Goa. Music festivals, shacks, sun, sand, beaches, bars, cocktails, crabs, music, madness – this 3700 kilometer coastal town has come to be associated with all things fun and cool. Half of Delhi and Mumbai, and people from all around the world, flock to Goa for New Year’s Eve- us included. Irrespective of all cliches, Goa has never ever disappointed, provided you know where to go.

We reached out to our friends at What’s Up Goa– a superb guide to all that’s happening in Goa- to curate a handbook of the top things to go when you’re in this beach-bums paradise. Whether you’re a newbie in Goa, or call it your second home, you’ll find things to add to your Little Black Book!

FOOD AND DRINKS

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RESTAURANTS

Ciao Bella, Assagao | A simple yet beautifully decorated space, this Italian Restaurant opened last year and is already one of the area’s most preferred eateries. Run by an Italian couple, the menu offers good ol’ Italian home cooking, where much of their featured ingredients are flown in from Italy.

Price {For Two} | INR 1400

Where | Assagao Road, Bardez; Contact | +91 97657183 73

Thalassa, Vagator Beach | A beautiful, green, open-air Greek restaurant at the edge of a cliff, overlooking the sea {and the small Vagator beach}: our favorite place to watch the sunset in Goa. Go here for classic Greek appetizers, dips and salads, and melt-in-your-mouth meats from the grill.

Price {For Two}| INR 1500

Where | Ozron Beach, Small Vagator {on top of Small Vagator Beach}; Contact | +91 9850033537; Click here for their Facebook Page

A Reverie, Calangute | Located on Calangute’s popular Holiday Street, A Reverie, with an air of contemporary tropical chic, serves Modern European fare infused with Asian and local influences. This place also has one of the largest and best stocked bars in Goa. LBBD Favorite – the Belgian chocolate parfait.

Price {For Two}| INR 3000 {Only open for dinner}

Where | Holiday Street, Gauravaddo, Calangute; Contact | +91 9823 174 927; +91 9823 505 550

Rara Avis Konkan, Baga CreekSet on the expansive hillside terrace of a 50 year old Goan property, this bistro from Delhi provides bistro style, unpretentious French cuisine. The entrance to the restaurant is down a softly lit gravelled pathway that leads to a staircase, which opens onto the alfresco dining space.

Price {For Two} | INR 3000

Where | Edwin House, House 559, between Arpora’s Mackies Market & Baga bridge, Arpora, Baga; Contact | +91 8975687985

Pacci, Baga | Located on the Tito’s Baga Lane, Pacci Restorante, an Italian restaurant, doubles up as a popular watering hole in the late evenings. The ambience is pleasant, the cocktails are fun and the menu features wood fired pizza, antipasti and grills.

Price {For Two} | INR 1000

Where | Tito’s Baga Lane; Contact | Unavailable

Marbela Beach Resort, Morjim | All-white; from the guest tents, to the white washed walls, tepee chill-out areas and muslin-curtains that billow in the breeze, Marbela has the chicest sun-beds in town. The menu includes wood fired pizzas, a daily Italian menu and Indian tandoori specials. The bar serves up cocktails all day; this service extends to the sunbed area.

Price {For Two} | INR 2000

Where | Morjim-Ashwem Beach road;  Contact | +91 832 6450599; +91 915 8881180

Souza Lobo, Calangute | This long standing restaurant right by Calangute beach has been enticing loyal customers for nearly eighty years with its authentic Goan cuisine and delectable fresh seafood. The unassuming yet supremely popular restaurant also serves a wide variety of North Indian, Chinese and Continental fare.

Price {For Two} | INR 1200

Where | Calangute Beach; Contact | +91 832 2281234

Baba’s Wood Cafe | This is the perfect place for a chilled out evening with some quality Italian food. A tree-lined colonial garden with an outdoor bar, inviting sofas and a wood-fire pizza oven, they also have some cool products and art-works in one of the rooms, open for walk-ins.

