I have not written about new places in Goa in a while. The last restaurant post I did was 10 of my favorites for 2015! While my Goa ebook has all the new cool places since then + hundreds of the best places to eat around Goa, this blog hadn’t had new additions in a while. This season especially it seems like there is a huge boom of new companies popping up so I decided to make it my goal to go try as many of them out as I could (for research, of course!). I’ve put together the best new restaurants in Goa in 2018 season and the few new shops and guesthouses, too. I tried 8 new places in the first week!
This isn’t a complete list and I’m simply putting it in the order they came to mind – not best to worst or anything like that. Some of these places have been getting a lot of hype on Facebook and I got loads of recommendations from friends. If I didn’t have time to try it, I added it to the list at the bottom (in case you are curious of new options for this season) and will come back and update this as I try new ones.
Keep in mind these are NEW places this year not a roundup of the best, so if you feel I missed your favorite place, it’s been covered before probably! The complete list of all the best restaurants, bars, places to party, and things to do in Goa is in my Ebook, sorted by beach/town. You can use the code “welovegoa” to get 30% off the book (it’s a 170-page book that has all my top tips for Goa from five years of living here year-round). Click here to buy it.
Best New Restaurants in Goa + Shops & Hotels!
1. Hugs & Mugs, Mapusa
I had been meaning to come here for a while since my good friend Marilyn is the chef here. She worked at Thalassa and Hillbelly previously, but her brother opened this place. They are Goan and from Mapusa. It is by far the best “Western” style food you can get in Mapusa and it’s a chilled out art cafe. Expect American style sandwiches like grilled ham & cheese, pulled pork or beef, and buttermilk fried chicken. It’s cheap at around 200 Rs for a non-veg sandwich served with french fries. The churro ice cream bowl was YUM and I can honestly say this is the best milkshake I’ve had in Goa because it’s actually thick American style whereas most other places make really thin runny milkshakes for some reason. This is located up by the courthouse and you’ll park on the street parallel outside.
2. Crab & Co, Assagao
This place is all hyped up this season! Ben and I went for dinner and got too much food as always: the crab stuffed onion rings (mmm), the calamari (also good), a 400-gram crab which was 1200 Rs and according to Ben the best crab he’s had in Goa, and I got the home-style pork chops (450 Rs.) which I can say are the best pork chops I’ve had here – juicy but hardly any fat on them (although I didn’t like the sauce that was on the side). Usually, pork here is fatty or dry and not worth getting, so this is pretty exciting. They do not have a liquor license yet but hope to by January so definitely something to keep in mind! This is a really good seafood place, but it’s not cheap so while I’d love to eat here a lot – when I want some butter garlic prawns, I’ll still go to my local place for a quick bite and save this for a nice dinner spot. PS the people who run this also own Barrel & Bones in Panjim. There is a big parking lot here.
3. Botanique Bistrot, Assagao
This new place is near Gunpowder in Assagao on Anjuna-Mapusa road (same road as Crab & Co) and it’s a villa with rooms as well as a restaurant. Their menu was small when I went as they were only open 10 days but they will be adding more to it. I had a Kingfish sandwich with tartar sauce and Ben got the beef with some mash and carrots – it was really tasty. It’s kind of got a fancy feel because it’s French but the space is laid back and you can use the pool for 150 Rs. I think this will be a great place to go for brunch with friends and use the pool for a couple of hours. It’s such a relaxing garden. There are not many places that have good food and pools in Goa so this will probably take off and I can see myself having some hungover mornings here with coffee by the pool :) There is off-road parking here, just pull down the driveway and turn left.
4. Burger Bar & Bakery, Siolim
If you like TGIF, pub food, fried food (aka are like me) then you’ll like this place. It is before the bridge in Siolim, above a shop and you would probably miss it if you didn’t know about it. The things I loved here were the mozzarella sticks, chicken wings (super crispy), golden fried prawns, and the fries were like you get at a fish n chips shop in England (big and chunky and crispy). The only thing I didn’t love was the nachos only because they didn’t have enough stuff on them, haha. The burger was good; I got the Mexican one but will try a regular one next time. They do 5 types of veggie burgers. Right now, I think they don’t have a liquor license as there is no alcohol on the menu. The cakes were soo good. My friend who came with lives right next to it was saying she’d be stopping in to get them take away every day. The triple chocolate cake and banoffee pie were my favorite. They have their own bakery. Parking is out front of the restaurant.
