Gluten free in Goa
Get to know the best cafes, restaurants, grocery shops and other such eateries offering great gluten free options and ingredients in Goa.
However before we dive into the best places to eat, it's important to note that Indian and Goan cuisine, in and of itself is predominantly gluten free. Apart from the staple side portion of pao or poi (Goan bread), chapati, naan, roti, etc, there are very few dishes which actually contain gluten. Plus there is no end to the amount of rice you can find to accompany your mains, curries, thalis and other such meals. Therefore, if you simply ask to skip the bread and avoid battered or rawa (semolina) fried fish, calamari or prawns, dishes such as manchurian (an Indo-Chinese dish made of battered and fried veg or meat balls), kofta (another indian dish made of battered veg, paneer or meat dumplings), samosas, etc, you're more or less in the clear to try just about everything. You can easily ask your server for plain grilled fish / seafood when available. Even when it comes to a kofta dish it's worth asking as it may be made purely of gram (chickpea) flour. Otherwise, look for restaurants serving South Indian specialities such as dosas, idlis, idliappams, appams, uttapams, etc. All of which are made from a base of fermented lentil & rice flour. And for those craving crispy or deep fried snacks and sides, pakoras and papadums also provide a great alternative and are made with a batter of either black lentil or chickpea flour as well.
Now, given the above information, it would seem no restaurant is off limits. However if you are celiac, crumbs and contamination can be a real issue. So while these are not the only options, the following are suggested places that do go the extra mile to clearly state their gluten free options and alternatives. In addition, the folks at CeliacTravel.com have some great resources including this downloadable gluten free restaurant card in Hindi.
Gluten free restaurants in Goa
All South Indian restaurants - as mentioned dosas, idlis, uttapams, appams, etc are all naturally gluten free. Check out our list of the best places to find dosas in Goa for more ideas on places to eat across the state as well as our Food in Goa segment.
Bean Me Up - gluten free wraps, pancakes, pastas, and more, this vegan cafe in Vagator has a great list of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Plus they are open year round so no issues there.
Artjuna - delicious & nutritious gluten free bread, smoothie bowls, chia pudding, falafels, gf mains and raw chocolate cakes.
Baba au Rhum - awesome gluten free burgers and buns, pizzas, plenty of salads and other gf mains and dessert options. Found in the back side of Anjuna looking out over the fields, this popular french fusion restaurant has an enormous and delicious menu.
Mandala Cafe - by far the best gluten free desserts in South Goa, if not all of Goa. Their raw, vegan, sugar free, gluten free cakes are to die for. Honestly. Plus this Agonda cafe has a small food menu with several gf options including an awesome tofu scramble with massive side salad.
Kopi Desa - gluten free pancakes and plenty of meaty dishes with gluten free sides on offer that this popular restaurant & bar in Agonda.
La Dolce Vita - Italian restaurant in Agonda which offers gluten free pasta as well as a bunch of other great gf mains.
Little World - gluten free sweet & savoury pancakes, overnight soaked oats, chia and granola, tofu scrambles, hearty salads, light and healthy Indian dishes and delicious raw cakes and other such sweets. Best spot in Palolem for gluten free & vegan cuisine.
The Space Goa - they do a great gluten free wrap along with many other gluten free dishes, salads, rice bowls, etc. Their vietnamese spring rolls are fantastic along with.... They also have a small food shop with organic ingredients and other such products.
Cafe Boheme - super healthy, super delicious, this vegan cafe at the south end of Agonda has lots of options. Plus a full board of gluten free treats to finish off your meal.
Zest - great spot in Agonda & Palolem serving up delicious healthy food with tons of gluten free options. Smoothie bowls, chia pudding and buckwheat granola make for a great breakfast, their salads, rice bowls, their plant based raw lasagna and ravioli are awesome, plus plenty of other lunch and dinner dishes along with tasty gluten free cakes, vegan ice creams and nice creams for dessert.
Cafe Bodega - this breezy garden & gallery cafe in Altinho, Panjim always has several salads and gluten free bread and mains on their menu along with one or two gluten free cakes for an afternoon treat.
