Goa, Kerala + The South

Restaurants in Goa, Kerala + The South

Goan cuisine and restaurants in Goa meld the east with the west thanks in part to the region’s Portuguese heritage as well as its segregation for the rest of India. Fish is the culinary mainstay, with both the Hindus and remaining Catholics using it as a staple ingredient. Spice is central to most traditional dishes, but thanks to the influx of tourists, travelers can find restaurants in Goa to suit the preferences of even the most fastidious eater. Adventurous foodies are in luck with tamarind and chili dominating the flavor profiles of many Goan dishes.

Some of the best restaurants in Goa can be found in Panaji, where the region’s chefs test the boundaries of local cuisine. Taj Exotica Restaurant, Thalassa and Mums Kitchen are Goa restaurants that are worth a visit.

While seafood is generally safe, those wishing to avoid to the dreaded Delhi Belly should avoid salad or uncooked vegetables in any Goan restaurant.

As much an archive of home recipes as a popular lunch spot serving up crab fritters and prawns caldin (a green-chile-and-coconut stew), Mums is another proud preserver of Goan tradition that takes a stand against the encroachment of fusionism that is seen at so many other restaurants in the state

The open-air, waterside setting at chef Urbano de Rego’s traditional Goan restaurant is not to be missed. Chef Rego was the first to bring Goan food to the world’s attention, having cooked for the elder President Bush and at the World Economic Forum.

O’Papagaio closed in June 2014.

This beach-shack restaurant is perfect for sunset drinks.

Ordering lettuce is not always advisable in India, but it’s safe to try Greek salads and juicy souvlaki here.

The place for brunch or coffee.

Convince the chef of Taj Coromandel's restaurant, Southern Spice, to serve a thali surveying the range of Tamil cuisine.