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Byron Bay is a summer holiday mecca thanks to amazing beaches, relaxation and a thriving food and coffee scene.
It feels like Byron’s going through a bit of a culinary renaissance. With the perfect mixture of sun, rain and fertile soil, so many wonderful farms around, and accessibility to excellent produce, there’s always been great food here, but it seems to be reaching a bit of a crescendo at the moment which is awesome for food-lovers like us!
I’m always on the hunt for great food and coffee, so next time you’re in Byron here’s is my little black book of the best places to excite your taste buds and get nourished! A lot of these are a drive from the town centre but this is where the best gems are to be found!
BEST PLACES FOR FOOD AND COFFEE IN BYRON (not in order!):
100 Mile Table
It’s a little bit off the beaten track in the Byron Bay Arts and Industrial Park, but such a gem and worth the trip! The lovely Sarah Swan and Jeremy Burn do great coffee, breakfast and lunch in a cool, industrial space. It’s a total local hangout because we all love it. You can also book them for catering gigs and private dinners. They’re the best in the biz. Monday-Friday 7am-2pm for food, until 3pm for coffee. 8 Banksia Drive, Byron Bay.
This cute blue and white weatherboard cottage cafe serves tasty, healthy food alongside coffee, cold pressed juices, smoothies and elixirs. Definitely worth a stop if you’re up for wholesome food in a lovely, relaxed setting, away from the hustle and bustle of Byron town. Lot 1, 399 Ewingsdale Rd Byron Bay.
This place is my favourite in Byron town. It’s a cool and casual surf shack away from the main drag with great coffee, breakfast and lunch. Think yummy pastries, bircher muesli and burgers. It’s super busy so you’ll if you don’t find a table you can join the throngs of barefooted surfier sprawling onto the grass outside. 7 days 6.30am-5pm. Cnr Carlyle & Massinger Sts, Byron bay.
Italian at the Pacific
Great hospitality is the cornerstone of this Italian resto. From the get go, the staff made us feel like they really wanted us to be there. To the point where we really didn’t mind what the food and cocktails were going be like because we were so content. Except they were great. The negroni was perfectly bitter-sweet, and we loved the terrine entree and spaghetti ragu. As the name suggests, it’s Italian food right on main Beach, next door to the Beach Hotel. There aren’t too many places in Byron where you can swap the flats for wedges and have a bit of a night out, so if you’re a after a slightly dressier dinner and a few cocktails with excellent service, this is a great place to go. Dinner 7 days 6pm- late. Bay St, Byron Bay. Bookings 02 6680 7055.
Balcony Bar and Oyster Co.
If you’re after a cocktail, oysters and spot of people watching, the balcony of this newly referred resto is perfect on a balmy Byron afternoon. Recently taken over by hotelier Fraser Short and chef Sean Connolly, the current menu mirrors that of their Sydney venue The Morrison, including the delicious ricotta and mushroom gnocchi.
Three Blue Ducks on The Farm at Byron Bay
I need to be upfront and tell you that one of the chef/owners Darren Robertson is my fiance, but once you get to this place I think you’ll agree that it’s pretty damn awesome. You may know Darren and his business partners Mark LaBrooy, Jeff Bennett, Chris Sorrell and Sam Reid-Boquist from their great cafe in Bronte, and this restaurant and produce store is their newest addition. It’s been a labour of love with the boys moving north for the project and getting involved in absolutely everything from sourcing spray-free, ethical produce direct from local farmers, to building the shelves and tables. Like their flagship cafe in Bronte, the menu here is innovative, wholesome, delicious and produce-focused. In an Australian first, the bar also boasts craft beer and mostly organic/biodynamic wines on tap, in an effort to maintain freshness for longer, and reduce wine and glass bottle wastage. The talented bakers at Bread Social are next door, there’s a florist and kid’s playground, and you can pick up fresh organic bread and milk from the produce store on your way out. This is a great place to come for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and kids are very welcome. Every Saturday and Sunday, there’s an epic take-away bbq serving up the likes of pork buns, roast chicken and porches with the crispiest crackling ever. It’s a great option if you don’t want to wait for a table in the restaurant. Did I mention it’s on a working farm where you can stroll around the macadamia plantation and meet the chickens that provide fresh eggs for your breakfast? Yep, the Three Blue Ducks have nailed again. Check out my full story on them here. Breakfast and Lunch 7 days 7am-3pm, Dinner Friday-Sunday 5pm-9pm. 11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale.
