As spring springs ever more into action, here’s hoping you are lacing up the hiking shoes and getting out and about for even some short hikes. If you find yourself in our wonderful coastal county, here are 5 great Mayo lunch spots to look out for.

When compiling this list, I’ve taken into account neither pubs nor mobile food trucks.

I also wanted to list food options that are located near easily accessible walks for all the family.

These 5 great Mayo lunch spots are dedicated solely to serving in the middle of the day, offering superb food, but with early closing hours, so whether you’re craving comforting soups or indulgent afternoon delights, these lunch spots promise to satisfy.

In alphabetical order, then, here we go – and here you should go too!

Devour Bakery, Ballinrobe (above)

While very much first and foremost a bakery and patisserie, both the lunch and afternoon tea & cake options here are excellent. Drop in after a lovely easy-level ramble in the woods at Cong and Clonbur, along the shores of Loughs Mask or Corrib.

Great Mayo lunch spots Foxford

Foxford Woollen Mills (above)

The café upstairs serves simply gorgeous food. On my most recent trip, I had a wonderful moist quiche, accompanied by a fresh salad and curried aubergine slices. They were beyond divine. For an easy nearby walk, head towards Pontoon for both Drummin Wood, on your right, and a Lough Cullin shoreline stroll, on your left. The latter is best if there hasn’t been recent heavy rain, as you’ll be able to get further along the shore.

Great Mayo lunch spots Ballycroy

Ginger & Wild Café, at the National Park Visitor Centre, Ballycroy (above)

The homemade soups are fabulous, the coffee is very nice indeed, but the cakes take the biscuit, so to speak. Never in my over a half-century have I had a cake like Jean Pierre’s stupendous Tunisian Orange Cake. We enjoyed two slices and took another two home with us. For a lovely beach walk, check out nearby Doona Peninsula.

Le Patisseria di Angelo, Castlebar (above)

Despite the name, this excellent café is run by some of our Eastern European community members. Their soups are excellent, including a fabulous Potato & Leek. For a relaxed local stroll, walk the loop around Lough Lannagh within the town  itself. For a more robust hike (while still mostly on tarmac), march up to the booster station on Croaghmoyle. If you have the kids, you don’t need to do the whole thing.

McNamara, Louisburgh (above)

Only a stone’s throw away from Tia, below, this wonderful place is tiny. Their butternut and leek soup is the finest I have ever had and their stout bread should be outlawed; it’s simply too devine for mere mortals.

Tia, Louisburgh (at top)

This little café is superb. Enjoy their excellent lunch offerings, coffee and tremendous cakes. This spot is a real treat after your long walk along Louisburgh’s numerous magnificent beaches, or if you’re heading for the ferries at Roonagh, for example to hike wonderful Inishturk.

Great Mayo Lunch Spots

You’ve got your exercise in, now go discover some of these gems. They’ll nourish the soul after a hike in the breathtaking beauty of Mayo’s countryside, especially if it’s been raining!

Honourable mentions also go to the café at the National Museum of Country Life, outside Castlebar, to Puddleducks in Cong, to The Olive Tree in Castlebar and to the relatively new Servd in Westport (yes, that’s how it’s spelled).