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Goa Travel Guide: Experience culture with these Art cafes

Living in Mumbai always posed one silver lining to both of us – its proximity to Goa! Despite being the most frequented holiday destination in India, Goa holds a very special place in our hearts. You must be wondering why Goa of all places is special to us when we have visited so many other, supposedly more exotic locations. Well, it is a unique love story between The Moonchasers and the offbeat Goa through our tinted glasses.

Goa happens to be the birthplace of our blog, vlog and everything that we do today for travel. It might sound like a fairytale but sitting on a deserted fishing boat, parked loosely in a tidal creek, watching as the moon casts its light on the shoring phytoplanktons is one of our favourite things to do in this union territory.

Today, tourists are taking a deeper interest in understanding the culture of the natives in Goa and engaging with them while on vacation. Nearly 80 lakh tourists visited Goa in 2018* and according to Goa Tourism, the numbers have jumped tens of lakhs every year since 2012.

Goa tourism arrival statistics
Source: Goa Tourism

You may want to not recognise that despite all the charm, Goa also attracts a strange segment of rowdy tourists who visit with zero respect and responsibility for their actions, demeanor and impact on Goa. They go for the nightlife and cheap booze, with shady intentions of misbehaving with women and with a sad motivation of sleeping with a foreigner woman during his stay. You read it right, we are saying it aloud. Goa attracts uncouth travellers too, who not only stop at being rowdy but cause enough problems for those around. We have made such wonderful friends with people we have met, stayed with, travelled with and explored with in Goa that it deeply saddens us to hear about their experiences with such crowds, quite alarmingly frequently!

This blog post is to provide insights to the better traveller on what’s new in Goa that can make for a great holiday destination still very much! Trust us when we say, Goa continues to be our favourite beach destination in India and will be for years to come!

In our 17 or so visits to this gorgeous beach state, we have explored more than 30 beaches, ate at homestyle cafes and made hundreds of friends who always welcome us with warm hearts and epic Goan food. More and more locals are opening up their homes to guests, taking cooking classes for them, or showing them around the fishing villages from the view of a native or simply helping them find Instagrammable spots on the mountainous terrains or lush village roads. Goa is not about just the beaches any more. Goa has evolved.

In this article, we bring to you 6 cafes that will make your trip to Goa extra special just by their simplicity and craft. If you visit any of them after reading this, don’t forget to tell us about your experience!

Artjuna Cafe, Anjuna

_Shakshuka

Artjuna cafe is a hub for expats in the North Goa area and is located on the road to
Anjuna Beach and Wednesday flea market. The café is situated outside an old
Portuguese style house in a beautiful garden, with a trendy lifestyle store inside the
house and a popular covered event space offering regular yoga, mixed martial arts
and other workshops. Their coffee is a good accompaniment to the delicious desserts they serve in partnership with couple run Patisserie Delicieux. It remains open in the monsoon and people come in regularly for activities such as mixed martial arts, yoga classes, movie nights and a well stacked bookshelf. 

Our choice: Shakshuka and Chia Seed pudding with Watermelon feta salad for an appetising breakfast.

artjuna cafe goa smoothie
Jamun Smoothie for a healthy breakfast

Cafe Bodega, Altinho, Panjim 

This cafe is not only a cafe but an art house offering classes for children to adults. The beautiful courtyard and gallery housed within a Portuguese bungalow makes for a great space for conversations and art appreciation. Do check out their fresh baked desserts for your sweet tooth!

Bodega UrmiBodega wall

Caravela Cafe & Bistro, Sao Tome, Panjim

A hidden gem in the heart of Panjim! Run by a father-son duo, Caravela Cafe is cosily tucked in the by lanes of Sao Tome and also has a beautiful homestay, on top of the cafe that serves the best coffee and amazing food. Try out the prawn rissois or beef xacuti to taste the sensationality of their recipes! When at Caravela, say hi to Carlos Uncle and ask him to give you a little tour of Goan history. His warmth and knowledge makes us go back every time we are in Goa!

Saraya Goa, Porvorim

Saraya was created to be a space which touches the Goan community, by helping young aspiring artists, spreading awareness on alternatives and new ways of living , by being an example on how new structures and ideas of living can be even more beautiful and enjoyable as most people are stuck with copying the tried and tested ways of construction, eating , living , etc. which are proving to not only be harmful for the Earth but are also dry and boring.  It is essentially a space created to inspire change. It is still a work in progress and  the owners have many more ideas on making this place even more harmonious with Nature, one step at a time. Founded by Architect and INterior Designer Deeksha Thind in 2014, Saraya hosts numerous workshops and events throughout the year.

the-project-cafe

The Project Cafe, Assagao

A gourmet cafe and living space that originated from an idea of a design consortium of creators, The Project Cafe is one of the best places to take in art in the setup of a 130 year old Portuguese Bungalow. It has a residential space as a melting pot of ideas and inspiration fro creators and artists.

the-project-cafe (2)
The Project Cafe: Interior

Carpe Diem, Majorda

A true art gallery cum cafe, Carpe Diem houses some of the best artworks by artists from different genres. An old Goan bungalow with phenomenal artwork lining the walls, it opens up to a beautiful indoor garden serving as the cafe area. In addition to the space that serves as an Art Gallery, are a small courtyard behind the chapel, a couple of rooms, a kitchen, a larger landscaped backyard and even a stage area that go to form space that can be used for creative learning experiences of all sorts.

 

_MG_2143_2

Carpe Diem Art Cafe with its cozy ambiance and gourmet menu provides the perfect opportunity to sit back and unwind with a good book.

While waiting for a coffee or a signature sandwich like the ‘The Meat Eater’s Club’ or a sweet/savory waffle, browse  through the lifestyle store with its wide range of offerings, from apparel and ceramic products to gifts and souvenirs.

Carpe Diem interior 2
Carpe Diem Cafe
Carpe Diem Interior

They are open 6 days a week, Tuesday – Sunday. 10 am – 7 pm. The outdoor stage provides a great space for performance based events here!

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10 thoughts on “Goa Travel Guide: Experience culture with these Art cafes Leave a comment

  1. Loved the ambience of Artjuna & hospitality of Caravela 🙂 Adding the others to our list for exploring them on oir next visit to Goa 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the part where you shared the art and painting of goa. Most of the people focus on beaches.. Thanks for that..

    Like

  3. Oh wow! I’m not sure I could ever leave that place. it is absolutely one of the most gorgeous place I’ve ever seen.

    Like

  4. Goa looks for me like a heaven on earth ! i would love to live in this place and there is no wonder why so many people visit and adore this beautiful place x kind regards Pati Robins at style squeeze blog

    Like

  5. I want absolutely everything you listed. I LOVE trying new things and most of the things you showed I’ve never had before!

    Like

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