While the culinary scene in Goa is quite diverse, nothing beats local Konkani fare, especially if you happen to be a seafood lover. Fish thali in Goa is a staple, and while stereotypically had for lunch as it is quite heavy and keeps you full for long, you can always opt for the simpler version which is fish curry rice, or sheet kodi nustea as it is called locally. With fresh catches, local cooking techniques, and an old Goan charm added to it, a fish thali in Goa is not just a meal but an experience you should not miss.
Another great thing about having a fish thali in Goa is that there is one for everyone, no matter your budget or mood. While there are smaller eateries serving fresh homely fish thalis in Goa that’ll charm you with their simplicity, there are also well-known fish thali places in Goa that routinely host celebrities and are tourist hotspots.
When in Goa, here are the fish thali places you just cannot miss
1. Peep Kitchen, Panjim
If you’re looking for the best fish thali in Panjim, Peep Kitchen is the perfect place to start. Recently revamped, Peep Kitchen is frequented by locals and tourists alike, and it’s not hard to spot celebrities like SS Rajamouli and Kunal Kemmu dining here. While their fish thali is much loved, Peep Kitchen is often also praised for their thoughtful cocktail menu. Apart from the classics, you can also try their signature cocktails like Tamarind Basil Margarita and Goan Fenito which as the name suggests is a cashew feni-based cocktail.
Where: Shop No.4, Bearing House No.16/756/59 & 16/756/60, Block A, Risara Luxury, Tiswadi, Panaji, Goa
Cost: Rs 1,100 for two
2. Kokni Kanteen, Panjim
Another contender for the best fish thali in Panjim, Kokni Kanteen is loved by all, and while they might not offer a vast menu like their peers, Surmai Thali and Seafood Thali are a must-have, and draw locals and tourists alike. Pair the thali with a Kokum Soda for a refreshing lunch. Serving amazing fish thali in Goa, and priced so well often means that Kokni Kanteen has a waiting time even on weekdays, but is well worth it.
Where: House 10/40, 40/1, 40/2, Nachinolkar, A.B. Road, Panaji, Goa
Cost: Rs 850 for two
3. The Fisherman’s Wharf, Cavelossim
Offering a fine dining take with multiple options in appetisers and main courses, The Fisherman’s Wharf is your best bet for the best fish thali in South Goa. This is not to say that there aren’t other seafood restaurants in South Goa that offer a traditional Goan thali, but The Fisherman’s Wharf has a fan following and for a reason. Not only do they work with the freshest of catch, but you also are spoilt for choice when it comes to flavours. Herbs and garlic, Goan curry, Rachaedo masala, or lemon butter, you name it, they have it.
Located close to the Sal River, this restaurant also offers scenic views should you need more reasons to go apart from their excellent fare.
Where: Cavelossim Road, Near Bryson Supermarket, Mobor, Cavelossim, Goa
Cost: Rs 1,300 for two
4. Spicy Family Restaurant & Bar, Margao
Offering a variety of cuisines in comfortable seating, Spicy Family Restaurant & Bar is said to be the best fish thali in Margao. While their most famous offering is the Goan fish thali, you can also choose from the wide variety of dishes in the menu like Shark Ambot Tik, and Mackaral Rachaedo Masala. They also have a separate section for fresh seasonal catches that you can customise according to your choice.
Where: Near Hari Mandir, Margao, Goa
Cost: Rs 1,600
5. Kokum Curry, Candolim
If you’re looking for the best fish thali in North Goa, Kokum Curry is just for you. Reasonably priced, and offering homely local food, Kokum Curry is perfect for group outings with its massive seating area. Not only do they have a proper Goan thali meal, but also mini meals for the times when you aren’t as hungry but crave the scrumptious local fare. When it comes to drinks, apart from the classics, Kokum Curry true to its name also offers a variety of kokum-based drinks, like Miriachi Sola Kadi, perfect for quenching your thirst.
Where: First Floor, Near Delfino's Hymart, Candolim, Goa
Cost: Rs 1,000 for two
6. Ritz Classic, Panjim
An established restaurant that has been a favourite for a long, Ritz Classic is one of the best fish thalis in Panjim. With ample seating area and a wide variety of dishes to choose from, the restaurant has multiple outlets and is believed to be one of the first fish thali places in Goa. Apart from their fish thali and other seafood delicacies, you should also try feni at Ritz Classic. They offer both cashew and coconut-based feni.
Where: First Floor, Wagle Vision, 18th June Road, Panaji, Goa, and 4 other outlets
Cost: Rs 1,500 for two
7. Vinayak Family Restaurant, Assagao
While fish thalis are often a staple for lunch, it is harder to find restaurants offering them for dinner. This restaurant in Goa serving home-cooked food is the perfect choice in this case. Their fish thali is said to be one of the most authentic and hence the best fish thali in North Goa. Apart from their well-priced fish thali, Vinayak Family Restaurant attracts locals and tourists alike for their famous Crab Masala.
Where: House No 278, Socol Vaddo, Assagao, Goa 403507
Cost: Rs 1,100 for two