Blue Tokai - Panjim's best coffee shop now offers food as well! In partnership with The Project Cafe Goa, you can now enjoy a few gluten free breakfast & lunch options along with your favourite coffee.
Cafe Aria by Natti's Naturals - set in a beautiful old home in Merces, just outside Panjim, as well as a small cafe in Vagator, Natti's Naturals has a ton of great gluten free options as well as a small organic food shop.
Sakana - for those craving Japanese, this Vagator restaurant is a great place to go. Hip lofty space with a great menu however unfortunately no gluten free soy sauce and only a few rolls without tempura.
Prana Cafe - this breezy, surf shop & cafe in Mandrem serves up hearty veg & non- veg rice / quinoa bowls, salads, smoothies and more.
Villa Blanche Bistro - gluten free musli, popped amaranth porridge, chestnut flour waffles, lots of healthy salads, gluten free mains and desserts at this German run restaurant in the quiet lanes of Assagao.
Ruta's Roadhouse - delicious gluten free granola, cakes, cookies and internationally inspired dishes available at this laid back eatery in Assagao.
German Bakery - The original in Anjuna provides much more than the average bakery. Plenty of gluten free breakfast granolas, treats both sweet and savoury, gluten free bread for sandwiches, salads, rice bowls and other mains.
For more restaurants in your area check out our Food in Goa section and find the pin dropped map for your area.
Gluten free desserts in Goa
Ice cream - you can't go wrong, check out our top 5 places to get ice cream in Goa
Bean Me Up - gluten free vegan mango cheesecake, yum!
Artjuna - gluten free raw chocolate cake with a coconut base + ice cream on offer
Baba au Rhum - gluten free almond cafe & cashew cheesecake + house made ice creams
Bodega - gluten free chocolate orange or chocolate almond cakes
Blue Tokai - gluten free sweet treats, cakes, and delicious teas & coffees
Zest - raw cakes & delicious nice creams
Mandala Cafe - best raw, vegan, sugar free, gluten free cakes
Little World Cafe - more delicious gluten free cakes
Ruta's Roadhouse - lots of gluten free treats found here
Dried fruits & nuts - what better way to stave off hunger and enjoy a delicious guilt free treat. Head to any municipal market, grocery shop or cashew stall and you'll find tons of quality nuts (cashew, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, etc) along with dried figs, dates, apricots, etc.
Gluten free snack bars - Gouri's Goodies (found at Blue Tokai or ordered online) is just one of many companies making delicious gf bars and small snacks. Otherwise head to one of the below supermarkets and you'll find a bunch of other brands. Chikki, a sweet peanut and jaggery based snack (similar to peanut brittle) is another great local option and can be found all across India.
Artisanal Chocolate - the number of artisanal Indian chocolate companies has greatly expanded in recent years. So despite the heat and constant risk of melting, a dark, rich bar of chocolate can only do you good. Brands such as Mason & Co and Earth Loaf can be found at Blue Tokai and other select shops and grocers across Goa.
If you are planning to stay a while, it really is worth the effort to find a place with a functioning kitchen. That way you can take full advantage of the marvellous markets across Goa providing amazing fresh local produce. Plus the range of supermarkets and specialty shops in Goa have really expanded over the past few years and there is almost nothing you can't find now a days. Look out for supermarkets such as Magsons in Panjim, Anjuna and around Margao, Borkars Superstores in several towns in Salcette, Delfinos in Porvorim and Candolim, and plenty of other big names that house everything under the sun including gluten free pastas, breads, crackers, chips, grains, etc. However even the small shops and local grocers now carry a range of health food options and ingredients. Ragi (finger millet) flour can be found everywhere along with white rice, buckwheat, corn, gram and coconut flours for those looking to bake, make pancakes, chapatis, etc. Ambrosia Organic Farm also has a wonderful selection of foodstuffs including delicious rice crackers and loose grains which can be found in most shops across Goa. For those in North Goa, Ecoporso - Goa's first zero waste grocery shop is another great option, as well as Saukhyam in Porvorim.
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Please note this is a working document as more and more restaurants are making gluten free options more accessible. If you've come across other great gluten free options in Goa, let us know in the comments below or send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update our list and share the great news with our readers! (All above photos collected via the respective restaurant or cafe's instagram feed)