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Goa Restaurants

The Banyan Tree
Taj Holiday Village
Sinquerim Beach
Tel: 832 564 5858

Set in the gardens of the Taj Holiday Village, in the shade of a 300-year-old banyan tree and surrounded by a shimmering fish pond, this restaurant serves superb Thai food, such as coconut seafood soup and green papaya salad. The seafood dishes use fresh local fish and shellfish: try the poo gathi, river crabmeat in a spicy curry sauce. Every year, the restaurant brings in a chef from Thailand to refresh its menu.

The Copper Bowl
Pousada Tauma Porba Vaddo
Tel: 832 227 9061

An open pavilion with an intricate stone colonnade and broad benches, the Copper Bowl has a green marble floor and copper-colored lamps and bar details. Skilled renditions of Goan classics are served from—no surprise—copper pots. Try the aromatic shrimp balchao cooked with spices, chili, onions, and shrimp powder. The restaurant, which also serves some European dishes, is part of the Ayurvedic boutique hotel Pousada Tauma—be sure to make a reservation if you're not staying here.

Martin's Corner
Tucked away off the Colva/Vasco Rd.
Betalbatim Beach
Tel: 832 288 0061

More than a decade ago, Mrs. Martin started cooking for local taxi drivers who needed to pass the time while waiting for foreign clients who were eating at more upmarket institutions. The secret soon got out, however, and now she presides over one of the best restaurants in the region. The menu here is extensive, and the seafood superb. Highlights include fish caldin, (cooked with coconut and spices), fresh lobster, big pomfret, or red snapper.

The Plantain Leaf
Almita-III Porba Vaddo
Tel: 832 227 6861

Popular with locals, this casual vegetarian restaurant serves a huge array of Udipi-style and North Indian dishes. Try a thali, a platter of curried vegetable dishes, relishes, pappadams, and a dessert. Locals wash it down with feni, a fiercely potent drink made from fermented cashew apples (beware, it's 30 percent to 35 percent proof). Finish your meal—spicy, the way locals like it—with a cup of chai. If your mouth is on fire, don't reach for your water glass; cool your mouth with raita (a yogurt-cucumber relish) or fruit instead.

Souza Lobo
Tel: 832 228 1234

A Goan institution since 1932, Souza Lobo is run today by Jude Lobo, the founder's great grandson. And it still serves some of the best Goan food in the region. Tables are draped in red cloths, and waiters wear cheery orange shirts printed with coconut trees. Dine on steamed rice and fish cooked in a green paste of coriander and spices, served with crisp fried potatoes. For dessert, try the bebinka, a Goan sweet made of stacked coconut pancakes. The restaurant is close enough to the ocean for diners to see the surf glimmering in the moonlight. Musicians perform a lively assortment of Hindu and Konkani songs, American country music, and soft rock.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.