Price {For Two} | INR 2000

Where | 49 Mala Fontainhas {near the Hanuman Temple}, Panjim; Contact | +91 832 2421992

Go with the Flow, Baga | Recently rebranded from “Samovar” to “Go with the Flow”, this fine dining restaurant has relocated to a new fabulous location at Baga {Arpora side} with a stunning view of the sea and river, at Nanis & Ranis. The place reopens with a Brazilian Master Chef, and will also offer Mediterranean and Fusion cuisine. The place also features an elevated terrace with gazebos for private dining for larger groups, which is handicap accessible by a fright elevator. Its profits go to the Samarpan Foundation, and a lot of its staff are volunteers.

Price {For Two} | INR 1000

Where | Baga {Arpora Side}, Anjuna; Contact | +91 96 37 007413; Details | Coming soon on WUG

Starlight, Arpora | Starlight Bar & Restaurant, a dhaba by the road, is located on the way to Calangute Anjuna road, Arpora. Specialising in Authentic Goan Fish Curry & Sea Food, it’s one of our favorite after party food haunts.

Price {For Two} | Less than INR 500

Where | Arpora, Bardez {On the way to Calangute}; Contact | +91 832 2277965; +91 9326114423

FINE CAFES

Baba au Rhum, Arpora | Popular for its desserts, this charming cafe is set in a quiet residential area in Arpora and serves up a delectable menu of salads, sandwiches, baked delicacies and pastries, and the area’s best pizza. This is North Goa’s favourite French cafe and patisserie, now also open in the evening with a dinner menu.

Price {For Two}| INR 700

Where | Shop No. 450, Cuddos Vaddo, Arpora-Bardez {Located in Arpora, on the way to Baga after the Saturday Night Market}; Contact | +91 9822078759

La Vie en Rose, Anjuna | Located near the Flea Market in Anjuna, La Vie en Rose is a charming little French café, popular for its exquisite quiches & desserts. The café is open all day, serving fresh fruit juices, a variety of breakfast plates {the Bacon and Mushroom Omelette is divine!}, fantastic salads and wonderful traditional French dishes

Price {For Two}| INR 800

Where | Pequen Peddem, Anjuna; Contact | +91 98223 88283

Villa Blanche, Assagao | Villa Blanche is a cozy bistro in a charming tree-lined avenue, set in the enchanting tropical garden of a renovated Portuguese house.  The menu features breakfast all day, lunch with assorted sandwiches {including a Bagel with Lox and Cream Cheese!}, hot plates and a daily special menu featuring everything from freshly prepared Veggie Quiches to a sumptuous Beef Lasagne and other specialities.

Where | Badem Church Road, Assagao; Contact | +91 9822155099

Le Poisson Rouge, Baga | Located just across the bridge over the Baga River, Le Poisson Rouge is one of North Goa’s most popular eateries, popular for its fish. This open air restaurant is set in a charming tropical garden and serves Indo-French fusion Cuisine.

Price {For Two}| INR 1500

Where | Baga River, Opp. Baga Bridge; Contact | +91 832 32 45 800

Om Made Café, Anjuna, Baga & Ashwem | Conceived and run by Gregory Bazire, the focus at this all day café is on local, fresh and organic produce to ensure the highest standard and freshness in their offerings, and the wellbeing of every diner. The menu offers simple yet sophisticated light meals, starting from a sumptuous breakfast, to exotic sandwiches and salads throughout the day.

Price {For Two} | INR 1000

Where | North Anjuna Beach: Close to Saint Anthony, Baga River: Towards Baga Beach, before the bridge, Aswem Hills: Morjim-Ashwem Road

FINE DINING SHACKS

Sublime, Morjim | The new laid-back Sublime is located on the scenic shores of trendy Morjim beach, offering a feet-in-the-sand, dine-all-day experience. The new space is smaller, more intimate and open, with fresh ocean breeze wafting in throughout day. Perfect for a delectable breakfast, a light seaside lunch or for sunset cocktails.

Price {For Two} | INR 1000

Where | Morjim Beach, Between Bora Bora & Hakuna Matata; Contact | +91 9822484051

La Plage, Ashwem | By far one of Goa’s most revered restaurants, La Plage offers delectable French fusion cuisine in a charming oceanfront restaurant on Ashwem beach. The restaurant fills up quickly during the festive season, so book ahead; way ahead. LBBD Favorites – bloody mary and chocolate pancake.

