3 Hotspots In Goa, India – Travel Tester Approved!

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester
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Spending some time in Goa and looking for something different than Indian food? The Travel Tester recommends the Greek hotspot Thalassa for a refreshing change of menu... and view!

Are you travelling to Goa in South India and looking for the best places to eat, drink and shop? Then I have just what you’re looking for! 

In this article, I’ve added my personal recommendations and will be adding to the list as soon as I’ve found a new tip to share with you. Have any suggestions yourself? Please let me know in the comments.

Enjoy!

Restaurants and other Hotspots in Goa India

Thalassa: Amazing Greek Food with Beach Views

While I usually aim to eat as much local food as I can when I’m travelling, sometimes you just want… something a bit different. If you’re in Goa, and you’re looking for something else than Indian food, then I can highly recommend visiting this cool Greek hotspot. It’s located not far from the Anjuna Flea Market.

Owner Mariketty Grana has moved from Corfu to Goa over 27 years ago and started Thalassa, which soon became a very popular hangout. These days, it’s much more than just a restaurant, as Thalassa also has a shop, a bar, accommodation and provides dance performances and other activities. Have a look with me:

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

The Travel Tester - The Anticipation

The Thalassa Story

From their website:

Perched on a hilltop, overlooking the magnificent Arabian Sea and picturesque small Vagator beach lies Thalassa. Not just a Greek taverna in Goa, but a place where the warmth and sheer happiness of Greek hospitality amalgamates instinctively with the laid back, free and tranquil atmosphere and vibe of Goa.

Spiro went from cooking in his mom’s kitchen to a flourishing career of his own. His rich experience shows through beautiful, flavourful and unpretentious food with a focus on local ingredients.

Native to the beautiful Greek island of Corfu, Mariketty always felt a deep connection with India. Intrigued by the similarity between Greek & Indian culture she thought of Making Goa her home & has now been here for 27 years. Belonging to a family of Restaurateurs’, her instincts of creating magic through food spread & Thalassa Greek Taverna, one of North Goa’s most popular & successful restaurants was born.

Thalassa has grown slowly and organically and received great acclaim since its inception. Quality cuisine, service, hospitality and entertainment aside Thalassa is also home to some ground breaking fashion and upcoming lifestyle product stores such as FLAME, La Vie Boheme, Reef, KukuNana and many more.

Thalassa has been the pioneer in providing world class entertainment with Traditional & Celebratory Greek dances like Sirtaki & Zorba that are performed live, accompanied by the smashing of plates to honor the dancers & showering of flowers on those partaking in the celebrations. Stunning cabaret shows, carnival dances & fire shows will make sure that your dining experience will not only satiate your bellies but your mind and soul as well.

The Travel Tester - The Experience

1. What does it SOUND like?

When they told us that we were going for dinner at a Greek place, I must say that I wasn’t too excited, after all: I’m here in India and want to try as much local food as possible! But keep on reading, because you might change your mind about it just like I did…

2. What does it LOOK like?

As soon as you step on the grounds of Thalassa, you feel like you’ve stepped in another country. Another planet, almost. The famous Greek white-and-blue look amazing against the backdrop of palm trees and ocean and there are many little corners to discover. In the background, you hear nice lounge music and the whole place has an airy breeze about it. Very pleasant!

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel TesterThere’s a clothing store and a little shop selling jewelry

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester   Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester
The family together

3. What does it TASTE like?

We were hungry when we arrived, so of course we ordered waaaay too much food than we could physically handle. The portions are actually quite big and the food tastes incredible, so be aware to overeat :) The dishes range from classic Greek appetizers, dips and salads to grilled meat wraps and other main courses. There are also many vegetarian options.

A selection of our feast:

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel TesterHummus Platter

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel TesterFried Squid & Garlic Mayo

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester   Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester
This view with that watermellon & feta salad. Priceless.

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel TesterAnd then we still had to eat our wraps…

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester… and the owner decided we should not leave without trying desert. Oh my gosh!!! (but sooo good, haha)

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

LOVE. ALL. THE. JUICE.

4. What does it FEEL like?

If you feel like you want to spend more time here (and you probably will), the restaurant offers a few huts that you can book to stay overnight! How cool is that?!

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester   Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester
There are about 6 huts that are available for rent! So cute!

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

5. What does it SMELL like?

With the fresh beach air right next to your table, visiting this restaurant is such a nice place to come and escape a little bit of the madness that Goa often brings. Recharge, soak up some fresh air and then you’re ready for the next adventure!

Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel TesterHappy Coconut here!

The Travel Tester - The Verdict

After our 5-senses test, we’re ready to answer our final (and perhaps most important) question in our Thalassa Restaurant Review:

6. Does this restaurant make us happy?

Thalassa was a well-needed fresh breath of air in the sometimes chaotic, dusty, crazy Goa. The food is amazing, the staff friendly and the views… well, you’ll be the judge of that :) If I had more time, I would perhaps consider to stay at the little huts as well, because how cool is that?! A place well worth visiting, but it’s popular, so it might be very busy in high season!

The Travel Tester - Practical Information

VISIT THALASSA YOURSELF!

The Restaurant

Thalassa

The Address

Small Vagator, Ozran, Vagator, Goa 403509, India

Opening Hours

Monday to Sunday: 08:00–23:30

Accommodation

The rooms and huts at Thalassa are simple and minimal, but have everything you’ll need: bathroom, fan, mosquito nets, wifi(!) and breakfast. There are standard rooms and rooms with an air deck. For bookings, email thalassagreektaverna@gmail.com

Website?

www.thalassaindia.com

DO GOOD || The Travel Tester

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Just a Drop work with rural villages in the regions of Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with water supply and distribution schemes. Safe water, improved sanitation facilities and knowledge of safe hygiene practices leads to improved health, better education, secure food sources, improved rights for women, income generation and greater prosperity. It completely transforms lives.

READ MORE ON JUSTADROP.ORG & FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED IN THEIR MISSION TO BRING CLEAN, SAFE WATER TO ALL

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Amazing Greek Food at Thalassa in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Mum’s Kitchen: Indulge in Authentic Goan Cuisine

During my week-long stay in Goa in Southern India, I mostly ate dinner at my home-stay, but some nights we did go out to some nice restaurants as well! In this post, you can read my experience eating at “Mum’s Kitchen”, a popular restaurant that serves authentic Goan cuisine. Enjoy!

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

The Travel Tester - The Anticipation

The Mum’s Kitchen Story

From their website:

Mum’s Kitchen, in a nutshell, is a growing movement headed by a group of dedicated people from the culinary field striving to rescue it from extinction. Here, the “MOTHERS” from different parts of Goa have contributed, and helped us compile our menu. Here every effort is taken to sustain the genuineness and quality of each recipe, and to bring on to the table some very delectable ‘archaic’ dishes.

We initially started as a multi-cuisine, and over the years we realized that the trend of ‘Fusion Cuisine’ had started infecting the Goan cuisine and that such a decline would be distressingly appalling, therefore we committed all our vigour in reviving our splendid cuisine.

We at Mum’s Kitchen have been procuring Goan delicacies from the endowed mothers and are beseeching all the mothers to step forward and aid us breathe life into the passion that was once in the Goan food.

The Travel Tester - The Experience

1. What does it SOUND like?

As part of the “food blogger” group, I got to experience what the typical Goan cuisine is all about quite some times and Mum’s Kitchen is a restaurant that has been striving to save the Goan cuisine from extinction since 1997. Sounds good!

What I really liked about the restaurant was that they pay a tribute to all the Goan mothers that have been sharing their traditional recipes generation on generation, so that today you can still taste a range of food of which the history goes back years!

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

2. What does it LOOK like?

The interior of Mum’s Kitchen is very bright and colourful and the walls (and tables!) are decorated with some amazing mosaic tiles. On the walls, you can also see many photographs of typical Goan buildings and events, which gives the restaurant a nice atmosphere.

The food in Goa is very different than the food in the rest of India and not quite my favourite kitchen (a lot is deep-fried, not a lot of green vegetables, mostly fish and dishes don’t usually look very tasty, even though they are), but I definitely enjoyed tasting some of the curry here at Mum’s kitchen!

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

These tables are AMAZING, right?

3. What does it TASTE like?

The menu already makes you excited for things to come and there are many recommendations that the staff can make for you. As we arrived here with a big group, our part of the table decided to go for a couple of dishes to share between us. A couple of the girls were vegetarian, but there were also enough options for them, luckily.

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

We went for the shrimps on recommendation, it was a good choice!

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

4. What does it FEEL like?

While I sat right under the air-conditioner and it was way too cold for me, seating was comfortable and the long table that we were sitting at was perfect for our group to all eat together!

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

5. What does it SMELL like?

While some of the curries might not look very attractive (evidence below)… the smell and taste? AMAZING!!!!

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Yes, these are two different dishes -even though they both look the same :)

One is meat curry and the other one is mushroom curry. Both VERY tasty!

