Vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Palolem are a dime a dozen, most focusing on a more Western palette with sushi bowls, breakfast pancakes, sandwiches and vegan sweet treats.
The main strip directly behind the beach has lots of modern cafes and eateries perfect for vegan breakfast, lunch or dinner. I certainly didn’t get to try all of them, but here’s a quick run down of the vegan Palolem hotspots that I did manage to check out …
I’d been following these guys on Instagram for a good couple of months before I arrived in Palolem, so I was already quite clued up on their vegan offering when I finally made it in.
This was by far my favourite vegan dining spot in Palolem, mostly due to portion size and the variety of options.
Don’t miss the giant open sushi bowl, ocra fries and vegan chai. For an extra healthy dose of hipster, drop the extra 100 rupees for the black magic booster – a lime and soda drink with activated charcoal.
It’s worth noting that Zest closed slightly earlier than a lot of the other vegan restaurants, with last food orders at 9.20pm.
Nireas – Healthy Living Restaurant
Only a minute or two’s walk from Zest, Nireas has a similar vibe with chunky hardwood tables and healthy Western food options. They list different specials most nights and come in just a tiny bit cheaper than Zest (but with that we found the portions to be a smidge smaller).
The vegan thali is a filling choice, but was missing a heavier roti for dipping into curry – replaced with a popadom type accompaniment instead.
Palm Forest Boutique Hotel cafe
We stayed at Palm Forest Boutique (a beautiful experience in itself), which entitled us to a free coffee and breakfast option every morning. However, they allow walk in guests and the breakfasts (for their size) are slightly less expensive that some of the other Westernised vegan spots (possibly due to its slightly off-the-beaten-track location?).
We tucked into large jam jar chia and coconut bowls, alongside a variety of enormous smoothie bowls.
Coffees here come with dairy-free milk as standard, so you needn’t worry about having to pick up a 30-40 rupee supplement the way you do in many of the other restaurants.
A little thing worth noting, the team are happy to veganise the menu, but don’t take for granted that they will without asking. I was caught out when I ordered the tomatoes on toast and it was spread with margarine. A quick reminder to reiterate my each time will do the trick!
Sundowner Bar is, without a doubt, the best place to go in Palolem for sunset. At low tide, you can wade across the sand bar by foot, and during low tide they provide a free boat back and forth from the main beach.
Jutting out of the rock and overlooking Monkey Beach, the location hosts two bars, both manned by the charming owners. Their vegan offering isn’t huge, but they do serve up vegan pizza and dairy-free Pina Coladas – perfect whilst you watch the sun go down across the waters and the horizon.
Dropadi Bar and Restaurant Palolem
Besides the speciality vegan restaurants in Palolem, this place was the only one that seemed to have a genuine concern for my vegan requirements. After mentioning that we were looking for dairy-free food, the member of staff here corrected us when we ordered one of the dhals – explaining that this particular dish contained milk and that we’d be better taking another suggestion.
The Jaipuri curry with poppadoms (alongside plain roti) was a tasty and filling meal. What’s more, if you get there earlier enough you should be able to grab a front table to watch the sunset whilst you eat.
Hope this helps! On a Goa Tour? You might also find my Vagator’s vegan-friendly restaurants post useful too!