Pizza, such a simple looking dish, yet the flavors are so complex, there are only a few restaurants in Goa that deliver a truly authentic experience. This 18th-century Italian dish may have had humble beginnings, but is now one of the most popular foods in the world, and here in Goa, it is definitely a favorite. From the north to the south, you will find wood-fired pizza restaurants scattered everywhere, but we’ve taken the time (and the tongue) to pick out 7 of the best, most authentic Italian experiences.
Ciao Bella – Anjuna
A wonderfully Italian experience from the moment you walk in, Ciao Bella is as close to the real deal as possible. Owned and run by Simona and Mario, this duo has a great selection of Pizzas through the week, with a special Pizza night on Wednesday. A must-try is the Salame Piccante and the Salmon and Rucola with Mascarpone.
Piccola Roma – Vagator and Calangute
This beautiful garden restaurant is a mainstay of Vagator, and one of the most popular Italian restaurants around. Eating a pizza here is not just appetizing, but visually appealing too since the open pizza area allows you to see your pizza being hand tossed, garnished, and baked from start to finish. The pizza options here are vast, but what makes Roma unique is their ‘No Cheese Pizzas’, perfect if you’re vegan.
Melt Pizza – Anjuna
This one’s new to the scene, and has taken up residence at Tito’s Whitehouse. A speciality pizza bar, Melt prides itself on the imported meats they use, especially the Pepperoni and Parma-ham. Started by two friends who have a passion for pizza, a trip to Melt is a must if you’re looking for a relaxed ambiance with a touch of live music.
La Cucina – Morjim
It’s hard to get a perfect score on a site like Trip Advisor, yet La Cucina has managed to do just that. Offering a personal and friendly experience, La Cucina prides itself on its Italian menu, with wood-fired pizzas being the cream of the crop. What makes this place unique is that they are open past midnight as well, so if you have a late night craving for pizza, you now have a place to call home.
Pizza Mia – Panjim
Pizza Mia changes the pizza game just a bit by offering both ends of the spectrum. You can either go the single slice route if you’re looking for a quick snack, or you can go for an 18” pizza, one of the biggest pizzas in Goa if you’re in party mode. Give the well thought out combos a go if you’re stopping by for lunch or dinner, or get the pals together for a night out with the full-service bar.
Baba’s Wood Cafe – Panjim
Definitely one of the most popular Italian restaurants in Panjim, Baba’s Wood Cafe is a favorite among Panjimites. The menu is small and concise, offering a selection of just less than 10 pizzas, of which 4 are non-veg. If you’re looking for something unique, the Salmon and Sour Cream with Mozzarella and Rocket leaves is definitely the way to go. End the night with a truly sinful Tiramisu.
Goodfellas – Benaulim
There aren’t too many authentic Italian restaurants in the South of Goa – but there’s Goodfellas. Not only is it known for its great food, but it’s also extremely popular for a fine-dine night out. Reservations are advised unless you’re in the mood for a couple of drinks by the bar. The pizzas here are definitely a highlight, with owner Nicholas keeping the recipes as close to home as possible.
Bonus Mention: Route 66 – Panjim
When you think pizza, you think simple and honest Italian, however, the Americans have taken the thin crust staple to the next level. If you’re feeling adventurous, visit Route 66 and try one of their 14-inch rectangular pizzas, specifically the Meat Blast or the Sex Mex. Both pizzas are loaded to the brim with meat and cheese – just the way the Americans like it.
So, what’s your favourite pizzeria in Goa? Did yours make the list? Let us know in the comments below.