Anyone For Coffee And A Canvas?

Café Bodega at Sunaparanta, Goa Centre for the Arts, Altinho

This sweet spot run by New York returned Goan Chef Vandana Naik has possibly done more to what appetites for art than most. Prettily set in the courtyard of a gorgeous old house transformed into a non-profit art centre, Bodega draws in an eclectic crowd. While the artistically  nclined will of course love to meander through  the art filled rooms of this sprawling space, even those intimidated by culture are bound to have their interest awakened by the roster of art talks,  workshops, exhibitions, events, book launches,  movie screenings and more at the welcoming  entre. At Bodega, flavourful Kombuchas, gluten- ree breads and healthy salads sit alongside a heartier menu of artfully plated sandwiches,  pastas and exotic dishes from around the world. The must tries though are the array of superb cakes and sweet treats specially the luscious Red Velvet cupcakes. And it’s true, many a Still Life can look better over a strawberry smoothie and a couple of Turkish poached eggs with shrimps!

Artjuna Garden Café & Lifestyle Shop – Anjuna & Mojigao – Assagao

It is rare to find one space that manages to be relaxing and stimulating at the same time, let alone two! Yet Artjuna and Mojigao manage to accomplish both moods. Both cafés offer a lovely garden ambience to while away an afternoon and take in the sun. They both also offer many opportunities to encourage a creative community with a host of interesting art workshops for kids and adults as well as rotating art exhibitions on makeshift walls. Yoga and music can be explored  while lots of popup exhibitions keep visitors interested and coming back for more. A kid’s playground allows adults to indulge in some leisurely shopping at Artjuna’s in-house store that have a range of unique handmade leather bags  and jewelry. If you are visiting either of the places, must try their exquisite food menu which include the delicious Mezze platter and an amazing range of fresh fruit and vegetable juices.

Carpe Diem Café, Majorda

With recurring art and cultural activities for all ages, the Carpe Diem Art & Learning Centre has come a long way towards increasing interest and exposure to the arts. Housed in an ancestral heritage home, Carpe Diem is an artistic blend of an art gallery, a fun store, café and a learning centre with a regular program of art exhibitions, art and ceramic classes, performances and more. The menu at the cute little Café too is designed to keep a range of audiences happy. Enjoy the art along with fruit-topped waffles or generously lush chocolate brownies as well as an eclectic menu with both Goan and global flavours.

A cosy hidden gem allows you to sit back in the midst of an arty milieu and absorb the creative atmosphere. Attend a show or two by some of Goa’s top artists whilst digging into some scrumptious food from the menu (a must-try) like the Wild Wild West Chicken Wings and the Beefy Guy burger.

Café at Gallery Gitanjali, Fontainhas
This is not your typical art gallery or café. Instead, you will find an exhibition space replete with history sprawled across three heritage hotels – the Gitanjali in Panjim Inn, crossing over to the Panjim People’s to the Panjim Pousada. Be charmed by the gallery’s location in the midst of picturesque Fontainhas, Goa’s Latin Quarter while you take in a permanent display of artworks from local artists and a slew of changing shows as well as a light coffee or a hearty authentic Goan meal. Must tries here include the delicious ubiquitous Goan Fish Curry Rice and Butter Garlic Prawns.

Café Chaaye Khaana at The Cube, Moira
Sip on a range of exotic teas from around the world at this wonderful specialty tea cafe situated inside The Cube gallery in Moira while you sit back and wonder which part of the world you are sitting in! This design-led space built by architect-artist-gallerist Satinder ‘Sonny’ Singh offers a new experience every time you drop by. Quietly tucked away in the interiors of a lush village, the dynamic space is continually reinventing itself with an exciting line up of cutting edge shows across diverse media by international artists and designers at the forefront of the contemporary scene.

There is an in house residency space for visiting artists and a store that carries an interesting selection of products including a great line of ceramic jewelry!

Must tries here apart from the teas are the lovely croissants and pastries sourced from the local village bakery.

MOG Art Café at the Museum of Goa (MOG), Pilerne Industrial Estate
It is a delightful surprise to find this café with its home style food inside the vast Pilerne Industrial Estate. The Museum of Goa has established a reputation as a space that keeps one stimulated and engaged. It is on the unusual path of showcasing the many historic anecdotes of Goa through contemporary art. The Museum combines a program of curated art shows and a permanent exhibit of noted artist Chandrakant Kerkar’s works with documentary screenings, performances, lectures, art tours, residencies, retreats, workshops and more. MOG’s huge interiors encourage the creation of stunning large format works and installations that make for wonderful photo ops. The outdoor Café semi-open allows you to linger and fully enjoy this unique ambience. Must tries here are the wholesome aloo parathas and the crispy bhajias with garam chai.

Saraya Art Café, Sangolda
You can volunteer, stay, take a permaculture course, enjoy the wall murals and art exhibits or just sit back and savour the delicious pizzas at this charming Café. Saraya means ‘to begin, to flow’ in Sanskrit and this eco stay lays great emphasis on creating harmony within and without so creativity can flourish. The Café offers a wonderful plant based menu and apart from the superb pizzas, only available in the evenings, pretty much everything on offer is healthy and delicious. A host of visiting artists keep the space refreshed and there is always something interesting going on in this quirky space.

The Project Café, Assagao
There are so many ways to enjoy this gracious heritage property that it’s hard to list just one. Over 130 years old, the property has been lovingly restored into a six room boutique hotel where everything you sit on, eat with and enjoy is for sale, including the furniture, the cutlery and the wallpaper! A retail store, well shaded pool and interesting curated art shows give visitors lots of reasons to drop by. An indoor restaurant, the lovely outdoor Bismarckia designed by Aradhana Seth and gourmet coffees from Blue Tokai are irresistible draws. TPC Goa has firmly established itself as a must visit for those looking for somewhere elegant and hip.

Author: Planet Goa Team
For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

1 Comment

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