“High Café is a highly recommended hidden gem for dining out in Galway”
After a difficult time for the hospitality industry and with little space to accommodate outdoor dining, when High Café reopened for indoor diners I was excited to revisit this hidden Galway gem. Nestled upstairs between Sonny Molloy’s and the Bunch of Grapes, High Café is off the beaten track whilst still holding a central location. Having previously dined here for lunch, post-pandemic I opted for a dinner reservation. Arriving early on a Wednesday evening, my guest and I were greeted warmly by a member of staff and shown to our seat. I am a stickler for corner seat so when I called to reserve I requested such and was not disappointed. Snug in the corner by a window we had an ideal view of the bustling Galway street below. It can be difficult to get the ambience right in restaurants however High Café, with its dimmed lighting, and tealight candles does an excellent job of making guests feel relaxed. The music playing was a mixture of modern and classical played at the perfect level allowing for conversations to flow easily and unstrained. A quirk of this restaurant is the décor, it’s walls boast a merge of beautiful Mediterranean tilework alongside interesting Irish artwork and historical artefacts which combined, make for stimulating viewing.
The menu at High Café offers an eclectic mix of dishes such as Galway Bay Smoked Salmon, Vegetarian Tagine, and Marinated Lamb Skewers. The restaurant describes its menu as serving the best dishes from both Irish and Mediterranean landscapes with a notably large influence from Morocco. The inclusion of pizzas, pasta and a kids menu makes High Café accessible to even the fussiest of eaters amongst us. Opting for the two-course set menu, for starters we went for the Garlic Prawns and Mussels Gratin and Garlic Bread with Cheese. The prawn and mussel combination in a creamy, lightly spiced, the tomato sauce was rich but not overpowering whilst the garlic bread was fluffy with just the right amount of cheese. For our main courses we both chose skewers with my guest going for the Mixed Skewer Platter whilst I chose the Chicken Marinated Skewer. Both items are served with couscous, green beans, carrot, spinach and garlic potato whilst offering a choice between chips, boiled rice, or pitta bread, garlic butter or green peppercorn sauce as sides. The skewers were cooked well, juicy and tender whilst the vegetables were flavourful and perfectly seasoned. We struggled to finish due to the generous portion size. Although there were tasty dessert options on offer including Chocolate Cake and Banoffee Pie, my party felt too pleasantly full so declined dessert.
Uncommon for Galway restaurants and a feature worth highlighting is that High Café does not serve alcohol on the premises. Patrons are welcome to visit the bar downstairs to order drinks to bring upstairs. Otherwise, guests are welcome to bring along their bottle of wine at no additional corkage fee. Soft drinks and coffees are available onsite. An unfortunate downside to High Café is that there is no wheelchair accessibility. Food is available for delivery on Deliveroo or collection, however, I encourage people to visit the restaurant in person to get the real authentic experience. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 12.30 to 10 pm offering a variety of value and set menus throughout the day, served to the highest standard by friendly staff, High Café is a highly recommended hidden gem for dining out in Galway.