I was a little sceptical about finding vegan options in Goa, a state of India that is quite touristy and is also obviously by the beach – and therefore seafood features heavily on the menus. But I was pleasantly surprised. Perhaps with the high number of yoga-practicing hippie-esque people (myself included) that frequent the area, Agonda has a number of places to eat for plant-based tastes – as does much of the rest of Goa in fact, as I found when researching.
If you haven’t yet heard about it, the happy cow website is the go-to source of information for finding vegan and vegetarian cuisine across the globe. I won’t simply point you in the direction of that site though, as there are many more options than what is listed there. I tried to visit as many different restaurants as I could while staying in Agonda, and here is my pick of the best!
This gorgeous little restaurant is situated amongst the leaves, a two minute walk from the beach (it’s the opposite side of the road that runs along the coast). I headed here on my first morning in Agonda and knew as soon as I walked in that I would be back again soon!
The menu features a huge range of options: from smoothie bowls to a vegetarian fry-up for breakfast, pad Thai or exotically named salad bowls for lunch, and pizzas, pastas and burgers for dinner. Dessert encompasses vegan ice cream and a selection of raw cakes, and there’s beer, wine, cocktails, smoothies and hot drinks to quench your thirst.
I ordered a coffee with soya milk and a chia pudding, something I haven’t tried before (pictured above). It’s fruit with chia seeds in a thick almond milk, topped with nuts and berries – it was not only delicious, but also kept me full till the late afternoon (meaning my afternoon of sunbathing was disturbed only to take a dip in the sea). I also recommend the quinoa porridge (pictured below) and the Mexican bowl (cover image) – you can see how much I liked it haha!
Behind Agonda Palace Guesthouse, you will find the Avocado Garden restaurant set beside the river (wear mosquito repellent!). There are comfortable sofa seats as well as tables and chairs and this lovely spot has a menu for vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian customers.
There is a vegan section on the breakfast menu featuring omelettes, pancakes and the staple avocado on toast. Dedicated sections on the mains menu include ‘vegan special meals’ – a burger and a choice of salads – and ‘Indian Vegan Curries’ including Malai Kofta, Channa Masala, Red Kidney Bean Daal and Mixed Vegetable Masala. The option of soy milk instead of dairy is always available, too – even in their smoothies!
Set on the beach in a gorgeous wooden hut, this restaurant is a must if you are a couple; it’s honestly so romantic! I enjoyed a candlelit dinner with my book for company (lol). The waiters are friendly and they have live music every Friday.
Options on the dinner menu include chargrilled aubergine with tofu and spinach in sweet soy sauce (delicious) as well as salads and a tofu ramen dish that I’m hoping to try before I leave. I scanned the breakfast options; there were only a few, but there were lots of desserts and snacks such as hummus as well.
Another promising option as there is a sign outside advertising vegan options are available for all three meals of the day. However, the menu itself doesn’t specify any vegan options – I think you have to tell the staff of your dietary requirements and they will then accommodate you. I enquired at dinner and was told I could swap the paneer cheese for tofu; I had the Kadai Curry with plain rice. This is probably the most authentically Indian place I’ve eaten at so far in Agonda (in terms of the busy, noisy vibe and the flat screen TV showing music videos).
This small, family-run restaurant is set away from the road amongst the trees beside a guesthouse. Pretty much the entire menu is vegan here (if not vegetarian), and everything on the menu can be adapted to be vegan. I went here for lunch and had the tofu fritters which came with hummus, salad and brown bread. The breakfast menu is extensive so I will probably find myself back there again before I leave Agonda!
This restaurant had a sign outside advising vegetarian and vegan food was available, so of course I sauntered in. The menu marks gluten free, egg free, dairy free, vegetarian, and vegan options on the menu. As I was there for lunch I chose a roasted vegetable wrap which was mediocre. There were other choices on the menu which might be better!
There are no options for breakfast, unless you request something which the staff will be happy to accommodate you with. They do a fry-up style vegetarian breakfast which you could have without the eggs. However, there is a range of choice for lunch and dinner and the vegan options are clearly marked on the menu – many of their curries are made with tofu instead of paneer. I recommend the mushroom kadai.
In this modern, airy restaurant, you’ll enjoy views of the river while you dine. No non-dairy milk is provided but they can make the porridge with water instead. There are no marked vegan options on the menu, but the entire menu is vegetarian-friendly, so it’s just a case of choosing something without animal bi-products in; there are limited breakfast options but more choice for lunch and dinner.
I also ate at a number of other restaurants whilst in Agonda and all either had a vegan option or were able to adapt/create a dish for me – no one seemed to find my dietary requirements a bother!
Fail safe options are tomato based curries made with coconut milk or vegetable fried rice. Below I have listed a few other places I ate at and what I had:
I thoroughly enjoyed my 10 days of rest, relaxation and vegan food in Agonda, Goa. If you are looking for a place to stay, I recommend Om Sai Beach Huts at the northern end of the beach. Use the widget below to browse accommodation options.
Thanks for reading & happy travels
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