Where to Eat, Drink and Play in Byron Bay.
Byron Bay, known for its crystal blue water, bone white sand and tropical climate. There are funky vintage stores all around town, bustling bars and cafes, and plenty of unique characters just waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re planning a trip to Byron, or we’ve inspired a road trip, this guide provides the essentials for all your foodie needs.
Folk Byron Bay
The epitome of old school 70s Byron Bay, this organic, ethical and plant-based café is the ultimate breakfast spot. From within this white wooden bungalow, surrounded in greenery emerges vibrant and wholesome creations. The fairest of them all – the buckwheat banana hot cakes ($19). Topped with house made labne, locally sourced honey, and a bountiful combination of fruit, seeds and nuts. Are you tired of the smashed avo craze? How about some organic smashed green peas ($21) instead? Served with pickled fennel, mint, shaved watermelon radish, cress, grilled citrus, sesame, garden greens and poached eggs this is guilt-free consumption at its finest. Don’t be fooled by Folk’s location. Situated within the Ewingsdale Road caravan park it’s the last place you’d expect to find. But trust us, this luxurious bohemian cafe serves one of the best breakfasts in town.
Folk, Byron Bay
Lot 1, 399 Ewingsdale Road, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, (02 6685 5265), 7.30am-2.30pm
Combi Cafe – where city slicker meets beach babe complete with golden wooden interiors, pops of copper and pastels in-between. With potted palms and other growing greens, Combi sure knows how to bring the outside in. Especially when it comes to their menu. Top off your morning with one of their colourfully delicious super bowls. If you’re really looking to explore the world organic, raw and gluten free, order the organic chia party ($14.50) or dragon fruit bowl ($15). Swap your ordinary coffee order for a double shot espresso poured directly into your fresh coconut with the espresso fresh green coconut ($8). Caffeine has never been so hydrating.
Combi, Byron Bay Pty Ltd, Shop 5b 21-25 Fletcher Street, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, (02) 6680 7426, 7am-3pm, http://wearecombi.com.au
Byron Juice Bar
For a body rejuvenation, head to Byron’s well known Byron Juice Bar. This drop of nourishment comes at a range of $8 to $14. If you’re feeling a little dusty, the staff will welcome your throbbing head with a warm smile. Their enthusiasm coupled with a good juice is sure to bring you back to life. Their chalkboard is not lying when it says “Best Juice in Town”.
Byron Juice Bar, Shop 4, 3 Lawson Street, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, (02) 6685 8618, 6am-7.30pm
The Beach Hotel
A favourite amongst both locals and tourists, The Beach Hotel, is known for their live music. From reggae to pop, this beachfront location is known for afternoon drinks but having breakfast there is one of Byron’s best kept secrets. For a fry up as dirty as your wake-up, but as tasty as that last cocktail, order the big beachy breakfast ($23). Although a staple on almost every café breakfast menu, morning glutton has never tasted so good.
The Beach Hotel, 1 Bay Street, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, (02) 6685 6402, 8am-Late http://www.beachhotel.com.au
Orgasmic Food Byron Bay
This Middle Eastern (Yemen) influenced hole-in-the-wall is home to what has been described as “the best falafel in town”. We are vigorously nodding our heads in agreement. You won’t get a comfortable, air conditioned experience here at Orgasmic Food. But this no frills venue is all heart and does a killer hummus. $19 will buy you a feast in the form of a giant falafel plate. With eight falafel balls, hummus, salsa, lettuce, tomato and cucumber salad, cabbage, pickles, sauerkraut and tahini sauce, you will huff through your last bite, defeated. We shared this plate between two and we were still full. Luckily the beach is just up the street, the perfect place for your food coma nap. If your sceptical about the “best falafel”, keep your eye out for the free samples! Often during the day one of the waitstaff will stand on the corner of Lawson Street and Bay Lane. One try and you’ll be asking for more.
