Beach Shacks

One of the distinguishing features of Goa's beaches are the seasonal restaurant shacks that line the sands on just about every beach. Of the 360-plus shacks erected each year (2017), some 200 are along the mega-busy Candolim–Calangute–Baga beach strip. Other beaches, especially in the south, might have just one or two shacks every few hundred metres.

Depending on the granting of licences, the lateness of the monsoon or availability of materials, shacks start to go up in early October (some are not built until November) and are dismantled again in late April. Goan tourism department licencing regulations are quite strict on size, location and ownership (foreigners are technically not permitted to own or work in the shacks). They're usually constructed from timber and bamboo with palm-thatch roofing and sand floors but some are rather more sophisticated and all are required to have electricity, refrigeration, effective sewerage and waste systems and CCTV. Most also offer free wi-fi to customers.

As for food and drink, fresh fish and seafood is usually bought from local markets or fishing boats each day, but there's also a lengthy menu of Indian, Goan and Western dishes, including breakfast, usually printed in English and Russian Cyrillic. Most shacks have a full bar, with chairs and candle-topped tables spilling out onto the sand and music playing from competing sound systems.