Lyons Café is on the first floor of Lyons department store in the centre of Sligo Town. Lyons has been part of the town for generations, and the café retains many of the original features, from the very lovely stained glass signage outside to large mirrored walls and bentwood chairs upstairs.
Chef and owner Gary Stafford has combined the modern and the old here to great effect. The room is pleasing, with very good proportions, while his eclectic menu features a very contemporary take on food values. All products are sourced as locally as possible, everything that can be made on the premises is made fresh daily and cool lamb burgers with mint go down a storm. On the other hand so do the myriad array of different flavoured Bakewell tarts, the warm and wholesome soups and the lunchtime carvery.
Lyons Café is the archetypical café that every town and city needs, a space where people come for a break, for lunch, for a cup of tea during a shopping trip and most of all for a chat; to catch up with friends and while away time.
Sitting in the middle of the room on a busy Saturday afternoon, I can only regret the passing of its Dublin counterparts, like Bewley’s. There is no equivalent to Lyons in our capital city and it is the poorer for it.
The Caesar salad is one of the moist authentic I have had in Ireland, where just about everything has been added to this classic at one time or another. Raspberry bakewell is delicious and some fresh coffee and a read of the papers has be re-charged to head back out into Sligo on a chilly October afternoon.
I really like Lyon’s; it’s honest, comfortable, and friendly and the food is very good. Gary Stafford has taken an institution and added his own bits, without losing what was there before. It works very well and next time you’re in Sligo, while away an hour in pleasant company.