As a foodie, I’m always on the lookout for vegan, healthy, organic, ethically-sourced, ideally gluten free, world-inspired food. Goa is perhaps the only place in India where that’s not too much to ask for!
Over the past 10 years of visiting, and the past 2 years of living here, I’ve delightfully witnessed an explosion of vegan restaurants in Goa.
I’ve also learnt that Goa’s own Saraswat cuisine has traditionally been vegan-friendly – and features a delicious range of local dishes and flavors.
- Best vegan restaurants in Goa – My current top 4
- Vegan Restaurants in North Goa
- Vegan restaurants in Panjim
- Vegan restaurants in South Goa
- Best Vegan Cafes in Goa
- Bonus! The first entirely vegan store in Goa: Gras – Assagao
- What are your favorite vegan spots in Goa? What are you most excited to try?
Best vegan restaurants in Goa – My current top 4
Since I began frequenting Goa in the monsoon way back in 2013, I’ve fallen in love with many cozy cafes, hole-in-the-wall thali joints, and fine(r) dining spots. Perhaps the biggest challenge for a vegan in Goa is that there’s an ever-growing choice of places to try.
Cantine Indienne – Palolem, South Goa (all vegan)
Cantine Indienne is a rustic, entirely vegan, farm-to-table, values-oriented cafe in Palolem. The food is so delicious that we *almost* moved to South Goa just to be able to eat there all the time!
The French-Tamil owners, Manon and Satish, grow organic oyster mushrooms in their backyard (yes!), and serve up delicious, homemade thalis featuring an eclectic take on the flavors of Tanjore. Think pesserattu (green mung dosa), beetroot curry, oyster mushroom pickles, wild spinach and horsegram stir fry, and even crunchy oyster mushroom ‘wings!’ My mouth’s watering just typing this.
Instagram: Cantine Indienne
Tien – Vagator, North Goa
Sushi spots are popping up all over Goa, but none can compete with Tien – the second outlet by sushi chef Abhishek Thakkar.
He recently revamped the sushi menu to experiment with salad sushis – and OMFG, they are incredible! I never imagined I’d like rocket leaves in my sushi, but I could go back every week to devour the Magic Mushroom maki roll.
There are only 2 vegan sushis on the menu, and a third one – an avocado, edamame roll can be made vegan on request.
The Alternative – Mandrem, North Goa (all vegan)
In a beautifully restored Goan house and garden, The Alternative is a plant-based cafe with a wide range of comfort foods – homemade kombucha, Middle Eastern and Mexican bowls, beetroot hummus salad, open sandwiches on homemade bread, a poi toastie with vegan cheese, and the most incredible dark chocolate ice cream made from sweet potatoes! Owner Jasneet is equally passionate about the garden out front, growing fresh mint, basil and salad leaves for a farm-to-table indulgence.
Chef Arev also offers a raw vegan menu at the cafe, with rarely found delights like sun-dried coconut tacos, cauliflower wraps and raw cakes.
[Temporarily closed for the monsoon season]
Also Read: Offbeat experiences in Goa
Chef Fernando’s Nostalgia – Raia, South Goa
The extraordinary Goan chef Fernando dug out some of Goa’s oldest recipes and secrets for his kitchen. Unfortunately, he passed away but his legacy lives on in this old Portuguese house, mostly frequented by locals. The huge vegan / vegetarian Goan selection reassures me that traditional Goan food isn’t only about seafood or meat.
My favorite is the ambade curry (made with hog plum or mango if in season), with a side of the sweetish sanna bread. Oh so good.
Website: Chef Fernando’s Nostalgia
Vegan Restaurants in North Goa
Besides my evolving top ones, here are some vegan restaurants in North Goa (or vegan-friendly ones) that I love:
Bodhi Greens – Ashwem (all vegan)
Chef Varun, the founder of Bodhi Greens, started out as an animal rights activist but soon felt that one of the best ways to introduce people to veganism is to create access to incredible vegan food. I’m glad he did, because with outlets in Ladakh, Dharamsala and Goa, he is definitely busting the myth that vegan food is boring.
Bodhi Greens in Ashwem is the chef’s cozy home terrace, with an elaborate vegan kitchen. The Buddha bowl – with panko-crusted tofu, avocado tahini dip, and veggies in a cashew-peanut sauce – is one of the best I’ve had! I also love their thin-crust teriyaki tempeh pizza, and baked beetroot and kidney bean burger burrito.
