Although Goa offers a variety of fancy foreign and Indian restaurants, there are times when nothing other than a cutlet pao or a chilled glass of Feni will do. Right? So, head to these local hangouts to try out some classic Goan drinks and food.
You’ll be far from the tourists and chilling at local watering holes for that quintessential Goan experience!
- White House Bar & Restaurant
Enjoy a Breathtaking sea view while treating your taste buds to some exquisite Goan cuisine and seafood. More than a decade old, this laid back, old-school joint in Dona Paula is a hit with the locals. It’s the perfect place to down a few drinks while touring through the capital city. They also have a delicious range of seafood snacks, chorizo pao, beef chilly fry and lots more.
Location: White House Bar & Restaurant, Near N.I.O. Post Office, Dona Paula
Dona Paula, Goa.
Call: 097631 10945
2. Joseph’s Bar
Joseph’s Bar, a beautifully restored classic Goan taverna, located in Fontainhas, the old Latin Quarter of Panjim, is the go-to place for any Goan liquor and small bites. This bar has a lot of character and loads of local drinks, including homemade Urak or Feni, Susegado and Eight Finger Eddie (locally crafted beers) on tap. Quite limited in seating but it’s a great place to come either with friends or alone.
With the chill atmosphere, friendly crowd, happy staff and picturesque surroundings, it’s not hard to see why this bar is so popular among the locals.
Location: E-250, Gomes Pereira Road, Altinho, Panjim, Goa
3. Mafia Cocktail Bar
Undoubtedly one of the best restaurants on the Pilerne Candolim Road, Mafia Cocktails, is well-known amongst the locals for its fantastic ambience and great-tasting food. It is run by Tony Fernandes, a friendly local who is the provider of hot steaming food, your regular tipple and the comfort and warmth of a home dining table at three in the morning.
Mafia is usually visited by youngsters, and other local Goas looking to unwind after a long day at work. The crowd here is fiercely protective of this local secret but we’re letting you in, believing that you’re going to be nice. Their Goan dishes, as well as Chinese, Continental and North Indian cuisines, are out of this world. They also have. a great range of beers, wines, aperitifs, shooters, brandy, cocktails, flamers, imported scotch, whiskeys, rums, gins, vodkas and mocktails are available on their bar menu.
Location: Pilerne – Candolim Road, Pilerne, Marra, Goa
4. Guru Bar
Located on the narrow lane overlooking the expanse of Arabian sea, this cozy shack has a friendly atmosphere and concoctions to match, all under one place. A family-run establishment since the days of hippie tourists in Anjuna, Guru Bar is as famous for its food and daily specials as for amazing sunset views. It also has a Club Guru Bar adjoined to it which is a one-of-its-kind club in its surroundings, adorned with some cool graffiti and lasers for company.
The best thing about this place is it’s open all Year round!! Being one of the very few pet-friendly restaurants in the surrounding as well as just a stone’s throw away from the beach, you may well have your pets soak in the ambience too. Beach activities and boat trips can be arranged on request.
Coming to the food, from they specialize in Indian, Goan, Italian, Continental, Oriental, Russian and a hint of Mediterranean cuisine. The Seafood is the highlight on the menu, along with a list of daily specials. The keep all local drinks including Urak and Feni and their fresh fruit juices and milkshakes are a must try. For entertainment, they have a dedicated stage that hosts live music, performances, movies and sports screenings for the audience after sundown.
Location: H.no721, St. Anthony Praise Waddo, North Anjuna, Dmello Vaddo, Anjuna, North Goa,
Call: 098233 83257
5. Pablo Bar
Never has a little bar at the side of the road looked so cool, complete with fairy lights, a pool table, darts and a skatepark, Escobar in Assagao is the go-to local bar especially on a weekend. This spot once a generic bar was turned around by Anant and Terrance, two local boys, who collaborated to not only get that cool graffiti done, have their beer on tap but even built a skatepark in their backyard!
Their drinks are awesome, right from the kombucha cocktail to their flavoured Feni. The rest of the bar menu is pretty regular with beer, gin, vodka, cocktails and the likes. They don’t do a dinner menu, but they have snacks to kill for, try their sausage chilly, fish fingers, cheesy fries, croquettes and (OMG, yessss!) chicken cafreal with poi. Most nights the bar is quiet, with 80s pop playing in the background, and the smell of delicious food in the air. They open around 5 every evening and their doors are open till midnight. If you really want to experience this place go a bit early, as post 9:30 the place gets quite crowded and parking is very hard to find.
Location: Badem Junction, Off Assagaon Badem Road, Assagao, Goa