Mon to Sat, 9am to 6pm
Closed Sundays and bank holiday Mondays.
From their website …
…. ” Café Rua was opened by Ann McMahon in New Antrim Street, Castlebar over ten years ago with the aim of producing uncomplicated food using seasonal and local ingredients. The business that Ann started is now run by her children Aran and Colleen, and the aim remains the same.
We now have two branches of Café Rua, both in Castlebar. The original Café is still to be found on new Antrim street, and we opened a second branch called Rua on Spencer Street in August of 2008. This latter branch has two levels and features our delicatessen where it’s possible to buy many of the local ingredients that we’ve been using in our café over the last decade ….”
Everyone has their favourite place to eat. Be it a dive that serves the best breakfast ever; a greasy spoon that sates you after a night of beer drinking, or your favourite hideaway on holidays where only the locals eat. Finding that gem of an eatery is like finding gold. You are tempted not to tell a soul about it … incase it gets too busy, and you will no longer be able to get a table for your own dining pleasure.
Rua in Castlebar is just like that. Busy as all get out.
Brace yourself for a barrage of bold colours as you enter the deli on Spencer street, and take a minute to absorb your surroundings.
The first thing you will notice is the ‘in your face’ promotion of local products. And when I mean in your face, I mean … it is everywhere.
Mayo has some amazing producers and it seems that they all like to congregate right here in the deli heaven that is Rua.
We stopped in for a late lunch a few weeks ago, right after a visit to The Country Life Museum (if you have never been – make it your business to visit this gorgeous museum (for free might I add)), and we were not one bit surprised that we would have to wait to get a table. Our name on the waiting list, we headed off back down the town and around the Mall (large beautiful green space at the end of Spencer street near Café Rua). Our appetite was well whetted by the time we returned, because we saw several families picknicking with bags from Rua deli in the park.
Clearly, they were locals who know the drill.
Rua is always busy. Best to get it while it’s hot!
Upon being seated, the kids were given a bucket of crayons and a whimsical sketch, of Café Rua, to express their artistic selves. This is always a good sign. It means they know kids. They know that children are usually hungry and start looking for food immediately, but, have the attention spans of a flea so can be distracted, while the food prep is underway, with a large bucket of crayons.
Happy kids = happy parents.
The kids menu is the best priced (for quality) menu we have seen in Ireland. I know that is a bold statement .. and if you have other kid’s menus to share that are of equal quality and affordability then please, by all means, send me a link. We are starting to see a lot of restaurant menus show the provenance of their food, and get excited to see all the local suppliers mentioned, but how many kids menu’s have you seen like this?
When I complimented the owner (Aran McMahon) on the kids menu, his cheeky smiling self stated ‘its important to keep the bosses happy’ … I am sure that the Mum’s of Castlebar, and the surround, visit Café Rua frequently to nourish themselves and their kids.
Once the kid’s food arrived, there was no chat from our four. They inhaled the beautiful fare that was presented to them and went right back to colouring quietly (on the promise that there would be cake…hey, don’t judge us) leaving us to enjoy our Mayo Mezze platters. The best of the best sitting on a plate in front of us for lunch, swished down with a bottle of their home made lemonade. Heaven, is what it was.
Afterwards … and because we had promised … we let the kids pick and choose from the Rua cake selections.
It did not take them long to decide … warm gooey chocolate brownie up first
followed by a sublime slice of orange cream cake … the Chef is going to make one this weekend … it was that good.
After bellies were filled, plates cleared and colouring contest winners announced, we trundled downstairs to the carry-out section of Café Rua to purchase a few delicious goodies to take home for tea. Their home made chicken paté is so good, we have hidden it in the fridge so the kids won’t find it.
When I scoured through my photos of Rua last night I was delighted to get this warm n’ fuzzy feeling of calm and contentedness recalling our experience there.
It is pure chaos at lunchtime. You have to fight to get a seat – but the tables turn quickly – or you can take it all to go and enjoy the fine weather if the sun is shining.
They even sell wine … lots of fabulous wine.
Aran at Cafe Rua has given us a gift certificate for two Mayo Mezze platters; This is more than a substantial lunch for two. I will pick the winner (from the comments) next Thursday and pop it in the post to you wherever you are in Ireland.
Usual rules apply .. you must be subscribed to our WiseWords blog and leave a comment on this blog post below telling us which town (and county) Café Rua is located in.
If you are a local food producer in Mayo, the Chef & I are joining in the fun next week at Recipe for Success at Hotel Westport on the morning of Fri. 6th September 2013 at Hotel Westport. I will be tweeting, so if you can’t make it be sure to follow me .. @WiseMona and keep track of the banter that will be going on that day. The hashtag is : #Recipes4SuccessMayo
AND the winner is .. Congrats Shirin!! Enjoy Rua. I will email you to get your postal address.
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I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
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