Price {For Two} | INR 1500

Where | Ashwem Beach, Morjim {Near Papa Jolly Hotel}; Contact | +91 9822121712

Paros by Amarya, Turtle Beach, Morjim | Extending their offering of distinctive beach-chic tented suites {here also adding a beach villa}, Amarya has now opened an elevated beachfront restaurant that will be open to all, serving a European menu of fresh seafood, salads and pastas during the day. Highlight – the sun-bed service. Open from 11am to 6pm.

Where | Temba Vaddo, Morjim; Contact | + 91 9999071491

SHACKS   {Below INR 1000 For Two}

Curlies, Anjuna | Curlie’s is a popular beach shack, located on the Anjuna Beach strip. This was one of the first ever beach shacks to set up shop in Goa and continues to be a must-visit.

Where | Anjuna Beach {Next to the flea market}; Contact | + 91 9982216862

Brittos & St. Anthony’s, Baga | A tourist favourite & our pick for delicious {and generous} seafood platters, Brittos has very evidently made its mark as ‘the place’ to visit when you’re around Baga. Right next to Brittos is St. Anthony’s Shack, very popular for its karaoke, cheap drinks and good food. These two are pretty much the best shacks on Baga.

Where | Calangute-Baga Road, Baga Beach; Contact | +91 832 227 7331

Shiva Valley, South AnjunaShiva Valley is the nondescript shack just next door to Curlies that turns into one of Goa’s hottest party spots every Tuesday. It is known for the psychedelic events scene in this part of town, and late night going into early morning parties.

Where | South Anjuna Beach; Contact | +91 9922276474

PARTIES

GOA STYLE

Hill Top, Vagator | Hill Top, as its name suggests, is atop the hill in Vagator, strategically located a distance away from residential neighbourhoods. Deserted by day, this open-air venue transforms to Goa’s most prime party destination on some evenings and a flea market on Friday afternoons.

Price | Changes as per season – call the number below.

Where | Vagator Beach; Contact | +91 9604772788

Chronicle, Vagator | Chronicle is a high-end beach bar and restaurant on a small slice of heaven called Little Vagator. The multi levels include a cocktail bar as well as a high end spirits bar, an interactive fine dining restaurant and an open-air dance-floor that is located at the very bottom of the venue. The levels have been carved out of the cliff, with the laterite rocks left exposed, to lend a uniquely organic feel.

This is new in Goa and we hear that the famously infamous Sunburn is moving to this area.

Where | Vagator, Bardez; Contact | +91 8888687804

Liquid Sky Parties | Hosting legendary parties across venues in Goa {9Bar, Hill Top, West End, UV Bar, Marbela Beach, Sea Horse Anjuna, Panorama etc}, organised by the group’s founder Axailes Solar and a team of talented artists with a common vision, Liquid Sky showcases a collective of Goa’s popular and International DJs. Its repertoire covers styles from techno, minimal, tech house, electro to the freshest of actual electronic tendencies.

Follow Liquid Sky parties on Axailes’ Facebook Page here

New Venue by original Bubble Brunch Crew {Coming soon to Vagator beach}  | The original Bubble Brunch lounge team, comprising a group of skilled European bartenders and internationally acclaimed DJs, will be opening a new lounge-bar in Vagator by December. With the best cocktails in town and slick urban sounds, this new venue promises to be even hipper than its original avatar – a favourite haunt of Goa’s global residents as well as its visiting celebrities, who preferred their night out to be more low-key.

Where | Vagator; Contact details unavailable at the moment {opposite Living Room}

Name |  CLUBATZENSUPPE

Sunset Ashram, Ashwem | This is going to be a sprawling 30,000 sq ft Beach Club located at Ashwem Goa – the coolest of its kind. The property will feature a wooden deck, large water body, performance stage, VIP Cabanas, beach side cafe and dining and a small indoor space for after hour parties.

Price & Details | Click here

Where | Ashwem Beach; Contact | 022 2674 1666

For more information on these bars and restaurants, have a look at their What’s Up Goa page.

COMMERCIAL

Club Cabana | The nightclub on a hill – commercial music, lots of bars, decent crowd in the good months of the year. Check out their small private areas with the pools if you’re in a group.

