Dust off your penchant for liquor and bring your appetite. Bars in Goa are throwing their doors open for folks for the first time in many, many months, and we’re delighted. If you’ve been missing those days spent at favourite hangouts with friends over a cold one or two, we feel you.

Granted, things may not entirely be back to normal. But we’ve curated our top picks for bars in Goa that have recently been allowed to reopen. They’ve all set up safety precautions and guidelines, so you’ll have a grand socially distanced time!

Esco Bar

It’s cool, it’s loved, and it’s open– this hole-in-the-wall Goan favourite is back in business. Head back in to find owner duo Terrence and Anant whipping up cocktails and their team serving up some of the best grub in town, from cheesy fries to sausage chilli. 

Hideaway

Well away from Vagator’s buzz is this quaint cafe, run by three friends-turned-business partners. They’re the area’s go-to for great live music and open mic nights, and have reopened for dine-in from 12 PM to 8 PM. They’ve helpfully published their new menu on Instagram, so it might be worth choosing your dishes beforehand. 

Verandah

This serendipitous eatery specialises in flavourful seasonal dishes, but we’d go so far as to say that their Gin Bar is their calling card. If you’re looking for a safe and cosy watering hole that prioritises good food and great drinks, this is it. 

Cota Cozinha

Delicious food with a side of local hospitality– Cota Cozinha doesn’t cut corners on either. Go for the food – it’s prepared using family recipes passed down through generations – and stay for the warm atmosphere and drinks.

Chef Fernando’s Nostalgia

Nostalgia is by far one of the most legendary kitchens in Goa, serving classic Portuguese-Goan fare out of the late Chef Fernando’s country home. In the evenings, the quiet atmosphere is replaced with more lively energy as the alcohol begins to flow and the occasional band strikes up some great music. 

Miguel’s

Fontainhas’s intimate petiscos and cocktail bar is all set to welcome Goans and visitors alike. Head to the art-deco inspired restaurant to sample great food. Their menu stems from a 450-year Konkan- Portuguese legacy with contemporary twists. And of course, you’ll want to try the drinks! The added benefit is their open kitchen, which allows you to watch the chefs as they whip up some sumptuous dishes and drinks. They bring years of international culinary experience to the table.

Pings Bia Hoi

Pings is a beer garden serving delightful cocktails best paired with their sumptuous Asian street food. Their elderflower spritzer gets rave reviews from regulars and wandering travellers alike. But you can’t go wrong with anything else off their surprising cocktail menu, either. 

Joseph’s Bar

Joseph’s needs no introduction– the quaint Feni bar in Panjim’s quieter St. Tome is the Goan go-to to kick off a night of fun. We’d recommend striking up a (socially distanced) conversation with the head bartender and manager. There usually isn’t an empty glass in the house, thanks to him! 

We’re all set to make up for our lockdown cold turkey at one (or more) of these local joints and bars in Goa. We’d wager you’re just as ready.

Psst– we have more such gems on the Urbanaut app, so hit that download button! 

Featured image: by Eaters Collective on Unsplash