With so many innovative options on the menu and such hearty portions, I’ve never made it to dessert. Their raw cakes are definitely calling out to me though.
Instagram: Bodhi Greens
Vanakkam – Morjim
Finally a place for foodies to seek an authentic taste of South Indian food in Goa! After an evening of working out, we often feast on ragi puttu with kadala curry (millets and black chickpeas), crispy dosa with homemade chutneys, and soft masala idlis. Such joy.
Also Read: Joys of slow travelling through Goa
The local table – Candolim
This small, rustic, easy-to-miss joint in Candolim lives up to its name. We dropped by for an early breakfast of patal bhaji (typically white or black chickpeas in a spicy coconut-based gravy) and pao. I hope to try their veg thali soon!
Website: The local table
Izumi – Assagao
A sister outlet of the one in Mumbai and the latest Japanese haunt in Assagao, Izumi’s partially outdoor location in a Goan-Portuguese house is breathtaking. And so is the food, with clearly labelled vegan options. I love their miso soup and seaweed salad, though for sushi, I’d pick Tien anyday.
The Rice Mill – Morjim
Jazz with a side of Goan-style kidney beans or a grilled eggplant poi is why I love The Rice Mill, a neighborhood cafe and bar set in an old rice mill in Morjim.
Instagram: The Rice Mill
Ankita’s Classic – Pernem
Some of my favorite thali joints in Goa have either shut down (Wood’s Inn) or lost their authenticity (Vinayak’s). But Ankita’s Classic, despite its random, faraway location in Pernem, remains a classic. It is packed with locals at mealtimes, so be prepared to wait around a bit.
Their veg thali is mostly vegan (ask for it without curd or the dessert), and comes with seasonal veggies, curries, rice and kokum. Mighty satisfying.
Website: Ankita’s Classic
Sakana – Anjuna
Sakana offers a calming, semi-outdoor, diner-style vibe with an authentic Japanese menu. My go-to order is a wakame seaweed salad, with a veg set consisting of a miso soup, teriyaki tofu (check which tofu dish can be prepared without honey), rice and salad. Pair it with a Japanese whiskey from their unique bar selection!
Sappadu – Assagao
An eclectic combination of Tamil and Gujarati food, served up on banana leaves on a floor seating! I’ve only been for their pop-up meal back when it wasn’t a full-fledged restaurant, but can’t wait to try it again.
Voltaire – Closed 🙁
I was shattered to hear that Voltaire, one of my favorite Goan food joints off the Reis Margos Fort, shut down during the pandemic. And decided to include it in this list just as an ode to the best uddamethi I’ve had in Goa, served up with a local bread une, and seasonal urakh (a local cashew brew, more flavorful and less potent than fenny).
Vegan restaurants in Panjim
Mum’s Kitchen is one of my favorite vegan eats in Goa, with traditional Saraswat dishes that can otherwise be hard to find. I highly recommend trying their uddamethi (a sweet and sour curry made with lentils, fenugreek and seasonal mango or plums), tamde bhaji (a flavorful amaranth preparation) with sanna. Avoid their Assagao outlet – it seems like a franchise and isn’t half as good as the original in Panjim.
Website: Mum’s kitchen
Gourmestan (a good choice for gluten free restaurants in Goa)
Panjim doesn’t have a ton of vegan-friendly places, but Gourmestan, a new addition to the city’s food scene, is worth a try. Vegan dishes are well-marked. I enjoyed their smoothies, tofu akuri on sourdough, and hummus and roasted bell peppers sandwich. It’s also one of the few places (somewhere between a restaurant and a cafe) to grab vegan and gluten free focaccia and burger buns in Goa!
Vegan restaurants in South Goa
Cantine Indienne – Palolem (all vegan)
As mentioned above, Catine Indienne remains one of my favorite places to eat, not just in South Goa but all of Goa!
Chef Fernando’s Nostalgia – Raia
For authentic Goan food in South Goa, look no further. There’s usually live music on weekends and a nostalgic Goan vibe that can only be found in a few places now.
Best Vegan Cafes in Goa
Earth Mama – Anjuna (all vegan)
I love my daily green and fruit smoothies, but Earth Mama’s smoothies are something else! Indulgent, creamy, decadent, well-worth putting up with the Anjuna crowds for. I love their cacao and berry smoothies, and their open-face chickpea mayo and two-bean hummus toast.