Three Blue Ducks on The Farm at Byron Bay (clockwise from top left): the view; chicken skins, parfait, davidson plum and bird seed for dinner; excellent single origin coffee; Bread Social loaves and pastries in the produce store; congee, boiled egg, kim chi, kale, miso eggplant, sesame, yarrow, burnt shallot and sea weed for breakfast; mixed grains, chia, almond milk, coconut parfait, lemongrass, ginger and chilli for breakfast.
This new offering from the health conscious folk from Folk in Byron Bay is simply gorgeous. Nestled in a hub of creative little businesses including a florist, leather maker, book store and art school, and surrounded by planter boxes filled with edible gardens, it’s insta-worthy too. Even the bathroom with its duck egg blue sink, vintage mirrors and lamp is worth a snap. The menu is small but features delicious wholesome goodies like the raw organic turmeric and citrus dream cake, superfood vegan granola and open burrito. Like Folk, the coffees, smoothies, juices and elixirs are great too.
Our Corner Kitchen
The talented and stylish girls behind Bangalow’s beautiful and bespoke homewares and lifestyle store Our Corner Store have branched out and opened a lovely little café just around the corner from their shop. Naturally, the fit-out is lovely. The weatherboard cottage style front opens up to a simple and stylish interior with a small range of kitchenware, pickles and a lovely tropical garden outlook from the deck out the back. The coffee’s great and the small but solid breakfast and lunch menu has all the favourites including smashed avo on seeded toast with goats cheese, a Reuben sanga and baked eggs with beans and Bangalow bacon. Plus, the inside scoop is that a wood-fired pizza oven is also on the way. Don’t forget to have a browse in their store- you’ll want everything! Open daily, 7am- 5pm. 3/38 Byron St Bangalow.
Husband and wife, Karl and Katrina, run Town. Katrina used to be the acclaimed pastry chef at Pier (among many other great restaurants) so the sweets here are fantastic as is everything else, especially the delicious signature “Town Dog” for lunch (go and find out what it is!). They do a dinner degustation too. Monday-Saturday 7.30am for coffee, Breakfast 8am- 11.45am (from 9am on Sunday), Lunch 12.15pm-2.30pm (coffee and sweets until 3pm), Dinner Thursday-Saturday from 7pm. 33 Byron St Bangalow.
Jones & Co
This cute, hole-in-the-wall coffee shop is the newest addition to Brunz’s thriving cafe scene- and I love it. The concept is simple- coffee, pastries, toasties and fresh flowers- and who needs more options before their caffeine hit anyway? Speaking of which, the Allpress coffee here is excellent, pastries sweet and crispy and toasties delicious (how good are toasties?!), all enjoyed in a bright and sunny little nook just out of Byron. One of my new regulars! Open daily, 7am-3pm. 15 Tweed St Brunswick Heads.
From the moment your greeted at the door of this 15-seater wine bar by the delightful front of house/sommelier, Astrid McCormack, you could be in New York, Copenhagen, London…but alas we’re in Brunswick Heads. Yep, Fleet is special. Everything about this tiny, scandi-style establishment is bespoke, from the gorgeous hand-made ceramic plates to the impressive polished concrete communal bench top to the delicate minimalist water glasses. And I haven’t even got to the small but exceptional list of mostly sustainable and natural Australian wines, craft beers, ciders and cocktails. Astrid will make sure you’re drinking something as interesting just as it is delicious, which leaves you free to savour the delicious and innovative snacks and small plates being artfully prepared in the open kitchen by chef Josh Lewis. What can I say? These ex-Melbourners are nailing it in every way. It’s seriously good. Go there. *Awarded 2016 Good Food Guide Best Regional Restaurant. Open Thurs-Mon, 3pm-10pm. 2/16 The Terrace, Brunswick Heads. (02) 6685 1363
This friendly vegetarian cafe is usually packed and I’m not surprised- their felafels are the best in town! The food here has an Israeli influence and the focus is fresh, healthy, wholesome and vego. Open 7 days 7.30am-3pm (until 4pm on weekends). 2/1 Park St Brunswick Heads.
