A holiday in Goa has always been high on the list for travellers from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and beyond, but people rarely went there for the food—until now. The state has grown into a culinary destination, especially during the pandemic, when people began trying to make Goa home while demanding services they were accustomed to in cities. It has led to a surfeit of new cafés, fine-dining restaurants and hip bars opening all over the state, as our cover story explains.
Also read: How to eat like a local in Goa
Every kind of global cuisine is now available, and local ingredients too are in focus, with chefs like Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar of Edible Archives in north Goa and Avinash Martins of Cavatina in Benaulim curating meals that highlight locally sourced, responsible produce. And away from all the lights and clamour of restaurants, memorable dining experiences are to be had in homes, bakeries and plantations, all of which curate pop-ups and dining experiences.
While all these shiny new spots haven’t yet edged out the mom-and-pop places that serve thalis and sorpotel, there are concerns—as there always have been in Goa about the impact of excessive tourism—about pollution, exploitation of resources and an exclusion of locals from these spaces. There’s no doubt, though, that Goa has become the country’s hottest food destination—with weekend tourists as well as work-from-home professionals driving demand for restaurants that serve global cuisine. And, if you are planning a trip to Goa, the cafés, bars and restaurants mentioned in our stories would be a great way to curate your own list of where to eat.
We also meet former IAF pilot turned entrepreneur Vijay Arisetty of MyGate, the app that—like many others during the pandemic—became integral to our lives, curtailing and providing access to communities. And if you are looking for a quick, entertaining read this weekend, I recommend Moni Mohsin’s Between You, Me And The Four Walls, which we review this week, a book that takes you into the fickle and familiar world of Lahore socialite Butterfly Khan.
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Also read: Goa’s experiments with food