Price {For Two} | INR 1500 Couple Entry {including cover}

Where | Arpora Hill, North Goa {ahead of Calangute}; Contact | +91-9823539000

SinQ Beach Club, Candolim | A restaurant-lounge, dance floor, 4 bars, a poolside lounge area and a balcony overlooking the pool area.

Price {For Two} | INR 1600

Where | Sinquerim, Goa, near the Taj Holiday Village; Contact | +91 8308000080

 

FASHION & LIFESTYLE

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BOOKSHOPS

Literati, Candolim | Run by Divya Kapur, set in a Portuguese house with a charming garden and a cafe. Also has a second hand book section. A fantastic archive and simple Goa charm; their events are usually worth attending.

Where | E/1-282, Gauravaddo, Calangute

Lotus Eaters, Anjuna | For second hand books at good discounts. This store also hosts various books clubs, readings and other events.

Where | 224, Zor Waddo, Anjuna

 

FASHION

Saturday Night Market, Arpora | The Saturday Night Market has meandering lane upon lane of kiosks snaking through this vast open field, selling everything from apples to hand-made leather belts, jewellery, carpets, apparel and much much more.

Where | Near Track 2, Arpora

When | Every Saturday, 6pm onwards; Click here for more details.

Wednesday Flea Market, Anjuna | What started as “a Hippie-exchange” is now one of Anjuna’s most popular attractions. Srategically situated on the sandy stretch overlooking the Arabian Sea, the vast and bustling Market, which transpires every Wednesday during peak season {October-April}, practically takes up an entire stretch of the beach. The Market offers anything and everything auctioned by merchants and gypsies from across India –  locally produced apparel, spices, tea, coffee, jewellery, hand-made toys, souvenirs and much more.

Where | Anjuna Flea Market Grounds, Behind the Football Field

When | Every Wednesday, 9am to 7pm; Click here for more details

Dust, Ashwem | A beautiful boutique featuring their own boho-chic collections for women, fashioned out of organic and natural fabrics – raw silk, linen, natural cotton, etc. The women’s selection includes a beautiful collection of dresses, skirts and crochet and suede bikinis. For men, there are funky shirts, plaid and mixed fabric waistcoats, light trousers and block printed ties. 

Where | Ashwem Beach; Contact | +91 9049 298 656

Jade Jagger, Ashwem | The boutique is a tiny hut, inside which a long table controls the middle of the room, displaying fine jewelry and clothing by Jade Jezebel Jagger {Mick Jagger’s daughter}. Do check out her bar next door.

Where | 100 metres South of “La Plage”, Ashwem Beach, Morjim

Laurence Dolige, La Plage, Ashwem | Boutique opening this season; pieces also available at La Plage boutique. Laurence Dolige, the brand, boasts of lots of snake inspired dresses, pants, shorts, and skirts. Additionally she continues to produce classic denims, chinos and men’s shirts. Moreover, she designs bags and footwear, serving as a one-stop shop for anyone interested in looking “super chic,” as she puts it.

Where | Next to Jade Jagger, Ashwem Beach, Morjim

Gemma Carver’s Studio, Anjuna | Scottish designer with a bespoke demi-couture label and a pret line called Nonchalant. The first offers playful, stylish and summer designs, whilst the second concentrates on creating elegant dresses for weddings, special occasions and red carpet events. They also offer a personalized experience and design.

Where | Pikin Pada Hose no 960, Before German Bakery. Off Market Road, Anjuna; Contact | + 91 8390962 616

The Shop by Nana-Ki, Ashwem | Nana-Ki {by french mother-daughter designer team Chloe & Danielle Le Bennois} has expanded its beachside boutique, The Shop by Nana-Ki, this season within the Amarya Shamiyana resort on Ashwem Beach {behind La Plage.} The brand will extend its line of sophisticated leisure wear {which uses traditional Indian textiles and regional embroidery and weaves,} as well as a complete kids’ line in the same theme. Joli {proudly made in India} is an accessory brand by French designer duo available at various outlets in Goa, including The Shop by Nana-Ki.

Bebel, Morjim | Resort wear and luxury accessories by designers from India & Europe, including collections by Malini Ramani, Pia Pauro, Tarun Tahiliani, Stephanie and Pink India, to name a few.