Brothers Marc and Allen do excellent coffee using the local Byron roastery Marvell Street Coffee Roasters. Marc the Barista used to work at Harry’s in Bondi which also do great coffee. This was followed by a stint at the Coffee Collective in Copenhagen which is the coffee institution in Denmark and happens to be Rene Redzepi’s favourite (you know, just that guy from Noma). This small cafe has a Scandinavian feel (Copenhagen inspiration?) and the simple but tasty menu features a Reuben sandwich that rivals some of the best! Weekdays 6.30am-3.30pm, Weekends 7.30am-3.30pm. Shop 4 30, Mullumbimbi St Brunswick Heads.
Milk & Co.
This lovely cafe offers great coffee, a really tasty and wholesome menu, and nutritious smoothies on communal seating indoors and outdoors. It’s one of my faves in Brunswick Heads when I want something healthy.
Milk and Honey
The. Best. Pizza. And I’d go as far as saying it’s the best in Australia! I’m not sure what the former Tetsuya’s chef turned artisan-pizza-maker-extraordinaire does with the dough, but it’s perfect: the wood-fired base is smoky and crispy and the toppings are fresh, local and interesting. This is a bit controversial, but I’ve always had an aversion to pineapple on pizza but Milk and Honey has changed that- the pancetta and pineapple pizza with sweet onions, mozzarella, basil, garlic and pickled chilli pizza is AMAZING. Plus when they’re serving wood-fired bone marrow as an entree you know this isn’t just your standard pizza joint. The salads taste like they’ve literally just been picked from the garden. We love this place. In fact, I’m on my way there now… Dinner Tuesday- Saturday from 5pm. Try to get in early as it usually starts winding down around 8.30-9pm. Shop 5, 59a Station St Mullumbimby.
Punch and Daisy
This café is an awesome little addition to Mullum serving great coffee and a small menu of tasty, healthy food for breakfast and lunch. Think hearty salads with toasted nuts, epic sandwiches and eggs served on rustic wooden boards. “Punch” and “Daisy” are their two coffee blends (strong and mild) and they’re crackers. Monday-Friday 8am-2pm. 105 Stuart St Mullumbimby.
This unassuming little local Japanese restaurant serves up delicious, fresh and authentic Japanese food- it’s one four favourites and packed out most nights so make sure you book!
Mullumbimby Farmer’s Markets!
This is my favourite farmer’s market in the area with excellent local produce and lots of stalls serving healthy, tasty food from sushi to omelettes to pastries. It’s a great place to pick up some produce and have breakfast at the same time. Fridays from 7-11am.
Now here’s a local gem for you. Francisco’s Table is pop-up restaurant that serves lunch and dinner at various locations in the Byron area, usually town halls. The four-course menu is simple, honest, delicious, and made using amazing local produce that Francisco sources direct from farmers and producers. Before you eat the communal table, Francisco comes out to explain the dishes and where he’s sourced the food. It’s a really special, convivial and unique experience. Kind of like sitting down for a meal with a big extended group of family and friends. BYO too. You’ll find details on his upcoming dinners here.
Harvest Cafe is a Byron institution and they do breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner is a little more upmarket if you’re up for a few drinks and something special. There’s a rather gorgeous deli next door selling pastries, breads, cheeses and the like. But my favourite is “Sourdough Saturdays and Sundays” where you can sit inside the historic bakery with a coffee and feast on freshly baked breads and pastries. 7 days from 8am for breakfast and lunch, Dinner Thursday-Saturday. 18-22 Old Pacific Hwy, Newrybar.
If you love sushi, you’ll love Doma. This hippie chic café does amazing Japanese food with a great outdoor setting. It’s run by a young crew of Japanese people focused on great, wholesome, healthy sushi. It’s worth driving into the hinterland to eat at this cool, earthy café. Weekdays 7.30am-3.30pm, Weekends 7.30am-3pm. 898 Federal Rd, Federal.