While most tourists choose to visit Goa during the months of October to January during peak season, we generally prefer to travel during the low season, when crowds reduce. Goa is at its most beautiful during the months of June to September, during the monsoons when the greenery is lush, and rainfall a plenty.
If you don’t mind traveling when it rains (we don’t!), then Goa is the perfect Indian destination for a family vacation. The beaches are practically empty, and while most beach-time activities come to a halt, you can take comfort in the fact that restaurants in Goa are still open, and significantly less crowded.
As soon as you step foot in Goa, things seem to slow down. It’s the perfect getaway for families looking to leave their hectic lifestyles, if only for a little while.
There are many reasons to visit Goa, and for us, the food is what stands out, with many kid-friendly options. We travel with LouLou & Jaf to allow them to experience what the world has to offer, and there’s no better way for them to experience the culture of a place than through its food.
Goan cuisine is an experience in itself, especially for seafood lovers. Fish curry and rice, cooked in rich spices of Portuguese flavor, vinegar, chilis, and coconut milk is the staple diet. Here are a few of the best restaurants in Goa that are kid-friendly, where the you can sample the delicious and unique flavors that Goa has to offer!
Located in Bardez, North Goa, O’Coquiero (which means Coconut Tree in Portuguese) has been cooking up authentic Goan Portuguese cuisine since the 60’s. The restaurant is known as the venue where the notorious criminal Charles Sobhraj was caught, and they’ve since erected a statue to mark the occasion! The food here is incredible, and so affordable. I’d say try it all, and don’t forget to trust your server’s recommendations. Depending on the time of year certain fish/shellfish are in season – I definitely recommend seeing if mussels are available.
Kid-Friendly Recommendations: Sausage pulao, fish caldine, lightly fried-fish as an appetizer
NH 17, Alto-Porvorim
Bardez, Goa 403001
Britto’s has been serving beachgoer’s at Baga beach for over years. A lot of people will tell you that no visit to North Goa is complete without stopping by Britto’s, and we have to agree. It’s not just the food, but the atmosphere as well as beach side views that really do it for me. The lively atmosphere is great for kids, you’ll spot a number of them building sandcastles on the restaurant’s floor, which is entirely made of sand, should you forget you’re at the beach! The menu is expansive with the variety of options – pizza, chinese, Goan – we definitely recommend all the fresh seafood.
Kid-Friendly Recommendations: Seafood platter, shrimp cocktail (the sauce is not tomato based like in America, but creamy and garlicy – loved it!), Fish croquettes and Fried calamari
614, Calangute-Baga Road,
Mum’s Kitchen serves up authentic home-style Goan food, the kind you’d get visiting your mother…if she was Goan! Centrally located in North Goa’s city of Panjim, the restaurant is frequented by locals and tourists, alike. Since it has been featured on numerous Indian travel shows, it’s extremely popular and the prices are slightly higher than say, O’Coqueiro, but if you’re looking for authentic, this is the place.
Kid-Friendly Recommendations: Sausage curry (mild) served with Goan-style bread, Fresh prawn caldeen, Ladyfish (seasonal) fry, Prawn pulao
#854, Martins Building, Dayanand Bandodkar Street, Panaji – Miramar Road,
Panjim, Goa 403001
Flames at Double Tree by Hilton Goa
Usually hotel restaurants always miss the mark when it comes to cooking up local cuisine, and often time’s they are overpriced. But this isn’t the case when it comes to Flames. What I love about Hilton in general is if you’ve stayed with them before and eaten there, they have your eating preferences on record. So, if you’re not a fan of spice, the hotel already knows it and will prepare your dish keeping that in mind. They do have a number of Goan dishes that they make, which leave you salivating for more.
Kid-Friendly Recommendations: Goan prawn curry with basmati rice, papad and naan, mac & cheese, chicken tikka sandwich
Ximer Arpora Bardez, Arpora,
Martins Restaurant & Bar
Located in the south city of Margao, Martin’s Corner serves up a variety of continental dishes, with seafood and meats being the central focus. The restaurant is cosy, and on first glance a little fancy-looking, but don’t let that deter you, it is kid-friendly. There were a number of families with little kids eating lunch on a Saturday afternoon. While we found the fish & chips to be over salted, the appetizer we ordered of stuffed mushrooms was delicious. You can tell them what your preferences are, and they make suggestions on how to spice & cook the meat – we ended up trying fresh tiger prawns cooked in Moroccan spices, which was delicious!
Kid-Friendly Suggestions: Stuffed mushrooms, Grilled Tiger Prawns in Moroccan spices, steak frites
Garden View Bldg. Shop No.3, Near Post Office
Margao, Goa 403601
Margao, Goa 403601
Located in Margao, close to New Market, Jackris Bakery is a favorite amongst locals for their freshly baked Goan sweets (some of which we’ve mentioned on our kid-friendly Goan cuisine list). Get a packet or two of bebinca and chana doce, and sample what’s on sale that you think you might enjoy! If you have time, there’s also a tiny, yet bustling cafe in the back.
Kid-Friendly Suggestions: Bebinca, Chana doce, Coconut macaroons, fruit cake and any seasonal items
Old Market, Margao, Goa
The centuries of Portuguese rule in Goa (450 years to be exact) left a lasting impression on Goans, which you can still experience in their cuisine.
Have you been to Goa before? If yes, where do you love to eat? Let us know in the comments!