Orgasmic Food, 11 Bay Lane, Byron Bay 2481, (02) 6680 7778, 11am-9pm
Byron Fresh Café
The heart of Byron’s café scene exists in rustic elegance at Byron Fresh Café. With unique wooden detailing and pale sea hues, this haven is home to all your health and hunger needs. Byron Fresh boasts a takeaway kiosk, florist, and a mini bakery filled with the makings of local bakery, The Bread Social. Although a popular breakfast spot, and home to quality coffee, it’s their simple and fresh approach to lunch that keeps you going back. The chicken salad ($25) will pleasantly satisfy your tastebuds with avocado, sweet potato, green beans, goji berries, rocket, salsa verde and pomegranate molasses. Stacked between slices of organic sourdough toast is the juicy pork sandwich ($22). Slow cooked, with organic sauerkraut, rocket and aioli, this is a guilty pleasure must try. Now before you go, ask your waiter for an Ink Gin and tonic ($10.50). This local creation infused with organic botanicals is well worth it.
Byron Fresh Café, 7 Jonson Street, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, (02) 6685 7810, Open 7am-11pm
Balcony Bar & Oyster Co.
Balcony Bar & Oyster Co. is where all your seafood dreams (and more) come true. Nestled above Byron’s buzzing main street, this is an ultimate display of surf and bohemian culture. While you people watch, let award winning Executive Chef and Owner Sean Connolly whip you up a seafood feast. The freshness of the locally and sustainably sourced produce is absolutely noticeable. Whether in Sean’s chilli mud crab ($MP) or the oysters natural with lemon ($4 each). Sean blew us away with the crab & lettuce tacos with chardonnay vinaigrette, salmon caviar, and fresh chilli (3 for $18) and the watermelon salad ($22). Complete with tomato, pomegranate, mint and lemon labne it adds a fresh citrus burst. With so many alluring options on the menu, you could be lounging from lunch to dinner. Especially when $10 Espresso Martinis are available from 9pm.
The Balcony Bar & Oyster Co, Corner of Jonson Street and Lawson Street, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, (02) 6680 9666, Open Monday-Friday 11.30am-12am, Saturday-Sunday 9am-12am
Rae’s on Wategos
With soothing surrounds, hues of blue, white and natural wood, this Mediterranean oasis provides the perfect backdrop to a magical evening. Let alfresco dining take you from land to sea, as you sip a botanical cocktail, and stare into the sun-flickered glass top of Wategos Beach. The Splendour in the Grass ($19) is gin based cocktail with a striking mix of aromatic botanicals of elderflower, lemon myrtle and Aperol adding a powerful zing to your evening. Fresh from the ocean, Rae’s daily sashimi ($27) is a melting symphony of ruby streak mizuna, daikon, soy wasabi gel and pickled ginger. Make sure to bring a posse so you can try more than just one main dish. If that’s still not enough to satisfy your indecision, opt for Rae’s Seafood Degustation ($115/per person) to really get a taste of what Head Chef, Guy Skinner-Hutchinson can do.
Rae’s Restaurant, Rae’s on Wategos, 6-8 Marine Parade, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, (02) 6685 5366, Open 11.30am-late, http://www.raes.com.au
This Mexican cantina is the perfect modern blend, mixing the energy and tastes of Mexico, with Byron’s beachy vibes. Get your maracas out foodies, as Miss Margarita will have you doing the Salsa! After a long day, lounging along Byron’s favourite cool down spot, Main Beach, take a short stroll to meet Miss Margarita at 5pm for $10 Mojitos and Margaritas. Sip fast because the offer ends at 6pm. Ordering Nachos ($13/$19) can often be hit or miss but not with this missus. With house made corn chips and zesty guacamole, we’ve heard it said, Miss Margarita makes the best nachos outside of America. Mix it up with a Taco Tasting Tray (3 for $15), or if your beach day has got your stomach churning, grab a Deluxe Beach Burrito. Absolute satisfaction is yours for $15, no Juan could resist.