5. Lazy Goose, Nerul
I was meant to go check this out with my friend, Jules (who I tried a couple other places on this list with, because she loves food as much as I do!), but something came up last minute. Jules still went and said it was “soooo good”. I wasn’t sure if I should mention it since I haven’t tried, but I trust her opinion and thought you’d want to know about it. Nerul is a very beautiful part of Goa as well. According to Jules, the crab was nice and she doesn’t even like crab – the risotto balls were nice and the fish is the best. She runs a luxury villa here and said she’ll be telling her guests this is a great place to visit.
6. Alchemy & La Casita, Mandrem
The two fashion brands I love most in Goa, FARA and Tia have combined and made one shop together called Alchemy. It’s just down from Vaayu on the beach road in Mandrem. They have a nice rooftop + the shop + they have a “casita” which is a two bedroom for up to four guests. This is on Airbnb and it’s SO cute ($56 per night when I checked, but rates change based on dates). I highly recommend this. You can find it on Airbnb here and if you don’t already have an Airbnb account, set one up with this link and get $40 off your first booking of over $75.
7. Villa Vaayu, Mandrem
Vaayu Waterman’s Village is one of m favorite places to hang out. They have everything from the best tacos at their cafe, Prana, to surfboard and SUP rentals. They always had rooms at Vaayu Village but now just a couple of houses down, there is Villa Vaayu which is a whole home you can rent. It’s a 3 bedroom house with is on Airbnb (with this link) for $235 per night. Again, you can get $40 off if you make an account with this link. The price sounds high, but once you split it by 6 and take in the pretty unbeatable views and locations, it’s well worth it.
8. Mermaid’s Boutique, Anjuna (now with food)
Katja’s shop Mermaids has moved a couple of times and is now having its second season next to the Gelato place in Anjuna, near Orchard. I’ve not mentioned this spot before, so that’s why I’ve added it even though it’s not totally new. She did, however, add food this year: sandwiches, coffee, and stuff for vegans and veggies which is great to grab when you pass through. Her stuff, Dadablui, is really colorful and I’ve written about it here. She is no longer at the Wednesday flea market, so this shop is it! I’m going to pass through this week to see what food she has and I’ll post it on Facebook.
9. Rangeela, Morjim (new location)
Love love love Rangeela who I think is the only shop in Goa selling a lot of stuff not just from India but Bali, too. So, you’ll find some really unique things in here plus they stock some other cool local brands. After 16 years in Calangute, they have moved to this new location in Siolim (just put it in Google maps and you’ll find it). They have housewares like hand-picked rugs and lampshades, jewelry, clothing, and little cute knick-knacks for all budgets.
10. LOLA by Suman B., Panjim
One more fashion brand to mention, LOLA. I went to this shop opening in Panjim at the end of the monsoon and thought the shop was beautiful enough to be in London – definitely the best-designed shop in Panjim! Here clothes are very fancy and Bollywood people wear them so the price tag does match that. It’s modern styles mixed with Indian but mostly conservative fits.
11. Hopping Frog Hostel, Assagao
This hostel isn’t new (it’s two seasons old) but this past monsoon became a cool place to go for live music and a party. You can follow their Facebook page to see when they have events. I’ve been just once but friends of mine go a lot. Check and see when they have live music, don’t just go on a random night.
12. GOAT festival, Ashwem (sort of new)
image courtesy of GOAT
Last season was the first GOAT festival in Goa. I didn’t go to it but many friends did and said it was amazing – the best festival in India after Magnetic fields in Rajasthan, and the best one in Goa. This year, I expect it will be even bigger and more popular. You can get tickets online. This is definitely something to work into your travel plans.
13. Copperleaf, Porvorim
I can’t get enough of this place! It opened last season sometime and I started to hear from my Indian friends that it was the bomb.com. I finally went over the monsoon and loved every single thing I ate. It is SO tasty. I actually wrote a blog post about it because I wanted to show what Goan food was – so you can see all the details about that here.
14. Saffron & Shireen’s Art Gallery, Arpora (coming soon)
Mother/Daughter artists Saffron Wiehl and Shireen Mody have a new gallery in Arpora which has Saffron’s beautiful illustrations and her mom’s detailed paintings. It’s not open yet and that’s not the name, lol but I didn’t want to forget to update this once they open! I’ll put the location once it’s ready. You should definitely check it out – they are both famous in Goa. Saffron was born and raised here, and her mom and her both take a lot of inspiration from Goa so buying a piece from them is like taking a bit of Goa home with you.
