On a recent trip to Evansville, I had a chance to enjoy lunch at Ri Ra, an Irish restaurant in downtown Evansville, near the Casino Aztar. In fact, Ri Ra was part of a $40 million expansion of the Downtown Waterfront Entertainment District, and the restaurant is gorgeous. Laura Libs of the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau took my daughter and me to the restaurant as part of our whirlwind tour of the River City. The restaurant is part of a small chain with 11 locations around the country, including Louisville, Atlantic City, Atlanta, and Providence, Rhode Island. In fact, Evansville is the farthest west you can find a place.
While it’s a little more upscale than your typical Irish pub (I mean, the paneling on the walls is gorgeous, especially to an amateur woodworker like me), anyone who has been to Fionn MacCool’s or the Claddagh in Indianapolis will love Ri Ra. In fact, the interiors were all salvaged and shipped from Ireland to give it that air of authenticity.
The food is excellent, and I enjoyed their fish and chips. It’s my old standard at any Irish restaurant, the fish and chips, and I judge an Irish pub on how good they are. Ri Ra got it right, so they get my full, “two fillets up” recommendation. My daughter had the Shepherd’s Pie, another family favorite, and said it was one of the best ones she’s had.
Ri Ra’s close proximity to downtown makes it an ideal place to stop for any day you’re out having fun in Indiana’s third largest city, whether it’s at the casino, a baseball game, or a day at the museums.
I had been to Ri Ra once before when I was a speaker at the inaugural event of the Evansville Social Media Club, and spoke in their upstairs bar. They also have live musicians and bands perform upstairs, and it’s ideal for a night out for some good beer, great food, and some music.