Miss Margarita, Mexican Cantina, 2 Jonson Street, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, (02) 6685 6828
Open Monday-Friday 12pm-3pm; 5pm till close, Saturday-Sunday 11.30am-close
Thai Lucy we are glad you opened shop way back in 1997. Renowned for traditional Thai cuisine with modern tweaks, Thai Lucy has been getting taste buds tingling in a hidden laneway for 20 years. The best part of her curry puffs ($9 for 4), although oozing with flavour, is the flaky pastry. Think you’ve already ticked “find the best Pad Thai” off your to do list? If it’s not Thai Lucy, you have blundered. Serving up a strong contender, with an accentuated balance of sweet and spice in one large bowl you’ll want to savour this flavour. One key ingredient you won’t find on the menu here at Thai Lucy is the boss – but she’s a major part of the appeal. She weaves and wobbles her way through the chaos, slipping out jokes from her constantly beaming smile. If dinner didn’t have your eyes dancing, she’ll have your whole body moving as you roar with laughter. Wok on Lucy!
Thai Lucy , 2/4 Bay Lane, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, (02) 6680 8083, Open 4pm-10pm, http://thailucy.com.au
Stone & Wood Brewing Company
Are you recovering from yesterday’s sun assault and need an escape from the day’s rays? Head to the Stone & Wood Brewery where not only the beer, but their dapper cheer will brighten you up. Entering the iron shed, gaze over the hills of greenery, hanging pieces of history and a forest of wooden crafted furniture. Next you’ll notice the shimmering silver gleam of the monstrous tanks filled with the brewer’s latest concoctions. For $10, fill a beer paddle with five different tasters including a selection of spicy, light, subtle, or fruity options. To detoxify and digest these beloved beers, order a kombucha, the fermented, effervescent tea “known as the immortal health elixir”off tap ($5) as you taste your way through the brewery. Stone & Wood’s brewery tours are available daily, visit their website for times. Cheers!
Stone & Wood Brewing Company, 4 Boronia Place, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, (02) 6685 5173
Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday-Sunday 12pm-6pm, https://www.stoneandwood.com.au
The Bolt Hole
Peering above the sunlit heart of Byron Bay from a second story hideaway, is a dimly lit escape. The first thing you’ll see as you enter The Bolt Hole is a six metre tarnished copper bar, holding the weight of over 200 whiskies and gins. Turn around and you’ll find an elegant lounge area lined with vintage green chesterfields, framed by panoramic views of Byron’s beautiful hinterland. The old school essence is amplified by William Hogarth’s London’s depictions of Beer Street and Gin Lane hung upon the walls. But now Toto, it’s time to enter Kansas with some Bolt Hole smokehouse BBQ. Come with an empty stomach because The Bolt Hole’s Signature smokehouse platter for two ($62) will burst your top button, as you lick your fingers for more slow cooked goodness. If you’re a little gun shy however, a killer grilled reuben sandwich is a modest option. To rid your food coma try an Insomnia cocktail ($18), the most delicious twist on an espresso martini. If you’d prefer to revert back to suave sophistication ask the crafty bartenders to make you The Clover Club.
The Bolt Hole, 9 Fletcher Street, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, (02) 6685 8410, Monday closed, Tuesday-Saturday 5pm-12am and Sunday 5pm-11pm, http://www.thebolthole.com.au
La La Land
Hello Cowboy. Walking upstairs, towards the neon red sign reading ‘La La Land’, you will not find Ryan Gosling or Emma Stone. Instead you will find a welcoming mid-western saloon, with bone lighting, sultry lounge seating and the smell of sandalwood. Giddy-up night owls, this cowboy is open from 8pm till 3am. If you’ve outdone yourself on the Stone & Wood brews during your Byron stay, try one of their international bottled craft beers ($8). Traipse the open balcony, swirling your Old Fashioned ($19), and enjoy a bipolar mix of tunes. From old school hip hop, pop and rock, a dash of reggae and a sprinkle of the acoustic, this is La La Land. This unidentifiable mash of all things beloved in Byron’s backyard has the power to hold you captive all night long. At 3am, as the saloon says sayonara you’ll beg to be held hostage.