15. Kuku-Nana, Vagator
Kuka-Nana is a jewelry brand designed by Ahana Ghai. You can find her pieces at Thalassa, Hugs & Mugs, Gunpowder, and more. She’s at her Thalassa shop most nights. Her pieces are bright, colorful, and bold – they totally match her bubbly personality and are a great souvenir from India that isn’t “souvenir-looking” but something you’ll actually wear a lot. Some Bollywood people have been spotted in them! I have a really beautiful brass bracelet from her shop I wore on Christmas.
16. Eva Cafe
This is actually a couple of years old now but more and more people are starting to take notice of it. When it comes to beach shacks, this is BY FAR the cutest little restaurant on the Anjuna beach. You have to park up by the top of the hill, though and walk down there, and there aren’t too many tables so I’ve actually only been once. They are known for their shakshuka, the sandwiches were really good, they have lots of salads on the menu, and we had some falafel balls that were nice. It’s veg food (plus tuna/egg) and kind of similar to Artjuna’s food but on the beach! The way it’s decorated is just the cutest; I love it.
17. Goa Grill, Siolim (not that new…)
This again, isn’t that new – but it’s new to me so I’m throwing it on here. They opened last season I think or maybe even the season before. This is in Siolim and they have whole grilled chicken, rotisserie-style. We used to always get chicken at the Saturday Night Market but they shut up their shop, this is is now where we go for whole chicken. No sides come with it – and you can do takeaway but you have to order it there, not over the phone.
18. Hice Cream, Assagao (delivery)
Want some boozy ice cream delivered to your door? This new place makes yummy flavors half of which have alcohol in them like Whiskey in a Jar which has Baileys and chocolate chips or Werewolves of London which is vegan with Bacardi white rum, coconut cream, and fresh pineapple. Of course, I had to try the mint chocolate chip (my favorite) and it’s so tasty. I can see a lot of ordering ice cream in my future! According to their Facebook page, they are based in Assagao and deliver around there. It’s around 600 Rs for an alcoholic one and 400 Rs for a non-alcohol ice cream. Jars are 350 ml. You can call them at 9867691483 and enjoy your own!
19. Beach Box Hotel & Cafe, Baga
Super into shipping container designs? Cuz Ben is, lol. He wants to build a house from shipping containers someday, so when we heard a really unique hotel with restaurant and pool all from shipping containers opened up in Goa, we had to check it out. The food is mostly Indian but with some Western grills like burgers. I loved my malai chicken tikka. I would say this is great for a group coming here that wants to party and likes trance, as they had a DJ when we were there on a Sunday night. It’s dark with red lighting, so it has that trance/psy vibe there. The rooms are cool – I’ve never seen a shipping container hotel before! They have A/C and are pretty cheap for Baga. This is located just by the bridge where you’d turn to go to Go With the Flow. Parking is on the road.
20. Goa State of Mind (GSOM), Vagator
The Goa State of Mind is inside the old Primrose in Vagator. This is a place for community vibes and trance parties. There are sometimes entrance covers, depending on who is playing. I haven’t visited yet, but my friend Faiz runs this place and he always does everything hardcore and over the top, so I’m sure it’s amazing!
21. Village Studio, Parra
You might have seen on my Instagram stories some clips from my first night at Village Studio in Parra when none other than a favorite of mine, Prateek Kuhad, played! We had such a blast and it’s got really cool vibes here. They have food, hands-on projects to get involved in during the day, and lots of events at night, like live music. This is a really cool space.
As you can see there are SO many awesome new places this season in Goa. While I love my old favorites, I definitely love it even more that Goa has such a variety of food opening up all the time! There are even more new places than this that I want to check out. I’m going to list below some of the other new places that are still on my list. I’ll get to these eventually and add them if they’re yummy but wanted to get this blog post up since it’s already so late in the season.
- Tierra Y Mar, Sangolda
- Rock Bar, Siolim
- Cafe de Pereira, Vagator
- Gusto Cafe, Inside Literati, Calangute
- El Porto, In Marine Bay in Chapora
- La Cucina, Morjim
- Uddo Life, Siolim
- Project Cafe, Assagao
- Le Detour, Anjuna
- The Rice Mill, Morjim
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