Instagram: Earth Mama
Bibhitaki – Palolem (among the best vegan cafes in South Goa)
Meaning “fearless of disease” in its ancient Ayurvedic translation, Bibhitaki is an all-vegan cafe that offers healthy-ish comfort food with an Ayurvedic twist. The ice cream-like tropical smoothie bowl is perfect to ward off the afternoon heat, the Mexican bhel is an indulgent take on nachos, and the hearty Mexican and Japanese Buddha bowls are immensely satisfying.
Hoop’s Coffee – Morjim
I guess I was first drawn to Hoop’s Coffee by its charming, minimalist cafe vibe. And totally taken by surprise to see only waffles on the menu – with a vegan option! Plus vegan desserts and the option of coconut, almond and soy milk for coffee and hot chocolate.
Over the months, I landed up at Hoops many times, seeking a quiet, creative space to work from with a hot cuppa, tucking into vegan waffles made with oats and wheat and topped with peanut butter and maple syrup, and just to while away a breezy evening with a book.
(These days, the road in front is dug up and a bit of a mess though).
Instagram: Hoop’s Coffee
Bloom and Brew – Assagao
We drove past it many times, until the board finally caught our attention! I immediately fell in love with their minimalist decor, with floor cushions for seating, desks for co-working, and a menu with a ton of vegan options. The portions are small but delish, especially the Middle Eastern toast and ‘for the love of burrito.’ It’s one of the only places in Goa that serves up air-fried sweet potato fries – and I’m eyeing their vegan black bean brownie!
Instagram: Bloom and Brew
The Mill – Palolem
Not to be confused with The Rice Mill in Morjim (featured above), The Mill in Palolem is a stunning cafe set within a Goan house, with multiple areas to chill, work from, and feast on some indulgent smoothies, smoothie bowls and burgers.
Website: The Mill
Gratitude cafe – Anjuna (all vegan)
I frequented Gratitude Cafe during the pandemic, and loved its courtyard vibe in a refurbished Portuguese house in a quiet part of Anjuna. The founder Jeet quit his cushy job in Canada, and moved to Goa in search of a slower life. This is his attempt to offer comfort food while bringing together Goa’s growing vegan community!
The menu feels inspired by Bean Me Up – Goa’s OG vegan hub – but the vibe is quite different. I’ve spent breezy afternoons there with my laptop or book, indulging in everything from vegan pancakes served with a berries compote and whipped cashew cream, to their take on the Vietnamese Bahn Mi, to the flourless dark chocolate mousse cake.
Website: Gratitude Cafe
Okapi Vegan Kitchen – Moira (all vegan)
Gone are the days when there was nothing and nowhere vegan to eat in the Aldona-Moira area. Okapi has revolutionized the vegan and social scene in the quiet village of Quitla, with its setting in a gorgeous Goan house. Their homely thali with daily specials is worth a try!
Instagram: Okapi Vegan Kitchen
Saraya – Porvorim
I’ve been frequenting Saraya for years, and love their thin crust, mud oven pizzas on gluten free or sourdough base. They make inhouse cashew and tahini cheeses for vegan pizzas (ask for these vegan options, and make sure it’s not the stretchy dairy cheese), topped with vegan pesto, seasonal veggies and some farm-to-table produce from their inhouse garden.
Bean Me Up – Vagator (all vegan)
Bean Me Up is not just a vegan cafe in Goa, it’s an institution – and one of the oldest, most successful vegan spots in all of India. It offers a laidback ambiance under tree canopies, and a vast selection of comfort vegan food. It also remains open all day, every day, with no usual siesta hours!
Worth trying are Bean Me Up’s acai berry smoothie bowl, cheesy vegan nachos, succulent black bean burger (though its consistency can vary quite a bit), tempeh tacos, Mexican Buddha bowl, and the melt-in-the-mouth dark chocolate mousse.
Website: Bean Me Up
Bonus! The first entirely vegan store in Goa: Gras – Assagao
Thanks to Instagram, I was excited to step into the newly opened Gras – Goa’s first all vegan store. Aparna, the passionate vegan founder, makes fresh cashew-oat milk, vegan butter, and soft and stretchy vegan cheeses (sans preservatives) on order, under the brand name Saorsa.
She also stocks a curated selection of vegan products that are otherwise hard to find in Goa, like the dates-sweetened Benalato ice cream!
What are your favorite vegan spots in Goa? What are you most excited to try?
Welcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes in the transformative power of travel.