Authentic Goan Cuisine at Mum's Kitchen in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

The Travel Tester - The Verdict

After our 5-senses test, we’re ready to answer our final (and perhaps most important) question in our Mum’s Kitchen Restaurant Review:

6. Does this restaurant make us happy?

If you’re looking to experience a typical Goan meal while you’re in this part of India (and you really should), Mum’s Kitchen is the place to go! There is a nice atmosphere, friendly staff, everything is clean and well-prepared. There is something on the menu for everyone: meat, fish or vegetarian, so plenty to choose from! You’ll have a great time here!

The Travel Tester - Practical Information

VISIT MUM’S KITCHEN YOURSELF!

The Restaurant

Mum’s Kitchen

The Address

Dayanand Bandodkar Marg, Miramar, Panjim, Goa, India

Opening Hours

Monday to Sunday: 11:00-23:00

Website?

www.mumskitchengoa.com

Get Social!

Mum’s Kitchen is also on Facebook and Instagram.

Laughing Buddha: Hippie Vibes in a Beach Shack

You really haven’t been to Goa if you haven’t chilled at one of the many beach shacks, so on one of our days exploring we just had to make a lunch stop at the Laughing Buddha on Arambol Beach. And I’m so happy we did!!

Hippie Vibes at Laughing Buddha in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

The Travel Tester - The Anticipation

The Laughing Buddha Story

Located right on the beach, you can’t really miss this place. The sunbeds look inviting and walking past them, you get to a seating area surrounded by cool beach shacks. I couldn’t find much more about the story of this place, so let’s just have a look instead:

The Travel Tester - The Experience

1. What does it SOUND like?

The Palm trees rustle in the wind, the waves roll in and out… this sounds like heaven to me!

Hippie Vibes at Laughing Buddha in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

2. What does it LOOK like?

The beach shacks are decorated with these amazing textiles and pillows are scattered everywhere. Go Team Hippie!

Hippie Vibes at Laughing Buddha in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Hippie Vibes at Laughing Buddha in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Hippie Vibes at Laughing Buddha in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

3. What does it TASTE like?

This place obviously isn’t a spot for fine dining, but you have quite a good choice of food ranging from Indian to Global food. All their juices and ice are made from mineral water, and that’s also what they wash their vegetables with, so no worries about getting ill. None of us did!

Hippie Vibes at Laughing Buddha in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

I ordered the butter masala, which was massive and really tasty! I also got some garlic naan with it and received a big plate of them too.

Hippie Vibes at Laughing Buddha in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

The french girls on my trip ordered shrimps and thought they would only get a small portion. They didn’t, haha.

4. What does it FEEL like?

The whole atmosphere at this beach hut is so relaxed, it feels like a real vacation! Definitely welcome after the chaos that travelling through Goa can often be.

Hippie Vibes at Laughing Buddha in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

5. What does it SMELL like?

Smells like more?

We’ll, you’re in luck. There are also 40 huts that are available for rent. They have bathrooms, fans, mosquito nets. Worth to check out if you’re a beach bum!

They also provide a taxi service and scooter hire and are there to help you plan the rest of your trip. There was a book shelf with guide books, as well as fiction for you to borrow.

Hippie Vibes at Laughing Buddha in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Buddha Agrees.

The Travel Tester - The Verdict

After our 5-senses test, we’re ready to answer our final (and perhaps most important) question in our Laughing Buddha Restaurant Review:

6. Does this restaurant make us happy?

The Laughing Buddha at Arambol Beach in Goa is a perfect place to hang out if you’re looking to relax and get that true hippie-vibe that Goa is famous for. You could easily spend a few days here, and I won’t blame you for doing so!

The Travel Tester - Practical Information

VISIT THE LAUGHING BUDDHA YOURSELF!

The Restaurant

Laughing Buddha

The Address

Arambol, Goa 403524, India

Opening Hours

Monday to Sunday: 08:00-23:00

Website?

N/A

The Travel Tester - Save on Pinterest

PIN IT!

Hippie Vibes at Laughing Buddha in Goa, India || The Travel Tester

Disclaimer: I visited these restaurants in Goa as part of the #Escape2Goa Blogger Campaign organised by LeaveURMark and the Goa Tourism Board. All photos and opinions are 100% my own!

Nederlands

7 Getting There (from Panjim)

9 Interior of Restaurant

9 Quality of Food

9 Uniqueness of Restaurant

9 Overall Atmosphere

Restaurant Review

8.6
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