on the pocket.
Bean Me Up, Vagator
Bean Me Up is everything that dairy-free, vegetarian dreams are made of. And for everyone who rolled their eyes after reading that sentence, you have to taste it to believe it. The vegan restaurant, along with serving some of the best hot plates in town, serves up delicious pizzas that have become very popular among locals. The salad bar and soya station are bonuses to look forward to.
There is nothing that ghee-drenched podi idlis cannot fix. Located in Goa’s up-and-coming neighbourhood Assagao, Gunpowder’s south Indian spread is as authentic as it gets. We recommend thumbing through their cocktail menu that adds a Goan twist to classic concoctions.
Navtara Veg Restaurant, Across Goa
One of the largest restaurant chains in the city, Navtara has been a lifesaver for those on the lookout for vegetarian food. Though Navtara’s Goan selection is limited to xacuti (Goan curry) and bhaji pav, they have a range of north Indian favourites, continental options, and Chinese dishes to pick from. Their thalis make for wholesome meals for all those tired of dodging seafood and surviving on french fries.
Authentic Saraswat flavours with a view of the pristine Mandovi river. Voltaire is a beautiful colonial home painstakingly restored to make for the perfect setting. Though the prices veer towards the higher side, the experience is definitely worth every penny. Rumour has it that if you pay a visit during Shravana (the fifth month on the Hindu calendar), you might be lucky and get a taste of their special vegetarian thali that is supposed to be divine.
Blue Planet Cafe, Palolem
A swim at Agonda beach and a stack of vegan pancakes at Blue Planet Cafe, and you have yourself a perfect morning. From championing organic produce to responsible waste disposal, Blue Planet Cafe’s approach to sustainability is all-encompassing. The eatery offers vegetarian, vegan and even raw food preparations. Their vegan smoothies seem to be a hot favourite among patrons.