That Goa has food to die for is no secret. But have you tasted it all? These unusual food trails, curated by Soul Travelling, dive deeper into Goa’s culinary landscape and send us back sated.
Secret Food and Tavern Walking Trail, Panjim
Think of this as a blindfolded taste run. Varun Hegde, founder, Soul Travelling, does not reveal the names of the eateries before the trail. There are surprises — some century-old — galore. Mr Baker is 99 and has delicious bebinca (the traditional seven-layered cake), batica, perada (guava cheese) and beef croquettes. If you have time, Nathan Fernandes, the owner, will narrate stories of the bakery’s beginnings and show images of the ancient cake moulds still lying in their attic. Stop at the first two-storied house in Fontainhas that has 36-inch walls with gun holes. Owner Aires Andrade happily shows you around the house with its oyster-shell windows and a 100-year-old daintily cross-stitched Jesus, and serves old-fashioned Goan dishes like Apa de Camarao (prawn pies), Rissois (shrimp snack), and Forminhas (bite-sized hors d’oeuvres). Wash these down with homemade fruit wines. At Confeitaria 31 De Janeiro, bite into Portuguese custard tarts and end the trail with feni and a bowl of Xacuti in a tavern. Tip: Cleanse your palate before you go. Varun will quiz you about the ingredients in the dishes you taste — and there’s a surprise gift for the winner.
Start time: 4pm; Duration: 3-3.5 hours; Cost: Rs 1,499 per person; Minimum no. of pax: 02
Vegetarian options available
Assolna Fishing Trail with Cooking Experience, Assolna
Get up close and personal with the fishermen, their traditional ways and their food. After a quick visit to the local market, meet the fishing community. Hop into a boat, learn how to fish using traditional fishing rods, throw a net into the river (locally called paager), and collect clams by getting down in the water. Return to a quick bite of fish cutlet + pao and a non-alcoholic drink. Cook the catch of the day and traditional dishes with the fishermen.
Dishes served: Fish Cutlet and Pao, Crax Xec Xec, Oysters Chilly/Fried, Boiled Clams, Salad, Locally made fresh bread. Recipes can be shared on request.
Start time: 9am; Duration: 5-6 hours; Cost : Rs 2,500 per person; Minimum no. of pax: 04
Gaud Saraswat Brahmin Cuisine, Rivona
This is a roller-coaster ride into the secret world of the origins of Goa with petroglyphs, caves and carvings. Journey through Rishivan, the village known as the village of sages, visit the caves in Rivona, petroglyphs at Pansaimol, explore the civilisation on the banks of the Kushavati River and a local plantation before returning to Kulaghar for a hands-on experience of cooking traditional Saraswat Brahmin food including Khatkhate (a stew made of seasonal vegetables), Moong Gaathi(semi-gravy dish made of moong dal after being soaked to ferment).
Other dishes served: Managane (a sweet made of dal and coconut milk), mackerel sukhe (semi-gravy fish preparation), coconut kadi, and a GSB version of chicken Xacuti is included on request.
Start time: 8am; Duration: 6-7 hours; Cost: Rs 2,500 per person; Minimum no. of pax: 04
Tribal Food Trail, Canacona
Step back in time to when the tribals foraged tubers, fermented millets, and used stone grinders and wood-fired hearths. This trail begins in Cotigao with a local lemongrass drink and traditional breakfast (finger millet bhakri) of the Velip community. Go foraging into the jungle, return with the bounty and get introduced to aamil, a millet dish fermented for six days. Try rustling up your own version of the aamil. Listen to local stories, jive to the beats of old-fashioned musical instruments and end the evening with local and traditional snacks. Never say no to donne, a snack made of jaggery and coconut steamed in jackfruit leaves.
Start time: 9am; Duration: 7-8 hours; Cost: Rs 2,500 per person; Minimum no. of pax: 04
Good to know
Book on www.soultravelling.in. You can also buy merchandise (T-shirts, jackets, coasters, shot glasses) on the Soul Travelling website.
Phone: +91-76667 39521
Cancellation policy: Over 24 hours before the trail date: 100% refund; 12-24 hours prior cancellation: 50% refund; under 12 hours cancellation: no refund.
Customised experiences available.
Tip: Wear comfortable shoes. If you prefer vegetarian/vegan options, mention at the time of booking.