calangute

Calangute is the main shopping centre on the North Goa coast, and within days this will become to you the big metropolis – full of traffic, tourists, shops and life.

Calangute Resaurants and Bars

Oceanic is by far my favourite – it is upstairs in central Calangute opposite the old petrol station. It is a family run place, and a great place to watch bustling Calangute come to life at night. The chicken tikka masala is not like anything you will have tasted in the UK, and is well worth a try.

Infantaria is a famous bakery just around the corner from Oceanic on the Baga Road. It is open for breakfast and does excellent fruit juices, fresh breads, pastries and all sorts of other divine food. Lunchtimes are always busy too.

Andrew’s Bar is right in the middle of Calangute market. It is named for the late owner, but is now run by his widow. It is small and poky, but full of life and atmosphere. Once you have visited once you will return!

The Plantain Leaf is almost opposite Oceanic on the maind drag, and does pure vegetarian food. It has an air-conditioned area if the heat is getting to you. You absolutely must visit and try a thali.

Jungle Village is a new place in Calangute to hang out. Owned and run by Brits John and Gary, it is a beautiful old Goan mansion which now houses a great restaurant and bar, along with pool table, a crystal rock shop and – believe it or not – Crazy Golf! It’s a lovely place to sit on the traditional Goan balcao by the front door sipping a G&T and catching up on all the gossip. Tell John I sent you – I’ve known him since a chance meeting in Bobby’s shack over 7 years ago and he is the most lovely man.

Further north from Calangute is Baga which is full of great bars and restaurants. 

Brittos is right at the top of Baga by the mouth of the river and does great food.

Nearby Drop Anchor is a cool bar playing good chillout music. It had a pool table last time I visited. Excellent late night hangout.

Other nightclubs locally include Titos and  Mambos – check with Denis in Stringfellos and he will tell you which one is this season’s best!

On the road to Arpora the Saturday Night Market has become an absolute must for everybody. It is a late-night version of Anjuna, with stalls selling everything from jewellery to clothing, and lots of bars and foodstalls. There is live music all night and it is where everybody goes on Saturday nights. Dress glamorous but wear your beach shoes – you may think you look ridiculous but you won’t when you get there!

candolim restaurants

Bon Appetit is right down at Sinquerim, beside the big Fort Aguada five-star hotel. You can walk down the beach in the evening towards Bon Appetit –you will see their beach entrance clearly once you are beside the Fort Aguada. It is a lovely place to sit and watch the waves at night, under the coconut palms with a gin and tonic in your hand. My favourite restaurant of all.

Stone House is towards the southern end of Candolim. It is a lovely laid-back place which plays excellent jazz and blues. Oh, and the DJ is pretty cute. Food is great and you can watch the world go by on the road below. A good place after a busy day.

Mango Grove is in the central part of Candolim and is a great meeting place for drinks or breakfast.

Silver Sands – Sheetal restaurant is a wonderful traditional Indian restaurant, right at the bottom of the beach road.

Hakka Fu Chow is up near Candolim market and football ground. Don’t be put off by its appearance – it looks like a shanty town thrown up at the roadside! Inside you will get the most wonderful Chinese and Vietnamese food cooked by an excellent chef. Late at night you will see all the local workers popping in for their dinner on their way home after work – you can’t get a better recommendation than that!

Viva Goa is further north on the right on the way out of Cancolim on the main road. Again it is a locals’ place but the food is sublime and really cheap – and you can buy your own booze at the shop next door!

Goldeneye restaurant is opposite the Goan Heritage Hotel, which is well sign-posted off the main road between Candolim and Calangute. It is a lovely quiet restaurant specialising in seafood (the seafood platter is excellent value). After dinner you can walk a few paces to the beach and have a nightcap in the Flying Dolphin bar.

candolim beach shacks

Candolim is one of the main resorts of North Goa. It is about an hour’s drive from the airport and a little way north of the capital, Panjim (Panaji). 

Beach Shacks

Every year at the end of the season all the shacks are dismantled to allow the beach to go back to its natural state during the monsoon. They are built all over again in October for the new tourist season. These are some of the long-standing shacks, but now and again they will be built in a slightly different place the next year, so just keep walking until you see the one you are looking for.

Go onto the beach at the Holiday Beach Resort, which is at the bottom of the road opposite Canara Bank on the main street. 

You will see Jacksons Shack on the right – great for breakfast. Mary, the owner, is a formidable lady who will listen to what you order and then give you what she wants to serve. She does a mean banana pancake.

A couple of shacks to the left is Bobby’s shack. He does the most unbelievable calamari stew in the world. It has to be tasted to be believed. Bobby’s food is legendary, and I also recommend his butter garlic prawns, chicken chilli fry and pakoras. Visit Bobby’s Shack website here!

Follow the beach on down to the left, and about 5 or 6 shacks along you will see Club 21. NOT 21 Coconuts beside it. Club 21 usually has a reddish carpet running up to it from the sunbeds. This is the best shack in Goa, run by co-owners Raju , Sagar and their silent partner Nilesh, known only as “Manager”!

Here you will get excellent coffee, great and safe-to-eat salads, and lots more. I have personally eaten everything on the menu and can’t recommend it enough. The other shacks generally have the same menu but Raju “inherited” the shack from its original German owners and it really is different.

See the Club 21 page for more about the great hangout.

A little further south along the beach is Stringfellos, or Denis’ shack. Denis is a sweetie, and always knows the best clubs to go to! Please note that beside Club 21 is another shack called Cosy Nook Stringfellos which is NOT Denis’ shack (it is a really long story!). CNS is run by Daya and is quieter but also a nice place to hang out.

Stringfellos and Club 21 are good places for a lone woman to hang out in too, as they really look after their customers and you won’t get hassled by sellers or even other tourists. They will even escort you home along the beach with a torch if you stay too late!

Other shacks include:

Vincent’s shack – the best French toast in town

Spotty’s shack – good for a late night drink as it is just off the beach road. Spotty and his crew are lovely.

Frank Zappa’s shack – a legendary place from the 60s which is now quite tame but good for a sunset drink