Where | Ashwem-Morjim Road {Next to Full Power Tattoo}; Contact | +91 9765761863

Cheshire Cat, Assagao | Set in a beautifully restored Portuguese house. Husband and wife design team Kees van Andel and Karen Peace sell their own collection of jewelry, as well as a few selections of other international accessory designers and visiting artists.

Where | Hs. 136, Biaro Alto, Near Palloti Institute, Assagao, Bardez; Contact | 0832-6510294

Asmita Marwa, Calangute | The designer lovingly describes her Goan store as “the one-stop shop for the free spirited world traveller, bohemian at heart.”   Asmita showcases her signature collections for both men and women, as well as a range of accessories that include handmade belts, bags, shoes and flip-flops.

Where | A-02, Pedro Martina, {between Temple & Chapel}, Calangute; Contact | +91 8698644993

Sotohaus, Candolim | A stunning lifestyle and decor boutique by Swiss designers Sonja Weder and Thomas Schneider, where they showcase and sell their unique brand of customised handcrafted interior furniture, light and art. The products are easy to maintain and extremely durable.

Where | 1266/f, Anna Vaddo, near the football ground, Candolim; Contact | +91 832 2489 983

Dreamscape by Malini Ramani | Malini decided to launch this lifestyle and home boutique with friend and business partner, Lyndon Alves, to provide a place where homeowners in Goa could buy beautiful pieces to style their houses without having to travel too far.

Where | 1255 Annavado, Candolim; Contact | +91 832 248 9033

The Private Collection, Candolim | Put together by Ramona Garaldi, the charming “concept store” offers sophisticated collections of women’s fashion and accessories, as well as lifestyle pieces on the ground floor and collections of art on the upper floor. Ramona additionally has a dedicated a special room where she administers her unique brand of healing, Vibrational Alchemy, using a combination of crystals and precious gems with colour therapy and healing sounds.

Where | 1255 Annavado, Candolim; Contact | +91 832 248 9033

 For more information about the stores, have a look at their page on What’s Up Goa. 

WELLNESS

Snip Salons & Spas | Reasonably priced, well-located and convenient, these are standalone premier day spas that provide a luxurious range of beauty and body treatments under a single roof. Every spa comprises a hair salon as well as a foot reflexology / pedicure and manicure section in addition to the main spa and massage areas, where well-trained therapists administer natural, rejuvenating treatments.

Where | Calangute: Taj Road, Calangute; Contact | 0832- 227 5421/ 2275422

Panjim: 18 June Road, Panaji ; Contact | 0832- 242 0898/ 242 0989

Miramar Beach:  The Marriot Hotel, Miramar Beach,Panaji; Contact | +91 832- 665 6219

Jiva Spa, Taj Vivanta, Panaji |

Where | Off D.B. Bandodkar Road, Panjim, GA 403001 ; Contact | +91 832 663 3636

Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa |

Where | Arossim Beach, Cansaulim, South Goa; Contact | +91 8322721234

 

EXPLORE

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Mandala Outdoors | Angus Young has been a traveller, inventor, teacher, musician, DJ/producer, sound therapist and storyteller, to name but a few vocations in his 40 years.  At Mandala Resort, which is off Ashwem Mandrem Road, his team offers Mandala Outdoor Experiences which include luxury camping trips, visits by boats to deserted beaches, kayaking etc.

Contact | +91 9657898021; +91 9657898021. +91-904-927-4493

Woof Woof – The Party Boat | Woof Woof offers day excursions or private parties on its customized 53 foot, handcrafted teakwood boat, ideal for a trip with the kids, family or friends. The boat caters to 12 passengers {“Woofers”} at a time and the journey comprises a trip into the Arabian Sea with a meal catered by the celebrated Sublime restaurant. Woof Woof  also offers a fully functional cocktail bar and option for live entertainment.

Contact | Call +91 8600144443

Sam Lovett Motorcycle Tours | Sam Lovett Motorcycle Tours offers bespoke motorcycle tours and adventure throughout North Goa, on an enfield.

