Byron Bay Top Ten Eats
18-22 Old Pacific Highway, Newrybar Village
If we could dream up the perfect country restaurant setting, this might just be it. The prices are on the high side for an every day place but you can’t fault their commitment to using local and sustainable products and cooking from scratch. If you are in town on a Wednesday, make sure you book for Wild Harvest, a weekly ever-changing menu focusing on foraged and local ingredients. It is really something special. Next door to the restaurant is the beautiful deli that showcases the best of the region. To complete their invasion of the small hamlet of Newrybar, they now also have the local bakery housed behind the cafe where they churn out beautiful sourdoughs and pastries. Head there on a Saturday or Sunday morning when the bakery is working overtime to stock up before your picnic in the Hinterland and you’ll be rewarded.
2/16 The Terrace, Brunswick Heads
The newest venture from Astrid McCormack and Josh Lewis, formally at the award winning Loam in Victoria. The food is beautifully presented with a sharp nod to local ingredients. An amazing wine list featuring local and international wines leaning towards the natural end of the spectrum completes the picture. Without a doubt, this is one of the best restaurants in the region and the country for that matter. Fleet has picked up a swath of awards already so make sure you book ahead - like months ahead.
41 Pacific Pde, Lennox Head
This is an unassuming restaurant - you’d pass by it if you didn’t know if was there. But it would be a shame if you did. One of the finest spots for what is arguably the best coffee on the coast, Foam has a beautiful menu with some tricky bits thrown in for good measure. Breakfast is eggs with hollandaise but the eggs are sensational and it comes with beautifully house-baked brioche. Again, this is another restaurant that has it’s eye firmly on working with local producers and making as much in house as possible. The wine list spans more interesting natural selections along with some standards all at very reasonable price points. The owner, like Fleet, is another transplant from a fine dining restaurant - the award winning Biota in Bowral, and it shows. The service is relaxed but spot on and there is good attention to detail.
11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale
This is the newest kid on the block and gee, is it some kid. Not content to relocate, surf and have a small farm to table restaurant, the owners of The Three Blue Ducks in Bronte have ambitious plans. They’ve started with a large canteen like offering busting out gorgeous and substantial plates of really delicious produce driven breakfast, lunch and dinners and produce store selling local vegetables, artisan products and meats. Outside are the beginnings of serious farming venture with fields being ploughed, hundreds of chicken in the taj mahal of coops and cows dotted around the place. The food is solid and the vibe is excited. Well worth a visit especially if you have kids.
12 Shelly Beach Rd, Ballina.
This is an odd spot for a cafe, that’s for sure but the trail of people out the door give a good sign of what is to come. The menu is firmly placed in the produce driven/paleo scene with a decent cauliflower rice nasi goreng and a steak sandwich for the non-paleo customers. A big cabinet stocked full of raw cakes along with decent coffee and smoothies will mean this cafe has a loyal following with the wellness crew in the southern part of the coast. In my dream life where I have green smoothies every day, this would be my favourite place to be.
399 Ewingsdale Rd, Byron Bay.
If a turmeric lattes rock your world, then this is your place. Owned by the same people, Folk on the outskirts of Byron Bay and The Woods in Bangalow serve up healthy and seriously delicious food. From buckwheat pancakes to a hearty nourish bowl, you’ll feel lighter, healthier and more at ease with the world. Or that might have been because they were playing ‘Harvest’ by Neil Young. Either way, make sure you get to either one.
21 Byron Rd, Bangalow (Bangalow Bowling Club)
From Mon-Sat, the talented duo of Gray and Jen totally rock the Bangalow Bowlo with their versions of smoky southern goodness. Reasonably priced and totally delicious, I can’t recommend this place enough. Check their Facebook for what is on each night - burgers, fried chicken are the staples along with other crowd pleasers depending on the season. Their commitment to sourcing locally grown and raised produce is second to none and the beers are cheap. What more could you want?
Federal Rd, Federal (next to the General Store)
Who knew that a small cafe in the hinterland town of Federal could bust out some of the best Japanese in the region? A 25 min drive from Byron Bay, this small cafe is boasting the freshest sushi, awesome coffee and generally good vibes in the hills. Open only for breakfast and lunch, a good tip is to get the special plates. You’ll thank me. Head on up to Minyon Falls afterwards for a dip and one of the best views back to the sea.
Unit 4 / 8 Banksia Drive, Byron Bay, NSW 2481
I basically want to live here and make Sarah and Jeremy cook for me every day. Beautiful produce sourced from the region is left to shine on their short and seasonal menu. The coffee is hands down the best in town and they are lovely people to boot. Housed in the industrial area, head there mid week for a lovely lunch or sunny breakfast. Tips - the sour fish curry is amazing.
Pizza at the Clunes General Store on a Thursday night by Il Carretto
Lismore Rd, Clunes (next to the General Store)
I love the swath of largely unadvertised and small gatherings that happen around Byron in halls and roadside cafes. The pizza at the Clunes General Store on a Thursday night is well worth the drive. Housed next to one of the best local stores you’ll likely to ever come across, the vibe is great, the pizza is cranking and the bottle shop serves some of the best natural wines around. 10/10.