Benaulim beachPin

I hope you’ve had a nice Christmas break and are gearing up for the new year. I’m signing off for 2023 with a post on Benaulim, South Goa. It’s quieter than the party beaches of North Goa but still has a thriving culinary scene. It has certainly grown to become my favourite part of the sunshine state! Here’s where to eat and drink plus where to stay in Benaulim.

Sunset at Benaulim beach Pin

Breakfast and coffee

I need my daily coffee fix, so obviously I went scouring for good cafes in Benaulim.

Driftwood CafePin

Just down the road from our Airbnb, I found Driftwood Cafe (formerly The Bakester’s Dozen), which does a nice espresso with beans from Assam or Meghalaya. Pair this with some homemade bebinca or cake; it’s also a good spot for breakfast.

Dinha's RestaurantPin

Speaking of breakfast, Dinha’s Restaurant across the street is very popular with the tourists. Their avocado toast was quite nice, but the French press coffee is not up to the mark.

Bakery PausenbrotPin

My favourite breakfast from this trip was at Bakery Pausenbrot, a German-style bakery that bakes fabulous sourdough. I loved the shabby-vintage ambience with mismatched furniture and cutesy sayings painted all over. Their sandwiches come in retro-style tiffin boxes and are quite filling, plus their moka pot coffee is excellent.

The Coffee HousePin

Another good coffee was at The Coffee House; also, don’t miss their scrumptious Honey Russian Cake!

Taj Exotica Tea SalonPin

If you’re a tea drinker, the Tea Salon at Taj Exotica is a gorgeous place to have your evening cuppa.

Food and drink

Hands-down, the best meal from my most recent trip was at Cavatina by Avinash Martins. Get ready to be blown away by reimagined Goan cuisine where traditional dishes are given a modern twist while retaining their essence.


I recommend the chef’s tasting menu, a seven-course culinary journey that delves into local food with chef-y touches – think a French-style seafood bisque with blue coral tuile that references fishing nets. Or the squid caldeirada with choriz and mini pao.


You can also try a ‘tapas’ tasting menu, all beautifully plated and delish. Wash your meal down with a locally-inspired cocktail like the potent Feni Spritz.

Seafood thali at Fairfield by MarriottPin

Another firm favourite meal is the seafood thali at Fairfield by Marriott, which is generous (just look at the pic above) and quite fabulous.


For typical Goan dishes, I recommend Unndo – the name means bread, and owner-chef Savio George bakes some of the best bread I have tasted in Goa! It’s an unassuming little space but the food is top-notch – try the choriz unndo (or tongue unndo), fish rechado, pork aadmas, and other traditional Goan dishes like xacuti, sorpotel etc. (many of which are cooked by Savio’s mum). Fluffy sannas are also available, but only on Sundays.

Goodfellas BenaulimPin

If you’re craving pizzas, get your fix at Goodfellas – their classic margarita is spot on (and cheesy!)

The Southern Deck Pin

There are plenty of beach shacks and bars on Benaulim beach. We enjoyed a sundowner at The Southern Deck, which is one of the bigger and more popular spots on the beach.

Where to stay in Benaulim

On our most recent trip, we stayed at a charming studio apartment (booked via Airbnb) in a residential gated community.


The entire property had colourful villas, and our apartment was located on the ground floor of a cheery yellow unit. The open-plan studio apartment was well-furnished and came with all the amenities, plus a sit-out overlooking a lush garden.

Fairfield by Marriott Pin

On a previous trip, we stayed at Fairfield by Marriott Goa Benaulim. The low-rise, red-roofed property is sprawling with spacious rooms, a huge pool, and a beachy vibe (Benaulim beach is a few minutes’ away).

Taj Exotica Benaulim Pin

If you want to splurge, I would recommend Taj Exotica Resort & Spa nestled amid 56 acres of lush greenery. Some rooms look out over the sea, others have garden views, while the villa rooms come with plunge pools.

I hope this guide to Benaulim has been helpful to plan your next trip. What’s your favourite part of Goa? Leave me a message below.

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