One of the “Goa-style” entertainments is the markets. In tents and small shops you can buy literally everything – beach equipment, spices and exotic fruits, various souvenirs and amulets, snakeskin bags, inexpensive silver jewelry and bright furniture for the home. Indian tea is sold everywhere, but really good tea is hard to find, and it will cost no less than in Russia. Silk products, jewelry made of pearls and precious stones deserve special attention. Having learned the price of the goods, feel free to divide it by three and start haggling. A pearl necklace with a named value of 2000 INR can be taken for 700 INR.
According to liuxers.com, the most popular among tourists is the large Flea Market in Anjuna, where you can wander for hours and find everything your heart desires. In addition to Indian shops, it makes sense to visit the “European rows” – handmade shoes from local craftsmen are sold here, and Russian and European clothing designers like to sell their clothes here (mostly young and not very famous, so there are no high prices here). As a rule, these clothes are of original cut, are of good quality, and their prices are lower than in European shopping centers. The market is open only on Wednesdays.
The Friday market in the small town of Mapusa is known more as a food market, it works for locals and tourists who have come to Goa for a long time. Indian herbs, spices, fruits, nuts, palm sugar, fish, milk are laid out on the counters, tiny cafes and tea counters are found at every step. The market also sells locally produced souvenirs – handicrafts made of wood and clay.
Pay attention to the Tibetan markets, they are in many places in Goa. Here you can buy products made of silver, real pearls and semi-precious metals. Metals will most likely be of rough processing, but of interesting design and without fakes. You can and should bargain, it is very easy to get a discount in such places.
A special attraction of Goa is the open-air night markets, where buyers are also entertained: musical groups and DJs perform at the venues, bars and dance clubs are open from 18:00 until almost dawn.
One of the most exotic and atmospheric night markets is Saturday Night Market, located between Anjuna and Arpora. It opens with a noisy New Year’s Eve party and is open until the end of the tourist season on Saturdays. Here you can leave a fortune – this is a huge flea market, on the shelves of which there are souvenirs, trinkets, fabrics, jewelry, decor items and even expensive branded items from European fashion designers.
Another night market in Baga – Mackie’s night market – also opens its doors on Saturday evening; it is smaller than the market in Arpora and does not compare with its assortment.
A kind of Goan-style Fifth Avenue is located in Panaji near 18th June Road and Mahatma Gandi Road. Tourists are attracted by the opportunity to buy branded items here much cheaper than in Russia or Europe. According to the reviews of vacationers, you can inexpensively buy clothes from the brands Levi’s, Wrangler Lee, Reebok, Benetton, Lacoste, Nike, Pepe Jeans, etc. The famous Portuguese Azulejo tiles are sold in the art galleries of Panaji, which can be a great gift or home decor element.
Indian cosmetics have amazing properties – fragrant creams are famous for their natural composition, and the use of oils and herbs has been proving its effectiveness for thousands of years. It is better to buy them in a pharmacy, specialized stores or Ayurvedic clinics. Read more about Goa shops here.
What to try
Some tourists are cautious about Indian food, fearing an abundance of spices. However, Goan cuisine is maximally Europeanized and less spicy compared to the rest of the country, so you can safely try it. However, while relaxing in Goa, it is really worth observing some precautions: drink water only from a bottle and do not buy food from street vendors.
Seafood is a kind of visiting card of the local cuisine. Crabs, shrimps, lobsters, clams, octopuses, sharks, squids, lobsters, etc. Grilled or in the oven, in coconut milk or semolina – the fish menu of even a small restaurant is usually quite diverse. But meat, especially beef, they don’t like to cook here, and in some places they don’t know how, since the cow is a sacred animal for the Hindus.
Pay attention to the Indian version of pilaf – “biryani”. The dish is made from rice and meat, chicken or seafood and is quite pungent in taste due to the abundance of spices. When placing an order, do not forget to emphasize – “spicy notes”.
Another interesting local dish is “sisler”: a side dish and meat (or fish) are fried on foil or a pan and spread on cabbage leaves. The whole secret of the original taste is in the signature sauce, which each chef has his own.
Cakes in Goa are cooked so masterfully that they are often served as a main dish. Flatbreads “paratha” are baked with melted butter and sour cream, and then served with spicy vegetables and spices. Garlic or cheese “naan” (other flatbreads), in turn, are inimitable complete with tomato soup.
Many Hindus adhere to the laws of Ayurveda – the “science of life”, according to which it is enough just to eat right to stay young and healthy for a long time.
Paneer tikka is also a popular dish among tourists – cubes of traditional cheese rolled in spices and grilled on the grill. Paneer can be prepared in dozens of other ways, this cheese is healthy and very popular in India.
Bean or lentil stew “dal” is also appreciated by tourists for its aroma and unique taste. This vegetarian dish, flavored with herbs and spices, is a daily meal for most Hindus.
Most Hindus are vegetarians, in some restaurants and cafes (especially for locals) there are no meat dishes in principle, and local chefs have no equal in the art of cooking vegetables. Try sabji, a mixed vegetable flavored with spices.
Local desserts may seem overly sweet, but they are definitely worth a try. “Burfi” has a very delicate taste – milk fudge, which may include berries, coconut, nuts, saffron, rose water and other ingredients.
Cafes and Restaurants in Goa
Cafes and restaurants in Goa at every step – they love and know how to cook delicious food here. Particularly popular with tourists are sheks – tiny shacks that line the beaches during the tourist season. These are local fast food restaurants – there is not much choice of dishes, but everything is cheap and tasty.
Shek food can be ordered directly to the beach lounger, and the prices in such establishments are very democratic – soup costs about 120-150 INR, shrimp – from 400 INR, cooked shark will cost 700-800 INR. For drinks – juices and smoothies (by the way, very tasty) – give about 100-120 INR. It may seem that the conditions for cooking in the shek are rather unsanitary, but stomach problems are rarely complained here. Each owner of the point values his reputation, and rumors about stale shrimp and dirty dishes spread along the coast very quickly.
Restaurants in Goa delight with variety: literally everything is served here – from Indian curries to schnitzels with blood. However, it is better to give preference to local cuisine, local chefs do it best, although there are also quite a lot of Italians with pizzerias here.
The average bill in an ordinary Goan restaurant is 1200-1600 INR, a dinner with alcohol for two will cost from 2000 INR.