The culinary landscape of Goa comprises a range of ingredients and dishes spanning Goan-Catholic to Konkani to Saraswat cuisines. It is primarily built around fresh produce, local spices and traditional home-cooking. Moreover, since the 16th century, Goa has been the entry point, so to speak, for a number of fruits, vegetables and spices, the first to have made an appearance on Indian shores. 

Goan-Catholic food is meat-and-seafood-heavy and commonly incorporates a fiery red Recheado masala or paste. The well-known pork sorpotel comprises pork liver, blood sausages and, at times, offal too. While chouricos (Goan sausages) and vindalho are popular, a relatively lesser-known preparation is a pork stew known as cabidela, involving the use of pig’s blood to flavour and thicken the dish. Souring agents like kokum, tamarind and toddy vinegar that lend a tangy flavour to balance the spice are favoured while cooking. The chillies predominant in Goan cooking include the Aldona chilli, Button chilli, Kashmiri chilli, Tarvoti (or piri piri) chilli, green chilli, and Volanchi (or Byadagi) chilli. Locally-made breads include poee (traditionally, toddy is used while kneading the dough), sannas (steamed rice cakes made with or without toddy) and undo or pokshe (round crusty bread with a soft interior) among others. Goa is dotted with small, traditional, family-run bakeries and the bakers are called poders. 

Some other popular dishes include xacuti (a spicy chicken or lamb curry with coconut and poppy seeds), xec-xec (comprises prawn or crab cooked in a roasted spice-and-coconut paste), caldin (a mildly spiced yellow coconut curry made with prawns or mixed vegetables) and ros omelette (pieces of omelette in a xacuti-like gravy—a famous street snack). Classic seafood preparations include ambotik (shark or squid cooked in a tangy gravy comprising onion, garlic and tamarind) and kismoor (dried prawns with green chillies, ginger and grated coconut, eaten as an accompaniment). 

Local sweets include serradura (a layered pudding of whipped cream and crushed biscuits), Bebinca (a rich, sweet made with coconut milk), dodol (made using coconut milk, rice flour and jaggery) and patoleo or patoli (steamed turmeric leaves smeared with rice paste and stuffed with grated coconut, jaggery and cardamom). 

While feni is a traditional spirit fermented from the juice of cashew apples (another variation of feni is made from coconut), urrak is the first distillation brewed from ripe cashew apples, produced only during the summer. Today, the state is one of the most popular culinary destinations in the country, given the surge in the number of restaurants and bars serving a range of options, from traditional dishes to global grub and fine cocktails. Moreover, several homegrown liquor brands making gin, whiskey and rum are now setting up their distilleries in Goa. The food of the Goud Saraswat Brahmins (or Dakshinatya Saraswats) is typically known as Saraswat cuisine. Rich in fruits, vegetables and spices as well as seafood, most preparations involve a rather liberal use of coconut—be it in the form of coconut milk, coconut oil or grated or roasted coconut. Instead of tomato or vinegar, they use kokum, bimbli and tamarind as souring agents in their food. They largely prefer eating rice over bread, though the poiachi bhakri made out of wheat and coconut is popular. Some of the dishes traditionally cooked at home include tisrya hooman (clams cooked in a spicy, tangy coconut curry), khatkhatem (vegetable stew), sprouted moong gaatee (tangy curry with moong with dried chillies and cumin) and bangda uddamethi (mackerel prepared with coconut, fenugreek seeds and urad dal).