La La Land, 6 Lawson Street, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, (02) 6680 7272, Monday-Sunday 8pm-3am
Places to Be
Broken Head Reserve
Calling all thrill seekers and beach lovers! Do as the locals do, and take a short drive out of Byron and into the Broken Head Nature Reserve. Dotted along the edge of a one-way windy sand road, at the base of every valley sits a strip of beautiful beaches. At the end of this path, Seven-Mile Beach offers easy access to peaceful seclusion. If you’ve got your walking shoes on, make the tight park at the head of the Whites Beach Walking Track. At the bottom of this steep decent you’ll wish you’d brought survival provisions as you build yourself a beach hut to call home. Many more beaches line the expanse of the Broken Head Reserve ready for your footprints to be left in the sand.
Set upon an 80-acre former dairy farm, The Farm represents an ethically sustainable and healthy way of living. Cradled in pastures based below the iconic hinterland, full of nourishment, love and passion, exists a collection of micro-businesses. You’ll find a café, florist, boot camp, yoga studio and bakery all in one location. This establishment aims to “grow, feed and educate” those interested in living a similar lifestyle. A stark contrast to the busy hub of Byron just 10 minutes away, this Eden will provide a whole day’s worth of activities for you and the family. Heading this venture are the boys from Sydney’s Three Blue Ducks cafe in Bronte and Rosebery in Sydney. Their ever-changing menu is designed based on the available produce directly from The Farm or neighbouring suppliers. It’s fresh, it’s clean and full of flavour. The produce store holds goodies to take home including sriracha hot sauce, basil pesto, dukkah, and locally sourced meats and cheeses. Grab a loaf of freshly baked sourdough from The Bread Social, as the final touch to your charcuterie board.
The Farm Byron Bay, 92 Woodford Lane, Ewingsdale, NSW 2481, (02) 6684 7888, Monday-Thursday 7am-4pm, Friday-Sunday 7am-10pm, http://www.thefarmbyronbay.com.au
Byron Bay Farmers Markets
Since December 2004, a colourful conglomerate has gathered upon the Butler Street Reserve bringing the local community a grower’s market. This flourishment of colour blooms every Thursday from 8am-11am. Grab a delicious almond croissant and a coffee from the Scratch Patisserie stall as you stroll around the markets. You will find all types of produce to meet your foodie needs. From the freshest fruit and veg, flowers and fine meats. There’s even stall dedicated to garlic! As you near the exit, arms hanging with goodie bags, be sure to revitalise. Head to Jungle Juice for your choice of juice or smoothie. For something more exotic, traverse to M2A Cane Juice, it’s a must.
Byron Bay Farmers Markets, Butler Street, Byron Bay, NSW 2481, (02) 6687 1137, Thursday 8am-11am, http://www.byronfarmersmarket.com.au
Cape Byron Lighthouse
Now, at last, if you’re up for it, and find pleasure in early morning rewards, walk to the lighthouse. As the most easterly point in Australia, from this location is where you will see the first sunrise of the day (within Australia that is). So, wipe your weary eyes, put your walking shoes on and get going. From the inner hub of Byron, to the Cape Byron Lighthouse is supposedly a 40-minute walk. However, Google Maps doesn’t seem to have noticed the incline of this iconic peak. Ensuring you don’t miss one moment of this beautiful transformation from night to day, leave yourself at least an hour. Once on top, find a cosy spot and watch the sky churn through sherbet shades of purple, blue, pink and orange until at last, it is day. The walk back down isn’t too bad either. Take it slow and soak up the views of The Pass and Main Beach, as the morning light shimmers across the ocean’s surface.