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Bob’s Inn

The first and perhaps most important thing you need to know about Bob’s Inn in Candolim is that it is no culinary haven – no fancy concoctions, no innovative creations, no food to write home about. In fact, if you don’t know about this place, it’s pretty easy to pass on the main Candolim strip without giving it a second thought. And that it bills itself as a Goan/Indian/Continental/Chinese restaurant could be construed as further evidence that perhaps it can be dismissed as just another multi-cuisine tourist joint in one of the most heavily trafficked tourist strips on the Asian continent.


Interiors of Bob’s Inn          

  But there is a surprise at Bob’s Inn, and a rather extraordinary one at that. Actually, four surprises. Here they are, in order of importance.

  1. It’s packed full of fascinating memorabilia and art – old statues and bottles and antiques and paintings – giving it a feel that’s perhaps more eclectic than any place on the Candolim beach belt. (OK, some might call it ‘kitsch,’ but for those who like this sort of thing, it’s very pleasant).
  2. Its owner, 67-year-old Pradeep Lawande, aka Bob, is an unusually colourful story teller with an infectious personality who has turned his establishment into a fantastic place to “chill” and make friends.
  3.  Established in the 1980s, it’s one of the oldest places around.
  4. During the season, it’s a fine place to hear live music.

Now, Bob’s Inn is a restaurant so let’s get back to the food for a moment. On a recent afternoon, the two items ordered – a Kingfish Masala Fry and Manchurian Chicken – were certainly tasty enough. It’s the kind of tourist-belt food that might make an Englishman or a Russian say “This is why I love India” and perhaps make a jaded Goan say “Fine but I’ve had better.” To be fair, lots of people who frequent Bob’s Inn have plenty of nice things to say about the food as well as the atmosphere. Pradeep or, um, Bob is obviously out to make a statement here – and it wouldn’t be completely fair to say that statement is only about his dusty collection of bottles from 1962. It’s really about everything – from the food to the Bob Marley poster to the Buddhas to the tiled paintings above the urinals. There’s a groove here. Bob has made his statement.


And his restaurant is a surprise.


The Food: Good, not great

The Atmosphere: Great

The owner: Fabulous

The prices: Not bad for this part of Goa. Most dishes around Rs 200 or less

Where: Calangute/Candolim Road, phone: +918322489402

Other Benefit: Open off season, too