Goa for me, has becoming less about dancing at an all-night rave or nightclub and more about enjoying the food and the relaxed pace of life. An integral part of eating out, is the first meal of the day. Breakfast in Goa is more likely to be at a leisurely 11 AM and fortunately most restaurants and cafés oblige the lazy traveler. Anjuna is neither too commercial nor too quiet and I’ve found a happy medium here between doing nothing and doing something. I’ve listed some of my favourite places to grab a bite, sip a latte, read a book and generally start the day right!
Monteiro Vaddo, Near Anjuna Flea Market, Goa.
Ph : +91 0832 2274794
Artjuna has been on the backpackers radar for over a decade now. A beautiful garden cafe located in a quaint Portuguese house with majestic trees and frangipani flowers, Artjuna is very welcoming. The space acts as an all day cafe, lifestyle store, kids playground and workshop space – so expect some action throughout the year. A simple but well executed menu with hard to believe prices, it is a favourite among locals and travelers. Their homemade Granola and Special Breakfast with cheese, tuna, tahini, eggs, salad and coffee is hard to beat. They bake their own bread and have a nice Espresso machine that has its fare share of patrons. They even freshly juice carrots, beetroots, pumpkins and cucumber and celery – health nuts unite ! It’s easy to start with breakfast here and end up staying all the way up to tea time !
Penquem Peddem, Anjuna, Goa.
Ph : +91 9096058775
I’m not kidding when I say this cafe is hidden from prying eyes. Winding roads that almost seem like they will lead to a dead-end, finally arrive at the laterite entrance of this hippe haven. The place looks like a forest cafe with vines twirling around the low cement seats, the central seating area enlivened with colourful cloth banners and a charming statue of Lord Shiva in a meditative pose. The focus here is on health food and you will find the menu dotted with quirky options. Energy Shots, Kombucha, Salad bowls, Vegan, Macrobiotic and Organic – the place is a manna for the Aquarian age hippe. Try their 6grain or Buckwheat crepes with Feta eggs or their Apple-Cinnamon Pancake with maple Syrup or their Puri Bhaji combo. The Mango French Toast when is season is a delight and their Spinach-Mushroom burger is a revelation. Wash it down with a Soursop leaf Chai or a Red Boom (Mango, papya, Strawberry) and take a nap or sit back and enjoy the trippy music in serene settings. One of my favourite places in Goa, I make it a point to visit it every year.
Tito’s White House, Arpora-Siolim Road, Anjuna, Goa.
Ph : +91 0832 2914687
Unlike the winding roads that all other Goan Cafes seem to be located on, Lila Cafe is bang on the main Arpora road. (Agreed, it’s not Anjuna, but its on the way :P). One of the few Cafe’s that are open throughout the year – Lila Cafe is run by an affable German lady and her husband. The white-washed villa, apart from the cafe itself, houses a juice bar, yoga space and a martial arts center. Fresh white furniture and a mini green lawn set the backdrop for a breezy garden cafe. While the food here is nothing out of the ordinary, pay attention to the special blackboard menu that list the days special. They have some great Bread, Crossiants and German sausages that you can wash down with a Cold Coffee or Avocado Shake. The cafe is extremely popular with families and on most days you might need to wait in line for a table.
Baba Au Rhum
1054, Sim Vaddo, Anjuna, Goa.
Ph : +91 98228663966
Baba Au Ruhm is a baby in the cafe scene, having been active for just under two seasons. The open air cafe is shaded by large trees and offers a view of the adjacent paddy fields. You will see the French guy who owns the cafe making a round of the tables and it would be wise to ask him for recommendations. Omelettes, Crossiants, and Baguettes are a no-brainer here and the quiches are drool worthy as well. While you can always get the coffee, tea or freshly squeezed juices to accompany your morning toast, the Red and White Wine Sangrias are all the rage here. They also offer Bira on tap and bake the most divine wood fired Pizzas, so if you extend your breakfast into brunch, no one will complain. The sweet treats vary daily, so check the bakery for the day’s specials.
Bean Me Up
1639/2, Deulvaddo, Near Anjuna Petrol Pump, Anjuna, Goa.
Ph : not available. Open only for high season – Sep to Mar.
The quirky name should give you some inkling that the Café is geared towards vegetarians. A lush green oasis (with monkeys and peacocks) they are not far off when they call it a Jungle garden. Vegans rejoice, for you will find enough options on the menu with Soy, Tempeh and Setian. They grow a lot of their own organic produce and micro greens and use it creatively in their Buddha Bowl, California rolls, Zucchini spaghetti and Mediterranean plates. The Chia seed porridge with Fruit Salad and Buckwheat pancakes are great for starting the day and the lovely world music is just what you need to put yourself in the right frame of mind. They generally advertise their soup of the day and the bean of the day on their blackboard menu, so be adventurous and give health a shot.