What your best friend never told you about Goa

Most of us have that one friend who thinks of himself as a Goan, how he boasts of knowing the place inside out, the Goa he claims to have owned and devoured, how he drove on his rented Bullet under the influence of prohibited substances or the countless pints of beer he guzzled. But he never told you that there is a lot more to Goa than the fake tattoos, the sun-soaking firangs, uncles in soaked undies and the aunties in nighties. Not really the essential Goan experience.

I am no travel guru, I am just another guy who has an appetite for life, a culinary enthusiast and a whiner, who is typing this for your benefit while sitting at the workstation of his CMMI 5 level Multi National, risking it all, just for you! So, I will be your new best friend – I’ll show you the Goa which you’d love to see all over again. The Goa which has seen many a reigns come and go, to unravel the reason which makes it truly spectacular.

Anjuna Beach

Anjuna Beach

Image Credit : Flickr

Goa, one of the colonies of the then Portuguese, is not really an architectural marvel which the Portuguese were known for, in fact Goa never got a chance to adjust itself with the way it grew as the tourist capital that it is today. The frequent jams are quite a site and as my father recalls from his hippie days, that Goa was fast losing its grace. And in the quest to experience the relaxed, the calm that Goa offers, we need to soak in the ‘Sussegado’ way of life, folks around here live by.

Now as I’d expect, you’d not have a friend who is a Goakar –  a Goa local that is, so you are most likely to be a textbook definition of a tourist –  arriving in Goa with a big group, with colleagues or college friends or perhaps for a re-union, but it’s unlikely that you’ll be alone. But even if you are, you are most likely to enjoy the most.

Basilica of Born Jesus

Basilica of Born Jesus

Image Credit : Flickr

Waking up in Goa is an experience in itself, the fresh air does build up quite an appetite and a goan breakfast is never complete without its trademark bread. Portuguese descendants living in Goa are known for their baking skills and their breads are a must try. Most street hawkers would carry, what is commonly known as ‘Polli’, the bread which is served cold with tea or meats. The quintessential and humble Indian ‘Pao’ is yet another staple around these parts. For a man-breakfast, you can grab yourself some really inexpensive and flavoursome Chicken Xacuti, a delicately favoured coconut milk based gravy with tender chunks of chicken, served with the Goan Pao. Loosening your wallet by as less as 50 bucks! Just to get you going for the day.

Chicken Xacuti

Chicken Xacuti

They also serve some mean bhajjis and Pakoras to go along.  Not necessarily a fine dining experience, but if you are in for something filling which is also cost effective, this small shop at the Saligao crossing is the best bet.
Image Credit : Flickr

Author: Nakul Rao

A Dreamer, a whiner, a traveller, a foodie and full of character. Born in Delhi and raised in India. Techie by the day and a chef until the burst of dawn.

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  • Sonali

    Great piece of information Nakul Rao !! To find the best eating places is difficult. Thanks to you 🙂

  • pooja

    Great piece of research work nakul.. Good to know the other part of goa the local food, drinks, market place, unexplored beaches.. Worth trying them all 😉

  • Nakul Rao

    Thanks guys!

  • Puneet Singh

    For a bit i felt like i was there. Mean food and its detailed description does that to us, doesnt it? And this fine piece of writing just makes me more interested in planning that long-due trip to the G.O.A.
    “What my best friend never told me, my best friend just did! “

    • magzimontherocks

      Thanks Puneet for lovely words and Thanks Nakul for such a detailed enlightenment about GOA
      Cheers 😀

  • Yatin Manocha

    Great post Nakul….while reading could recognize u telling ur experience back there…”unlcles soaked in undies….” Hahahhaaaa…could not stop laughing at that…

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  • Young Chris

    Most travelers will have a say on this, i didn’t even know anything about Goa, but going by this article i think i would love to visit Goa. I love tasty meals.

  • Ritika Verma

    Loving place , divine food, i am coming soon!