Contact | Click here

Ciao Bella Yacht | A beautiful 42 foot squadron from the Fairline family of luxury yachts. It is an O Hotel initiative, aiming to spruce up luxury adventures at sea in Goa and around the Indian coastline. On Bella Ciao, guests can enjoy a fine level of quality in service, food and wine, décor and an unmatchable experience of luxury sailing.

Contact | Call +91 9920204079

STAY

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Hilario Heritage Inn, Siolim | Hilario’s is a magnificent old Goan home in the peaceful village of Siolim, North Goa. Built in the mid-nineteenth century by Hilario Fernandes, this was the family’s home for over 150 years. The house has now been beautifully restored by husband and wife team, Ahmed and Gopali. Hashim, who runs the property as a boutique guesthouse, offers four spacious double rooms and one twin bedroom as accommodation.

Price | INR 2500 per night; Contact | +91 832 2540508, +91 9422059621

Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel, Tiracol | A beautifully restored property set on the mouth of river Tiracol at the northern most tip of Goa. Converted from a 17th century Portuguese fort, the hotels offers only a few rooms, each named after a day of the week, where one may experience the times of this once Portuguese stronghold with stunning views for company. 

Price | INR 7,000 approx. per night, depending on season; Details | Click here

Paros Amarya, Morjim | Set on a secluded and pristine property on the picturesque Turtle Beach, Paros by Amarya offers a beachfront hideaway with eight tented guest accommodations and a three-bedroom Portuguese villa.

Price | INR 10,000 approx. per night, depending on season.

Ishavilas, Siolim | Ishavilas is one of Neemrana’s ‘Noble Homes’ nestled amid nature’s tropical bounty of leaf and fruit, abundant trees and a blooming garden. This beautiful Portuguese-colonial house, with its grand entrance and long driveway, is a true tropical haven of tranquility. Conveniently placed on the edge of Siolim, Ishavilas receives and pampers like a home, but also evokes an exotic and luxurious lifestyle.

Prices | INR 5,000 to 20,000, depending on season. See more here.

Living Room, Vagator | Located on Vagator Beach Road, Living Room by Seasons Hotels is a contemporary boutique resort. The accommodation is stylish and modern, offering comfort and convenience, where each room has a private and spacious balcony overlooking the pool. The resort also boasts of Boutique House bar, known for its exotic cocktails and Electro night parties. 

Price | INR 6,000 approx. per night, depending on season

Casa Anjuna, Anjuna | Stylishly converted from a Portuguese mansion, Casa Anjuna is set in a lush tropical garden property located 200 meters from the popular Anjuna Beach. With romantic colonial interiors, a charming garden with an artistic pool and serene ambience, this boutique hotel is one of the more preferred places to stay in Anjuna.

Price | INR 10,000 approx. per night, depending on season; Details | Click here

Wildflower Villas, Saipen | This is an eco boutique resort that is set on a lush 8-acre plantation – like landscape that seamlessly merges into the surrounding foliage. The resort offers individual cottages inspired by traditional Goan homes, a restaurant serving healthy cuisine and specialized local fare, verdant grounds showcasing local flora and fauna, impressive views from its hilltop location, and a large eco-friendly infinity pool. 

Price | INR 10,000 approx. per night, depending on season

The Sofala, Nerul | This is a twenty-one room lifestyle hotel that blends old world Portuguese-Goan charm with a stylised modern appeal. Located in a quiet street in Nerul, a short drive from the popular beach towns of North Goa, The Sofala is set apart from the hustle of Goa’s touristic hotspots in its own private sanctuary on the idyllic banks of the Sinquerim River. The property has recently been refurbished by legendary fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani.

Price | INR 7,500 approx. per night, depending on season

Marbela Beach Resort, Morjim | An LBBD Favorite, this is an exclusive oceanfront property located on Morjim Beach. Fashionable, chic and private, the resort caters to an international crowd. The property houses the exclusive Marbela Spa and luxurious tent and villa accommodations that are separated from the lounge, restaurant and nightclub by a sand garden.

Price | Between INR 10,000 and 20,000 per night, depending on room type and season

For more information about these properties, have a look at their page on What’s Up Goa.

 

Featured Image Courtesy | http://marbelabeach.com/gallery.html