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I love baked goods. You love baked goods! And lucky for us, there are many bakeries in Panjim serving up sugar, spice and everything nice for when those carb cravings are too damn real.
Over the years, I’ve visited several bakeries in our capital city. But it was quite recently that I embarked on a dessert trail organized by a friend, Kuheli of @thefoodietrails, when I decided to write about some of the best bakeries I’ve been to before and on that day. While our trail comprised of both, bakeries and cafes, I’ve narrowed my post down to only bakeries, and cafes baking their own goods.
Confetaria 31 De Janeiro (Altinho) – Located in a tiny alleyway near the Panjim Church, this hole-in-the-wall bakery will take you on a trip back in time with a little imagination. The name of the establishment indicates the day it was founded all the way back in 1930 by the current owner’s father-in-law. Inside, there is just about enough space for the glass display case, smudged with the fingerprints of patrons indicating how much bebinca, swiss rolls, patties, dodol and bolinha they’d like. Three is a crowd, at this bakery in Panjim and there are limited seats to sit on outside, for when the weather isn’t too sultry.
Café Bodega (Altinho) – One of the best hangout spots in Panjim, Café Al Fresco, aka Café Bodega is located in a gorgeous restored mansion that is also an art gallery on the Altinho hill. Pull up a chair in the open air courtyard (they have covered seating along the edges, too) and tuck in to some waffles, pancakes, sandwiches or eggs cooked your way. They are well known for their desserts in Panjim, and you can’t go wrong with the Miso Brownie, Strawberry Cheesecake or the Red Velvet Cupcake. Overall, this bakery-cum-café in Panjim is a great place to relax with a cup of coffee and a book (or your laptop as they have free wi-fi), while taking in its artsy vibe. On most days, service is quick.
Meraki Cafe and Kitchen (Althinho) – You may find this to be more of a cafe than a bakery, but the talented home baker who runs Meraki Cafe and Kitchen in Goa makes the most fabulous cakes and baked goodies! From the hard-to-find Bolo Sans Rival to Coconut Cake and Basbousa to exquisite Christmas Puddings, you should have this intimate little spot on your list of places to visit in Panjim. I haven’t tried their meals yet, but I have heard people raving about their Pulled Pork, Pork Ribs, Galinha Grelhado (grilled chicken), spaghetti and meatballs and more. Everything has a personal touch – but I especially love the turquoise and gold walls!
Perfect Bakery (Ozari) – Yet another tiny bakery, but one of Panjim’s oldest ones. The goodies from Perfect Bakery are worth travelling for. You’ll find the flakiest of patties (the kind that are embarrassing to eat in public because you’ll end up with crumbs all over your face), and melt-in-your-mouth good cheese straws that you won’t be able to stop munching on. You may not be able to hang out at this bakery in Goa due to the lack of space. It’s advisable to carry your purchases back home or do what I do and eat them in the car – they’re that irresistible.
Sugarlicious (Santa Inez) – This adorable little café in Panjim reminds me of a doll house – with its powder blue walls, pink chairs and a faux window surrounded by flowers. Their cakesicles covered in white chocolate are OMG fabulous while the cupcakes and brownies are super indulgent. The savoury and baked goodies are worth a try for when you feel a sugar rush coming on. If you’re looking for a themed cake, you should check out their Instagram page.Black Vanilla (Campal) – I already wrote about Black Vanilla in Panjim, but I’ll include it here again, as it is one of the most well known cafes in Panjim. The menu is quite extensive and you can bet that you’ll find your choice of sugary treat here – be it churros, crepes or fresh goodies from the bakery – cinnamon rolls, Danish pastry, cupcakes, tarts, brownies, cheesecakes and more. It’s a great place for lunch or a quick catch-up with a friend. You can pick from among their pastas, pizzas, sandwiches/burgers, salads, fondue and even all-day brekkies. I prefer the lower section as it is breezier and brighter than the upstairs area.
Truffles (Caranzalem) – Truffles is one of the best cake shops in Panjim, and one of the very few places in Goa selling great macarons in dozens of flavours. Their Hazlenut Crunch cake is a hot favourite and for good reason – the way it crackles as you eat it is delightful. Truffles in Panjim has a variety of unique products (whiskey cupcakes, for one!), guilty pleasures (rumballs, doughnuts and more), savouries and beautiful looking cakes on order on their Instagram Page.
7th Heaven (Caranzalem) – A relatively new entrant in Panjim, 7th Heaven claims to have a fresh cake ready in 7 minutes. The ambience is bright, well air-conditioned and spacious and the display case gleams with all sorts of colourful cakes, however taste-wise, I didn’t find it up to the mark. I honestly won’t be going back, but I’ll leave it to you to try them out and decide for yourselves.